With over 1,500 shops and widely known as the second largest retail centre in the UK after London, Glasgow is a shopping paradise. Blow the budget at Merchant City, or watch the pennies at one of the weekend markets - there really is something to suit every style of shopper. But the absolute centre of the city’s shopping (and dining) action is the Golden Z. Also known as the ‘Style Mile’, it’s actually a 2.5 mile-long route that runs from Sauchiehall Street in the north, down Buchanan Street and Argyle Street in the south, roughly in the shape of the letter Z. And, if you’re booked into the Premier Inn near the Style Mile, you won’t have far to stagger back with all those bags, either.
Shopping in Glasgow
If you love shopping in glitzy malls, Glasgow is the place to be. From out-of-town retail parks to gorgeous arcades, there are several to enjoy, all over the city and beyond.
Housing over 100 shops, Silverburn shopping centre has all your favourites under one roof. Alongside Debenhams, TK Maxx and Marks & Spencer, high street favourites Zara, H&M, New Look and Next are on hand to keep you updated on the latest fashion trends. When you’re shopped out or just simply need to refuel before another spree, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants. Look out for regular events at the centre too; popular past ones have included make-up masterclasses.
Buchanan Street is often compared to London’s Oxford Street because of the sheer amount of retail options on offer. But Glasgow’s version is better because it’s completely pedestrianised. It also has the Buchanan Galleries at one end - four floors of the classic high street brands, small independents and a huge John Lewis.
Just outside Glasgow city centre you’ll find the massive XSite Braehead - and you really could spend all day here. Get your day trip off to a great start by booking into the Premier Inn hotel near Braehead and you’ll get to hit the shops as soon as they open. With a good mix of both designer and high street retail options to enjoy, there’s also a huge amount of leisure options, from bowling and climbing to indoor skiing on a real snow slope.
Just 20 minutes from Glasgow in Cumbernauld is the Cumbernauld Shopping Centre. Perfect if you’re staying in the Premier Inn hotel in Cumbernauld, there are over 50 shops here, from well-known stores such as Boots, Argos and WH Smith, to independent retailers selling everything from comics to gifts and jewellery.
As a city buzzing with creativity, style and entrepreneurial spark, it’s no surprise that Glasgow does markets so well. Whether you’re looking for a bargain, a designer outfit or a one-of-a-kind gift, here’s why a visit to one of these markets should be on your Glasgow must-shop list.
The most iconic market in Glasgow has to be the Barras. Full of history and heritage, it’s worth a visit for the authentic Glaswegian experience alone, even if you don’t plan on parting with any money. You’ll find it in Gallowgate to the East of the city, and it sells everything from white goods to fashion - and some very tasty homemade donuts to eat while you browse.
No umbrella? No problem! There’s no need to let the weather spoil your day of market browsing. At the weekend Merchant Square Craft Market you can browse stalls selling everything from handcrafted jewellery and candles to art and cupcakes - all lovingly made by artisans in Glasgow. And best of all, this stylish market is all under cover.
The brilliantly-named Granny Would Be Proud is an indoor market held one Sunday a month in the Hillhead Bookclub. Fun and creative, it brings together the finest sellers of vintage and retro fashion in the area and puts them all under one roof. Free to enter, make sure you arrive in time to try the delicious brunch. Check their Facebook page to find out when the next event takes place.
If you prefer your retail therapy of the designer kind, you’re in luck, because Glasgow has flagship stores and quirky boutiques all waiting to be explored. Plus there’s an entire arcade dedicated to all things bling.
A true representation of Glasgow’s history, Merchant City sees old 18th century warehouses, once owned by tobacco lords, transformed into some of the city’s coolest shops, boutiques, bars and restaurants. Luxury awaits as this is undoubtedly the place you could pick up that designer handbag you’ve been dreaming of. Versace, Armani and Ralph Lauren, the list goes on. Need to pick up a unique, one-off gift? You’ll find something different at the Merchant Square’s weekend crafts fair - there’s over 70 stalls to browse!
Princes Square is a stunning covered courtyard mall filled with a great mix of independent boutiques and designer labels, nestled amid some high-end high street brands. Amid the 30 stores covering fashion, beauty, gifts and homeware you’ll find Vivienne Westwood, Jo Malone and Space NK, as well as some great bars and restaurants, many of which stay open until midnight - perfect for the post-shopping cocktail.
The finest diamond jewellery, wedding rings and luxury watches can all be found in a single location on Argyle Street. Widely thought of as Scotland’s jewellery quarter, Argyle Arcade is one of Europe’s oldest covered shopping arcades and Scotland’s first ever indoor shopping mall. Whether you’re maxing out your credit card or just window shopping, you’ll find the Grade I-listed building is stunning. Then, our Argyle Street hotel is waiting for you to kick back and relax in a warm, cosy bed before you hit the shops all over again.