When you think of Scotland, what comes to mind? If you’re imagining bagpipes, Loch Ness, men in kilts and Edinburgh Castle, you’re not alone. Although Scotland has a lot to offer, Glasgow doesn’t often make the cut! With an incredible music scene, vibrant nightlife, amazing architecture, shops galore and prices that won’t break the bank, we’ll show you why Glasgow just might be one of the most underrated cities in the UK.
1. It’s cheaper than London and Edinburgh
When travelling to the UK, one of the first concerns is usually your budget. After all, buying in pounds is expensive! That’s why Glasgow is the perfect alternative to bigger cities like London and Edinburgh – your money will go a lot further. In Glasgow, a pint costs £3.50 on average, while in London, the average is £5. With that kind of savings, your nights out will definitely last longer in Glasgow!
2. The nightlife is legendary
If you’re a creature of the night, Glasgow is your city. Party until the wee hours in the clubs along Sauchiehall Street, where there are DJs to suit every musical taste: EDM, rock, 80s and indie, to name a few. Clubs aren’t your cup of tea? No problem. Try the bars and pubs in Merchant City and around Princes Square, where you can sip on a craft cocktail in a candlelit bar, or swig local beer in one of the lively student pubs, where the bass is always thumping. Make sure not to miss one of Glasgow’s many whisky bars while you’re in town for an authentic taste of the city.
3. It’s the perfect city for music lovers
Aside from being one of the most underrated cities in the UK, Glasgow also has an incredibly underrated music scene. Some of the artists who hail from Glasgow include Belle & Sebastian, Franz Ferdinand, The Fratellis and singer-songwriter Amy Macdonald. When you feel like hearing some live music, you’ll have more choices than you know what to do with! Cosy up in a traditional pub and listen to Scottish folk music, head to a student bar for an open mic night, listen to classical music from the best at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall or get tickets for one of Glasgow’s legendary music halls like 02 ABC or King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, where Oasis signed their first recording contract.
4. The shopping is on point
If you judge a city by its shopping scene, Glasgow won’t disappoint you. You could spend a whole day trying to go into every store in less than a half-mile range. Glasgow’s best shops are conveniently concentrated together. For malls, there’s the Princes Square Shopping Centre, Buchanan Galleries and the St Enoch Shopping Centre. As you window shop along the brick-paved streets of Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven. If your tastes are more alternative, head to Byres Street to browse the vintage shops.
5. Glasgow is the perfect jumping off point to explore Scotland
Flights are almost always cheaper to Glasgow than to Edinburgh, and Glasgow’s train connections are amazing! Hop on a train and be in Edinburgh in less than an hour, or arrive in Inverness – which is a stone’s throw from Loch Ness and the Highlands – in three hours. Other day or weekend trips to consider include Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, the Isle of Arran and St Andrews, home to the historic university where Prince William and Kate Middleton met.
6. It’s got museums and galleries galore
Glasgow’s got culture in spades, and in addition to being a university town, it’s also full of wonderful museums and art galleries. The Glasgow School of Art, designed by world-renowned local architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, is a must-see in terms of architecture, as is the Riverside Museum of Transport and Technology, which was designed by Zaha Hadid. On the West End and near Glasgow University, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is as gorgeous on the outside as the masterpieces it contains. In the centre of Glasgow, the Gallery of Modern Art with its massive columns houses works by Andy Warhol among others as well as a library. If you’re into history, the People’s Palace and Winter Garden in the Glasgow Green will give you a peek into the city’s past.
7. Glasgow knows how to have a good time
From its raucous nightlife to cutting edge music, rowdy football matches at the Celtic Park stadium, students everywhere, cosy whisky bars, craft breweries and its friendly folk, the Glaswegians really know how to enjoy life. And if you need any more convincing as to why Glasgow is one of the most underrated cities, just look to the city’s motto: “People make Glasgow”!