Glasgow’s Best Independent Shops

Glasgow’s reputation as Scotland’s shopping capital is largely based on the excellent selection of cutting-edge international brand names available in the city center. Nevertheless, it could just as easily be applied to the fine range of independent retail options tucked away down narrow lanes and in less commercial parts of town. These range from chaotic bookstores to expertly curated record retailers.

19 Dowanside Ln, Glasgow G12 9BZ, UK
Glasgow’s vintage scene is pretty spot-on for a city of its size. With a number of shops located on the adorably cobbled Dowanside Lane, just off of Byres’ Road, there are lots of curious finds for folks looking to avoid the typical Zara and co. parade on Buchanan Street. Starry Starry Night was my favourite of the lot as it has antique Victorian and Edwardian clothing in addition to vintage and retro finds hailing from more recent eras. I managed to find myself a gorgeous 1960s printed robe with tags on for £25. If you’re seeking out a proper wool kilt they have plenty of them in mint condition, with a good selection of tartans to boot. Don’t bother spending vast amounts of money on a brand new kilt unless you are of Scottish descent and your family tartan is a must. Around the corner, Circa Vintage also has some neat finds, as do the junk shops next to it, for those who fancy knickknacks and whatnot. Slightly further afield, the Glasgow Vintage Co. is another good shop to hit up for both ladies and the gents.
Dowanhill House, Glasgow G12, UK
Tucked away on Dowanside and Ruthven Lanes, a retro haven awaits in the form of several independent vintage stores showcasing garments from the 1920s onwards. One favorite choice is Relics, Glasgow’s “junk” store. The living embodiment of the idea that one person’s clutter is another’s treasure, it is teeming with antique typewriters, watches, clocks, and a plethora of instruments from mandolins to harmonicas.
12-14 Otago Ln, Glasgow G12 8PB, UK
If it is a nice orderly shopping experience you are after, Voltaire and Rousseau is not the place to go. However, this veritable Aladdin’s Cave of curiosities is an endlessly fun place for committed browsers. It is difficult to find exactly what you are looking for, but chances are you will happen upon something equally interesting in the process.
12, Kings Court, Glasgow G1 5RB, UK
An air of casual cool permeates the atmosphere at this, one of Glasgow’s best gathering spots for fans of alternative music. A judiciously curated events schedule runs the gamut from book readings to live performances, while the cafe serves great vegan food and a wide selection of beer and wine. In house record store Monorail has a small but excellent choice of sounds.
Cresswell Ln, Glasgow G12, UK
While Glasgow’s city centre is the place to go for high-end international names, the cobbled lanes of the West End shelter a more eclectic range of shops. At the centre of this scene is Cresswell Lane, which is a one stop shop for everything from homeware to jewellery and one off gifts.
242 Gallowgate, Glasgow G1 5DX, UK
You most likely won’t find possessions to treasure at this legendary weekend flea market. Indeed, most of the items for sale can be safely filed in the category marked “tat”. Nevertheless, the market -- which has been in existence since the early 1920s -- offers an authentic flavour of Glasgow along with a selection of colourful local characters.
More from AFAR
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: United States
Journeys: Sports + Adventure