This Scottish city is bigger than Edinburgh and has considerably less tourists, but more students as it is home to three universities (Glasgow, Strathclyde, Caledonian) the Art School, and many further and higher education colleges. The true spirit of Glasgow is really embodied in the statue of Wellington in front of GoMA, it has a traffic cone on it, go figure! It's wonderful and I can tell you everything (but there is too much to fit into one blog), so I will keep to the basics?
Roughly the city is divided into the center, incorporating Merchant City, the West End, the East End and the South Side (you get the gist). The West End is home to the University of Glasgow and therefore full of students. Because of this it is one of the more expensive parts of the city to live in (not the most expensive or the poshest though), but also has all of the amenities that people with disposable incomes and lots of time value. Clubs, restaurants, pubs, museums, parks, live music venues can all be found with this area.
The East end has had a bit of a bad reputation, and there are still areas between Bellgrove and Duke Street that could be described as a “drug den”. The investment by Strathclyde University into the area has made it much more gentrified. However, it is still cheaper than the West End or Merchant city and there are many nice areas and restaurants. Carntyne and Shettleston are one of the most deprived areas of Glasgow, but like every where else in the city things vary street by street. The South side has a similar reputation and a similar vibe to the East End. Most new residents of Glasgow are mean to it purely because it is on the other side of the river than the city centre, which is not a very good reason at all.
Glasgow has recently been voted the best city for those under 26 to live in. Not bad for a city dubbed the “murder capital of Europe” less than ten years ago. Crime, violence, unemployment and poverty are still a problem in many areas of the city, but the city has been making strides to regenerate, become more resilient and people keep moving here so clearly the city officials are doing something right.
The food scene in Glasgow is mesmerising. I think it is possibly to eat out every day for a year at a different restaurant and still not try them all. From the popular cafes serving freshly baked bread (gluten free option available) such as Single-End in Merchant City through cheap student favourites in the West end like Kimchi Cult to guardian reviewed serious dining out at Alchemilla, the city has all of the cuisines for all occasions, tastes and budgets. Do not miss Loop and Scoop in the west end for some of the best churros and ice cream combinations imaginable, their vegan ice cream is to die for too. The city is extremely friendly for all of the diets, vegans and vegeterains never go hungry. A personal favourite is Rose and Grant's in Trongate, have their cinnamon buns which are vegan and the best cinnamon treats I have ever eaten.
I know that some people need to know that there is more than food when moving to a new city. I got you. Glasgow is famous for it’s comedy and live music scene, and much cheaper than Edinburgh if you want to make the Fringe a yearly event (train from Glasgow Queen Street takes 45 minutes). King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut is one of many of the legendary small-ish venues with regular gigs. Ben Nevis and Babbity Bowster are just two of the many pubs where musicians regularly get together to rehearse and casually play together. Want to go big? Barrowland Ballroom is for you. Then there are places like the Britannia Panopticon (the oldest surviving music hall) which hosts comedy acts, drag shows, movie screenings etc. You can find any and all of the museums here. The Hunterians are affiliated with the University of Glasgow, whereas the Kelvingrove Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), the Riverside Museum of Transport and many others are all part of Glasgow Life. You didn't think I could talk about Glasgow without mentioning Charles Rennie Mackintosh did you? Check out the Lighthouse, a hidden gem in the city centre with stunning views. Are you not entertained? This is just the highlights, go out and explore on your own.
Then be glad that nature is also an option. Loch Lomond is easily accessible by train from Glasgow Central to Balloch for £6.20 during the weekend, the isle of Arran and many other day trips make Glasgow a great hub for travellers. This is just one of your options, Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow Green, or Pollock Park are both beautiful and if you are lucky enough to incorporate them into your morning commute you will see the happiest dogs on their morning walks. Most boroughs have their own leafy parks, for example Tollcross park in Shettleston (the East!) is perfectly pleasant. The Botanic Gardens in the West End have two stunning glass houses, a perfect warm break from the rain outside.