by Samantha Jane King
Awrite! Welcome to Glasgow—city of culture, city of history, but most importantly MY city. To all you visitors from near or far landing on Scottish soil this August, a warmer welcome you could not ask for! Glasgow is our dear green place. Glasgow is rainy. Glasgow is friendly. But most importantly, Glasgow is UNIQUE!
I have lived on the outskirts of this city my entire life, and many a weekend I have frequented the bright lights of “Glasvegas.” Whether it be for the live music scene, thriving nightlife or the deep fried cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this most diverse of cities.
So let’s start with our bellies. Scottish cuisine can be found all over the city, with traditional restaurants like Arisaig and Roastit Bubbly Jocks serving up delicious haggis (if they can catch it first), venison, game and a homemade black pudding. Too heavy on the meat? Vegans and vegetarians are more than catered for in the city centre with restaurants like 13th Note and Mono serving up scrummy meat-free mains and dairy-free desserts. The vegan-friendly salted caramel and pecan cheesecake with tequila and lime syrup from Mono is a pudding not to be missed! But before you leave this city—or country as a matter of fact – you have to claim that you’ve encountered the culinary delight that is the deep-fried Mars bar! I’ll leave you to decide on that one….
Now, we need something to wash all that delicious food down with. Good or bad, Glasgow is a city with a vast drinking culture. What better way to quench a thirst than with a wee dram! After all, we are the whiskey capitol. The Pot Still, Lismore, The Ben Nevis and The Wee Pub at Ubiquitous Chip are among the favourites of Glaswegians—boasting more than 150 types of malt, along with craft beers and ales. Make sure to visit the whiskey shop at Buchannan Galleries to pick up traditional island malt before heading back home!
If you have no intention of returning to your hotel after a drink at the pub, then Glasgow has many opportunities for late-night entertainment. Thriving nightclubs, comedy clubs, jazz bars, live music venues and even a burlesque scene await you in the city centre and west end. Most clubs are open till 3am, giving plenty of time for you to “gie it laldy” on the dance floor! Taxis are plentiful in the city centre, so you’ll never be stuck for a lift home.
So pubs, clubs and boogie nights are not your thing? Don’t worry. You’ve come to the city of culture. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Scottish Transport Museum and Charles Rene Mackintosh-designed buildings, such as “House for an Art Lover,” are all spectacular places to visit on a rainy day. (Let’s face it, you’re in the wettest country on Earth.) But the biggest draw to these attractions is that they’re all FREE. If you feel you can brave the weather head to Glasgow’s main shopping streets, known locally to us Scots as the “style mile,” including Argyle Street, Buchannan Street and the wonderfully named Sauchiehall street. (I challenge you to pronounce that one.)
I could go on for page after page about how much I love this city, but whatever you choose to do with your free time here at Glasgow, I guarantee you’ll soon fall in love with this city and country! Haste ye back and Lang may yer lums reek!
-Samantha Jane King is a Glasgow native. She is the area coordinator for Glasgow and Western Scotland with the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, as well as part of the IMCC3 Communications Committee.