After quite a few weekends in Edinburgh, I decided it was time for me to explore another one of Scotland’s cities- Glasgow.
Comparing the two is tough- in many online forums, visitors who’ve been to both cities are quick to defend Edinburgh, entranced by its architecture and charming history. Edinburgh, in so many ways, epitomises Scotland for travellers- bagpipers aplenty, great pubs, wonderful bars with whisky tastings, gorgeous stone streets and a medieval centre. It’s downright enchanting.
Only 51 miles apart, the two cities couldn’t be more different in culture and atmosphere. Although I’ll admit I’m firmly in the Edinburgh favour camp, I think that may be fuelled by the fact I’ve spent a lot more time in Edinburgh than I have in Glasgow.
On a January weekend in Glasgow, I’d planned on spending two days exploring the city with friends, some of whom grew up in Glasgow. However, at the last minute, they suggested a Saturday day trip to the Highlands, so we really only had Sunday to see the city.
A road trip around Scotland is on my list of trips to take someday, and I’m hoping to make it back to see more of Glasgow then as well.
While Edinburgh may hold a firm grip on Scottish culture, Glasgow, is the home of all things trendy and modern.
Glasgow’s development peaked between the 18th century and first half of the 20th century- meaning, its buildings are newer than many of those in Edinburgh.
Even though the buildings are newer, one thing I did love about the city was the great street art. Wandering downtown, it felt like there were great murals or pieces every few blocks.
Much like Edinburgh, the nightlife is pretty great- plenty of lively pubs with Celtic music and candlelit lounge scenes. We only had one night out in the city, but liked The Pot Still for whisky, Gin71 for cocktails and Sloans for historic pub vibes.
A great coffee scene is essential to me enjoying any city. Sufficed to say Glasgow definitely past the test with plenty of cold brew, flat whites and mochas to enjoy. A few of my favourite places: Artisan Roast (best coffee in Scotland, there’s a location in Edinburgh too), Papercup, Kember and Jones (great baked goods), and Gordon Street Coffee.
And the food, v good. Although- I’ve had my fair share of great meals in Edinburgh too ;). Don’t miss: Paesano (pizza), The Left Bank (good brunch), and Innis & Gunn Beer Kitchen (craft beer and burgers). Although, my favourite place was Ubiquitous Chip- modern dishes using only Scottish produce.
A few other points of interest-
- The Glasgow Cathedral is old of the city’s oldest buildings and truly stunning- beautifully carved stone and sparkling stained glass windows
- The University of Glasgow makes me wish I went to uni in Scotland- a seriously stunning campus! Head to the Cloisters for Harry Potter vibes and lounge on a bench in the courtyard, watching student life unfold
- Near the University you’ll find some of Glasgow’s famous lanes- Ashton Lane and Cresswell Lane
Have you ever been to Glasgow? What were some of your favourite activities in the city?