As Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow is fast becoming a top choice for short city breaks in Europe. A warm, welcoming destination considered to be Scotland’s style capital, Glasgow offers fantastic shopping opportunities, a host of bars, restaurants and cafes, impressive architecture and a range of cultural activities and attractions. On top of all this, the city plays host this year to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, making Glasgow a top European weekend destination.
Scotland’s capital of style, Glasgow offers fantastic facilities for the shopaholic, no matter what your tastes. Comprising the pedestrianized areas of Buchanan Street, Sauchiehall Street and Argyle Street, the aptly named ‘Style Mile’ lies at the centre of the city, housing hundreds of stores including boutiques, designer stores and high street fashion retailers, many of which offer late night opening hours. The Merchant City and Italian Centre offer high end designer goods whilst the bohemian West End serves up an array of delights for alternative tastes. For the bargain hunter, The Barras, located in the cities East End, is a lively street market held every Saturday and Sunday. No matter what your style or budget, Glasgow’s thriving shopping scene offers something for everyone.
With a host of museums and galleries, many of which are free to enter, Glasgow is a haven for the cultural connoisseur. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is home to one of the most impressive art collections in Europe. Opened in 1901, Kelvingrove houses 22 themed galleries containing displays from Ancient Egypt to French Impressionists. There is also a dedicated gallery to Glaswegian art hero Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the UK’s main contributor to the Art Nouveau movement. In the heart of the city lies Scotland’s most visited art gallery, Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art, another free entry and must visit spot for anyone with an eye for the contemporary. For those more taken by the mechanics of movement Glasgow’s transport haven, The Riverside Museum, houses over 3,000 exhibits and received the accolade of European Museum of the Year in 2013.
When night falls, Glasgow has built itself a scene worthy of comparison with any major European city. Fine dining options abound from traditional Scottish cuisine to restaurants serving fare from every corner of the world. Balmy summer evenings offer excellent alfresco dining opportunities in the Royal Exchange Square or along the quaintly cobbled streets of the Merchant City. There is also an eclectic range of pubs and bars where you can sample anything form Scotland’s impressive range of whiskies to the super trendy metropolitan cocktail menu and from culture to clubbing, there is a whole host of entertainment options for the night owl to enjoy. A firm contender in the European city break stakes, Glasgow offers a cultural mecca to visit this summer.