Introduction

Glasgow is often overlooked for Edinburgh, but Glasgow really has a lot to offer – from eating and drinking, to music, shopping and art galleries, the city is rich with history and new beginnings. The rich Victorian architecture, green spaces and abundant options makes Glasgow The Spade’s pick of Scottish cities. The central grid, and heading west, is where you will want to focus your attention during your time in Glasgow.


GSA - flickr Richard P J Lambert - auspices

 

The Spade Six

The Spade - Secondary 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. A nod to the city’s grittier past, the Oxford Dictionary added the phrase ‘Glasgow kiss’, meaning headbutt, to its pages in 1982.

2. With a renowned live music scene and thriving independent music stores, Glasgow has the honour of being a UNESCO City of Music. For music lovers, a stop at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut is a must.

3. Since 1901, the locally manufactured Irn-Bru has been the favourite drink of Scotland, right behind whisky that is. With its garish bright orange colouring, this carbonated soft drink competes right up there with Coke and Pepsi on the Scottish market.

4. Finnieston Crane, erected in 1931, on the banks of the Clyde is a constant reminder of Glasgow’s industrial past.

5. Whisky, or the ‘water of life’, is the quintessential taste of Scotland. It is imperative that you request ‘A wee dram!’ from at least one of Glasgow’s watering holes – you will be rewarded with a good single malt whisky.

6. At least one Tunnock’s Teacake must pass your lips while in Glasgow.

Essentials

Climate

It’s very green so that means rain! Temperatures are generally cool to mild, think layers when packing for all seasons – and don’t forget your umbrella. With its northern latitude, there is 16 hours of daylight in the summer months, which of course means the opposite come winter.

Currency

Great British Pound – GBP, £, Sterling. The best choice for payment is through your credit cards, which are accepted widely, or to withdraw cash at an ATM – as a general rule, you receive the best exhange rate through this method.

 

Driving

Lefthand drive throughout the UK.

Electricity & Conversions

The standard voltage in Scotland is 240V AC, 50Hz. North American appliances need a transformer and an adapter; Australasian appliances need only an adapter. Plugs have 3 square pins and adapters are widely available.

Emergency

Call 999 for police, fire brigade, and ambulance.

Tax

Tax in the UK is called VAT. It is up to 20% but it is included in the price you see displayed, no extra tax will be added at the point of sale, restaurants or shops.

Telephone

The UK country code is 44. Glasgow landlines start with a 141 area code, followed by a 7 digit number.

Time Zone

Glasgow’s timezone is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or one hour ahead of GMT for British Summer Time (BST) during daylight saving time.

Tipping

There is no set standard for tipping in Scotland. As a general guide, 10-15% tip is customary if you are happy with the service. You are not expected to tip in bars or any location that does not provide table service. For taxis, rounding up to the nearest pound (£) is usual practice.

Visitor Information

The Visit Scotland website has useful information on Glasgow – you can also stop by their Information Centre at 170 Buchanan Street, in the heart of the pedestrian mall. Also see the People Make Glasgow website for up to date information on the current events in Glasgow.

Getting Around

Airport Shuttle

From the airport you can take the First 500 Glasgow Shuttle, which departs approximately every 10 minutes from Stance 1 for Glasgow City Centre. There are stops at Buchanan Street Bus Station, Glasgow Central Train and Glasgow Queen Street Train Stations. You can do the opposite to return to the airport.
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Taxis

Taxis, or Black Cabs, can be hailed on the street, or contact them to make a booking.
tel: +44 141 429 7070
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Hop On Hop Off

Although it may seem touristy, ‘hop on hop off’ buses are a great way to get your bearings in any city. Jump on for a full tour and before you know it, you will know what is where, and what you want to see more of.
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Walking

Glasgow is definitely a walkable city; grab a map and head out – just be sure to have your brolly handy.

Subway - flickr Magnus Hagdorn

Subway

Dubbed the ‘Clockwork Orange’, these tiny little trains could be mistaken for toys and may require you to duck your head while entering. The circuit around the city, spans both sides of the Clyde, making the subway an excellent way to get around. At £1.40 per trip, or £2.60 for the day, it is a bargain. Trains run Monday to Saturday 630am to 1145pm, Sundays have limited hours of 10am to 6pm.
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Buses

There is also a comprehensive bus system – see their website for routes and timings.
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City Snapshot

City Centre

The hustle and bustle of the City Centre is jam-packed with the things to see, shopping to be done and food & drinks to be had. Make sure you check out the Gallery of Modern Art, with the notorious Duke of Wellington Statue in front – often adorned with a traffic cone. George Square and the Glasgow City Chambers are excellent examples of the city’s Victorian architecture. Glasgow is a shopping mecca; the Style Mile, with Buchannan Street at its heart. The Lighthouse is a recent addition to the art scene, tucked just off of Buchannan Street – the gift shop here is loaded with quirky Glasgow items not typical of your usual touristy options. The Merchant City highlights the regeneration of the city from the 1980s onwards, turning the historic ‘tron’ into an upscale area akin to Covent Garden in London. Offering high end shopping, restaurants, bars and residences, often in restored Victorian buildings.

