Glasgow shouldn't be overlooking in favour of Edinburgh. After all, it's arguably more cosmopolitan and it's certainly full of everything from art galleries, museums and country parks, to the bright lights, shops, restaurants and bars of the West End. With a flight time of around one hour from London, it's so quick, easy and affordable to get to and it really does feel a world away from England.
The Glasgow School of Art is a spectacular building and the organisation offers short tours of the building covering the life of Mackintosh – the building's architect – from his time as an art and architecture student to his life as a master designer. If you'd rather find out about one of the city's most prestigious buildings on your own, the visitor centre is full of interesting artefacts from the archives, as well as pieces by current students.
Glasgow Botanic Gardens are breathtaking during every season with spring being the most colourful, but winter equally as interesting thanks to the array of plants outside and the tropical greenhouses. Probably the most notable structure within the gardens is Kibble Palace, named after its architect John Kibble. This huge glass palace contains a tree fern collection planted in the 1880s, a collection of plant houses containing tropical plants and a conservatory which boasts incredible floral displays all year round.
Continuing the green theme, Glasgow's Pollok Country Park is perfect for walkers and joggers, with 360 acres and hundreds of well-kept trails. And Kelvingrove Park not only has the River Kelvin running right through the middle, but it also plays host to lots of festivals and live music events during the year.
Glasgow's West End is really exciting, with loads of great restaurants, shops, pubs, live music venues and more. Try chic brasserie Curlers Rest on Byres Road for a fine selection of beers and some decent pub food. For something a bit different, Oran Mor is a bar, club, restaurant and live music venue in a converted church. The setting is really different and the atmosphere is very lively and friendly. For a juicy burger, head to Burger Meats Bun on West Regent Street – it's a favourite with meat lovers living in and visiting the city.
It's not all about food. Boutique shops are rife and it's so easy to explore. Locals would probably suggest starting your walking and shopping tour of the West End on Dumbarton Road, visiting places like Handbags and Gladrags and stopping at cafezique for their locally famous brunch. Then head to Hyndland Road, Great Western Road and Byers Road, stopping in at Clive Christian's kitchen shop – the area's plethora of second hand stores – and if it's late enough in the day, pop into the Liquid Shop for bar snacks, drinks and good music.
Glasgow has something for everyone, which can't be said for many cities in the UK.
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|Food and beverages||Prices average|
|Beer (0.5 liter)||£2.00|
|Meal at McDonald's||£5.00|
|Water (0.33 liter)||£1.00|
|Taxi starting price (normal tariff)||£3.00|
|1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M,...)||£31.00|
|1 pair of jeans (Levi's 501 or similar)||£60.00|
|Average monthly disposable salary (net)||£1,665.00|