Glasgow's a strange mix: in-yer-face locals, cool arty types; world-famous club scene, sectarian club scene; dead-end architecture, to-die-for architecture; cafes and clubs, dens and dives. Whatever you want from your student days, you'll find it here. All across the city, there's character and there are characters. Be cool, have fun, chill out, dance, smile and go for it


like Clockwork

Forget your degree in

bevvying, this is the ultimate challenge: 14 underground stops, 14 pubs, 14 drinks. The rules

are simple: have one drink at every stop on the Clockwork Orange, at the nearest pub to the station. South of the river, the pubs are as orange as the tube itself. To give you an idea, the nearest pub to Ibrox station is the Rangers Stadium Bar, the only pub I know with a chip shop inside. Completing the crawl is like conquering Glasgow. Fittingly, if you succeed, you will have the rare privilege of being even smellier than the

tube carriages.


Get the chop

In England, they say: ''Short back and sides?'' In Glasgow three words suffice: ''How much 'aff?'' Make sure your reply is precise. ''Just a trim'' will get you a clear view of your scalp. A long, rambling description of the latest style will get you a doing, or at the very least a menacing look. If things get sticky, try pointing to one of the photos on the wall - the ones that haven't changed since the 1970s. Whatever you do, don't tell him you're a student. He already knows. Glasgow barbers have seen it all in their time and if you go regularly, so will you. To enjoy it, get involved. Admire dodgy goods in passing salesmen's holdalls, pledge allegiance to whichever side of the Old Firm is appropriate or, best of all, get chatted up by the lady barber who insists on calling you ''son''. ''So yir a student are ye, son? Dae ye like Limp Bizkit? Ah pure love Limp Bizkit.''


The COOL Union

You come to university to meet exciting people, broaden your mind and to have a decent night out. Then you get to your Union and find it's a back to skool disco. Thank funk for the Art School. It's open to all, the booze is cheap, and the music is as adventurous, beautiful and open-minded as the people on the dancefloor. Highlights include Record Playerz on Thursdays and Friday's Mixed Bizness - a monthly night showcasing breakdancers, beat-boxers, scratch DJs and live p-funk bands.

Glasgow School of Art Union, 176 Renfrew Street.


Tower power

Glasgow's most celebrated landmark (unless you're a Strathclyde student), the Gilbert Scott, is a crumbling dinosaur of a building. Don't be fooled though. Glasgow University's tower is neo-Gothic, which means it's not as old as it looks. The tower was designed by the same bloke who designed red phone boxes. To get a better view, arrive at the Visitors' Centre every Friday at 2pm, when an old gent with an even older key will unock the door to the spiral staircase to the tower-top platform. Once at the top, try phoning your friends and waving like a dafty. Most importantly, take a long look at the Glasgow's tower blocks. If you live in the west end bubble, it may be the closest you get to them .


take a tea break

Nothing will quite prepare you for the first time you set eyes on Tchai Ovna in Otago Lane. Hidden at the bottom of an inconspicuous alley, you stumble upon a secret garden attached to a ramshackle building with a carved wooden door. Inside is a den of bohemian relaxation. Sink into an old sofa, smoke a pipe of shisha (organic tobacco) and let the tchai masters treat you to soothing teas of myriad flavours. Specialities include Arctic Fire, Spicemaster and Yogi Yogi tchai. Teas of the world are beautifully described on their menu, so don't worry if you don't know your Oolong from your Assam.


go to the dogs

If you fancy an evening eyeing up Hotshow Katie and Pinetree Peggy chasing a stuffed bunny, Shawfield's the place. More fun than the horses, less confusing than the pools, betting on the dogs is all about the atmosphere. Betting is easy. Watch as five wrinkly old men parade five even wrinklier dogs. Choose the one that looks nicest or has the stupidest name. Then stride up to the gruff Weegie behind the betting counter and announce you'll put everything you've got on Fred's My Dad. Two pounds fifty. To win. Then join the drunks in the stands to roar on your mutt. The ground and regulars have seen better days, but for a glimpse of working man's Glasgow, this is the most entertaining way to do it.


