Shopping in Glasgow

Our guide to one of the UK's biggest shopping cities 


 

Boasting more than 1,500 shops, Glasgow is considered the second largest and busiest shopping destination in the UK (just after London’s West End). There’s something here for every retail taste and interest—whether it’s designer boutiques, big-name brands or quirky vintage stores.

Make the most of the city’s retail offerings by spending time in two of its best (and very different) shopping areas—the Style Mile and the West End.

The Style Mile 

Just as its name suggests, the Style Mile encompasses one square mile of shopping bliss in Glasgow’s city centre and includes Buchanan, Argyle and Sauchiehall streets. There are more than 200 stores in this historic, pedestrian-friendly hub, from one-of-a kind boutiques to major department stores.

For familiar brands: There are a number of shopping malls located in the Style Mile, and all of them contain an array of national and international retailers, including mainstays like H&M and Topshop. Musts-stops include British department stores John Lewis (the anchor store at Buchanan Galleries) Debenhams (at St. Enoch Centre) and Marks and Spencer, which spans an entire block on Argyle Street.

For stunning jewelry: Check out the glamorous Argyll Arcade on the corner of Buchanan and Argyle streets. Located in what is thought to be Scotland’s very first indoor shopping mall, the arcade features around 30 high-end jewelry stores under one roof (the largest selection in Scotland). Shop for gold, diamonds, watches and more at dazzling boutiques such as Harold Barclay, ROX and The Diamond Studio.    

For high-end fashion: Go to Merchant City, one of the oldest quarters in Glasgow, where you’ll find some of the world’s most notable designer labels, including Gant, Ralph Lauren and the UK’s first Versace Store.  

For Scottish souvenirs: Visit Geoffrey Tailor Highland Crafts on Sauchiehall Street for traditional Scottish tartan or Harris Tweed. Pick up cashmere scarves, ties and kilts—this jam-packed spot has it all.

The West End 

With its sandstone buildings, cobblestone lanes and buzzing café culture, Glasgow’s West End is a great place to spend a day. Not only does this part of the city boast the incomparable Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (which happens to have a great gift shop), it’s also home to some truly one-of-a-kind retailers. 

For beer fanatics: Visit Valhalla’s Goat on Great Western Road, a cool spot that sells “liquid treasures,” mostly in the form of craft beers from all over the world. If beer isn’t your thing, this busy shop also sells a variety of wine and unusual spirits, as well as handmade chocolates.  

For vintage goods: Check out Starry Starry Night on Dowanside Lane. This charming shop offers an amazing range of cool vintage items, from the Victorian era up to the 1980s. You’ll find everything from antique wedding veils and costume jewelry to ball gowns and second-hand kilts.

For quirky gifts: Go to Nancy Smillie on Cresswell Street, where you’ll find an eclectic collection of merchandise, from funky accessories and whimsical ceramics to framed prints and cool clocks.

For creative inspiration: Chances are good you won’t be shopping for wallpaper when you’re visiting Glasgow, but it’s still worth stopping into Timorous Beasties on Great Western Road to check out the incredible wallpaper and fabric patterns of Glasgow design gurus Alistair McAuley and Paul Simmons. If home décor and contemporary design are your things, this spot is sure to inspire you.  

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