Oor Glesga: the unofficial guide to the real Glasgow

Nobody knows Glasgow better than the Evening Times - and our readers.

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So in this momentous year for the city, with the Commonwealth Games and the MTV Awards among the headline acts, we're putting together the definitive guide for official tourists, teuchters (Scots visiting from outside Glasgow) or just weegies looking for something new to do.

Never mind all the official attractions (Kelvingrove, the City Chambers, the Style Mile etc etc), these are the places you must visit to say you've truly been to the Dear Green Place. We're starting today with the first 25, but we really want your help to make this list work: you played a blinder with our Weegie Words last month, and we're confident you'll rise to the occasion again.

Make your suggestions in the categories below (or in a new category) and we'll credit you as we update the guide. Post your ideas in the comments section, and please remember to supply real, full names.

Have a swatch at (Do stop by for a look-see)

Lobey Dosser Statue, 160 Woodlands Road

Bodyswerve all the other dull folk commemorated in the "official" statues in George Square and head towards the yooni. Lobey Dosser is one quirky institution worthy of at least an Instagram post. It's a tribute to a legendary cartoon character who once featured in the Wild West comic strips with a Glesga twist by Bud Neill. The popular cartoonist drew for a number of the city's newspapers during his lifetime, including the Evening Times, and this funny wee statue is a loving tribute to the man and his greatest creation. A sister statue, of the GI Bride, has now parked her bahookie at Partick Station.

The Duke of Wellington statue (complete with traffic cone), Royal Exchange Square

He may have been a military hero, squashing Napoleon twice, served as PM, undertaken quite a few important social reforms (and given his name to a fairly well-known type of boots). But is that enough for us Glaswegians? Oh no, we find the best judgment comes via a traffic cone placed on his city centre statue. And, dear councillors, don't even think of reviving your daft plan to make the great man inaccessible atop a pedestal…

Hampden Park Football Museum

Glaswegians are passionate about the beautiful game, and if you love football as much as we do, the museum in the south side is well worth a visit. The home of our national team, and Queens Park FC, has more than 2500 pieces of Scottish footballing memorabilia. The Scottish Football Hall of Fame is a great way of finding out about some of the country's greatest footballers and a tour of the stadium evokes moments of glory. Or, this being Scotland, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Tenement House, 145 Buccleuch Street, Charing Cross

The Tenement House (or hoose, as we Weegies call it) is as authentic as it gets for a view of the past. Built in 1892, the flat was owned by an elderly lady - and it has never changed. (Makeover TV shows weren't around in those days). But seriously, when she died, the house was left to the church and they were going to sell it on to raise funds. An inspection was carried out, and somebody noticed its potential and decided to preserve it. So if you're Scottish, the next time an elderly relative has a moan about how hard it was in their day, this place might help you understand what they're going on about.

The Mitchell Library, North Street

OK, it's part of the city establishment, but every Weegie has been to the Mitchell Library at some point in their life - usually in the summer holidays when your parents ran out of things to do. It's a must for any visitor to the city: even Jeremy Paxman used the library to research his ancestors in TV show Who Do You Think You are? With a ton of family history resources and city archives, it's an essential venue to learn more about Glasgow history and/or prove your Scottish ancestry.

Glasgow Film Theatre, Rose Street

The GFT is quite simply an old school cinema which serves up a little bit of everything from Hollywood golden age classics to 3D popcorn flicks. You haven't truly seen a classic movie until you've seen it here. (Personally, I refuse to watch It's a Wonderful Life until I get round to seeing it at the GFT. Again. And again.) Lots of local stars also frequent the cinema, and different movie genres are celebrated throughout the year.

Suffrage Oak, Kelvin Way

Us Scots like to mark special occasions and when women were given the right to vote...we commemorated it. The plaque erected beside the oak in 1995states: "This Oak was planted by the Women's Suffrage organisation in Glasgow on 20 April 1918 to commemorate the granting of votes to women."

La Pasionara, Clyde Place

Another good cause: the figure of Spanish Civil War hero Dolores Ibarruri (nicknamed the passion flower or la pasionara) pays tribute to the 534 volunteers from Britain (65 from Glasgow) who lost their lives in the conflict. The statue was erected in 1979 at Custom House Quay despite the fact there was fierce opposition from Tory councillors at the time. It was sculpted in fibreglass by former shipyard welder-turned-artist Arthur Dooley, who was so poor he couldn't afford the fare from his Liverpool home to see his work erected. It has the inscription 'Better to die on your feet than live forever on your knees.'

Britannia Panopticon Music Hall, Trongate

Some people say the hall is haunted, but if you're not too scared of things that go bump in the night, it is well worth a visit. (We should add that the ghost is a chimpanzee - yes really! Why? Go find out) It is one of the oldest music halls in the world and is famed for the debut of a superstar: in 1906, Stan Laurel performed on stage before he later became part of the most famous comedy duo of all time with his mucker Ollie Hardy.

The Mackintosh Church at Queen's Cross, Maryhill

Our local boy done good. Just before getting to that other architectural wonder at Firhill, folk may mistakenly overlook one of the city's most famous buildings. The only church in the world designed by famous Glasgow designer and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh, this is a hidden gem, complete with recognisable floral motifs . As well as being open to the public and hosting a number of events, it also has a cafe, library and a shop.

