Glasgow’s Merchant City buzzes with cool bars, hip restaurants, boutique hotels and designer stores. Stretching from Merchant Square to Royal Exchange Square, the whole area is perfect for a stroll and popular for its high-end shopping centered on Ingram Street and the Italian Centre, the home of the UK’s first Versace. With its piazzas, arches and pavement cafes, the city center district has a decidedly continental feel - a surprise in the heart of Scotland’s biggest city.
Remember to look up at all of the Victorian facades and lovingly restored 18th-century warehouses. From Glasgow Cathedral in all its Gothic glory to the looming necropolis known as the Victorian City of the Dead, there is plenty to interest architecture aficionados. Make sure to look out for Provand’s Lordship, too; it’s the only medieval house in the city.
Every year, tens of thousands descend on Merchant City for the multi-arts Merchant City Festival. The Public Arts Trail also runs right through the district, and the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) sits in Royal Exchange Square.
Merchant City is compact, with all of its attractions within walking distance of one another. Queen Street Station and Argyle Street Station are the closest train stops, while Buchanan Street is the closest subway and bus station. Entrance is free, and Buchanan Street is open all year-round.