Glasgow’s reputation as a must-see destination has got off to a flying start in the New Year, hailed by both Rough Guides and The Telegraph as one of the top places to visit in 2014. First in line in the newspaper’s Twenty destinations for 2014, ranked number nine in the leading travel publisher’s Top 10 Cities for 2014, and up for consideration for the title of Best European Destination 2014 as we speak, Glasgow is enjoying its moment in the spotlight this year, and quite rightly too!
Widely seen as one of the world’s most friendly, cosmopolitan and culturally exciting cities, Glasgow boasts some of the Europe’s richest civic art collections, an achingly hip music scene, and some of the best shopping and nightlife in the UK. This year will see yet another string added to its already impressive bow, that of world-class sporting venue.
The city is currently gearing up to welcome athletes and spectators from around the world when it plays host to the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games from 23 July – 3 August. Preparation for this highly anticipated moment in sporting history has involved the unveiling of the custom-built Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, one of the most state-of-the-art facilities of its kind, and a stunning addition to Glasgow’s cutting-edge architectural landscape which also includes the brand new SSE Hydro.
Resembling a cross between an immense flying saucer and a classical amphitheatre that’s crash landed on the banks of the River Clyde, this dazzling arena has a capacity of 12,000 and is the latest in the city’s eclectic collection of venues which includes the Clyde Auditorium aka the ‘Armadillo’ (no prizes for guessing how it earned that peculiar moniker), the legendary King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, the Barrowland Ballroom, and the O2 ABC with its elegant Art Deco façade.
The city can also lay claim to being the home of the European Museum of the Year 2013, the Riverside Museum. No mean feat considering the museum had to beat out 40 other major museums from 21 countries to secure the title. With Glasgow home to such cultural gems as the magnificent Burrell Collection, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Scotland Street School Museum, and the oldest public museum in Scotland, the Hunterian, the Riverside Museum is in good company, telling the story of how Glasgow’s amazing advancements in transport, engineering and technology transformed it into an industrial powerhouse.
If all this still hasn’t convinced you to add Glasgow to travel check list for this year, take a look at my fellow blogger Sophie’s personal recommendations on how to experience the best of this incredible city. Glasgow possesses an energy and buzz that is truly unique. Throw the drama and spectacle of the Commonwealth Games into the mix, and you won’t forget a visit to the city in the Year of Homecoming Scotland in a hurry. Check out our Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games page for the lowdown on tickets for the Opening Ceremony, travel and accommodation, and discover other things to see and do while you’re in town.