Get on the guest List

People say Glasgow is the Barcelona of the north. What they mean is it's a young people's paradise. You can spend your entire lifetime in a whirlwind of style bars, rock gigs, superstar djs and secret parties. If you ever have the misfortune of being awake by daylight, you can always just go out shopping, because you'll have money to burn if you get on the guest list. It's not about being cool, it's about living comfortably. You can shiver to death in a queue full of neds under a smelly railway bridge for the right to pay 25 quid to squeeze into a sweat pit. Or you can stroll right in at half past anytime and buy your mates a round. Get on the list. Hand out flyers for the club, work at the bar or write gig reviews. Just get on the guest list.


prepare for battle

To get to an Old Firm match you have to beg, borrow or steal. All three activities make good preparation for the most dirty, savage, cut-throat sports event you'll experience. Fifty thousand screaming hard cases hurling abuse at 22 millionaire

footballers. It'll put hairs on your chest and pies in your belly. Other souvenirs may include bruises and new swear words.



It's an electro-shock disco-punk whorehouse for freaks. It's the sound of a man having an argument with his record collection. If you love music, you will love Optimo. Just ask the cult of kids who queue round the block every week to go mental to DJs Twitch, Wilkes and Lady Miss Roland, their sampler. Say goodbye to your Mondays, Optimo is so good restaurants have banned their staff from going. Their poster says it all: ''You won't like it, sugar.''

Optimo at The Sub Club, Jamaica Street, Sundays, 11pm-3am.

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Dr Paul's pub quiz

Trivia addicts: if you want to take part in the ultimate test of movie, sports, history and current affairs knowledge, don't even think about coming to Dr Paul's legendary pub quiz. Glasgow's most foul-mouthed comic quiz host has developed a fiendishly entertaining format, whereby punters score points for correctly speculating on the foolish endeavours of B-rate celebrities. Various daft rounds make great heckling fodder for a lively audience and ensure that everyone (no, really, everyone) is in with a drunken chance of reaching the grand final - where contestants throw darts to win the (pounds) 100 loot. If no-one wins, the money rolls over until next week. Dangerously addictive.

Monday at Cul De Sac (Ashton Lane) and Wednesday at Uisge Beatha (Woodlands Road).


primate site

In the heart of Glasgow yuppie central, the last thing you'd expect to find is a vibrant arthouse cafe, where graffiti-writers mingle with musicians and maverick cycle couriers fuel their harem-scarem antics. Where The Monkey Sleeps, in West Regent Street, is the perfect escape from the city-centre grind. Rumour has it that WTMS was born when two frustrated baristas got tired of slaving in corporate coffee shops and decided to set up their own alternative. The result is a den of comfy couches, art exhibits and outrageously tasty sandwiches. Murder a Man From Iran, wolf down a bowl of Nuclear Beans, and wash it all down with a delicious Bob Monkhouse smoothie. It is all good.


Play Begbie

A red-brick bolt-hole in the heart of Maryhill, Crosslands isn't what you'd call a student-friendly joint. But it's worth a quick pint for one reason alone. It's the only pub in Glasgow where you can recreate a classic moment from Trainspotting. Remember the scene: Begbie lobs a pint glass over a balcony and it smashes on to a girl's head. Begbie storms down the stairs, claims everyone and a giant rumble ensues. A visit to Crosslands today reveals that the bar and the balcony are still exactly as they were. To make it even more authentic, the pub is still full of hard cases. In a bar full of real-life Begbies, one pint is probably enough.

Crosslands, 182 Queen

Margaret Drive.


May Day

The annual public holiday is better known in student circles as a giant street party. Samba drummers and carnival dancers lead a procession from the south side through the city centre and to the west end. For anarchists, anti-capitalists and general mentalists, the march is all about ''reclaiming the streets'' for the masses. For the rest, it's a chance to stroll through the city on sunny day and dance until dusk in Kelvingrove Park. Bring something nice to drink and then have a go at climbing the trees.


see the Woody

In the west end at closing time, there are only two choices: go home or go to the Woody. The latter is the choice of champions. It's the equivalent of being on Family Fortunes and going for the car - a gamble which is always worth it even if it ends in disaster. Why? Because stepping into the Woodside is a step into the beyond, a place where drunk people turn into wild animals. A decrepit old man's social club full of crusties, pool sharks and crazed disco dancers. It's also the last chance saloon if you want to get that girl/guy on your course drunk enough to sleep with you. It doesn't matter who's DJ-ing, ordinary people will still be dancing like gremlins.

