At a Glance
When to Go
With the expansion of Edinburgh Airport, it's no longer the case that Glasgow is the natural air gateway to Scotland. Nevertheless, the city’s main airport (Glasgow Prestwick Airport is located around 50 km from Glasgow itself) continues to thrive, with direct flights to North American, Middle Eastern, and European destinations, along with regular connections to other key British cities.
Glasgow’s city center is laid out in a grid system very much like cities in the United States, which makes exploring by foot extremely easy. For the West End, use the Subway/Underground transport system to get to Hillhead Station. Frequent public buses and suburban trains service the city’s various areas. Taxis are plentiful (if not all that cheap) while regular trains run from the city’s two stations (Glasgow Central and Queen Street) to other destinations within Scotland and Great Britain.
Food and Drink
When Glasgow was named European City of Culture in 1990, it was the first non-capital city to be handed the accolade. That it was honored in such a fashion came as no surprise to those familiar with the city’s amazing array of cultural highlights, which span everything from legendary music venues to iconic showcases for fine art. Another string to Glasgow’s cultural bow is its architectural legacy, in which Charles Rennie Mackintosh—one of the city’s most famous sons—looms large.
While Edinburgh’s annual festival binge in August attracts more press, Glasgow is just as packed with celebrations of culture, music, and other excuses to make merry. The festival calendar kicks off early in the year with Celtic Connections, an annual festival of contemporary and traditional Celtic music. From then on, such lively shindigs are practically a monthly occurrence. Highlights include Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, one of the UK’s boldest visual arts events, and the West End Festival, which involves comedy shows, colourful processions, literary events, and much more.
What the Locals Know