Glasgow: Art, shopping and craft beer

There’s plenty to see and do in Scotland’s biggest city, and a host of eateries for you to refuel after a hard day’s sightseeing. We take a look at some of the most popular, plus the hidden gems the locals have been keeping to themselves.

Here are the best things to see and do in Glasgow, the great places to grab some grub, the perfect places to pitch up for a pint and where to head for some retail therapy. Plus the secret spots you might never have heard of.

From stunning architecture, superb shopping and food and acclaimed art history, Glasgow will leave you spellbound.

Things to see and do in Glasgow

The artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh put Glasgow firmly on the map in terms of art and culture and you can see why for yourself at The Mackintosh House; a reconstruction of the artist’s home at the Hunterian Art Gallery, which features much of his famous furniture.

To learn more about Glasgow, we’d recommend a trip to The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, set in the oldest public space in the city, Glasgow Green. The museum charts the history of Glasgow back to 1750, set against a stunning backdrop. Don’t forget to swing by the restored Doulton Fountain as you leave. Entry is free.
Taking a tour of a cemetery may seem like an unusual activity but The Necropolis, which is the final resting place of some of Glasgow’s most famous residents, is regarded as one of the most significant cemeteries in Europe. Heritage maps are available to guide you through the memorials and tombs.

Shopping in Glasgow

Glasgow can claim to be the UK’s largest and most successful shopping destination outside of London’s West End.It offers everything from independent boutiques to high street favourites and high-end designer stores.

Your first port of call should be the Style Mile – the square mile in the very centre of Glasgow which is home to more than 200 stores as well as the Buchanan Galleries and Princes Square malls.

For quirky, independent shops head to the city’s West End where you’ll find seemingly endless lanes and arcades crammed with some of Glasgow’s best-kept shopping secrets. Highlights include Cresswell Lane, home to the famous De Courcy’s Arcade.

Food and drink in Glasgow

Whether it’s traditional Scottish fare or something a bit more exotic you’re craving, you’re sure to find the answer among Glasgow’s many eateries and watering holes.

For some of the best Scottish cuisine around look no further than the family-run Black Sheep Bistro which offers hearty, tasty dishes such as cullen skink, haggis, neeps and tatties with whisky sauce and steak pie. It’s only small though, so you may want to book.

For a tasty steak, head to the award-winning Butchershop Bar and Grill, located in the heart of Glasgow’s West End. It’s all about the meat here, and only the best dry-aged, grass-fed Scottish beef at that. For bargain hunters there are pre-theatre and set lunch menus.

If you just want to quench your thirst, we recommend heading to BrewDog Glasgow, which stocks delicious craft beers from Scotland’s largest independently-owned brewery.

Hidden Glasgow

Here are three spots in Glasgow you might not have heard of…

You need a keen eye to spot The Flying Duck, one of Glasgow’s best kept secrets. You often have to enter this lively basement bar on Renfield Street via an unmarked back door. But once you are in, the tasty food, themed fun nights and free toast are well worth it.
Glasgow boasts hundreds of amazing eateries but you’ll find the locals flocking to Asia Style for Malay and Chinese fusion cuisine at affordable prices. The décor may not look up to much but the food is a taste sensation. The soft shell crab is particularly popular.

TriBeCa brings a slice of the Big Apple to Glasgow, offering New York-style brunches including pancakes, bagels and waffles. If you’re really hungry, the full-on American breakfast should hit the spot. You’ll recognise the café by the NYPD car and NYC taxi parked outside.

Upcoming events in Glasgow

Ideal Home Show Scotland (23-26 May) If interiors are your thing head to Glasgow’s SECC. This year’s show will be jam-packed with home inspiration, discounted products and celeb appearances.

Commonwealth Games  (23 July-3 August) This huge event will see a whole host of sporting events take place across the city, including cycling, track and field, hockey, gymnastics and swimming. If you want to watch world-class athletes going for gold, check the official website for ticketing updates.

Enjoy your trip to Glasgow.