Woodside Social Club, 329 North Woodside Road.


Go Brazilian

Long before Juninho's arrival at Celtic Park, the spirit of Rio De Janeiro was alive and kicking in Glasgow, thanks to two of Brazil's best loved art forms: samba drumming and the martial art, capoeira. There are around 40 percussionists in the Samba ya Bamba batteria, but when you hear them boom out their addictive rhythms, it sounds like more. Capoeira, pictured, is often described as a cross between breakdancing and kung-fu. In fact, it's more fun than both put together. Players pair up and try to mirror each other's acrobatic movements.

If you want to see for yourself, both samba and capoeira are often showcased at two of Glasgow's best club nights: Bebado, monthly at the

Riverside Club, and the

Carnival specials at Instant Access, in the Sub Club. See Herald Going Out Guide

for details.

Samba Ya Bamba recruit new members through beginners classes at the Glasgow School Of Art ( Beginners classes in capoeira run Mon/Wed, 6pm, at the Carnival Arts Workshop, 34 Albion Street.


Bard In The bushes

For many, Shakespeare's plays were all set in a school assembly hall, where the gods were the vindictive teachers who forced poor young girls to confess undying love to spotty blokes while the entire school sniggered. But before you rule out Shakespeare, make sure you see it in a more beautiful setting: the crisp lawns, rose gardens and grassy knolls of the Botanic Gardens. The Victorian grandeur of the Botanics brings out the poetry of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. Of course, being a public park, there's always the chance some neds will wander in with a bottle of Buckfast, but that's part of the appeal.

Bard in the Botanics: throughout July as part of the West End Festival.



Better known as Clatty Pat's (clatty is Scots for manky), the west end's most notorious nightspot has the reputation of being a meat-market. So much so that people are always suspiciously quick to protest they have ''never actually been there''. Whatever, owning up to going to Cleopatra's seems to carry as much stigma as announcing you have herpes. It's probably no worse than the Shack or the Hive. Go once, by all means, but if you do get caught, try using the ''so bad it's good'' excuse or claim you ''just wanted to see what kind of weirdos actually go to dives like that''. It might work but, of course, I wouldn't know. I've never been to Cleopatra's.

Cleopatra's, Belmont Lane, off Great Western Road.


Art for all

The degree show is a feast for the imagination. For seven glorious days in June, exploring the cavernous corners of the Mackintosh building at the Art School is a magical tour through the minds of Glasgow's bright young things. With hundreds of exhibitors across many genres and media, there's something here for everyone: serious buffs will be queuing up to make offers for the fine art,while casual art fans may prefer interacting with the innovative new product designs or playing with the multi-media graphic art installations. If

you're lucky, the artist will be there to discuss their work, but don't count on it - many of

them will still be recovering

from the revelry of the

unmissable opening night street party. Get down early and entertain yourself by trying to spot all the kids who got firsts. (They're the ones who can no longer stand up.)

Glasgow School of Art, 167 Renfrew Street.


Uisge Beatha

Uisge Beatha means many things to many people. To some, it's a home from home: a cosy, cavernous retreat from the Glasgow winter. To others, it's a kind of eccentric Scottish gentleman's club - a place to recline, smoke cigars and feign an appreciation for Scots heritage. Translates as ''water of life'' - whisky, to you and I. What really packs the punters in to the Uisge every night is the atmosphere. If you hate west end style bars, mullets and credit cards, and you think house DJs get in the way of conversation, Uisge Beatha will be your water of life.

232 Woodlands Road.



If you're looking for the source of student apathy, you'll find it in Offshore. This sunny cafe is a desert island of cosy sofas and shipwrecked people. Offshore is the perfect place to waste time. Glance around and you'll spot students pretending to study but are really on unofficial dates. lt's the kind of place where single men read novels to try to make themselves look more attractive. Kick back, order some home-made soup and watch the world go by.

