Each of Glasgow's neighbourhoods has its own distinct style and vibe which is reflected in the great independent stores and exclusive boutiques you’ll find there. Here’s our guide to the city’s unique treasures.
The affluent west end is also the ultimate hipster hang out. The cobbled streets and lanes are where you will find a mix of vintage treasures and independent boutiques.
Great Western Road and Byres Road are the main streets that run through this ultra-cool neighbourhood offering a great mix of bars and restaurants, but if you fancy eating in, there’s some lovely delis and speciality food and drink stores including George Mews Cheeses, Cottonrake Bakery and Valhalla’s Goat as well as grocery stores selling an array of world foods and inspiring ingredients.
These streets are also peppered with some gorgeous homeware and gift stores. Timorous Beasties, famed for their Glasgow Toile will give you some serious interior goals with their stunning collection of fabrics, wallpaper and soft furnishings. For a luxurious gift, visit Paulin who specialise in making watches, clocks and leather goods.
There are some great museums and galleries dotted around the city centre each with their own unique gift shops offering much more than the obligatory pen and postcard! Head to the Gallery of Modern Art in Royal Exchange Square for some fun and funky Glasgow gifts or the Glasgow Museums shop in the St Enoch Centre where you can pick up souvenirs reflective of the city’s museum collections.
The Glasgow School of Art (GSoA) is where you will find Mackintosh inspired gifts as well as contemporary design pieces, many exclusive to the GSoA.
Finnieston has been reinvented in recent years and is now considered the city’s foodie quarter. It was also voted the ‘Hippest place to live in the UK’.
Take a wander down The Hidden Lane where you will uncover a really quirky mix of designers and crafters who you can see hard at work while you peruse the goodies they have on sale.
From Bonnie Bling who creates funky, Glasgow inspired jewellery and pin badges to illustrator Libby Walker who takes inspiration for her designs from the urban landscapes of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
This eclectic community of creatives also includes the New Hellfire Club – a not for profit record/book shop, California Girl – customised embroidery and vinyl gifts and Decadent Riot – an emporium of hand-selected art, gifts and accessories from local designers.
And a tea and cake stop at the Hidden Lane Tearoom is a must!
Hidden Lane Saturdays runs throughout the summer, from 12-5pm every Saturday. More than 20 studios and businesses will be open so head down and explore!
The area is fast becoming the city’s creative quarter with several design and creative studios popping up. As its heart is Barras Art and Design, an innovative space that houses a variety of independent businesses including the Braw Wee Emporium – stockist of over 70 Scottish makers and designers offering a fantastic range of jewellery, candles, music, homewares and gifts, the Glasgow Furniture Collective for custom hand-made or restored pieces of unique furniture, and the acclaimed A’Challtainn restaurant. The space also regularly hosts pop-up stores, music and foodie events and a must-visit bi-monthly market, so there is always something new to discover.
Head a little further east to the area of Bridgeton where you’ll come across the Glasgow Women’s Library – pick up a gift from their shop where the proceeds go back to supporting their work as the only Accredited Museum in the UK dedicated to women’s lives, histories and achievements.
For foodie treats, check out Glickman’s – Glasgow’s oldest sweetie shop,Drygate Brewery where you can choose from 100s of beers from their own bottle shop and Coia’s Café traditional Italian Deli to pick up luxurious chocolates and beautifully presented hampers.
The leafy, suburban Southside is treasure trove of pretty gift stores with owners that are passionate about showcasing local and Scottish talent. Paper Plane stocks beautiful quality gifts and cards, Marie Brown at Home has a gorgeous array of must have designer homewares and quirky giftware and Sunshine No 1 is an art and gift shop where every item has been crafted in Scotland.
Head to Pollokshaws Road to discover even more independents including Stephen O’Neil who has a modern gallery and gift shop that focuses on his art work as well as books, unique gift items and jewellery. Don’t forget to check out the Wee Beer Shop, experts in craft beers – be sure to pick up one of their bespoke gift boxes!
The Merchant City is the epicentre of Glasgow's historical merchant wealth, housing the tobacco lords and cotton kings. Two centuries later, the Merchant City has been brought back to life as a lively cultural quarter.
The streets and lanes are packed with studios, workshops and galleries. Head to Parnie Street or King Street for an eclectic mix of stores such as independent record shop, Monorail and A1 Toys for all your comic books and collectibles.
Check out some other stores dotted around the neighbourhood including, Beauty Kitchen on Saltmarket creates a whole manor of beauty lotions and potions, all 100% natural. You can even take part in one of their ‘make your own’ workshops.
Trongate 103, located in a former Edwardian warehouse comprises galleries, workshops and artists’ studios including the Glasgow Print Studio – a diverse, contemporary fine art retailer. For something completely different, head to William Chambers Millinery and try on some beautiful hats and head pieces.