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American tourists rave about London and Dublin, but here's 4 reasons why you should consider booking a flight to Glasgow

Lauren Edmonds   

American tourists rave about London and Dublin, but here's 4 reasons why you should consider booking a flight to Glasgow
  • I visited Glasgow, Scotland, on a recent trip to the United Kingdom this fall.
  • American tourists always talk about London, but I was so impressed by Glasgow.

I only spent four days in Scotland, but I'm desperate to return.

I recently visited Glasgow as part of a 10-day girls' trip across Europe, where I also spent time in London and Brussels. Growing up, London was always touted as the popular destination for adventurous Americans who wanted to experience life across the pond.

While London is absolutely magical, I wish more people talked about Glasgow.

The nightlife isn't as monstrous as New York City's, but I still had a great time dancing the night away

I experienced nightlife in all three cities, but Glasgow was my favorite.

There are fewer nightclubs in Glasgow than in New York City, but the local bar scene more than makes up for it. One evening, we visited a daytime cafe-turned-evening cocktail bar called The Social based on a recommendation from a local. When we arrived at The Social, I was shocked by the sheer amount of people attempting to squeeze into the medium-sized room, where seating booths lined the walls, and a bar stood in the middle of the venue.

In fact, The Social was so packed when we visited that the bartenders ran out of cranberry juice midway through the night and had to offer alternatives. For a portion of the night, I sipped on a vodka and apple juice cocktail that proved surprisingly good.

Plus, I checked my bank account the following morning and realized I spent less money than I would have in New York City. On an average night out in New York City, I might spend anywhere from $55 to $70 at a popular night spot, but I only paid $58 for the entire night in Glasgow.

One thing that surprised me about The Social and other venues I visited during my adventure was the emphasis on American music. I expected to hear more local artists — maybe Harry Styles or Central Cee — but it was a steady rotation of American pop, R&B, and hip-hop music whenever someone turned on the radio.

The food was exceptional, especially haggis balls and black sausage

I also enjoyed Scottish cuisine while visiting Glasgow. My friend and I visited Singl-end, a local café and bakehouse, where I ordered the meaty breakfast: poached eggs, streaky bacon, loch byre link sausage, Stornoway black pudding, potato scone, grilled tomatoes, and smoky baked beans.

People who're squeamish about blood might be hesitant to try black pudding, but I found it a standout breakfast item. BBC Good Food reported that black pudding is a sausage made from animal blood, usually pork fat and oatmeal, before being packed into a casing.

Haggis balls also blew my mind while dining at The Ivy Buchanan Street. It was my first time trying haggis, and I wasn't disappointed by the meaty food. Haggis is a Scottish sausage made with parts of a sheep and cow, oatmeal, and seasoning. Some Americans may not have tried haggis, which includes sheep's lungs, because the US banned livestock lungs from human food in 1971.

While locals told us to explore Edinburgh's historic sites, we found plenty of interesting options in Glasgow

Whenever I spoke with Glasgow residents about visiting Scotland, they suggested I take the train an hour away to Edinburgh Castle and other historic sites. While we didn't make it to Edinburgh, we still tried to learn about Glasgow by visiting the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in the city's West End.

There, I learned about a group of artists dubbed The Glasgow Boys and examined Joseph Noel Paton's painting, "The Fairy Raid: Carrying Off a Changeling, Midsummer Eve."

We also stopped by the Glasgow Cathedral and walked through local neighborhoods like Kelvingrove, Merchant City, Blythswood Hill, and Townhead. Merchant City had many shops and eateries, making it one of the more fun neighborhoods.

Learning about Scotland's culture was interesting, and I want to visit again to get the full experience.