Should you visit Glasgow or Edinburgh? It’s a common question many international travellers visiting Scotland ask themselves and while both cities are incredible, they do differ in personality so it really comes down to what you are wanting to experience and see..
If you’re strapped for time then picking can be a tough choice, but if you have time? Why not visit both?! I highly recommend it if you can! For two cities that sit so closely together on a map, I was surprised by how completely different they both were!
Here are a few points to consider that might just help make such a decision…
History and culture
Edinburgh I think is more historical and is steeped with culture, with the likes of The Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, Scott Monument, Holyrood House, Princess Street, Forth Bridge and Arthurs Seat to name a few..
The Edinburgh Castle is a really great experience as you can really learn and understand about Scotland’s darkest times and how history has shaped Scotland to how it is nowadays.
Glasgow on the other hand does also, but more in the form of some great museums & Victorian architecture!
Musuems and Galleries /
Glasgow hands down has more museums that Edinburgh does. There is Transport Museum, Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Peoples Palace, Burrell Collection, Tenement House and House for an Art Love (to name a few), and many of these are free also!!
Glasgow has been famously dubbed “people make Glasgow” and it is very accurate. The locals here are super friendly and will always have time for a chat. Doesn’t matter if you are a visitor to the country, they will greet you with open arms.
Edinburgh they are also very friendly, however don’t as openly outgoing as in Glasgow. I also found Edinburgh had a more touristy feel to it but that’s not to say people weren’t friendly – just more reserved.
Music and Nightlife
Glasgow has an absolute thriving music scene with live music and gigs playing all the time at venues across the city. Furthermore, there are many clubs, pubs & bars that stay open late and many are within walking distance of each other.
As for nightlife in Edinburgh, if you’re looking for a friendly pub-type drinking experience, Edinburgh is really good for that with many traditional pubs located in a close proximity of each other. The nightlife isn’t pumping every night of the week but you will never be stuck for somewhere to have a drink.
If you want to shop, then Glasgow is bigger and better for this! Many, many more shops to enjoy (especially along Style Mile) and Glasgow has been dubbed the second best shopping city in all of the UK.
The main shopping area in Edinburgh is Princes Street but it’s not as good as Glasgow.
This is a tough one coz each have some great dining experiences depending on your taste buds!
While Edinburgh has the oldest pub in Scotland and boasts five Michelin star restaurants plus has opened an entire gluten free store, who caters to those who are lactose intolerant and vegan, Glasgow has a diverse range of cuisine-led eateries like Indian & Chinese…plus of course your good old Scottish pub meals in which case Edinburgh and Glasgow know how to do!
In my opinion?
Glasgow is great for those who are looking to party and enjoy the vibrant nightlife and perhaps visit the many museums and art galleries throughout the city. The city has some wonderful art and architectural buildings to see and I thought there was a very youthful and ‘fun’ feel to the city, suiting those particularly in their 20’s. Oh, and the shopping is great too!
Edinburghis prettier with so much culture and history to explore. Both the Old and New Towns are World Heritage Sites, which is pretty impressive and attractions such as the Castle, Holyrood House, Arthurs Seat, Royal Mile etc are major highlights. It is a smaller, more compact city that could be explored in a shorter amount of time than Glasgow – especially if you are pressed for time.
This is my own personal opinion and I know these opinions will differ amongst people – which is perfectly fine and I would LOVE to know your thoughts on Edinburgh and Glasgow are:)