Offshore, Gibson Street.


GO Underground

Glasgow's club scene is world famous. Its celebrated big venues (Arches, Sub Club, Art School) play host to legends of house music every weekend. If you're after a more raw, organic clubbing experience, keep your ear to the ground. Sometimes literally. In tunnels, warehouses and fields, the free party movement is still alive.


Ruined Castles

People often say Glasgow would be more attractive if it had a castle. In fact, there is one and it is not overrun with cheesy tourists. Mugdock Castle and country park is a secluded and romantic place to spend a sunny day. The walled gardens and surrounding woods are as pretty as any in Scotland. You can

cycle there from the west end in half an hour, stopping off on the way at the reservoir at Milngavie. On the way back, stop for a

meal by the Forth-Clyde canal

at Lock 27 restaurant on

Crow Road.


Cabin Exchange

Answer this: in which intimate venue can you shoot Wonderwoman with a spud-gun, enter a dance-off and take on all-comers at ping-pong? If you answer ''a small industrial container outside Byres Road Safeway'', you've already heard about Cabin Exchange. For one week each November, a group of Glasgow School of Art students place containers around Glasgow. Artists, musicians and punters create works which invite public interaction. Last year's exhibits ranged from the serious to the bizarre: a Swedish sauna and the chance to ''wrestle to maintain your artistic status''. By taking art out of the galleries and into the public realm, Cabin Exchange aims to engage passers-by who would baulk at the idea of going to a gallery. Check out the weird and wonderful examples on


Park Life

Believe it or not, Glasgow has 70 public parks, making it one of Britain's greenest cities. The success of Glasgow's parks is their ability to multi-task. On a sunny day, Kelvingrove Park is a magnet for drummers, poi-spinners, skaters and steamers. The lawn of the Botanic Gardens doubles as a beach when the sun dares to shine. But if you'd rather not witness bare-chested blokes staging unnecessarily acrobatic frisbee catches to impress the laydeez, the adjoining Kelvin walkway is a convenient escape route. Further out, Queen's Park is a tranquil retreat, while Pollok Park is home to the Burrell Collection.


Clyde Water bus

The Pride o' the Clyde is one of Glasgow's best-kept secrets. The boat sails from the city centre down the river, while the captain's commentary tells the history of old shipyards. In their place stand the impressive Science Centre and the Armadillo, which make for stunning viewing. To complete the transition from old Glasgow to new, the ship drops you at Braehead shopping mall.

The Pride o' the Clyde sails from underneath Central Station bridge: (pounds) 3 single, (pounds) 5 return. See



Forget Scotland with Style, Glasgow is the nation's capital of smiles. In a recent survey, Comic Relief went to 10 British cities and smiled at 100 passers-by. Glaswegians returned 68 smiles, while in Edinburgh, only a miserable four people smiled back. That makes Glaswegians 17 times friendlier than residents of the east-coast holiday resort.


Paddy's market

Paddy's market makes the Barras look positively sophisticated. It takes the form of a cobbled alleyway, packed with purveyors of finest second-hand tat: toys, CDs, clothes, seven Kit-Kats for a pound, that kind of thing.

Paddy's is very, very Glasgow, so make sure you go. Every day, in and around the Briggait.



Supermarket shopping is miserable. If you're buying fruit and veg, go to the greengrocer. For everything else, there's KRK. The west end's famous Asian store is a bazaar of exotic grub. Delicious halal meat is cheap and fresh. If you're looking for a catalyst to spice up your cooking, you'll find it here. A particular favourite are the gulabjamins, a sweet Indian donut.

140 Woodlands Road.



The best film house in the city. Glasgow Film Theatre's commitment to showing the finest independent films is so reliable you can pretty much turn up on any night. Thanks to the grandeur of the beautiful interiors, you'll be reminded of how special a night out at pictures used to be.

GFT, 12, Rose Street.



A cutting-edge record shop, a vegan restaurant and a laid-back cafe, all under one roof. Like its sister-cafe, Stereo, Mono is a rendezvous for Glasgow's musical community and the staff know exactly how to look after regulars. Soak up a pint of their home-made ginger beer while you browse through a record shop healthily stocked with whatever is avant.