West End

The West End is a great place to wander – start at the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, take in the Victorian glasshouses, and then make your way down Byres Road, make a stop at the cobbled Ashton Lane, from there you can continue through to the University of Glasgow, or make your way back to Byres Road and carry on to Argyle Street. You’ll pass by many restaurants and cafes on your way to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, which is definitely a must see – try and be there on the hour to experience the resonating sounds of the organ being played. If you keep heading east on Argyle Street, you’ll wander through the heart of Finnieston. This old shipping village is now home to a burgeoning restaurant and bar scene. Technically part of the West End, Finnieston deserves to stand on its own.

  • CITY GUIDE: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • CITY GUIDE: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • CITY GUIDE: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • CITY GUIDE: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • CITY GUIDE: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • CITY GUIDE: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • CITY GUIDE: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Sauchiehall Street

The Buchannan Street pedestrian mall turns into Sauchiehall Street at the northern end, turning to the west, and continues as a pedestrian mall for another several blocks. From here the street changes to a litany of restaurants, bars and shops, generally serving the student crowd – with The Glasgow School of Art just up the hill on Renfrew Street – the restaurants and bars continue all along here to the M8. You will find a range of cuisines on offer, including great Asian noodles and dumplings, and many other inexpensive options. You can also continue on along Sauchiehall Street past the M8 to get to the West End.

The Clyde

The Clyde Waterfront highlights the new surge of modern architecture flourishing in Glasgow. For a grand view of the city’s waterway, take a stroll on The Clyde Walkway. On a sunny day, wander towards the east and you will pass the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre, which includes the Clyde Auditorium, and the Finnieston Crane. Across the river is the Glasgow Science Centre and IMAX theatre. Further along towards the east is the Riverside Museum, you can’t miss it with its distinctive architecture.

The Spade - Secondary A

Ace of the Spade

The Glasgow School of Art

If you only have time for one sightseeing stop, make it The Glasgow School of Art.

Eat

Eating and drinking go hand in hand, they’re synonymous – a match made in heaven. We have found the best places to partake in these activities, and have labeled them for their best attribute. However, most places do offer you both eating and drinking options.

On the eating side, Scottish fare is wide ranging with endless choices. Local produce and artisanal products are a recurring theme, showcasing the bounty of the Scottish countryside. Although traditional favourites like neeps and tatties are still common, Scottish cookery is often elevated by global influences, and the use of superb ingredients and produce. Whatever you have a hankering for, chances are high you can find it in Glasgow. Be warned, Glaswegians are self confessed, curry obsessed.

Because eating & drinking do indeed go hand in hand, many restaurants in Glasgow allow ‘bring your own bottle’, however you should check with each establishment to be sure. Never fear, there will always be a wine list so you won’t go thirsty – but if you had your heart set on a particular bottle to accompany your dinner, best to check first.

Drink

Whisky is the drink of the Scotland, the life water in fact. Most pubs offer a ‘Dram of the Month’ for around £2, which is a great way to discover which of the hundreds of choices you like best.

Glasgow also has a flourishing cocktail scene, so no need to stick to whisky – but of course you must have at least one wee dram before departure. Many of the pubs, bars and restaurants in the city centre, Merchant City and the West End, including the Finnieston area, have an amazing selection of bespoke cocktails – some traditional oldies along with newly created masterpieces by the mixologists around. Word to the wise; just order a drink off of the menu, finding a classic martini in Glasgow, when not on the menu inevitably leads to disappointment.

You can purchase wine, beer and spirits/liquor at ‘off licences’ – convenience stores, sections of supermarkets and specialty shops across Glasgow. Supermarkets sell alcohol from 10am until 10pm, with limited hours on Sundays.

