Visiting a Pub
Glasgow's scene overall is more modern, with several so-called "style" bars. The preferred Scottish draught is lager, often combined with a wee dram of whisky by the traditionalists. Whether you become friendly with the locals or not, pub life is always one of the most entertaining aspects of a visit to Scotland.
Savoring the Cuisine
The fresh fish and seafood harvested from Scotland's icy lochs and seas is world-class. Then there is the lamb and Aberdeen Angus beef. Edinburgh has three restaurants with Michelin stars and Glasgow boasts some of the best Indian restaurants in the U.K.
Enjoying Art Galleries & Museums
Glasgow has one of the best municipal holdings of art in Europe. The crowning glory for many critics is the Burrell Collection, a host of art and artifacts bequeathed to the city by an industrialist, but the Victorian Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has the soul of the city's collection.
Sure, most people think only of St. Andrews, which frequently hosts the Open. But both Edinburgh and Glasgow (and the regions nearby) have fine courses. The birthplace of the sport's rules is Edinburgh, and its historic short course, Bruntsfield Links, can be played during summer for free - and all you need is a ball, pitching wedge, and putter.
Strolling in Parks or Gardens
Glasgow (which many believe means "Dear Green Place") has a host of options from Glasgow Green along the River Clyde to Kelvingrove Park in the salubrious West End.
Glasgow considers itself the second biggest shopping playground in Britain after London. And, as no self-respecting city likes to be upstaged when it comes to retail therapy, so Edinburgh has given chase. There is a combination of posh department stores, such as Harvey Nichols; old favorites, such as House of Fraser or Jenners; and plenty of trendy designer shops.
Admiring Victorian Glasgow
Glasgow actually contemplated tearing down its Victorian-built heritage after World War II. It was perceived as old-fashioned. Thank goodness the city fathers were stopped and it didn't happen.
Taking the Mackintosh "Trail" and Discovering "Greek" Thomson
Architecture in Glasgow has not always been appreciated, and city planners after World War II had a mind to accomplish what German bombers had not: That is, knock down the city's glorious Victorian structures. Luckily they were stopped. In the 19th century, the city spawned two singular stars of architecture: The now-famous Charles Rennie Mackintosh as well as the lesser-known, but equally talented, Alexander "Greek" Thomson.
Visiting the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and the Burrell Collection
The artistic pièces de résistance of Glasgow (and some say in all of Scotland), the Kelvingrove -- restored in 2006 -- and Burrell are two of the city's major attractions. The former showcases the excellent municipal art collection. The latter shows what a virtually unlimited budget, acquired during the lifetime of shipping baron Sir William Burrell, can purchase.
Hanging Out in the West End
From dining in trendy bistros to shopping at vintage clothing or antiquary bookshops -- or just strolling the streets near the University and around the Botanic Gardens, Glasgow's West End is bound to have something to interest the erudite explorer.
Downing a Dram in a Glasgow Bar
Whether sipping a 12-year-old single malt whisky from the island of Islay or nursing a pint of lager, you should find that Glasgow's many bars are the best places to connect with the local population. In contrast to the essay by the 20th-century poet Hugh MacDiarmid, the city's drinkers are generally not "dour" but rather friendly if occasionally direct.
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