A trip to Glasgow isn’t just about the world-class visitor attractions, stunning architecture, trend-setting food and drink, and vibrant nightlife – though that would be reason enough to put it top of your list.
For Scotland’s largest city is also officially the world’s friendliest city, thanks to the warm welcome it always offers and demonstrated so well during the XX Commonwealth Games in 2014. Rough Guide’s followers named Glasgow as the best, beating Dublin, Montreal and Liverpool for the top spot.
The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games was the perfect chance to show the world what this city had to offer – and almost 700,000 people took up that chance, enjoying a variety of breathtaking sporting competitions over 11 days, held right across the city. Those visitors were welcomed by a team of 15,000 volunteers – known as Clydesiders – who provided not only a warm welcome, but any information needed to allow them to enjoy the best Glasgow, and Scotland, had to offer.
"The atmosphere in Glasgow is incredible and that’s largely due to the people. The most important ingredient of Scottish tourism is our people. It's the warmth of our welcome that encourages people from across the world to visit, and come back and see us time and time again".
The Commonwealth Games was a brilliant example of the world-class events Glasgow is capable of holding, and it’s been just the start of a new legacy. Glasgow has followed this up with a raft of events, including the IPC Swimming World Championships, the FIG World Gymnastics Championships, Davis Cup ties, and the upcoming European Championships. This inaugural competition will see 3,000 athletes compete in six events of aquatics, cycling, golf, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon across Glasgow and beyond.
And it’s not just the world-class sport either. Cultural events happen on a daily basis in Glasgow, from over 130 music events held weekly – no surprise in a UNESCO City of Music – to the film, comedy and book festivals, and this year’s electronic music festival, Scottish Street Food Festival and World Pipe Band Championships.
2018 also sees Glasgow marked as 10th in the New York Times top 52 places in the world to visit this year. Visitors are encouraged to sample the world-class free museums and art galleries, the best shopping outside of London in the UK with the Style Mile, and the high-class food and drink, in the UK’s most vegan-friendly city.
This year will also see the city, and the country, celebrate the 150th anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Glasgow’s iconic architect and designer, with a year-long programme of events. It’s also a chance to explore the new Clydeside Distillery, follow the Glasgow Mural Trail, and explore the city’s diverse neighbourhoods to really get to know their personality, vibe and find hidden gems.
"I like how north, south, east and west are such diverse neighbourhoods. It feels quite personal and because it’s a small city, you get to know it really well".
As well as being one of the world’s strongest cities, Glasgow is also a gateway to the rest of Scotland, thanks to the variety of direct flights. Anyone lucky enough to spend some time in the city can easily travel on by car on a fascinating Scottish road trip, by train, coach, ferry or tour bus.
You can head south to the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway, west to Ayrshire & Arran, east to our other top cities of Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth and of course, Dundee, or north to Argyll and its many islands, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and beyond to the Highlands and Aberdeenshire. Or it’s just a short flight to the Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland. There’s really no part of Scotland that you can’t enjoy as part of a visit to Glasgow.