City guide: Glasgow

July 15, 2018

 

 

Since the tourist season has arrived here in full force, I wanted to write about visiting places outside of Edinburgh. 

Usually what I hear from visitors is that they will visit Edinburgh, Loch Ness and Skye and then head home. Whereas in my mind, of course they are missing out on a lot of Scotland but also another great city which is nearby. 

 

I often tell people Glasgow is very different from Edinburgh, and it is. Glasgow has it's own character, and I feel it's good to see the differences for yourself. 

This city guide will showcase my top places to visit, where to eat and drink and what to look out for that you will only come across in Glasgow. 

 

Top things to do

 

Glasgow Botanic Gardens

 

Situated in the West End of the city, the gardens and glass house are a great place to explore. The park lands and gardens are well maintained and have plenty seating all around to relax in. You can also walk alongside the River Kelvin.

My favourite place is the Glasshouse (Kibble Palace) the Victorian built structure houses all forms of exotic plants. They have a succulent house, a desert area full of cacti and the tropical area of the house which boasts large palms and banana leaf plants.

Glasgow Botanic gardens are open all year round and close at dusk and the Glasshouse is open from 10am - 6pm.

 

 

Riverside Museum (Transport Museum)

 

The Transport museum has over 3,000 objects relating to all things transport from Pakistani Tuk Tuk's to Steam Locomotives and Victorian bicycles to some of the world's finest cars. Don't feel that this museum is just for petrol heads; there is such a range of things to see such as the "Tall Ship" berthed outside - a classic Clyde built ship which you can board and discover below deck - as well as the typical Glasgow cobble stone street which has sets from 1895 right through until the 1980's.

The best part is that this museum is free and there is a great wee cafe if you want a coffee stop. 

 

The Lighthouse

 

Right in the city centre of Glasgow, The Lighthouse stands tall as a creative centre for vibrant exhibitions and all things art, design and architecture.

If you want to learn more about the city's most famous designer - Charles Rennie Mackintosh then head for the "Mack centre "  

where they will also offer a 40 minute guided tour each Saturday at 1pm.  

All throughout The Lighthouse there are other exhibitions and galleries to see, one running through the summer is the "Common Ground" exhibit which shows printed images, drawings and murals all about Glasgow's everyday urban design.

Once you've explored all the galleries, take the elevator right up the top to the viewing platform where you will be rewarded with a great panoramic view across the city centre of Glasgow. 

Entrance into The Lighthouse is free and is open 7 days a week. 

 

Glasgow Central Station Tour

 

Explore the one of the cities most iconic landmarks. Deep beneath the streets of Glasgow there are passageways and walkways into the railway station's vaults. Down under the streets you will hear stories about the past, hear tales about the famous people who have travelled the tracks and learn all about the station's history and construction.

 

There are daily tours running from 10am - 4pm at the tours are £13.00. https://www.glasgowcentraltours.co.uk/

 

Glasgow's Street Art

 

Glasgow has a thriving street art and graffiti scene and if you are interested in finding some murals then I'd recommend plotting a trail on google maps and discovering some of these large scale pieces of urban art. The best thing about the majority of the artworks is that they are all relatively close by to each other and some are just behind the very central street of Sauchiehall Street. 

I've found a few links below where the best of the best pieces of art can be found.  My personal favourite is over on Ingram Street car park, the mural is based on Scottish wildlife spread over the entire building. 

 

 

 

 https://streetart360.net/2017/06/12/glasgow-street-art-guide-and-interactive-map/

 

https://theculturetrip.com/europe/united-kingdom/scotland/articles/a-street-art-tour-of-glasgow/

 

 

Where to eat

 

Glasgow has a better food scene compared to Edinburgh, hands down. There is more restaurants, more variety and plenty of places to suit your budget.

I am a budget traveller, we all know that but I am also a foodie. These are my suggestions on where to eat. 

 

Hanoi Bike Shop

 

I've been to Vietnam and I adore their cuisine. This is probably the closest thing I have tasted outside of Vietnam. They offer fresh, wholesome food using locally sourced produce. I usually dive straight in for a nice warming bowl of Pho - a noodle broth. But they also have a good range of street food, such as "Crispy pork rolls", and "Mackrel and bamboo jungle curry".

They also offer vegetarian options made with their hand pressed tofu. Also, don't forget to try their "Vietnamese coffee" served with condensed milk! 

 

For their menu and opening times, check here:

https://hanoibikeshop.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Current-merged-menus.compressed-1.pdf

 

Bread Meats Bread

 

This restaurant has quite a few accolades to it's name. Scotland's Best Burger of 2016, and it made the list of "Top 100 places to eat in the U.K." This restaurant serves fresh quality burgers, poutine and grilled cheese toasties. This place doesn't pretend to be fancy, they just offer honest hearty food. I love poutine (Canadian cheese curds, a rich gravy and crispy fries) and this place gets it right! Bear in mind that portion sizes here are generous so if you want a lighter meal opt for a "side" portion instead. 

I also have to point out that there are plenty vegan options. My partner opted for the vegan "pastramaheat" sandwich with vegan cheese and veganaise and he raved about it. 

Glasgow has two outlets to choose from and to see their menu - click here: http://www.breadmeatsbread.com

 

 

Social Bite 

 

 

 

A sandwich shop with a difference, their concept is good food for a good cause and I cannot agree more with that. Social Bite has  cafes in Aberdeen and in Edinburgh and they give 100% of their profits to charity which helps with homelessness in Scotland. 

The menu they offer is also impressive, they stay away from the traditional lack luster sandwiches and offer up seasonal fillings on handmade focaccia, and ciabatta breads. They also have a good selection of world wide cuisine such as Louisiana Jambalaya, Moroccan Meatballs and a hearty Thai curry. This place is great for a quick lunch stop and has pretty decent coffee too. 

http://social-bite.co.uk

 

 

 

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