Shopping in Glasgow is one of the best-kept secrets in Europe. The city is second only to London for the most retail space in the UK, and attracts dedicated shoppers from all over the country.
The heart of the Glasgow shopping districts is the 'Golden Z', which zigzags through the city centre along the pedestrian malls of Argyle, Buchanan and Sauchiehall streets. Here you'll find all the major European brand names, with Buchanan Street and its mall the Buchanan Galleries attracting the most upmarket shops. The Argyle Arcade has a large concentration of jewellery shops, and Princes Square is a stylish centre set in a renovated Victorian building.
If chain stores aren't your fancy, nearby Bath Street and Hope Street are home to a number of independent shops and boutiques where you can find a unique Glasgow souvenir or gift. De Courcy's Arcade has a fun variety of book and music stores, and a few quirky independent gift shops. Popular Glasgow souvenirs include wool knits like cashmere sweaters, mittens and scarves; swirling paperweights of Caithness glass; and local food like smoked salmon and shortbread cookies.
There are also city centre markets that are well worth a visit, including the Barras in the East End, which boasts hundreds of market stalls selling all manner of items. Be wary of counterfeit goods however, as the market is rife with knock-offs and pirated goods.
There are a few popular shopping malls in Glasgow, mostly on the periphery of the city. The biggest and busiest can be found in Braehead, Silverburn and Glasgow Fort.
Shops in Glasgow are generally open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, closing later (8pm) on Thursday evenings. The shops in the outer parts of the city may be open slightly later, and more and more stores are opening on Sunday afternoons.