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A Backpacker’s Guide to Glasgow

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Vicky Philpott

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Written by: Rebecca Root

Known as Edinburgh’s naughtier cousin, Glasgow in Scotland gets a fairly bad rap. The words crime, no teeth and Irn Bru are often banded around and they don’t necessarily portray the best image of sunny Glasgow. But, if you put aside the pictures of flashing kilts and battered pizzas and swap them for city of culture and best night out ever there’s a brighter side to enjoy.

Shopping in Glasgow

Buchanan Street in Glasgow
So, first on the list of Glasgow’s redeeming features is the shopping. Glasgow may be small but everyone knows that good things come in small packages and in this small package there is a whole load of shops. From the swanky designers in the Merchant City to the vintage hideaways in Glasgow’s west end there’s a good deal of money to be spent in Scotland’s second largest city. Even taking a stroll down the city’s centre strip Buchanan Street could take a good few hours if you’re perusing each gleaming window. So perhaps come armed with those Scottish notes…

Glaswegian art and culture

Kelvingrove Art Museum
Many people say that you go to Glasgow for fun and Edinburgh for culture. While that is fairly true, it doesn’t mean that Glasgow doesn’t have a little to offer in the field or art and culture. The Kelvingrove Art Museum harbours some impressive works and sits adjacent to the University of Glasgow. This in itself is a fascinating piece of architecture and is said to have been the inspiration behind Hogwarts…There’s also the Gallery of Modern Art and the bus tour adding to that list of culture. On a 30-minute whip round all of Glasgow’s gruesome yet patriotic tales are poured out do offer a giggle or two.

Nightlife in Glasgow

Cathouse club in Glasgow
OK let’s cut to the real fact of the matter here, the crunk of the list. There’s another pretty big reason people venture up to Glasgow and that is because of the murmuring whispers that over the years have made their way down the UK. The terms ‘wild,’ ‘crazy’ and ‘pure dead brilliant’ are occasionally mentioned and well, they’d all be kind of accurate. With a stream of pubs, bars and nightclubs along most city centre streets, there’s variety and ambience every night of the week. There’s Kushion and Bamboo for a bit of R n’ B bopping, Buff club for the underground vibes and the Cathouse for all out rock. How do you choose?

Food in Glasgow

Afternoon tea in Glasgow
Square sausage, battered mars bars and haggis are probably the first things that come to mind and, while, they are easily accessible there are other top restaurants and boutique tearooms that also cut the list. The Tearooms on Bath Street has an otherworldly feel offering its famous chocolate and Guinness cake in a Victorian setting. Mr Singh’s Indian is famous for its haggis pakora and there’s Boteco de Brazil that injects South American culture into the city centre with dancers and exotic meats.

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