locals' guide to glasgow | this city life
City break ideas,  Travel

The locals’ guide to Glasgow

locals' guide to glasgow | this city life
‘Confused City’ by Scottish Dream Photography

We nipped up to Glasgow for a weekend in August to see friends and it struck me that I’ve never written about it. We’ve been there twice now and I’ve either forgotten all the stuff we did or just not thought about writing it all down. So, I asked my mate Alan (who lives there) to give some pointers for a locals’ guide to Glasgow. Here’s what he suggests for a great Glasgow weekender, interspersed with beautiful photos from Scottish Dream Photography.

Where to eat in Glasgow

First thing’s first – food. Both times we’ve visited Glasgow Alan’s taken us to Pinto, Scotland’s own burrito bar. It’s a chain, but the food’s bloody delicious and perfect for an easy tea after a day shopping or before you hit the bars.

Sapori D’Italia near Hampden Park (the National stadium) gets rave reviews on Trip Advisor and you can walk over to Queen’s Park for beautiful views over the city in summer.

If you’re peckish for afternoon tea, Browns Brasserie & Bar does a cracking spread for just £12 per person – including finger sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, mini cakes, loose leaf teas, and the option to upgrade with a glass of Hendrick’s gin and tonic. Who’d say no to that, eh?

Stack | this city life
‘Stack’ by Scottish Dream Photography

Where to shop

This gorgeous city has so many shopping streets. You can draw the letter Z on a map which runs from Argyle Street, up Buchanan Street, and then up Sauchiehall Street.

Buchanan Street is the epicentre for shopping in Glasgow, with Buchanan Galleries packed with the usual shops. We spent a few hours hanging around Hamleys too – before and after our friends had their baby!

If you feel like venturing out of the city, Silverburn shopping centre and intu Braehead aren’t too far away either.

sally | this city life
‘Sally?’ by Scottish Dream Photography

Where to get your drink on

I’ve had to be really selective with this section because as Alan says, “there are so many pubs, you really can’t go wrong!” He’s told me his typical bar crawl when he’s out with friends:

“I like to usually meet at the Counting House in George Square. It’s a giant Wetherspoons, but it’s a really central place to meet up. Lately I’ve been heading to Drury Street to start, and then up to the old ‘Madness’ on Bothwell Street (an old theatre/bar that recently closed its doors) to the new Bavaria Brauhaus which has some great beers on tap and bratwurst sausages too! Other pubs include Sloans on Argyle Street (Glasgow’s oldest bar), O’Neills, or Blackfriars (Merchant City).”

Something different to do…

Following on from the success of the Commonwealth Games in 2014, you can have a go at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in the East End (Emirates Arena), or go to Cathkin Braes trails with your mountain bike.

Alan says, “there’s always something going on in the city too, either a gig, concert or event. It’s worth checking what’s happening at The SSE Hydro. Last night we went to see Michael McIntyre, but the week before it was the UK gymnastics. The MTV Europe Awards were also held there so it’s a big place.”

Clyde Bridges | this city life
‘Clyde Bridges’ by Scottish Dream Photography

Places to go with the kiddies

Glasgow has plenty of lovely parks to take the little ones, and the city is family friendly for a day out with kids. If the weather’s a bit pants, you can head up to East Kilbride to try out AirSpace – a giant trampoline park. We visited in August and it made our faces do this…

airspace glasgow | this city life

The People’s Palace in Glasgow Green is a gorgeous museum telling the story of the people and city of Glasgow from 1750 to the end of the 20th century. The Winter Gardens and the Green (the oldest public space in Glasgow) are lovely to take photos.

Glasgow Science Centre right on the Clyde gets really good reviews as something to do with the kids. They can get hands on with science and there’s an IMAX cinema in there too if they fancy watching a film with some popcorn.

Little tourist hot spots

  • The underground that goes in a complete circle. We call it the Clockwork Orange!
  • We have Uber in Glasgow too, so it’s really easy to get around
  • There are around four Tardis (Tardises?!) in the city – keep an eye out!
  • Thanks Alan for sharing your tips on a locals’ guide to Glasgow! Have you got your own Glasgow tips? Tell me in the comments.

    Post feature image via Scottish Dream Photography

    Charley is a professional copywriter and tea-lover currently living in Leeds. She writes about city living and city travel (with a few cats thrown in).