King's Court, 10, King Street.


GO Down River

Only for the brave. The river Kelvin may look pretty from

a distance but on closer

inspection it's a murky beast. Nevertheless, this stunt is great for a dare. Enter the river at

the north-west corner of the Botanic Gardens and see how far you can go on a dinghy, rubber ring or, for maximum visual effect, an inflatable chair. Kelvingrove Park is a good finishing target but the Clyde isn't impossible.


go ninety

The number 90 is the alternative Glasgow tour bus. Although it's a little smellier than the real thing, it's certainly much cheaper and can even be done by accident. A trip round the Inner Circle takes you through Springburn, Sighthill, Govan and Maryhill. Don't be put off by their reputations: Glasgow's heartlands are as worthy of your attention as any museum or gallery. There's no tour guide as such, but it's a fair bet someone with a little local knowledge will be only too happy to befriend you.


Scooby Snax

Chips and cheese for heart disease, Scooby snacks for heart attacks. Don't believe me? You will when you first try to get your jaws around the colossal gastronomic gargoyle that is the Scooby snack. It's roll stuffed with two burgers, two sausages, bacon, corned beef and whatever else is lurking in the deep-fat fryer. To finish one is impressive. to gobble six equals the record and if you can stomach seven you get them for free. Scooby Snacks are sold at the chip van known as the Maggie, outside the Botanic Gardens.


Vegas @ the Ferry

Vegas is every bit as glamorous and decadent as you'd expect. Get your glad rags on and dance the night away to swing classics from your hosts Frankie Sumatra and Dino Martini. Gamble your Vegas dollars at the casino and raise a cocktail glass to the Vegas dancing girls, all in the sparkling surrounds of Glasgow's floating dance hall, the Renfrew Ferry.

The Renfrew Ferry, 42, Clyde Place.


BE on River City

If you're not already a fan of Glasgow's TV soap, you soon will be when it's a straight choice between River City and revision city. Once you're acquainted with Shellsuit Bob and the cast of crooks, two-timers and backstabbers who inhabit Shieldinch, why not get a bit closer to the action by becoming an extra? There can be no better souvenir of your time in Glasgow than a video tape of you in the background of Gina's Oyster Cafe, miming: ''This tea's pure boggin.'' To achieve the dream, you must first audition for one of five casting agencies: Cairns, GBM, United Casting, Bissett and Camcast.


Blockade Faslane

Within 10 miles of Glasgow there are enough nuclear missiles to destroy almost the entire planet. If this makes you a little uneasy and you want to protest about it, Faslane peace camp is the place to do it. There are caravans and tree houses next to the naval base which houses Trident subs. You can visit Faslane any time but the highlight is the annual Big Blockade, when thousands of protesters make a nuisance of themselves at the gates.

The Big Blockade is in August.



This beautifully converted west end kirk is a pub for all seasons. On a summer afternoon, it boasts the best beer garden in Glasgow; when the winter chill turns your underheated halls into a hypothermic house, curling up beside a roasting fire will restore your will to live.

Cottier's, 93-95 Hyndland Street.


King Tut's

Silly name, legendary venue. This is the where Alan McGee discovered Oasis, pictured opposite. King Tut's is the jewel in Glasgow's musical crown.

King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, 272a, St Vincent Street.


The Arches

A subterranean labyrinth with an irresistible grimy chic, the Arches defies definition. A theatre, art space, live music venue: if this place was in the former Soviet bloc it would be called a Palace of Culture. Perhaps most

famous as the home of some of Glasgow's most explosive

club nights.

The Arches, 253, Argyle Street.


Ashton Lane

Beloved of young trendies who spill out on to cobbled streets clutching overpriced European beers in a funny shaped glasses. A stylish new cinema (it's actually old but it's been yuppified) where you can take in drinks that aren't served in plastic cups and aren't fizzy pop. There's a Belgian themed bar/restaurant that boasts a strip of grass out the back (one of the only beer gardens in Glasgow) as well as live jazz and DJ sets from Belle & Sebastian types. You could also impress someone you fancy by booking a table at the Ubiquitous Chip. It's cheaper than taking them to Paris. Just.