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.
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, Wendy’s Hoose for home and interior delights 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.
The street is also peppered with some gorgeous independent 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. Head to Galletly & Tubbs, Shearer Candles and Liquorice Tree for gifts and goodies and the family-run Penny Black is a gift shop, post office and coffee stop all rolled into one.
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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.
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.
The Lighthouse Shop on Mitchell Lane and Welcome Home in the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) 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’.
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!
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The East End is fast becoming the city’s creative quarter and is home to several design and creative studios. Barras Art and Design centre is the heart of Glasgow’s world famous Barras Market. This newly developed space is home to a variety of independents including a record store, dressmaker and craft workshop alongside local artists’ workshops. The space also regularly hosts pop-up stores, craft market and music events so there is always something new to discover, the centre is open from 12pm Wednesdays-Sundays.
The leafy, suburban southside is another treasure trove of pretty gift stores. Paper Plane stocks beautiful quality gifts and cards. Sunshine No 1 is also a go to for gifts - all made right here in Scotland. For gorgeous womenswear, head to Butterfly Kisses and Ruby Woo Boutique. 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.
Check out some other stores dotted around the neighbourhood including, The 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.