Expats moving to Scotland's largest city will find that the lifestyle in Glasgow offers plenty of opportunities for shopping, entertainment and outdoor pursuits. Whether you're in the mood to shop up a storm in the city centre or looking to spend a moment alone in the great outdoors, Glasgow has something for everyone.


Shopping in Glasgow

Buchanan Street in Glasgow's city centre is the heart of the Style Mile, as the city's main shopping district is affectionately known. Lined by high-end shops, tempting restaurants and an ever-present array of street performers, there's plenty to enjoy in this part of town.

At the top of the street is Buchanan Galleries, a shopping mall housing more than 80 retailers. Further down is Princes Square, where the best of designer fashion can be found, from Kate Spade to Ted Baker and beyond. For families, St Enoch Centre towards the bottom of the street has toy shops galore, including Scotland's flagship Henley's store.

Glasgow has plenty to offer shoppers beyond the Style Mile, too. Lovers of vintage and second-hand clothing will be in seventh heaven in Glasgow's West End, while other excellent shopping centres such as the Glasgow Fort and the Forge Shopping Centre can be found dotted around the city.


Nightlife and entertainment in Glasgow

Glasgow has the honour of being the UK's first UNESCO City of Music, and indeed music lovers will be spoilt for choice here. 

Most major events in Glasgow take place at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC), located on the banks of the River Clyde. Here, you can find the OVO Hydro, Glasgow's premier arena with a capacity of over 14,000. For live music on a more intimate scale, check out King Tut's Wah Wah Hut – one of the city's smallest but most iconic live music venues. 

Glasgow has everything you need if you're looking for a night on the town, be it at a swish cocktail bar, an independent brewery or just a neighbourhood pub. Merchant City, close to Buchanan Street, is a hotspot for upmarket cocktail bars, while the West End has breweries and pubs aplenty.


Sports and outdoor activities in Glasgow

Despite Glasgow's typically cold and rainy climate, Glaswegians love to get out and about, whether it's to support their favourite football team or enjoy the city's natural beauty. 

Although sunny days are something of a rarity in Glasgow, the Botanic Gardens is the perfect place to spend them when they do come around. In spring, daffodils and colourful tulips pop up all around the gardens, while squirrels can be seen scampering through the grounds and are quite friendly to visitors, especially those who come prepared with a few nuts.

Come summertime, golf is a popular pursuit, as are water-based activities such as sailing, kayaking and swimming in Glasgow's rivers and lochs. There are also plentiful opportunities and trails for mountain biking and hiking.


See and do in Glasgow

Expats looking to explore Scotland's largest city will discover plenty to see and do in Glasgow. Founded centuries ago, Glasgow is filled with historic sites and buildings, not to mention art galleries and museums galore – plenty to keep any culture-hungry expat busy.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

One of Glasgow's most popular attractions, Kelvingrove is a must-see. Arriving at the museum, you'll be greeted by an entryway of heads, all expressing a range of strong emotions. This sets the tone and as you venture further, you'll find more of the weird and wonderful on display, including an authentic WWII-era Spitfire plane, a huge collection of historical arms and armour, and an active hive of bees. There is also an incredible art collection which includes works by the likes of Dalí, Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh.

Gallery of Modern Art

A visit to the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) is always something to write home about, and it's well worth spending some time contemplating the artworks on display. Work by both local and international artists can be seen in the museum, and the gallery frequently runs special projects to address social issues.

Duke of Wellington Statue

In front of GoMA is a sight beloved among locals and foreigners alike: the statue of the Duke of Wellington. This statue's unusual claim to fame is the ever-present traffic cone perched jauntily on its head. The contrast of the dignified Duke and the brightly coloured plastic cone never fails to elicit a chuckle. The statue has become one of Glasgow's most iconic landmarks and is a monument to the city's cheeky sense of humour.


Where to meet people and make friends in Glasgow

Trying to make friends in a new city is a plight many expats are all too familiar with. Luckily, Glaswegians are friendly and love to socialise, but it's not always easy to know where to begin meeting people. Here are a few local clubs to get started.

Parkrun Glasgow

Every Saturday, several 5km running/walking events known as parkruns take place in and around Glasgow. Joining in is a great way to get some fresh air and exercise, not to mention mingling with like-minded people. After the run, participants sit down for a cup of coffee and a chat.

The Minerva Club

Theatre lovers of all ages and levels of experience are welcomed at this community theatre group. Situated in the heart of the West End, the Minerva Club hosts numerous social events throughout the year, with the year's major production being staged each November.

United Glasgow Football Club

Expats who enjoy kicking a ball about are sure to have a great time meeting fellow footie fanatics at the United Glasgow Football Club. The club places an emphasis on inclusivity for all nationalities and many club members are expats themselves.

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