Fast & Fresh

Marthas flickr STV PhotosMartha’s
142A St Vincent Street
Glasgow, G2 5LQ
City Centre

Lunch on your Own
Bread Meats Bread 3

Bread Meats Bread
104 St Vincent Street
Glasgow, G2 5UB
City Centre

Drinks with Style

The Corinthian Club
191 Ingram Street
Glasgow, G1 1DA
City Centre

Dinner with Friends

Number 16 GlasgowNumber 16
16 Byres Road
Glasgow, G11 5JY
West End

Old Boozer

The Pot Still flickr John Ott1The Pot Still
154 Hope Street
Glasgow, G2 2TH
City Centre

Casual Dinner

The Finnieston flickr STV PhotosThe Finnieston
1125 Argyle Street
Glasgow, G3 8ND
Finnieston

Pho, Not Bikes

Hanoi Bike Shop GlasgowThe Hanoi Bike Shop
8 Ruthven Lane
Glasgow, G12 9BG
West End

Dinner for Two

Cail Bruich KitchenCail Bruich
725 Great Western Road
Glasgow, G12 8QX
West End

Pub, Coen Brothers Style

Lebowskis GlasgowLebowskis
1008 Argyle Street
Glasgow, G3 8LX
Finnieston

Dinner with Atmosphere

Ubiquitous Chip RestaurantUbiquitous Chip
12 Ashton Lane
Glasgow, G12 8SJ
West End

Dining in Multiples of Two

The Butchershop GlasgowThe Butchershop Bar & Grill
1055 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow, G3 7UD
Finnieston

Curry, Scottish
Style

Mister Singhs flickr STV Photos1Mister Singh’s
149 Elderslie Street
Glasgow, G3 7JR
Sauchiehall Street Area

Drinks with a Difference

Grosvenor Glasgow ExteriorThe Grosvenor
24 Ashton Lane
Glasgow, G12 8SJ
West End

Dinner with a Large Group

Shandon Belles GlasgowThe Shandon Belles
652-654 Argyle Street
Glasgow, G3 8UF
City Centre

Drinks, Gigs & Vegetarian

Stereo GlasgowStereo
22-28 Renfield Lane
Glasgow, G2 5AR
City Centre

Drinks, Pre or Post Dinner

Dukes Bar GlasgowDukes Bar
41 Old Dumbarton Road
Glasgow, G3 8RD
Finnieston

Glaswegian Addiction

The Wee Curry Shop flickr STV PhotosThe Wee Curry Shop
29 Aston Lane
Glasgow, G12  8SJ
West End

41 Byres Road
Glasgow, G11 5RG
West End

7 Buccleuch Street
Glasgow, G3 R6U
Sauchiehall Street Area

Tea with Mackintosh

Willow Tea Rooms GlasgowThe Willow Tea Rooms
217 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow, G2 3EX
Sauchiehall Street Area

97 Buchanan Street
Glasgow, G1 3HF
City Centre

Culinary Empire

Two Fat Ladies West End 21Two Fat Ladies
88 Dumbarton Road
Glasgow, G11 6NX
West End

118A Blythswood Street
Glasgow, G2 4EG
City Centre

652-654 Argyle Street
Glasgow, G3 8UF
City Centre

Coffee

Hang Out,
and Eat Too

Artisan Roast Glasgow 71Artisan Roast
15-17 Gibson Street
Glasgow, G12 8NU
West End/University

Grab and Go

Laboratorio Esp 3Laboratorio
93 West Nile Street
Glasgow, G1 2SH
City Centre

Afternoon
Pick-Me-Up

Coffee Choc Tea 3Coffee, Chocolate
and Tea

944 Argyle Street
Glasgow, G3 8YJ
Finnieston

Sit and Stare

Roast 3Roast
1299 Argyle Street
Glasgow, G3 8TL
Finnieston

Hotels

Reasonable

Park Inn GlasgowPark Inn by Radisson Glasgow City Centre
139 & 141 West George Street
Glasgow, G2 2JJ
City Centre

Something Different

Citizen M GlasgowcitizenM
60 Renfrew Street
Glasgow, G2 3BW
City Centre

Dependable Chain

Hilton Glasgow GrosvenorHilton Glasgow Grosvenor
1-9 Grosvenor Terrace
Glasgow, G12 0TA
West End

Boutique

BlythswoodSq Hotel GlasgowBlythswood Square Hotel
No.11 Blythswood Square
Glasgow, G2 4AD
City Centre

Shopping

Glasgow is a shopping city. From international chains, to UK brands and a variety of department stores, boutiques and vintage stores, there is a huge range to choose from across the city. Opening hours are generally 9am to 6pm, with late opening hours on Thursdays until 8 or 9pm. Sundays are generally more limited hours, 11am to 5pm.

Buchannan St - flickr David Mackay - nuklr.dave

International Chains

The Gap, H&M, Forever21, Topshop and many, many others can all be found on the Style Mile.

