Virtually all evidence of Glasgow's medieval existence was demolished by some well-meaning - if heritage-destroying - urban renewal schemes of late Georgian and Victorian Glasgow. So, no narrow alleys and cobbled streets remain in the original city center around the High Street. Still standing on the hill at the top of High Street is Glasgow Cathedral, an excellent example of pre-Reformation Gothic architecture next to the hill-filling Central Necropolis. Down the High Street, no longer the city's main street, you'll find the Tolbooth Steeple (1626) at Glasgow (or Mercat) Cross. The Mercat Cross was the hub of the city until the 18th century. This area is now generally called Merchant City and it flows rather seamlessly into Glasgow's commercial center. Both are laid out in a grid system, so navigation is reasonably easy along primary arteries such as Buchanan Street, Argyle Street, Bath Street, Sauchiehall Street, and St. Vincent Street. Stretches of a few of these are traffic-free and full of pedestrians.
The city's salubrious and leafy West End is just a short journey from central Glasgow, on the other side of the M8. The late Georgian terraces of Woodlands Hill, rising to Park Circus, afford excellent views. Nearby, the tower of the University of Glasgow dominates the skyline. For the West End and Glasgow in general, Byres Road is a primary social and entertainment destination, full of restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops.
The city's Southside sprawls from the River Clyde and is largely residential. The commercial heart of the Southside is Shawlands, which offers an increasing number of good restaurants, and nearby Queens Park is a hilly classic of Victorian planning.
Glasgow's East End is slowly redeveloping after the boom of its industrial heyday went bust. Visitors to one primary East End artery, the Gallowgate, should visit the flea-market stalls of the Barras at the weekend. A few neighborhoods, such as Dennistoun, which is east down Duke Street from the Cathedral area, are gradually drawing young, creative types who can no longer afford apartments in the West End or on the Southside: A renaissance is simmering.
Finding an Address
Glasgow was built in various sections over the years, and some historic districts, such as the infamous Gorbals, south of the city center, have been torn down in the name of slum clearance: Streets have been completely reconfigured to accommodate modern traffic flows. Other neighborhoods have fallen prey to freeway development. Luckily for visitors, the city center is primarily laid out on a grid, which makes it easier to navigate.
Get a detailed map of Glasgow before setting out. Always find the nearest cross street, and then look for your location from there. If it's a hotel or restaurant, the sign of an establishment is often more prominent than the number.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.