10 reasons to live in Glasgow

We've moved our spotlight up to Scotland this week, to find out from our Local editor Caroline what's great about Glasgow; a city that perfectly combines the historic with the modern in a fusion of fantastic architecture, culture and energy

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1. Thing about the area

Glasgow is a city for everyone. Art lovers, foodies, lovers of nightlife, shoppers, museum enthusiasts, sports fans, children... you could spend a decade in this wonderful city and never stop exploring. It's bursting with history, but it's a city with an eye very much on the future: the city's already abuzz with next year's Commonwealth Games. Come and visit - you'll be spoiled for choice.


2. Child-friendly café

Eat Café on the south side is a lovely place to eat and very kid-friendly - cool decor, friendly service and fab food catering for carnies and veggies alike. You'll find a warm welcome amidst the many regulars who visit for the café's wonderful breakfasts, lunches and dinners. 

 Glasgow University

3. Child-free night out

First go and see a film at Glasgow's iconic Film Theatre on Rose Street in the city centre.

Glasgow has recently been voted the curry capital of Scotland, so after the theatre an Indian meal is a must; I recommend The Dhabba, in Glasgow's Merchant City. 

Finish up at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut - many a famous band started out at this Glasgow venue, which features live music from unsigned and yet-to-be discovered bands, alongside some household names. 


4. Outside space

Glasgow has some wonderful outside spaces, so it's hard to choose just one.

Kelvingrove Park is pretty hard to beat, though. There's the Kelvingrove Museum right next door, beautiful walkways and statues throughout the park, with the river Kelvin flowing through it. 

There are also two fab play parks including a huge helter-skelter, a duck pond, and more green space than you could hope for in the heart of the city, plus a bandstand that's a work in progress - due to be completed soon as a live music venue.


5. Hidden gem 

At a glance

Average semi-detached house price
Glasgow: £148,966
UK: £201,427

Average class size for primary schools
Glasgow: 22.7
UK: 25.9 pupils

Average salary
Glasgow: £20,616
UK: £26,461

Unemployment rate
Glasgow: 11.8%
UK: 7.3%

North Star Café is a wonderful, family-run café tucked away on Glasgow's Queen Margaret Drive with fantastic food and great service.

"They make the best food you can eat in Glasgow!" Ulrika

There's also Sarti's, a Glasgow institution in its own right, on Wellington Street.

"Best value breakfast in Glasgow: freshly squeezed OJ, Italian toast (or croissant) and jam with coffee, all for £3.75." Jan

Roastit Bubbly Jocks on Dumbarton Road is also well worth a visit

"Tiny Scottish restaurant with the best service my family has ever had." Vonnie

The Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow is also a must-see, with its dire wolf skeletons, macabre pickled body parts and Roman relics.


6. Community venues

Garscube Playrooms, described by many a local mum as a 'life-saver'. Three rooms filled with toys, games, soft play, arts, crafts, books and even a lunch area. Entry is £1, take your children and
some lunch and sit back while they hurtle round on a police car, build a tower with the giant Lego blocks, dive head-first into the ball pool and paint a picture without you having to worry about the carpet getting paint on it.


7. Free visitor attractions

The world-famous Burrell Collection on Glasgow's South Side is home to a diverse and fascinating range of exhibits, from work by major artists including Rodin, Degas and Cézanne, to artefacts from ancient civilisations. 

Riverside Museum

On the banks of the River Clyde, the new Riverside Museum is a must-see, dedicated to all things transport related and housed in a stunning building designed by world renowned architect Zaha Hadid.

There's everything from a real steam train and a fire engine (which lets you put out your own fire), to a collection of vintage toys and a café with fantastic views over the River Clyde.


8. Day out

Spend a leisurely morning at Kelvingrove Museum, taking in the delights of this wonderful collection which includes Dali's Christ of St John of the Cross, Rembrandt's Man in Armour, and a host of interactive exhibitions designed for young children who can dress up as Sleeping Beauty, learn about modern art through touch screens and games, and even view some realistic roaring dinosaurs.

Then it's a 20-minute walk through the West End and along the river to the Riverside Museum for a walk down a replica street from the past, with actual shops and a subway carriage that you can ride on.

Stop here for lunch and a breather, and then on to spend the afternoon at Glasgow's Science Centre with its amazing Science Mall spread across three floors.


9. Places to live

Every Glaswegian will tell you that their patch is the best in the city. The West End is bursting with shops, bars, cafés, great schools and desirable, though pricy, accommodation.

The up-and-coming East End is seeing a lot of regeneration, with parts of the once run down Gorbals almost unrecognisable from a decade ago.

And the South Side is buzzing too, with night life, shopping, parks and increasingly sought-after houses and flats that'll cost you less than their equivalent north west of the river Clyde.

 Glasgow sky

10. Places to shop

Glasgow is well known for its great shopping. Buchanan Street and the Merchant City are home to all the best-known stores, plus some less ubiquitous ones - Forever 21 has recently opened its first Scottish store, and inside Princes Square you'll find Space NK and Cath Kidston.

Walk down to the Italian Centre in the Merchant City for designer shopping, then on a weekend it's a 10-minute walk to the famous Barras Market where you'll find lots of Glasgow cheer and plenty of bargains.


About the editor

My name is Caroline and I am a SAHM (Stay At Home Mum) to four girls and one boy, living in Glasgow's West End. Glasgow is such a family-friendly place and I never run out of things to do with the children. There's something for all budgets, including plenty of free attractions. Working as Glasgow's MN Local editor has brought me even closer to the heart of what's going on in my city - in every part of the city, there's always something going on.


Images: Sophia Hughes Campbell

Last updated: about 3 years ago