Princes Square is easily the most favored and famous shopping center in Glasgow - probably because of its high-quality shops and art nouveau surroundings. The stylish cafes, bars and restaurants also prove a potent draw and are all open until midnight. The building dates from 1841, although the original architect (John Baird) would recognize little in the modern interior, which boasts a glass ceiling and elevators as well as lavishly ornate ironwork and a grand staircase. When you tire of looking around the five floors of shops, many of which cannot be found elsewhere in Scotland, relax with a coffee and admire the mosaics, fountain and Foucault Pendulum.
Buchanan Street forms the art and lifestyle center of the city. It is where the young and old flock to and spend some quality time. This elegant boulevard is lined with spectacular architectural gems and provides some of the finest shopping options. If you are a shoe junkie, you are bound to get lost in the vast array of stylish brands you get to chose from. The center also has entire sections dedicated to women's and men's wear. Buchanan Street is where you will find the most sophisticated runway trends.
Go in wearing ordinary boring everyday clothes, and come out dressed ready for adventure in a khaki flared safari suit. Of all the vintage outlets in the city, this is the most eclectic and exciting. Sadly, the fantastic display of 70's Y-fronts is not for sale, but the most intense craving for luridly patterned polyester can be satisfied easily here, as well as less garish clothing needs.
The main streets are pedestrianized in the city center, Sauchiehall Street, Buchanan Street and Argyle Street. Look up and you'll discover many of the shops, however modern their fronts, are actually housed in beautiful Victorian buildings with ornate detailing. There are plenty of good shopping centers for a bit of retail therapy. The famous Buchanan Galleries is housed at the end of Sauchiehall Street(which turns into Buchanan Street), and Princes Square, the crowned jewel of the shopping area, is housed a few blocks away.
You can find almost anything at this indoor/outdoor marketplace, "from an anchor to a needle." It's sometimes raided by the police because some of the stalls sell goods of slightly dubious origin, i.e. they "fell off the back of a lorry." Still, a trip to the Barras is a fun day out, as you can browse for hours through seemingly endless stalls. On the last Saturday of every month, there's a special Farmers Market where you can find organic meat, fruit, vegetables, bread, cheeses, free range eggs and countless other things. Be warned, however: traders usually sell out around midday so make sure you're early. If you get hungry, there are a few cafes nearby. The more adventurous will appreciate a hot dog or mussels from one of the vans.
Anyone who's ever wanted to run away and join the circus will love this colorful shop. The best toys are the old-fashioned ones that don't break when accidentally stood upon, and that's exactly what you'll find here. They stock chunky toy boats, juggling equipment, kites, face paints, rocking horses, parachutes, earth balls, puppets, Russian matrioshka dolls, clockwork toys, stocking fillers and much, much more. The owners also organize circus skills workshops and hire out clowns for special occasions.
Curling Supplies (trading as Corston Sinclair Ltd) operates from a 40,000 square foot factory in East Kilbride, providing a full range of clothing and equipment for the Scottish sport of curling. For over 12 years, it has supplied ice rinks and sports shops both home and abroad. For the curler on the street, this is also the place to come. Claiming to stock 12 different styles of curling shoes, 15 different brushes, three styles of gloves and mitts, as well as slacks, sliders and anti-sliders, the showroom is surely worth a visit to any keen curler who is passing by.
With a "pile it high and sell it low" attitude these people are determined to spread the word about fine wines. There are regular spotlights on wine-producing countries like Chile, New Zealand and Argentina, and an indication of which wines are vegetarian or organic. The most novel aspect to this shop is the sizable discount on bulk buys (six bottles or more), but look out for other special offers and bin ends of famous names at knockdown prices. It's aimed at the party/wedding market but with competitive prices on single bottles, along with an unparalleled range, it's open to everyone. Specially selected bottles are always offered for sampling, there's also free parking, a party service, glass loan and free delivery.
Here, diamonds are arranged in every possible way; rings, necklaces, earrings, cuff-links and even watches. Special wedding ranges fill the glittering display that attracts plenty of window shoppers. Inside, expect the kind of service usually reserved for gold credit card holders only but with a policy of affordability for all, their prices aren't prohibitive.
Pull up a comfy chair while one of the immaculate assistants in this shop shows you tray after tray of goodies. Watches are a specialty, with all the usual Swiss names available - Raymond Weil, Rado and Tissot. Make sure you have a good relationship with your bank manager before going in as exclusivity comes with a bumper price tag. For those who can afford the very best, this is Glasgow's premiere diamond and gemstone retailer.
Known in Glasgow for many years as the "ring specialists", these people really do know a thing or two about that most personal and meaningful of gifts. Diamonds, 9 carat and 18 carat gold, and platinum feature highly in their exclusive range. A professional fitting and design service will help you personalize your choice and the staff are courteous, polite and helpful. Another fine jeweler and gem retailer in the city.
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