Shopping Attractions in Glasgow

For the second best shopping experience in the UK, look no further than Glasgow. The sheer number and variety of shops is surpassed only by London. Add to this varied shopping experiences – pedestrianised streets, shopping malls, markets and arcades – fabulous restaurants and eateries, and beautiful historic buildings all over the city; shopping in Glasgow isn’t just a trip to the shops – it’s an event!

Pedestrianised Street Shopping

Glasgow’s city centre boasts three outstanding pedestrianised shopping streets where you can browse, shop or just sit and people watch in safety. Buchanan Street, Argyle Street, and Sauchiehall Street are the focus of most of the shopping in Glasgow, each one with a different character. Pedestrianised at its eastern end, Sauchiehall Street is home to many well known outlets such as BHS, HMV and WH Smith, and smaller chain shops offering discount prices. There are also two shopping centres – the Sauchiehall Street Centre and the Savoy Centre which contains many small outlets selling artwork, jewellery, clothes, furniture and fast food.

Buchanan Street has taken over from Sauchiehall Street as Glasgow’s main shopping precinct. Aside from some major retailers such as Frasers and Borders, there are many smaller, designer shops and niche market boutiques. Its large width makes it perfect for street entertainers who perform all year round and add to Glasgow’s bustling, cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Argyle Street is home to some of the UK’s biggest retailers – Marks and Spencer, HMV, Gap, Next, to name only a few.

All Under One Roof

Glasgow’s malls are a shopping Mecca. The Buchanan Galleries at the top of Buchanan Street is regarded as the best mall in the city centre. It’s 80 shops including John Lewis, H&M, Habitat, and Next are a mix of big retailers and smaller boutiques which sell fashion, accessories, clothes and gifts.

The St. Enoch Shopping Centre near Argyle Street is the biggest glass structure in Europe and is the most central of the city’s malls. It is very family friendly with plenty of shops for children such as toy shops, the Disney Store and video game outlets, and houses big retailers such as Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, TK Maxx and Boots. In addition, there is a huge food court. Seating over 850, you can enjoy a selection of MacDonald’s, KFC, DiMaggio’s, and Chinese food, or simply take the weight off your feet and enjoy a coffee.

Princes Square on Buchanan Street is the designer shopper’s paradise. It’s a sophisticated blend of designer and specialist boutiques selling fashion, lifestyle, gifts, and art and crafts, cafe’s offering fresh coffee and home baking, and quality Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Italian and Scottish restaurants. It’s beautiful interior including theatrical centre space with mosaic floor, glass roof, brass and glass lifts, and wooden features, makes it attractive for shoppers and browsers alike.

Merchant City

Merchant City is a little shopping oasis offering a quieter shopping experience choc full of atmosphere. Situated a short walk east of Buchanan Street and Argyle Street, it has little traffic, is a fantastic place to explore, and is probably Glasgow’s most cosmopolitan shopping area. Its chic bars, restaurants and coffee shops, exclusive boutiques, cool art galleries, and specialist outlets sell everything from antiques, designer jewellery, clothes and accessories. Nestled just behind George Square is the Italian Centre. In and around its beautiful, authentic piazza are exclusive and designer shops and boutiques including Emporio Armani and Versace, and Italian pavement cafes; the perfect place to sit and enjoy the unique atmosphere.

The Barras

No shopping trip to Glasgow would be complete without a trip to the world famous Barras market. Only a five minute walk along Argyle Street’s pedestrian precinct, the Barras is a market brimming with Glasgow character. Originally in the early 20th century, traders set up their stalls on barrows. The modern Barras features a street level indoor market under the celebrated Barrowland Ballroom, and outside a maze of stalls and bazaars selling anything from antiques, DVDs, clothing, and to junk, bric-a-brac and burgers and chips. It’s a fabulous place to visit just for the atmosphere alone.

Getting There

Glasgow’s excellent travel links make travelling in and around the city quick and easy. With multi-storey car parks at Sauchiehall Street, St. Enoch’s Centre, Buchanan Street and Waterloo Street driving in is easy. Getting around the city is made simple and convenient by the subway, called “The Clockwork Orange” by Glaswegians, and trains, buses and taxis are plentiful and frequent. Most Glasgow shops are open from Monday to Saturday 0900-1730/1800. Thursday is late night shopping with shops open till 8pm or later and most larger retailers open on Sundays.

For the ultimate in retail therapy, visit Glasgow for a great day out or short shopping break.

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