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GLASGOW

Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland. Located at the west end of Scotland's Central Belt on the banks of the River Clyde, Glasgow's historical importance as Scotland's main industrial centre has been challenged by decades of change and various regeneration efforts. Today the third largest city in the entire United Kingdom by population, it remains one of the nation's key economic centres outside London.

In recent years, Glasgow has been awarded the European titles of City of Culture (1990), City of Architecture and Design (1999) and Capital of Sport (2003). In 2008, Glasgow became the second Scottish city to join the UNESCO Creative Cities initiative when it was named as a UNESCO City of Music. Glasgow has become one of the most visited cities in the British Isles, and visitors will find a revitalised city centre, the best shopping outside London without a doubt, excellent parks and museums (most of which are free), and easy access to the Scottish Highlands and Islands.

Glasgow Cathedral is a fine example of Gothic architecture dating from medieval times and built on a site first consecrated in 397 AD. Behind the cathedral atop a steep hill is the Necropolis cemetery – dominated by the statue of John Knox and described by Victorians as a literal “City of The Dead”.

City Chambers is an imposing structure in George Square that was built in 1888 in the Italian Renaissance style and is the headquarters of Glasgow City Council. Tours of the building are available daily, and visitors can see the magnificent marble staircases, lobbies, see the debating chamber and the lavish banqueting hall. In front the building, George Square, the city's notional centre, is populated by several statues of civic leaders and famous figures from history and is often used for outdoor events.

Glasgow Cross is an intersection that marks the original medieval centre of the city and is dominated by the clock tower of the original City Chambers (destroyed by fire in 1926), and the small hexagonal building known as the Tolbooth. Just to the west on Trongate is the Tron Theatre, a former church that was turned into a prominent theatre.

The nucleus of Glasgow shopping is the so-called "Golden Z", made up of the continuous pedestrianised thoroughfares of Argyle Street, Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street. Here, virtually all of the major British big name retailers are represented. Buchanan Street is the most upmarket of the three, with prestigious names.

The city has won the title "Curry Capital of Britain" two years running and has a huge and dynamic range of restaurants, Indian or otherwise. Glasgow has, arguably, the finest Indian food in the United Kingdom, and indeed many Glaswegians now joke that the Indian Curry is their "national dish". Historically, the city's finest Indian restaurants have been clustered together in the Charing Cross area, just beyond the "main" section of Sauchiehall Street, but in recent years the Merchant City has seen a boom in new establishments.

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