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OVERVIEW

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.

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Shopping

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.

Shopping


The Italian Centre, 7 John Street. Tel. 0141 552 6368. Glasgow's own 'mini-Milan' located in the Merchant city. Here you will discover a selection of Italian designer stores and pavement cafes all under one roof. The architecture is beautiful and its a stunning place to relax in.


Glasgow Loves Christmas. Wrap up with your woolly gloves and hat to brave the elements for skating in George Square, from 10 am every day. Also free festive events 7 days a week at the Square, from concerts to films and live music to cooking. More info at www.glasgowloveschristmas.com.

Sightseeing


Glasgow Museums Resource Visitor Centre. Book a tour to visit the extraordinary store for Glasgow Museums' vast collection. 200 Woodhead Road, South Nitshill. Advance booking required. First Bus services 10 and 57 stop nearby. Five minutes from Nitshill Station.


People's Palace and Winter Gardens. Visit the beautiful Victorian glasshouse and café, plus enjoy historic stories of the people of Glasgow since 1750. If you are doing just one museum on your trip, make it this one. Located in the Glasgow Green, free admission.


Gallery of Modern Art GoMA is the second most visited contemporary art gallery outside London so why not take advantage of the free guided tours every weekend morning and afternoon. www.glasgowmuseums.com


Paisley Museum & Art Galleries has one of the largest collections of Paisley shawls in the world, as well as ceramics and contemporary art. Other attractions include Coats Observatory (public telescope viewings on Thursdays from 7.30pm-9.30pm), Paisley Abbey and Sma' Shot Cottages. Its just a short train ride from Glasgow Central.


Theatre Royal. Grab a feel good bit of soul with the smash hit musical, The Commitments, which comes to Glasgow after a record breaking two year run in London's West End. Info and tickets at www.theatreroyal.co.uk.


Skeletons: Life Stories. Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow University. A fascinating exhibition of reconstructed skeletons. Discover the effects of different living conditions and diseases on the body. Admission free. Nearest subway Hillhead.

Key Areas


Visit the cottage in Alloway where Scotland's best-loved poet, Robert Burns, was born. Walk across the Brig O'Doon and see the world's most important Burns collection at the Robert Burns National Heritage Park. www.burnsmuseum.org.uk


Join a Glasgow Necropolis guided tour through this fascinating cemetery, which was based on the famous Père Lachaise in Paris. It is located next to the medieval cathedral. Allow around two hours for your visit, details on booking at www.glasgownecropolis.org. Watch out for the deer!


The Glasgow International Comedy Festival runs from 9 to 26 March. Now in its 17th year, some of the biggest names in the world will perform in over 40 venues. www.glasgowcomedyfestival.com


Auchentoshan - nestling at the foot of the Old Kipatrick hills, the closest distillery to Glasgow and Auchentoshan is the only triple-distilled single malt in Scotland. Visitor Centre with daily tours available. Take bus 66 (Mountblow) from George Square. www.auchentoshan.co.uk


CELTIC CONNECTIONS 2,100 artists, 300 events, 20 venues, 1 brilliant festival 19 Jan - 5 Feb at various venues. Some of the leading names in folk and world music will perform. Ceilidhs, talks, free events, late night sessions and workshops. Tickets 0141 353 8000 online at www.celticconnections.com


Riverside Museum. Scotland's new Museum of Transport. Open 7 days a week and it is free! Only a 10 minute walk from Partick and Kelvinhall subway stations. There is a recreated late-19-century street, full of traditional shops, an old subway station and tramcar. With over 3,000 objects on display you may need a return visit.

Day Trips


Helensburgh, renowned 'Garden City of the Clyde', is just a train ride from Glasgow Queen Street (lower level) with lovely views en route along the River Clyde. This beautifully laid out Victorian seaside town is home to Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Hill House, which is worth the visit alone. The town is also notable as the birthplace of John Logie Baird, the inventor of television.


Steam “Doon the Watter” with the Waverley,the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world. Dine, relax with a drink in one of the restored period lounges, or simply watch the world slip by as you enjoy breath taking views. www.waverleyexcursions.co.uk 0845 130 4647


A one hour train journey from Glasgow Central takes you to the lovely seaside town of Largs, with beautiful views over the Firth of Clyde, the Isle of Cumbrae and beyond. Take a short trip on the ferry to Millport or visit the award-winning Vikingar and watch a multimedia journey tracing the history of the Vikings.

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