Tucked away just behind the city centre is the Merchant City, where in the 18th century, Glasgow’s Tobacco Lords had their warehouses in the city’s trading heyday. Today the merchants’ warehouses have been turned into cool boutiques, bars, great restaurants and loft apartments. Visitors will find this neighbourhood with its stunning architecture fascinating to explore on foot.
The Merchant City Festival is an annual event that celebrates all this unique neighbourhood has to offer including live music, street performances, art, dance, theatre, comedy and food and drink in the heart of Glasgow’s cultural quarter.
Housed in an elegant 18th-century neo-classical building in the heart of Glasgow, the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) offers a thought-provoking programme of temporary exhibitions featuring cutting-edge contemporary work by local, national and international artists. Aside from the displays, the museum also contains a café and a library with an extensive collection of art and design books available for loan.
The City Halls is Glasgow's oldest purpose built performance space, having entertained patrons since 1841. Renowned for its world class acoustics, the spectacular Hall also houses the Scottish Music Centre and is home to The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and hosts regular performances for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Hidden from view, the Old Fruitmarket can be found in the heart of the Merchant City and is part of the City Halls complex. Formerly a functioning market until the 1970's, the venue has retained its period charm and regularly hosts a variety of events including jazz, rock and pop concerts, club nights and ceilidhs!
Arisaig is a modern Scottish bar & restaurant, located within the stunning courtyard of the historic Merchant Square. Inspired by childhood holidays to the West Coast village of the same name, Arisaig Bar & Restaurant offers the best of Scottish cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere with friendly service.
Blackfriars is a spacious free house and live music venue that serves quality beers from around the world and gastro pub food. They also boast a basement venue that is used for everything from jazz to comedy!
Café Gandolfi is owned by Seumas MacInnes, and is housed in the building which was originally the offices of the old cheese market. Café Gandolfi is known for its passionate promotion of local Scottish produce and Gandolfi’s signature dishes rely entirely on fresh ingredients sourced from small suppliers across Scotland, especially the Highlands and Islands. The café also hosts a monthly wine club night, where you can take part in a guided wine tasting.
Established in 1988, City Merchant is a family run restaurant in the heart of Glasgow’s Merchant City. The restaurant is as popular with business diners as it is with couples out for a romantic dinner. It's also handily placed for a pre-theatre dinner before shows at the Old Fruitmarket, City Halls or the Tron Theatre.
Credit: Corinthian Facebook
Built in 1842 on the site of the 18th century Virginia Mansion, The Corinthian Club is one of Glasgow's most elaborate and richly decorated buildings both internally and externally. Faithfully restored in 1999, it now houses a stylish restaurant, bar, and club with private spaces available for hire.
Dhabba, which means 'diner' in Punjabi, prides itself on providing authentic North Indian cuisine. Only the freshest ingredients sourced from Scotland and spices from India are used to prepare the vast array of dishes available. The menu contains dishes that would be commonly found in restaurants throughout Northern India.
Guy’s is located in the heart of the Merchant City. After more than twenty years feeding the cream of the film industry’s A-list with his location catering business, Reel Food, Guy decided that living out of a suitcase was best left to younger chefs and headed home to Glasgow to set up this unique venue.
Winners of Best New Restaurant in Scotland at the glitzy Scottish Variety Awards in 2015, Hutchesons Bar & Brasserie is Housed in an iconic Grade A-listed building on Ingram Street that has been transformed into an exciting three floor dining destination, providing the best of Scottish food and drink with outstanding service, and character in a grand setting!
Enjoy authentic high quality Indian and Persian cuisine at KoolBa in the Merchant City, one of Glasgow's most reputable curry houses.
Paesano Pizza serve wood-fired, artisan pizzas from an open kitchen in a refectory style industrial space with wall tiles and sharing tables for the ultimate relaxed and informal dining experience!
Live cabaret and fine dining are top of the agenda at Wild Cabaret & Wicked lounge, an independent, locally owned cabaret restaurant and late night live music venue. This late night venue aims to provide a memorable experience where guests are gently encouraged to dress to impress!
A hidden gem in the heart of Glasgow’s stylish Merchant City, Virginia Court is the perfect place to eat or grab a drink in Brutti Compadres or Virginia, a Mediterranean style Gin bar from the team who brought Gin 71 and Cup Tea Rooms to the city.
Ingram Street in the Merchant city is part of the city’s Style Mile featuring high-end designer stores such as Mulberry, Ralph Lauren, Armani, Cruise and Agent Provocateur - the ultimate in retail therapy!
Merchant Square is a stylish hub of bars and restaurants all under one roof. There's plenty of choice including the Beer Café, Scottish dining at Arisaig, Italian favourite Fanelli's and Boudoir Wine Bar. Joining the bars and restaurants is a spacious indoor courtyard used for various events - check out the weekly craft and design market!
Enjoy a leisurely stroll around this weekly Craft & Design Fair every Saturday & Sunday that showcases some of the best crafters in Glasgow in the relaxed surroundings of Merchant Square.
The Glasgow Police Museum is a bit of a hidden gem - a unique museum delving into the history of the UK's first police force from 1800 to 1975. Displays tell the fascinating history of policing in Glasgow over the last 175 years, and the museum also houses Europe's largest International Police display of uniforms and insignia from around the world.
Behind the hustle and bustle of Argyle Street in the south of Merchant City lies Trongate, a hub for independentartist galleries, vintage clothes shops, and cafes where the city’s creative community can be found hanging out or browsing the book and record collections.
Once Upon a Tart is an old art gallery turned café and bakehouse, displaying mammoth beautifully decorated cakes and a fantastic range of teas.
Trans-Europe Café - where Euro-city themed sandwiches such as the Zurich with goat’s cheese are on the menu and you are seated on reclaimed bus seats and window benches.
Mono offers innovative vegan food in a versatile space. Mono also houses Monorail, their in-house independent record shop, and Good Press selling independent and self-published books.
Described by Historic Scotland as ‘Scotland’s most important collection of surviving market halls’, The Briggait, a beautiful Grade A listed building in Glasgow’s Merchant City, has been transformed into a new home for visual artists and cultural organisations that regularly hosts pop up events.
Home to a range of Glasgow based creative organisations, Trongate 103 is a place to see art, make art and enjoy being creative. And don't forget to indulge more than your audio and visual senses - fill up with some traditional Russian food at Cafe Cossachok, Scotland's first and only authentic Russian Restaurant!
Founded in 1857, the Britannia Panopticon quickly became the most popular place of amusement and entertainment in the city, with 1,500 people cramming themselves onto the wooden benches for every show. Today, the auditorium is the world's oldest surviving music hall and holds regular viewings, exhibitions, bazaars and traditional music shows.