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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


See the city from the famous River Clyde with Glasgow City Cruise. Setting off from various central locations, you can opt for the 90-minute cruise or hop on and off at various attractions along the way, including the Riverside Museum, Braehead Arena and Glasgow Science Centre. clydecruises.com

Sightseeing


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).


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


In Honours Cause: Glasgows World War I Memorials is a fascinating photographic exhibition to mark the centenary of WWI. It runs until 5 April 2015 and entrance is free (2 Castle Street, G4 0RH, glasgowmuseums.com).


Be spellbound with Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre. Since 1996, they have gained a reputation as one of the city's hidden treasures. Hundreds of carved figures and pieces of old scrap perform an incredible choreography to haunting music and synchronised light. Simply wonderful (103 Trongate, G1 5HD, sharmanka.com).


St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art marks the centenary of WW1 with a photographic exhibition "In Honour's Cause: Glasgow WW1 Memorials". From simple plaques to stunning stained-glass windows, it conveys the great losses endured (2 Castle Street, G4 0RH, glasgowlife.org.uk).

Key Areas


Glasgow International Comedy Festival, on 12-29 March, brings some of the biggest comedy names in the world to the city. Spread across over 40 venues, it's the largest comedy festival in the UK. glasgowcomedyfestival.com


Pollok Country Park is an award-winning park on the south side of Glasgow that features a wide expanse of countryside and woodlands. It's also home to Pollok House, boasting over 800 years of history, and the world-renowned Burrell Collection. glasgowlife.org.uk


Celtic Connections, on 15 January to 1 February, is the largest annual winter music festival of its kind. The premiere celebration of Celtic music, it boasts 2,100 artists and 300 events in 20 locations throughout the city. celticconnections.com


Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) is housed in an iconic building in the heart of the city. It is the most visited modern art gallery in Scotland. The Library at GoMA houses a cafe, free internet access terminals, and an extensive collection of art and design books alongside its general books for loan (Royal Exchange Square, G1 3AH, glasgowlife.org.uk).


Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum houses one of Europe's great art collections plus it's among the top three free-to-enter visitor attractions in Scotland. Free daily guided tours at 11am and 2.30pm (Argyle Street, G3 8AG, glasgowlife.org.uk/museums).


For footie fans a visit to the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park is a must. Once the world's largest football stadium, it boasted a record-breaking capacity of 183,724 in 1937. Open daily, get there on the low-level train to Mount Florida. scottishfootballmuseum.org.uk

Day Trips


Visit the park where Scotland's best-loved bard was born in the Burns family cottage in Alloway. Walk in Tam O'Shanter's footsteps across the Brig O'Doon and see the world's most important Robert Burns collection. Trains run regularly from Glasgow Queen Street. Local bus service to Alloway (Murdoch's Lone, Alloway, Ayr, KA7 4PQ, burnsmuseum.org.uk).


Escape to Inveraray Castle, one of Scotland's most iconic castles just an hour's drive from Glasgow. Standing on the beautiful shores of Loch Fyne, Argyll, the magnificent castle is surrounded by stunning gardens and grounds. The interior is just as spectacular. Public transport direct from Glasgow by coach with Scottish Citylink. inveraray-castle.com


Paisley: the town that brought you the pattern. Paisley Museum & Art Galleries (museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk) has one of the largest collections of Paisley shawls in the world, as well as a world-renowned collection of ceramics and contemporary art. Other attractions include Paisley Abbey (paisleyabbey.org.uk) and Sma' Shot Cottages (smashot.co.uk), all only a short train ride from Glasgow.


Largs is a beautiful seaside town only an hour's train journey from Glasgow Central offering stunning 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 (Greenock Road, KA30 8QL, kaleisure.com/facilities/leisure/vikingar?) and watch a multimedia journey tracing the history of the Vikings.

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