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Glasgow is firmly established as one of Europe’s most exciting destinations. The city has so much to offer, from its wealth of cultural attractions and year-round programme of events and festivals, to its world-class architecture and design, fantastic shopping and vibrant nightlife. So, it will come as no surprise that the city was named the top in the UK in the prestigious Tripadvisor ‘Traveller’s Choice Destinations on the Rise 2012’ awards.

An extensive range of museums and galleries – many of which are FREE to visit, showcase Glasgow’s cultural heritage. Must-sees include the magnificent Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum and the fascinating Riverside Museum. Discover the work of Art Nouveau architect, designer and city icon, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and check out some of the hottest new cutting edge art talent at Trongate 103 or Tramway – host venue for the 2015 Turner Prize. The city also has a year-round programme of events and festivals and is home to a number of events, among many others, such as Celtic Connections, Glasgow Film Festival, the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, Merchant City Festival, Piping Live! and the World Pipe Band Championships. 2014 will be an even bigger year for the city as it plays host to the Commonwealth Games.



As the largest retail centre in the UK outside London, the city’s Style Mile is jammed with a selection of high street stores and designer favourites. The city’s newest retail experience, Buchanan Quarter has just opened with Scotland’s flagship Forever 21 store just one of the great brands on offer.

Key Areas

Looking for something a little quirky? Head to the Merchant City and West End districts where you will uncover some amazing vintage stores, chic boutiques and weekend craft markets.


Glasgow's own 'mini Milan', located in the Merchant city, is the best place to discover a selection of Italian designer stores and pavement cafes, all under one roof. The architecture is beautiful and it's a stunning place to shop. The Italian Centre, 7 John Street.


The world's biggest piping event will see competitors from 150 nations descend on Glasgow on 14-15 August. It is the place to be for bagpipe lovers with the World Pipe Band Championships. Expect a magnificent and colourful spectacle of pipes and drums: one not to be missed. theworlds.co.uk

Glasgow is hosting the 2015 IPC Swimming Championships in the Tollcross International Swimming Centre on 13-19 July. Around 650 swimmers from over 50 countries will compete. paralympic.org/glasgow-2015/tickets

As seen on TV, Anita Manning's famous Great Western Auctions is the place to pick up a bargain if you're into antiques, collectables or fine art. Just don't scratch your nose (1291 Dumbarton Road, G14 9UY, greatwesternauctions.com).

Visit the People's Palace and Winter Gardens to enjoy this great Victorian glasshouse and the on-site cafe, and to learn about the history of the people of Glasgow since 1750. If you are doing just one museum on your trip, make it this one. You won't be disappointed. Admission free (Glasgow Green, G40 1AT).

Auchentoshan, nestling at the foot of the Old Kilpatrick hills, is the closest distillery to Glasgow and the only triple-distilled single malt in Scotland. Take bus No.66 (Mountblow) from George Square (By Dalmuir, Clydebank, G81 4SJ, auchentoshan.co.uk).

Glasgow Film Festival hits town on 18 February - 1 March. This 12-day festival promises to be longer, bigger and better than last year's event, featuring over 100 films, talks and tie-ins (Glasgow Film Theatre, 12 Rose Street, G3 6RB, glasgowfilm.org/festival).

Key Areas

For footie fans a visit to the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park is a must. This place was once the world's largest football stadium, with a record breaking capacity of 183,724 back in 1937. It's open seven days and it's not hard to get to, as there's a train to Mount Florida. For more information www.scottishfootballmuseum.org.uk.

Join a free guided tour of the City Chambers, one of the city's most prestigious buildings. Tours are conducted at 10.30am and 2.30pm, and no booking is necessary. Not available on weekends or public holidays (George Square, G2 1DU, glasgow.gov.uk).

Scotland Street School Museum was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh between 1903 and 1906. See the changing face of the classroom from the Victorian era through to the 1960s, restored to Mackintosh's original 1906 designs (225 Scotland Street, G5 8QB, glasgowlife.org.uk).

The Merchant City Festival, on 23 July to 3 August, is an annual event celebrating the undisputed cultural quarter of Glasgow. With over 300 events across 70 venues, it is a spectacular extravaganza featuring music, comedy, film, theatre, visual arts, fashion and much more. merchantcityfestival.com

Glasgow International Jazz Festival takes place at various venues, including the Old Fruitmarket, on 24-28 June. Now in its 29th year, this top jazz event is still going strong and hosts some of the biggest acts in the business. jazzfest.co.uk

The Falkirk Wheel is the world's first and only rotating boat lift. Costing £84.5m to build, this is the centrepiece of the Millennium Link, which connects the Union Canal and the Forth and Clyde Canal. You can spend a great day in the Visitor Centre, take a trip on the wheel on one of the special boats or stroll the landscaped gardens. Open daily. Take the train to Falkirk High then the No.3 Red Line bus. thefalkirkwheel.co.uk

Day Trips

Helensburgh is famously known as the home of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's largest and finest domestic building, the Hill House. It is a Victorian seaside town only an hour by train from Glasgow Queen Street, with broad avenues lined with cherry trees, stunning houses and beautiful parks. Take in the fresh air along the splendid esplanade. visitscotland.com

Helensburgh, renowned "Garden City of the Clyde", is just a train ride from Glasgow Queen Street (lower level). This beautifully laid out Victorian seaside town is home to Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Hill House, and is also notable as the birthplace of John Logie Baird, the inventor of television.

Escape to the Pollok Country Park on the south side of Glasgow. The award-winning park has a wide expanse of countryside and woodlands, and is home to Pollok House, boasting over 800 years of history, plus the world-renowned Burrell Collection (2060 Pollokshaws Road, G43 1AT).

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