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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.

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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 Loves Christmas is six weeks of beautiful Christmas fun, happening in the city centre until 31 December. There are free festive events seven days a week at the Square, from concerts to films and live music to cooking. For more information visit glasgowloveschristmas.com.

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.


Founded in 1857, Britannia Panopticon Music Hall is the world's oldest surviving music hall and holds regular viewings, exhibitions, bazaars and traditional music shows. Stan Laurel performed here and there is a blue plaque in his honour. Nr Glasgow Cross, 113-117 Trongate, tel. 0141 553 0840.

Art of Billy Connolly. Comedian Billy Connolly will be displaying a selection of his art at The People's Palace until 18 February 2016. His artworks together with a range of objects from Glasgow Museums' collection, including those famous banana boots and his guitar made from a White Horse whisky box, will also be on display. Free Entry.

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).

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Nestled at the foot of the Old Kilpatrick hills, Auchentoshan distillery makes the only triple-distilled single malt in Scotland. Daily tours are available - for more information call 01389 878 561 or visit auchentoshan.co.uk.

Celtic Connections - 15 Jan to 1 Feb. The largest annual winter music festival of its kind. Its the premier celebration of Celtic music with 2,100 artists and 300 events in 20 locations throughout the city. For more information visit celticconnections.com.

The Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) Royal Exchange is housed in an iconic building in the heart of Glasgow, and is worth checking out. The Library at GoMA houses a café, free internet access, and an extensive collection of art and design books. For more information visit glasgowlife.org.uk.

Get a one-day Charles Rennie Mackintosh Trail Ticket and enjoy all the Mackintosh attractions whilst travelling in a sustainable way. You get unlimited travel on SPT subway and First bus services and it includes entry to all participating Mackintosh attractions. Follow in Brad Pitt's footsteps and visit the Hill House in Helensburgh. Tickets at Glasgow Tourist Information Centre, George Square.

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).

Day Trips

Paisley Museum and Art Galleries has one of the largest collections of Paisley shawls in the world, as well as ceramics and contemporary art (tel. 0141 889 3151). Other attractions include Coats Observatory (public telescope viewings on Tuesday & Thursdays from 6.30pm - 9.30pm), Paisley Abbey and Sma' Shot Cottages.

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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