No trip to Scotland is complete without stopping in Glasgow where we ended our #VeganInScotland trip and stayed for few days, though not enough to explore and discover everything we wanted to, we made sure to gather some great travel tips for Glasgow.
In fact this city is bursting with plenty of activities for everyone and every taste. It’s pretty difficult to get bored in Glasgow, because no matter what, there will be that something that you are into.
We particularly liked Glasgow’s diversity, something that we didn’t really notice as much in the other cities we visited in Scotland. I personally always had the image of Glasgow being just another post-industrial city, only famous for its commercial power and value, but I was so wrong and I’m glad I had the chance to find that out for myself.
Glasgow has a lot of what we both love, starting from the incredible art that scattered across the city with museums and private, smaller galleries; and let’s not forget the growing street art scene, which something to look out for if you are as passionate about street art as we are.
Glasgow’s architecture makes for a singular reason alone to visit the city, with its sparkling modern buildings which contrast so well against the old Victorian and Medieval structures which get more beautiful and charming as they grow older through the years.
We really wish we had more time to experience Glasgow’s music scene which is well know to be one of the biggest in the UK with an average of 130 music events per week! Not bad at all if you ask me, and it definitely gives plenty of choice and opportunities to enjoy live, fun, and infectious live music. We can now fully understand why Glasgow has been designated UNESCO City of Music and it’s throughly deservedly too.
Glasgow seems to us like a vibrant city, full of culture with a bustling night-life, but also with plenty of quite intimate corners and places where it’s easy to relax and be away from busy city life. A perfect mixture that makes for a nice and inviting balance.
We were lucky enough to experience different areas of the city too regardless of our relatively short stay, with our intinal night spent at the citizenM Hotel Glasgow conveniently located in the city centre and almost on the doorstop of Glasgow’s central bus station. Staying with citizenM for the second time, we were really happy to find it easy to enjoy a vegan breakfast there before setting off and exploring the main streets. We also had the pleasure of being hosted in the West End where our Couchsurfing hosts told us all about little independent shops, arty cafes, and bars that make it an interesting bohemian district that we both loved.
Five Pics and Tips for Glasgow
We definitely feel like we need to return to both Scotland and Glasgow in the future because we barely scratched the surface of the beautiful region and city, but for now we’re happy to share our travel tips for Glasgow with you in the hope that you’ll enjoy the city as much as we did.
1. Walk through the middle of Hogwarts
Visiting Glasgow University is a must in our opinion and we’re both glad we followed Visit Glasgow’s advice to check it out. In fact, even if you aren’t a student you can still enjoy its amazing Gothic architecture and freely walk around the fourth oldest university in the whole world to admire every corner, from the outside and the inside too.
We particularly loved the perfectly aligned arches of the Cloisters which are more popularly know as a heavy inspiration – together with the rest of the university – behind the design of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardary, from the Harry Potter universe, and we can both see why.
University of Glasgow
University Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8QQ
2. Enjoy a vegan feast at The 78
Glasgow claims to be a mecca in Scotland for vegan food lovers which made it a perfect stop for our #VeganInScotland tour. We tried various places and different food, but we both agreed that The 78 was probably at the top of our favourites and we have to thank People Make Glasgow for inviting us for a meal there.
Apart from the delicious vegan food and beer, we loved the laid back atmosphere at The 78 that made us feel comfortable and at ease. We spent about three hours chatting, enjoying the warmth of the coal fire, and eating (probably way too much!). Our meal was exceptionally good from the hearty Mushroom and Tarragon soup and bowl of Coconut Chilli Nachos we had to start, followed by a falafel salad with pita croutons, hummus, and lentil dip.
For our main we couldn’t help choosing to sample the much loved Classic 78 Burger which we now both now understand it being such a big hit. Even if we were pretty full we couldn’t leave without trying their desserts. Dale loved the Vegan Hazelnut Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream (he’s a fiend for brownies!), and my favourite was the Dates and Figs Sticky Pudding with Caramel Sauce, both incredibly delicious!
The 78 is a must try even if you aren’t vegan Their food is superb and the place is incredibly welcoming and completely down to Earth – PLUS, it’s just a two minute walk away from the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum
10-14 Kelvinhaugh Street, Glasgow, G3 8NU
3. Walk across the cobbles of Ashton Lane
Hidden behind Glasgow’s busy West End shopping parade of Byer’s Road is the small but quaint Ashton Lane, one of the few remaining cobbled backstreets of the city. It almost seems like it belongs to a separate village and era, and Ashton Lane might seem calm during the day with plenty of cafes to enjoy a bite or a warm drink, but it lights up at night with its many bars, clubs and even a very old and independent cinema in which you’ll catch smaller film releases which are quite often followed up with talks with the director themselves..
Ashton Lane, Glasgow, Glasgow City G12 8SJ
4. Get lost in the books of Voltaire and Rousseau – literally!
We are always looking for secondhand books to buy whilst travelling and when our Couchsurfing host told us about Voltaire and Rousseau and its extensive range of books we had to see it to truly believe it.
I don’t think I have ever seen a similar bookshop before, and there is so much to choose from that it can be quite overwhelming; but it’s totally worth a visit if you love reading. It’s one of this places that it’s almost guaranteed that even if you entered without a particular idea in mind of a book to buy, you’ll most likely find half a dozen stuck under your arm as you head out the door.
Voltaire and Rousseau
12 Otago Lane, Glasgow,G12 8PB
5. Support the local music scene at Monorail
It was an incredibly nice surprise to find an independent record shop located inside a vegan café bar and venue home of many live music gigs. We went to Mono to enjoy some of the vegan food which has been winning so many awards within the vegan community, and of which the cheesecake was our highlight
Prior to sitting down at our table we couldn’t help but notice Monorail, an in-house record shop full of an extensive range of CDs and vinyls, both new and second-hand and from the UK and abroad – you name it. Some have even claimed that Monorail is one of the finest record shops in Scotland and we understand perfectly why it has such a reputation.
12 Kings Court, Glasgow, G1 5RB
We definitely enjoyed our time in the biggest Scottish city and both now completely understand why it’s considered a veggie and vegan heaven. It has been quite difficult to pick only five travel tips for Glasgow as we have many more to share, but from all of the places we feel are worth adding to your itinerary, the ones above are our top five.