Glasgow has a culture and overall character which is very different from the capital city, Edinburgh , and something all the more remarkable given the two cities are a mere 46 miles apart.  The city grew at an exponential rate during the Victorian industrial revolution, to the point where it overtook the capital in terms of both population and size. 

Those Victorian and Edwardian pioneers left the city with an astonishing cultural legacy which was built upon by future generations, with an abundance of museums and galleries dotting the landscape through the city, including the Gallery of Modern Art which is said to be the second most visited contemporary art gallery outside London. There’s also the McLellan Galleries, Glasgow Science Centre, Hunterian Museum (at Glasgow University) and the Burrell Collection to name a few. The Museum of Transport (at Kelvin Hall) permanently closed on 18 April 2010 - the new, replacement Riverside Museum will open in Spring 2011.

The newly-reopened Kelvingrove Art Gallery is well worth a visit - even for the Dali and the Spitfire alone.


If the arts are too highbrow for your taste, there’s always the excellent shopping. Glasgow is known for its wide array of shopping options from the outdoor marketplaces, designer shops and fashion districts, to the regular UK chain stores. It’s also home to the second largest retail shopping centre in the U.K.
See especially Princes Square in the centre, reached from Buchanan Street,

Princes Square

Of course, you can’t visit Glasgow without hitting the pubs. It’s not just limited to the stereotype of some dingy, smoke-filled pub with geezers in the corner drinking beer and reminiscing about “the old days.” (In fact smoke is no longer a feature of any Scottish pub, smoking is now outlawed in any enclosed public space). These days you can find everything from the hip “see and be seen” kinds of pubs, foodie pubs – those where you’re not limited to just bangers and mash or shepherd’s pies, as well as pubs that are family-friendly. Pop on in and have a pint of beer or a shot of the infamous Scotch whisky.