Glasgow Travel Blog

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my hostel was 3 miles from the city centre. 30mins to walk one way. it was 5 pound taxi fare one way. i took the bus mainly. 1 pound bus fare one way.

City centre

The city centre is bounded by the High Street to the east, the River Clyde to the south and the M8 motorway to the west and north which was built through the Townhead, Charing Cross and Anderston areas in the 1960s.

Retail and theatre district

The city centre is based on a grid system of streets, similar to that of Barcelona or American cities, on the north bank of the River Clyde. The heart of the city is George Square, site of many of Glasgow's public statues and the elaborate Victorian Glasgow City Chambers, headquarters of Glasgow City Council.
To the south and west are the high street shopping precincts of Argyle, Sauchiehall and Buchanan Streets, the latter featuring more upmarket retailers. The main shopping malls are Buchanan Galleries and the St. Enoch Centre, as well as the more specialised, designer malls: Princes' Square and the Italian Centre. The London-based department store Selfridges has purchased a potential development site in the city and another upmarket retail chain Harvey Nichols is also thought to be planning a store in the city, further strengthening Glasgow's already impressive retail portfolio, which forms the UK's second largest and most economically important retail sector after Central London. The layout of the approximately two and a half mile long retail district of Buchanan Street, Sauchiehall Street and Argyle Street has been termed the "Golden Z".
In October 2005 retail locations in the area were sought after to the extent that Buchanan Street had the 7th highest shop rental fees in the world.

The city centre is home to most of Glasgow's main cultural venues: The Theatre Royal (home of Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet), The Pavilion, The King's Theatre, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow Film Theatre, RSAMD, Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Mitchell Library, the Centre for Contemporary Arts, McLellan Galleries and The Lighthouse Museum of Architecture, Design and the City. The world's tallest cinema, the 18 screen Cineworld is sited on Renfrew Street. The city centre is also home to four of Glasgow's higher education institutions:The University of Strathclyde, RSAMD, Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow Caledonian University.
museum of modern art

Merchant City

To the east is the commercial and residential district of Merchant City, which was formerly the residential district of the wealthy city merchants in the 18th and early 19th centuries. As the Industrial Revolution and the wealth it brought to the city resulted in the expansion of Glasgow's central area westward, the original medieval centre was left behind. This area, commonly known as "Old Glasgow" takes in the eastern fringes of the Merchant City and some of the East End. Glasgow Cross, situated at the junction of High Street, Gallowgate, Trongate and Saltmarket was the original centre of the city. In the Cross sits the Tolbooth Clock Tower; all that remains of the original City Chambers, which was destroyed by fire in 1926. Moving northward up High Street towards Rottenrow and Townhead lies the 15th century Glasgow Cathedral and the Provand's Lordship.
Latterly, due to growing industrial pollution levels in the mid to late 19th century, the area fell out of favour with residents, who mostly moved to the newly developed West End and South Side districts.

From the late 1980s onwards, the area has been rejuvenated with luxury city centre apartments and warehouse conversions. Many new cafes and restaurants have opened. The area also contains the Old Tolbooth, the Tron Theatre, the Old Fruitmarket, the Trades Hall, and the City Halls.

The area is also home to Glasgow's growing 'Arts Quarter', based around King Street, the Saltmarket and Trongate, and at the heart of the annual Merchant City Festival. There are many art galleries here including Glasgow Print Studio and will soon be home to Trongate 103, a new arts centre.

A large part of Glasgow's gay scene is located within the Merchant City. This includes Polo Lounge, MODA, Delmonica's, Bennett's, Court, Revolver, Merchant Pride, and the UK gay chain store Clone Zone, along with a couple of saunas.

Recently the city council defined (and perhaps expanded) the area known as Merchant City as far west as Buchanan Street, marking these boundaries with new, highly stylised metal signage.

Financial District

To the western edge of the city centre, occupying the areas of Blythswood Hill and Anderston, lies Glasgow's financial district, known officially as the International Financial Services District (IFSD), although often irreverently nicknamed by the contemporary press as the "square kilometre" or "Wall Street on Clyde". Since the late 1980s the IFSD has grown to become the third largest financial quarter in the UK after the cities of London and Edinburgh.
With a reputation as an established financial services centre, coupled with comprehensive support services, Glasgow continues to attract and grow new business. Of the 10 largest general insurance companies in the UK, 8 have a base or head office in Glasgow - including Direct Line, AXA and Norwich Union. Key banking sector companies have also relocated some of their services to commercial property in Glasgow - Resolution, JPMorgan, Abbey, HBOS, Barclays Wealth, Morgan Stanley, Lloyds TSB, Clydesdale Bank, BNP Paribas and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The Ministry of Defence have several departments and Clydeport, the Glasgow Stock Exchange, Student Loans Company, Scottish Executive Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning Department, Scottish Qualifications Authority and Scottish Enterprise also have their headquarters based in the district.

Since the late 1980s, this area of the city centre has seen the construction of many modern office blocks, a trend which continues into the 21st century with a new wave of high rise developments currently on the drawing board.
Dancr says:
Great write up on Scotland. My wife has roots there...her grandfather was from Scotland and I know she would love to visit one day. I worked with a girl who married a Scotsman. He still lives and works in Scotland and she here in Canada, so they don't get see each other very often. But she and her husband have invited us to come visit and he would be happy to show us around so we are anxious to go there as well:)
Posted on: Jan 27, 2008
s21rrs says:
I think you should definetly come back and visit the Northern Highlands, the scenery is fantastic, there is a beautiful Hostel about 3 miles from where i live- Carbisdale Castle, it was/is a 'traditional' castle, which the Youth Hostel Associtation bought, from there there is rail links to many other parts of the Highlands, you can get right up to the Northern coastline, and from there there is buses to the rest of the parts!
Posted on: Jan 01, 2008
scubagirl76 says:
love the blogs, or what i've read so far! still have some to go so, i'll be coming back to read later. very nice pics too. I have added Scotland on my top list of places to go. tnx for sharing :)
Posted on: Nov 19, 2007
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museum of modern art
museum of modern art
george square
george square
Glasgow Hostels review
this was an ok hostel. very far for the city center. i don't mind the walking. there is no phone in the room. you have to go down stairs to make a cal… read entire review
photo by: spocklogic