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This is perhaps the most under-appreciated city in the United Kingdom, unfairly known, if it is known at all, for its impenetrable accents, unhealthy food and bad weather. There is, of course, a lot more to this city of sport, art and culture. It is a vibrant and interesting city, currently making a name for itself, interestingly, as a filmic stand-in for American cities like Philadelphia in recent movies. It has also recently come to prominence when it hosted the most recent Commonwealth Games. The people are friendly and talkative, there is a strong and vibrant sense of the history of the place, and an exciting night life and music scene. So why not come and explore this fascinating city for yourself?

Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland, with a population of almost 600,000. It is situated on the River Clyde in the south western lowlands of the country, towards the west of the dense band of settlement known as the Central belt. The city has a long industrial history, and was once a centre for shipbuilding and marine engineering. Now, it is better known as a cultural centre, for its beautiful historic architecture, museums, well-known music scene and for the rivalry between the cities two main football teams, Celtic and Rangers.

In 1990 Glasgow was named as European City of Culture. There is a vibrant and avant guard art scene in the city and many different festivals and cutting edge productions and exhibitions throughout the year. The burgeoning film industry here is also gaining in recognition internationally.

There are many galleries and museums in Glasgow, amongst the best of which are the Kelvingrove museum and art gallery, and Burrell Collection, and the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens.

In 1999 the city received another accolade, becoming the UK’s City of Architecture and Design. The architecture of Glasgow is one of its attractions, from the many impressive Victorian buildings in the city centre, to the unique masterpieces of Glasgow’s home-grown architect and designer, Charles Rennie Macintosh, whose beautiful art nouveau works are famous world wide. Some of the best examples of his work are to be seen in the Glasgow School of Art. Tragically, there was recently a terrible fire here which destroyed a part of the building including the historic library, but the work of rebuilding is currently ongoing and fortunately many of the original design features have been preserved.

In 2008, Glasgow was named as a UNESCO City of Music. Many exciting bands and musical movements have originated here, and the music scene is still going strong. Whatever kind of music you like, you are bound to find an event to suit you here.

One way to get a good sense of Glasgow’s beating heart is to go to a football match, have a meal at one of Glasgow’s fine restaurants, then go to one of the many pubs or live-music venues. You will likely find the people garrulous but welcoming, and once you have a sense of the place, you are sure to want to return again and again to this vibrant, exciting city.

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