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 neighbourhood 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.
De Courcy’s Arcade on Creswell Lane is home to a cluster of quirky and curious boutiques, galleries, gift shops and cafes. Head to Pink Poodle for fashion, Lovesome Emporium for hand-made jewellery and accessories and Janet & John for Scottish gifts.
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.
Glasgow city centre, just like New York, is set out in a grid system so it’s easy to wander around.
Buchanan Street is the main shopping area but heading just a little off this stylish beaten track, you’ll find some one-off shops such as Maia, The Good Spirits Company and Fat Buddha. Within Buchanan Galleries, you'll find uniquely created fashion, gifts and homeware, at the Scottish Design Exchange, where 100% of the sales proceeds go directly to artists and product creators.
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 shop is where you'll find a range of contemporary designed products, such as homeware and jewellery, inspired by Mackintosh, the School of Art and Glasgow itself. **Following a major fire in the Mackintosh Building on 15 June 2018, The Glasgow School of Art Shop in the neighbouring Reid building is currently closed to visitors. Online shop orders continue to be fulfilled as usual**
The Lighthouse Shop on Mitchell Lane is also a great showcase products from Scottish designers.
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’ by The Times and as one of the "Top ten coolest neighbourhoods in Europe" by The Independent.
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.
This eclectic community of creatives includes Bonnie Bling who creates funky, Glasgow inspired jewellery and pin badges, the New Hellfire Club – a not for profit record/bookshop 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!
The East is home to one of Scotland’s oldest and most famous markets, The Barras, which encompasses a range of stalls and shops, new and old all in one area. Start at Many Studios, home to the monthly Ross Street Market** (check it out as part of East End First Saturdays). Tuck pop-up shop and Rip it Up vintage clothes store. It’s a treasure trove that’s full of character!
**Ross Street Market is currently taking a break due to public realm improvement works.
The area is fast becoming the city’s creative quarter with several design and creative studios popping up. At its heart is Barras Art and Design, an innovative space that houses a variety of independent businesses, including 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 so there is always something new to discover.
At the Gallowgate, you will find the Creative East End Hub, which includes a independent coffee shop, the opportunity to connect with the community and creatives, as well as a unique retail offering from Braw Wee Emporium – stockist of over 70 Scottish makers and designers offering a fantastic range of jewellery, candles, music, homewares and gifts.
Head a little further east to the area of Bridgeton where you’ll come across the Glasgow Women’s Library – pick up a unique gift from their shop where the proceeds go back to supporting their work as the only museum of its kind in the UK, which celebrates the lives and achievements of women.
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 South neighbourhood is a 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 artwork 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!
For gorgeous womenswear, head to Butterfly Kisses and Ruby Woo Boutique and be sure to pay a visit to Libby Walker's new store on Pollokshaws Road. Libby is an illustrator who takes inspiration for her homeware and art print designs from the urban landscapes of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
There's also plenty of great cafes and restaurants in this neighbourhood to enjoy whilst you shop!
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. Just round the corner on Osborne Street you'll find independent menswear store Ryan James for clothing, accessories and grooming products from UK and European brands.
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.