Should You Visit Glasgow Or Edinburgh?

If you’re about to set off on a Scottish motorhome holiday, you’re probably considering visiting one of the big cities.

Scotland isn’t all about the lochs and mountains, after all! In fact, visiting a city is one of the best ways to get a real taste of modern Scottish life, especially if you’ve narrowed it down to the big two.

Glasgow and Edinburgh are the most popular cities in Scotland, and for good reason. They’re fun, beautiful, cultured, and with so much history you’ll think you’ve stepped into one of your old school textbooks.

Both are must-visits, but if you’re trying to pack several places into one trip, you might be faced with the difficult decision of choosing just one. So how do you choose? 

Among us Scots, there’s a never-ending debate about which city is better, but our petty sibling rivalry isn’t going to give you much to go on. You need an honest guide to the best things about each city, so that’s just what we’ve done. 

Below are five great things about Glasgow and Edinburgh that should help you decide which city to visit on your motorhome hire adventure! 

The Best Things About Glasgow

Let’s start with Glasgow, the home of whisky, Lewis Capaldi, and waterproofs. Here are the five main reasons it could be worth a visit:

  • The Nightlife

One of the first arguments in the great debate is that Glasgow has better nightlife than Edinburgh. And we have to say, we agree with that one. While Edinburgh is a beautiful city full of activity, the variety of nightclubs, bars and events makes Glasgow one of the best nights out in the country. 

  • The Iconic Music Scene

Speaking of venues, one of the reasons Glasgow is Scotland’s most trendiest town is because of its iconic music scene. We mentioned Lewis Capaldi earlier, but several famous musicians have come out of this city, and that’s because of how nurturing it is to newcomers in the music scene. 

  • The Friendliness (Yes, Really!)

Glasgow? Friendly?! Yes! It’s a really unfair stereotype that Glaswegians are grumpy. Maybe it was in the past, seeing as it rains for nearly 200 days of the year. But ever since they invented waterproofs, everyone’s been pretty cheery. Honest!

  • The Food Scene

It’s a known fact that Glasgow is pretty much the Paris of the Scotland food scene. Excluding the deep-fried Mars bar, Glasgow is known for some beautiful delicacies, all of which are served in the most romantic Glaswegian restaurants, including Gost, Ralph And Finnes and Cail Bruich. 

  • The Modern Feel

Lastly, one of the most significant differences between Glasgow and Edinburgh is how modern Glasgow feels. This is a city that has changed with the times, while also keeping its traditional roots and beautiful architecture. In this way, if you want an accurate representation of modern Scotland, Glasgow is probably the place for you.

The Best Things About Edinburgh

Now what about the Old Reekie? Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and therefore attracts three times more visitors than Glasgow per year. But are they right?

  • The Architecture

Let’s start with the architecture. The buildings in Glasgow are, of course, beautiful. But Edinburgh architecture hits on another level. Whether it’s the old buildings on the Royal Mile or the incredible Scotts Monument on Princes Street, the architecture here will blow your socks off… before the bitter wind makes you pull them straight back on!

  • The Green Space

One thing that might surprise you about Edinburgh is how green it is. It might be a town full of glorious architecture, but places like Prince’s Park and Holyrood Park have so much greenery that you’ll think you’re back traversing the Highlands! Note, we still recommend parking our vehicles in one of the nearby caravan parks. It’s still a capital city, mind!

  • The Spaciousness In General!

Speaking of greenery, we wanted to note the comparative spaciousness of Edinburgh. Because it’s a modern city, Glasgow can feel a little more urban and, for want of a better word, boxy – yeah, we really wanted a better word there. Edinburgh, on the other hand, feels open and airy. This is beneficial when it comes to the big events that take place here, such as…

  • The Fringe

Huh, another blog about Edinburgh mentions the Fringe Festival. But how can we not? The Fringe Festival defines Edinburgh, just like the Glastonbury Festival defines… well, Glastonbury! Every year, thousands of people descend onto the streets, participating in various artistic ventures and shows. It’s a victory lap for Edinburgh’s glorious arts scene, showing the world exactly how creative this city is. 

  • The Olde Worlde Feel

We finished the “Best Bits of Glasgow” with a mention of the modern feel, so we’ll finish Edinburgh by discussing the same — albeit opposite — thing! Edinburgh is a perfect spot if you’re into your history and want to explore a place with an olde worlde feel. There are modern shops and all the locals definitely live in the 21st century – although you may doubt it when you see the tour guides walking around in 15th-century gear – but the city has embraced its history and feels like it’s hardly developed in several hundred years. In the best way possible, of course!

What Should You Choose?

So there we have it, the best things about Glasgow and the best things about Edinburgh. So which should you choose? Well, that part is up to you. We’re not backing out or anything, but because our base is in Edinburgh, we don’t feel we can give you a decision without any bias. Yep, that’s our excuse, and we’re sticking to it! Whatever you do, choose the city that speaks to you and aligns with your personality… and then go on another motorhome adventure next year and visit the other