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A Tale of Two Cities: Glasgow Vs. Edinburgh

Today marks the start of a short series I'll be doing on this blog for the next couple of weeks. As an Edinburgh native I absolutely love this city, and so I've decided to dedicate some of my blog space to what is known as the Athens of the North! Today we're focusing on a common question people ask when they're coming to Scotland; should I visit Glasgow or Edinburgh? We'll be focusing on the main differences between the two cities so that you can make an informed choice about which is right for you.


The first, and main, difference between the two cities is their purpose. Edinburgh is a tourist city. Everything about it has been designed for tourism. From the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the summer to the Christmas Markets in the winter, Edinburgh is built for a significant level of tourism. As a result, it's a really accessible place to visit for someone who is new to travelling, or someone who enjoys the tourist attractions, such as museums, zoos, etc. Glasgow, on the other hand, is a more authentic city, for want of a better word. It's built for people to really live and work there; it's more industrial and real. While there are still plenty of amazing tourist attractions to visit, such as Kelvingrove and the Science Centre, Glasgow centres around shopping, eating, and working! It's a beautiful city all the same, but it's better built for those who are experienced travellers or those who prefer visiting a country to see how the people really live their lives.


The second difference is here for the sports fans out there. Sports are a huge part of Scottish culture. If you want a truly authentic Scottish experience I recommend seeking out some kind of sporting match. If you're looking for football (soccer), Glasgow is the place to be. The rivalry between Celtic and Rangers is infamous not only in Scotland but throughout the UK and Europe. If rugby if more your thing, then you're probably better suited for Edinburgh. Murrayfield Stadium is a staple of Scottish rugby, and is an incredible place to view the Scotland team play in an electric atmosphere.


Location can also be a big factor in your decision of where to visit. Edinburgh and Glasgow are only about an hour's train ride or drive away, but they are also on the opposite ends of the country. Edinburgh sits on the East coast, and Glasgow sits near the West coast. So if you're looking for a road trip kind of vacation where you can stop in a city but then head further a field I would recommend Glasgow. Don't get me wrong, the East coast of Scotland is beautiful, but if you're looking for a really spectacular road trip, there's nothing like the West coast. Starting off in Glasgow, you can drive up through Loch Lomond National Park all the way up into the Highlands. It's breathtakingly beautiful. Meanwhile, Edinburgh is better suited for those who wish to stay in one place and maybe take day trips, while returning back to the city each day. The neighbouring counties of East Lothian, Midlothian, and West Lothian are beautiful in and of itself. East Lothian has beautiful beaches and hikes that are fantastic for nature lovers. There's plenty to explore in the surrounding areas!


The fourth and final difference centres around food (the most important one, in my opinion). If fine dining is your thing, then I would recommend visiting Edinburgh. There are many fancy restaurants and Michelin star dining for those who enjoy the finer things in life. Glasgow, on the other hand, has less of the fancy food, but more of the amazing one-off dining locations that you can't find anywhere else. There's always somewhere new and exciting to find to eat in Glasgow. It really just depends on what you're looking for!

And that's it; those are my main differences between Glasgow and Edinburgh. I hope this has been useful to you in making a decision. Although of course, the best decision is to visit both! Do you have any favourite spots in Edinburgh or Glasgow? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

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