Glasgow is Scotland's primary centre of business and industry and is one of Europe's top 20 financial centres. Glasgow's economic output makes a sizeable contribution to the British economy as a whole.
Historically known as an industrial city, Glasgow was the home of Scotland's shipbuilding and coal mining industry. During the 1980s, while Britain's ruling elite set about deindustrialising the country and shifting the economic focus towards service provision, Glasgow's financial district was created and banks and financial services firms emerged to dominate the city's economy.
Unlike its sister city and capital of Scotland, Edinburgh, which is more famed for its historical significance and ancient architecture, Glasgow's streets are awash with magnificent modern buildings, that reflect the city's cosmopolitan ambiance and modern lifestyle. The Science Centre and Glasgow Tower for example are two of Glasgow's most notable examples of modern architecture.
The city's shopping and theatre district reflects Glasgow's size and significance and the shopping Malls are second only to London.
Buchanan Street is Glasgow's main shopping precinct, and has been voted the 7th best shopping area in the world. The city holds an impressive retail portfolio and as well as the high street stores, the St Enoch Centre and Buchann Galleries house a selection of designer wear.
The merchant city area was regenerated in the 1980's and its warehouse conversions have transformed this industrial district to a much sought after property area. Many new cafes and restaurants have been recently opened and the area celebrates diversity, being Glasgow's gay district.
Glasgow's West End is the city's culture and education capital. In this bohemian district, there is a wide range of museums to suit all tastes, few of which charge entrance fees. Important museums include the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, the Hunterian Museum and the Museum of Transport.
To escape the hustle and bustle of the city, the botanical gardens provide a haven of tranquillity and calm. The University of Glasgow is also in the West End and its gothic spire, one of the city's major landmarks, can been seen throughout the city.