Have a wee donder roon the shops (Inspect the retail opportunities we afford)

 

The Barras Market, Calton

One of the city's most famous institutions, the Barras weekend market was founded by couple James and Margaret McIver in the 1920s. Originally named after the "barrows" traders used to sell their wares, it now is a weekend market where you can get anything from fruit and veg to music, clothes and antiques. You can also get a piece and jam for 20p. Can't say fairer than that.

Polmadie Car Boot Sale, Jessie Street

When you visit places like Spain, you usually find a bargain or two at a hippie market. In Glasgow, it is the good old fashioned car boot sale. This is like a real life eBay but you get some Glasgow banter thrown in. Open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays all year round, the indoors sale takes place in a large, covered parking area. Who knows what you might find? And if you don't buy anything, at least it is an experience.

IJ Mellis Cheesemongers, Great Western Road

Truly an example of Scotland with Style: cheese of all shapes and sizes can be found in this fantastic speciality shop. Mellis's has been around since 1993 and, aside from Scottish cheeses, also have French, Spanish and Italian flavours among their inventory.

Crocket the Ironmonger, West Nile Street

You might not think you'll need to visit anywhere as humdrum as an ironmonger. But believe us, it sells literally everything. Literally. Well, not literally, but damn close. Now in its fifth and sixth generation of family management, Crocket's has stood proudly by as the likes of fashionable Buchanan Galleries and the Buchanan Quarter has sprouted up around it. Defiantly refusing to be outdone, this excellent emporium remains an indispensible part of the Glasgow landscape, helping out those who need, well, pretty much anything.

Fancy a swally? (Would you like an alcoholic beverage?)

Subway crawl

Our Subway system (an institution in itself) literally goes round in a circle and it takes half an hour to complete the entire journey, if that. But a bonus is the fact that there is a pub near every stop. And it has become a bit of a must for locals, or visiting hens and stags, to do a subway crawl at least once in their life. Simply get an all-day ticket, and c'mon, get aff…yer face. (But do drink responsibly at all times).

The Saracen Head, Gallowgate

The Sarry Heid, as we Weegies call it, is said to be the oldest pub in Glasgow (although the Scotia might have something to say about that). You can grab a pint and have a swatch at the historic memorabilia on display including a framed original manuscript of a Burns poem along with the skull of Maggie, a woman believed to be a witch who was burned at the stake in Glasgow Green during the 17th century. The White Tornado wine is recommended if you want to sample the best of what The Sarry Heid has to offer. If you want to say sober, it's not.

The Scotia, Stockwell Street

The famous Scotia Bar also likes to boast it's the oldest pub in Glasgow, and seeing it's been on the go since 1792, it's earned its keep. Situated near the Clyde, it was once popular with people coming aff the water after a hard day's graft. Still going strong, it boasts a lively music and writing scene and over the years punters have included the likes of Billy Connolly, Gerry Rafferty, James Kelman and William McIllvaney.

The Horseshoe Bar, Drury Street

If you can hold a tune, then this is the place for you. The Horseshoe is famed for its karaoke - but it is a tough crowd so if you sound squeakier than a mouse...maybe just stick to a pint. They also do really cheap and amazing three course meals. In the early days, Scottish rockers Travis used to practice at a vacated recording studio above the bar.

Going to the dancin’? (Are you light on your feet and do a mean two-step?) 

King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, St Vincent Street

This is a legendary venue in the city for live music. Everyone who is anyone has played or kick-started their career here, including Oasis. It's cheap, intimate and unforgettable.

The Garage, Sauchiehall Street

This is an institution among young people and students in Glasgow and, while we can't guarantee your shoes won't stick to the floor, we know that you'll have a fantastic time. You can't miss The Garage purely because it has a giant truck sticking out the front of the building. The DJ will have every song that made the top 40 in the past few decades, the drinks are cheap, and the dress code is pretty relaxed.

The Polo Lounge, Wilson Street

The Polo is one of Glasgow's most popular gay nightclubs. The venue hosts a variety of nights, drinks promotions and most importantly the DJ is always on the ball with best pop tunes.

Grand Ole Opry, Govan Road

Unashamedly untrendy, if you fancy a bit of country and western then the Grand Old Opry is the place for you. Opened in 1974, the venue has been hoedowning ever since. Line dance anyone?

Pure starvin’? (Are you in the mood for a bite to eat)

The Willow Tearooms, Sauchiehall Street

Nothing beat an afternoon tea, and the best place to get it in Glasgow has to be The Willow Tearooms. Charles Rennie Mackintosh created these tea rooms for socialite Kate Cranston in 1904. If you want to splash out, you should definitely have a champagne lunch.

Shish Mahal, Park Road

All true Scots love a good curry, and this is where it all began. The Shish opened its doors in 1964, making it Glasgow's first Indian restaurant. Famous for its Chicken Tikka Masala, the eatery is the heart and soul of the Asian restaurant scene in Scotland.

The University Cafe, Byres Road

Anyone who went to Glasgow University practically lived in this place when they were a student. It is old-fashioned, simple and traditional, and very much a must when you visit the west end. If you're hungover and need a fry up, this is the place to go. Or on the rare occasion we get good weather, the cafe is often queued out with people demanding 99 cones.

So that's your starter for 25: it's over to you now to share the hidden treasures of Glesga. Post your suggestions in the box below, using your real name, and we'll credit you as we update our guide.

Additional research by Kevin McGowan

Arts and Entertainment

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