Department Stores

John Lewis and Debenhams are UK standards offering a wide range of products and good service. House of Fraser is Scotland’s Premium Department Store. The Glasgow location is one of the most iconic buildings on the Style Mile, with five floors cover a wide range of products including an internationally renowned Beauty Hall. There are Marks & Spencer locations throughout the city, offering a mix of clothing, grocery items and readymade food for on the go.

John Lewis
Buchanan Galleries
Buchanan Street
Glasgow, G1 2GF
tel: +44 141 353 6677
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Debenhams
97 Argyle Street
Glasgow, G2 8AR
tel: +44 844 561 6161
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House of Fraser
2145 Buchanan Street
Glasgow, G1 3HL
tel: +44 844 800 3728
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Marks & Spencer
172 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow, G2 3EE
tel: +44 141 332 6097


2-12 Argyle Street
Glasgow, G2 8AA
tel: +44 141 552 4546
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Supermarkets

For grocery needs, major UK supermarkets can be found throughout the city. In the City Centre there is a Sainsbury’s (open 7am to 10pm) at the north end of Buchannan Street, and a Tesco (open 6am to midnight) at the south end.

Books

There are two locations of the major book chain Waterstones in the City Centre. Both locations offer a huge selection of books and magazines, including a section devoted to all things Scotland.

Sainsbury’s
Buchanan Galleries
Buchanan Street
Glasgow, G1 2FF
tel: +44 141 332 1480
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Tesco
St Enoch Centre
55 St. Enoch Square
Glasgow, G1 4BW
tel: +44 084 502 6964
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Waterstones
153-157 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow, G2 3EW
tel: +44 141 332 9105

Waterstones
174-176 Argyle Street
Glasgow, G2 8BT
tel: +44 141 248 4814
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Pharmacies

Major UK chains Boots and Superdrug, as well as many other local pharmacies can be found across this city. Most pharmacies are typically open from 9am to 630 or 7pm.

Boots

Buchanan Galleries
Ground Floor
Buchanan Street
Glasgow, G1 2GF
tel: +44 141 333 9306

St Enoch Centre
55 St Enoch Square
Glasgow, G1 4BW
tel: +44 141 248 7387

Boots at Glasgow Central Station is open from 7am until midnight everyday except Sunday, 9am to 9pm

Glasgow Central Station
Glasgow, G1 3SQ
tel: +44 141 221 7107

Visit their website for more locations

Superdrug

66 Arygle Street
Glasgow, G2 8AG
tel: +44 141 221 9644

Unit 2a Sauchiehall Centre
167 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow, G2 3ER
tel: +44 141 3324284

Visit their website for more locations

Time Out

Spa

BlythswoodSq Spa GlasgowLuxurious Indulgence
Blythswood Square Spa
No.11 Blythswood Square
Glasgow, G2 4AD

Cinemas


Mainstream
Cineworld Cinemas
Glasgow Renfrew Street
7 Renfrew Street
Glasgow, G2 3AB
tel: +44 871 200 2000
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Independent
Glasgow Film Theatre
12 Rose Street
Glasgow, G3 6RB
tel: +44 141 332 6535
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Movies, Food and Drinks
The Grosvenor – Cinema
24 Ashton Lane
Glasgow, G12 8SJ
tel: +44 845 166 6002
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Out & About

Opera, Theatre, Ballet
Theatre Royal
282 Hope Street
Glasgow, G2 3QA
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Stage Shows
King’s Theatre
297 Bath Street
Glasgow, G2 4JN
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Gigs with History
King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
272A St Vincent Street
Glasgow, G2 5RL
tel: +44 141 221 5279
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Serious Clubbing
Sub Club
25 Jamaica Street
Glasgow, G1 4QD
tel: +44 141 248 4600
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Art, Theatre, Music & Clubbing
The Arches
253 Argyle Street
Glasgow, G2 8DL
tel: +44 141 565 1000
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Green Space

With over 90 parks throughout the city, Glasgow has a lot of green space to offer. And that green comes from the rain. The meaning of Glasgow from the Gaelic is something akin to ‘dear green place’ or ‘beloved green place’ – hint being, the green is important and abundant, did we mention the rain…? Kelvingrove Park, towards the northwest of the city, is a great choice for a stroll, and also the home of the must see Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum. After a walk through this park, the Finnieston area is right there to offer you an evening of drinks and dining. Another good choice is the Glasgow Botanic Gardens off of the Great Western Road; famous for their Victorian cast-iron glasshouses and bordered by the River Kelvin, you can easily wander for hours. And again, once you have worked up an appetite and are looking to quench your thirst, there are a variety of drinking and dining options on this stretch of the Great Western Road, another rich area of dining on the Glasgow scene.

 

Glasgow Park Botanical - flickr - Charlie Walker