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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > United Kingdom > Scotland > Glasgow

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Shopping in Glasgow

With over 1,500 shops, Glasgow is the UK's largest shopping destination outside of London with everything from alternative fashions and designer brands to vintage shops and antiques.

Key areas

The 'Style Mile' refers to the square mile of over 200 high-street stores and designer outlets in the centre and includes Buchanan Street, Argyle Street, and Merchant City. Argyll Arcade, one of Europe's oldest covered shopping arcades, built in 1827, has over 30 jewellers.

For designer brands try Ingram Street, which is lined with designer brands from Ralph Lauren to Emporio Armani and runs from Royal Exchange Square to the Merchant City.

For more bohemian shopping opportunities visit the West End, which includes antique and vintage shops around Ashton Lane.

Markets

For bookshops, antique stores, and second-hand clothing emporia try visiting Merchant City and the West End.

The Barras open-air street market between Gallowgate and London Road in the East End sells antiques, bric-à-brac, clothing, food, CDs, and books. Open at weekends from 1000-1700 hours.

Glasgow is also renowned for its independent music stores, as it is a UNESCO City of Music.

Shopping centres

The Buchanan Galleries is one of Britain's largest city-centre retail projects with over 90 outlets including John Lewis, Swarovski and Hollister. Other spots include the refurbished St Enoch Centre and designer stores at Princes Square set in a renovated 1841 merchant square.

Opening hours

In general, shops are open Mon-Sat 0900-1730/1800 hours. Some larger stores open until 1900 hours, including the St Enoch Centre, Buchanan Galleries, Debenhams, House of Fraser and John Lewis. Most are open on Sunday.

Souvenirs

Tartan clothes, Commonwealth Games merchandise, Charles Rennie Mackintosh designs, haggis, whisky, shortbread, and fudge are among the most popular relics.

Tax information

A Value Added Tax (VAT) of 20% is included in the price of many goods. Under the Retail Export Scheme, overseas visitors can obtain tax relief on goods if leaving the country for destinations outside the EU. You should complete a form at the time of purchase at the retailer's premises in full and submit refund document to the customs authority at the point of departure.