I'm so there: Glasgow, Scotland

I'm so there: Glasgow, Scotland

With incredible scenery, delicious Scottish food and a thriving music scene, this city offers visitors a perfect blend of culture and history

shutterstock187483523.jpg

Finnieston district is a virtual paradise for selfie buffs

Before you go 

Loch Lomond: no monsters here

While not the capital of Scotland, Glasgow is the country's biggest city, with more than 500,000 friendly inhabitants, and is the perfect blend of culture, history, shopping and food. Contrary to what some of the Young Post staff might say, people in Glasgow do speak English, so you don't need to learn any new languages before you go. It might be fun to watch Disney's Brave on the plane on the way over though, just to get used to the accent.

The weather in Scotland is fairly predictable: no matter which time of year you go, there's usually an 80 per cent chance of rain. Brief, mild summers mean a light scarf is always advisable, and cold, rainy winters make waterproof shoes and a heavy coat essential. 

Music to your ears 

Scotland has a thriving live music scene, and it consists of more than just bagpipes and kilts. Acts like Paulo Nutini and Chvrches are just two of the musical talents who began their careers in Glasgow. The Barrowlands, the O2 ABC, the Scottish Exhibition Centre (SECC) and King Tut's Wah Wah Hut are some of the best music venues in the country, so be sure to check out who's playing when you're there.

Must try 

If you're not sure whether you're eating traditional Scottish fare, check if it's deep fried. Mars bars, hamburgers, haggis, black pudding, white pudding, or pizzas (called a pizza crunch), Glaswegians deep fry them all. Make sure to add "supper" to the end of your order to have it served with chips. Irn Bru is the standard Scottish drink; bright orange, fizzy and very sweet, it is the perfect pairing for any supper.

 You should also try what some might call the country's national dish: haggis, neeps and tatties, which is Scottish slang for haggis, turnip and potatoes. Haggis is a savoury pudding made from the liver, heart and lungs of sheep, mixed with oats and onion, and it's much tastier than it sounds. 

Where to go 

The silver lining to near-constant rain is the lush greenery and incredible scenery, so try to get out of the city and enjoy some hiking while getting up close and personal with a deer or a Highland Cow (what better selfie opportunity?). There are lots of nice parks and mountains within 30-40 minutes' drive of the city centre. Seeing a loch (pronounced "lock"; the Scottish word for a lake) in Scotland is an absolute must. If your itinerary doesn't allow time for a three-hour drive to find Nessie, Loch Lomond is a handy 40-minute drive from Glasgow and is blessed with a daily bus service to the city centre.

The University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world, and it looks a bit like Hogwarts, so it's a must-see. Who knows, you might even decide to study there one day. While you're in the west end, visit Oran Mor, an old church that has been renovated and turned into a rocking events venue. They put on plays written by both Scottish and international writers, and serve up some delicious Scottish cuisine.


Top selfie spot

A view of the River Clyde at sunset might not rival Hong Kong's skyline, but it's still pretty magical. The best spot for this is just outside the city centre, in the Finnieston district. It takes around 20 minutes to walk there from the city centre, or the train from Glasgow Central Station to Exhibition Centre takes a couple of minutes. Make sure to get the SECC, the River Clyde, "The Squinty Bridge" and the Clyde Auditorium, affectionately called the Armadillo, in your shot.

For a more animated selfie, keep an eye out for a man in a kilt on his way to a wedding or special occasion. Kilts aren't everyday wear any more, but anyone wearing one will be well aware of the novelty value it holds for tourists, so don't be afraid to ask for a photo.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
City works its magic

Comments

To post comments please
register or