The best things to do in Glasgow
Grab some late Chinese, take a trip to Loch Lomond or race the subway. List writers pick their essential Glasgow experiences
Where to …
… take a walk
Dumbarton Road is Mecca for enthusiastic charity shoppers (tip: start off at the Salvation Army near Byres Road) – make a day of it by wandering round the junk and vintage shops of nearby Ruthven Lane first.
It wasn’t that long ago that taking a walk ‘doon the watter’ on the banks of the Clyde could be a decidedly edgy proposition for non-winos, but the Pacific Quay development has thoroughly gentrified the old Broomielaw. Starting from Trongate and Glasgow Green, you can enjoy a traffic-free stroll past the local media palaces of BBC and STV to the new Transport Museum.
… have a drink
The West End half of Argyle Street is definitely on the up – for a hipster pub crawl, take in the original Lebowski’s, Neighbourhood, and the LuckyMe collective-affliated The Ivy.
The Black Sparrow, by the nature of its Charing Cross location, is rather elusive, and easily missed. But inside there is a bountiful harvest of liquid delights at your disposal to be enjoyed in the Sparra’s resplendently furnished interior.
… get food on a night out
A great big slab of pizza from Philadelphia Pizza on Great Western Road is usually pretty good at soaking up the booze. They’re freshly baked for you too, so it won’t be swimming in grease. Or just a hop from Sauchiehall Street, Asia Style on St George’s Road does the best Chinese food in the city by a long way, and opens late for weekend revellers. Get the soft shell crab – you’ll never forget it. (KI)
… spend a sunny afternoon
The slightest glimpse of sunlight sends most Glaswegians on an immediate migration northwards to the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. Twenty minutes from the city centre, and you’re looking at calm water and spectacular vistas past the Queen’s View on the Balmaha/Rowardennan route.
If Rangers are playing away, catch the Subway over to Ibrox, grab a packed lunch from the Cherry Heather deli and take a wander round the grounds and weird, wonderful sculptures at Bellahouston Park. If Rangers are playing at home, don’t.
… see a gig
The Captain’s Rest on Great Western Road gets amazing bands, plus it’s so small it’s fairly impossible to have a bad view, and the food isn’t bad either.
Glasgow’s got more than its fair share of soul-less corporate-sponsored sheds, but there’s few venues more intimate or enjoyable that Café Rio in Partick. Mark Robb’s small-but-perfectly formed gaff is a dependable, friendly source of daytime nosh, with club-nights, poker and regular gigs taking place in the corner nook.
The Barrowlands. Because it’s the Barrowlands, obviously.
… watch a film
With huge, comfy seats and an adjoining bar, there are few better, and comfier ways to enjoy a film than the Grosvenor on Ashton Lane. Picking select cuts from new releases and golden oldies with frequent showings and discounts, there’s plenty to enjoy on its intimate screens.
… go dancing
Probably the best sound system in Scotland combined with solid residents and an up-for-it crowd of knowledgeable clubheads the Sub Club is hard to beat in Glasgow. A club that truly worships at the alter of dance music in all its forms. (Henry Northmore)
… have a slap-up meal
For pure class, Cafe Gondolfi in the Merchant City’s Albion Street can still knock the socks off shiny-floored designer eateries when it comes to fine dining. If you can get past the famously stiff revolving door, the vintage wood-panelling, Tattinger champagne by the glass and superb seafood offerings make it just the place for a celebration that won’t break the bank.
For literary debate, great curries, a shambling, friendly, bring-your-own-music policy and a halal fry-up, try the Pakistani Café (607 Pollokshaws Road, Shawlands)
… get your kick
Thrillseeker? Why not try the Glasgow Subway Challenge (getting off at Buchanan Street and racing the Clockwork Orange downhill to board the same train at St Enoch)? Not quite that crazy? Look it up on YouTube