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Glasgow?

My sister and I are planning a "girls" trip to the UK next spring. I am in charge of figuring out the Scotland part, about 5 days. Edinburgh of course, maybe Stirling and a train ride into the Highlands, but how much time should we allow for Glasgow? One or two nights? What is good to do and see there? We like the usual touristy stuff--history, art, architecture, fun pubs, friendly B&Bs, good food, a bit of shopping.

I tried to search this but the search function doesn't seem to work. I also have the RS 2013 UK book but would appreciate more information and opinions on Glasgow. The part about thugs and hookers along the River Clyde has my sister worried.

Posted by
2081 posts

Sasha,

This is not a direct reply to your question, but a general comment about my travels since ive started last year. Im a male so chances are it wont be from a females point of view.

Ive never felt threatened when during any of my travels. But i do practice what Rick Steves (RS) states in his books and its using common sense just as you would where you live. Even when i was touring the as RS puts it "seedy" parts of town like the Red Light District (RLD) in Paris and Amsterdam, i didnt feel threatened at all. Its not to say bad thing dont happen, but i follow my common sense just like i would here.

Some of the "seedy" places like the RLD in Amsterdam has a Disney Land atmosphere to it. I visited during the early morning where there wasnt anyone around, mid day where there were people having lunch and at night where all or most of the windows were occupied or drapes closed and guides were walking around with dozens of people following. To me it was funny watching the various flags/ballons/hats (things for the tourisst can keep track of the guide) moving around.

im sure others will chime in to let you know what to expect at the River Clyde but whatever you do and where ever you go, use common sense.

happy trails.

Posted by
2779 posts

Yes we have a Guidebook---the Rick Steve's 2013 Great Britain guidebook, which of course includes Scotland. Page 791 says "avoid the area near the River Clyde entirely ( hookers and thugs)" and I am not concerned but my sister wondered about that. Not the focus of my question, however. I just would like to hear about what is fun and interesting to see and do in Glasgow, and how much time we should allow.

I think the CitizenM hotel looks good and it is far from the River Clyde.

Posted by
2081 posts

@ Sasha,

I think the CitizenM hotel looks good and it is far from the River Clyde.

I just stayed at the CitizenM in Amstedam. Ive been itching to try one out ever since i stumbled across for an inexpensive place to stay. Just so you know if youre shy about using the toilet or shower, they are in separate pods. you can always crank up the tv/radio too. There is also a curtain between the pods and the bed. If you and you sis dont need alot of room then it works. There was only one large drawer under the bed for things to stow away. I enjoyed my stay and i thought the place was really cool.

as far as the "river clyde"

Try using google maps and see if you can wonder down there via the google cam or see what nearby. I do that to look for anyplace that maybe in question like if its a correct address. yes the pictures can be outdated by a year or more, but you will have an idea on whats there.

also, you can ask some of the female locals about where you want to go. that way if the locals avoid the place, i would too. ive only been warned one time to not go someplace and they went out of their way to warn me. so, i took their advise.

happy trails.

Posted by
8293 posts

Excellent museums in Glasgow, by the way, and if you get a chance to look into City Hall, do so. Built when the city of Glasgow was wealthy and had plenty of money to spend on marble!

Posted by
2779 posts

Thanks! Where did Glasgow get its money when it had plenty?

Hmmmm.... Not sure we like the sound of the bathroom arrangement at CitizenM. Maybe we will reconsider and look farther.

Any reccos for where to have dinner? Rick suggests Wagamamma and that is not our style!

Posted by
521 posts

Where did Glasgow get its money when it had plenty?

Trade, shipbuilding and heavy engineering. It was once known as 'the second city of the Empire' (after London), such was its importance.

I find the RS guidebook's advice to avoid the waterfront to be alarmist to the point of being hysterical, but maybe that's because one of my grandmothers was from Parkhead (pronounced 'Parkheid' by my granny and every other Glaswegian I've ever known), half a mile from the Clyde and one of the poorest, most deprived areas in western Europe. Some of Glasgow is like that - 17 of the 20 poorest wards in the UK are in Glasgow and half the city's population live in them. Some are even near the Clyde... But to avoid the river is to completely miss the point of what made Glasgow what it was, and what it is. Try Googling "glasgow shipbuilding history", or just start with this website:

http://www.clydewaterfrontheritage.com/heritagehome.aspx

Posted by
2081 posts

@ Sasha,

Hmmmm.... Not sure we like the sound of the bathroom arrangement at CitizenM. Maybe we will reconsider and look farther.

the pods have frosted glass with colored lighting. If you dig into the CitizenM web site, you should see pics of them lit up, the room arrangement and such.

Ive stayed in the EasyHotels and the CitizenM has waaaay more space. I just think the pods and designs are cool.

Happy trails.

Posted by
2779 posts

It probablyisn't the first time Rick has given alarmist advice on dodgy areas. I will tell my sister there's nothing to worry about. But we probably won't be prancing around that area along the river after dark in any case.

Posted by
8293 posts

And don't forget the Tea Room he designed, either.

Posted by
9363 posts

I spent five days last August in the Glasgow area and went into the city several times. The riverfront is, and has been, undergoing a lot of renewal - new exhibition center, new transportation museum (European Museum of the year for 2013). Glasgow is preparing to host a huge athletic event next year whose name escapes me at the moment (I know I'll be embarrassed when I think of it later). We did all of the Charles Rennie Macintosh stuff, including Hill House in Helensburgh. My favorite thing in Glasgow itself was Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It is enormous, has lots to see, and is free. But the Riverside Museum (transportation) was my second favorite, and is also free.

Posted by
2779 posts

Thanks! Do you mean the Commonwealth Games? Glasgow is hosting in July. We'll miss that but it should be fun to see the preparations. We were in Whistler BC right before the Olympics opened and it was fantastic, without the crowds.

Posted by
9363 posts

Yep, that's it. Lots of building and renovation going on till then.