The Insider Guide To Glasgow, Scotland

While all eyes are on Edinburgh, home to one of Europe’s largest theatre festivals, the Scottish town of Glasgow is busy making a name for itself. Once renowned for its output of popular music groups (Franz Ferdinand and Chvrches, notably), the city is now turning its attention to the indie scene, a community bursting with creativity. The growth of Scotland’s second city is nothing short of remarkable, and if you want to catch a glimpse of the town before it changes completely, you better plan your trip, stat. Offbeat, eclectic, and constantly on the move, Glasgow is a city that’s on the brink of the big time and now is as good a time as ever to pay the place a visit.

Glasgow’s music scene is serving up some real gems at the moment, so get in there quick. While the city boasts a smorgasbord of underground spots, there are a handful that really stand out from the crowd, and are well worth a visit. Sub Club, for example, is a relatively small music hub, attracting hoards of electronic music lovers from across the city. Whether you come for the endless list of residents and established nights or its stellar sound system, you’re not going to leave disappointed.

If, however, you’re on the hunt for something a little off the beaten track, it pays to keep your ear to the ground; there are many impromptu music nights in the city, and they crop up quickly. Ad hoc events in Glasgow take over some of the most unusual environments in the area, transforming them into ephemeral musical hubs. Bowling clubs, cricket grounds, and community centres have all had their moment in the spotlight, and there’s no telling where music organizers will go next. Get to know the locals and pick their brains.

Of course, there’s more to the city’s underground scene than nightlife alone, and across Glasgow, there are also creative events that take place during daylight hours. The Celine Gallery, for example, has taken a lack of funding and used it to its advantage, taking over a number of disused spaces. Founding artists have turned their own living room into an exhibition space, showing off their latest works within their living quarters. The intimacy of the shows is arguably their strongest point, breaking down the invisible wall between artist and the public.

Cinema is equally respected in the city, and off the multiplex track, a handful of intimate spaces are popping up. While Mount Florida Studios hosts weekly workshops and mini exhibitions, it is best known for its intimate screenings of various video works. The organization is gaining traction quickly, most recently hosting a number of specialist screenings in Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art. Grab your spot and get a front row view of the city’s emerging arts scene. 

What is a city renaissance without a little culinary delight? Glasgow’s hitting the foodie scene strong this year, announcing itself as a bold presence on the international menu. While its permanent addresses are well worth a look, the city’s first street food market should be at the top of your seasonal dining list. Big Feast is a collaboration between Street Food Putter Club, Firedog Hotdogs, and Charlie Mills Coffee, and you’d better believe that it’s a tasty affair. Held in an old warehouse, the market houses a number of bars, DJs, and acoustic music stands, bringing together Glasgow’s best and brightest in one easy place. 

Central Station Panoramic

Hannah Lamarque
Hannah is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Europe. She writes about travel, art, design and culture and loves discovering hidden places in the cities that she visits.