Best things to see, do and eat in Glasgow, Scotland: Expert expat travel tips

After growing up on Sydney's Northern Beaches, Mikaela Atkins-Blake moved to Scotland for a three-month stint working for the Edinburgh Fringe. There she fell in love with a piper ("Such a cliche!" she says), as well as Scotland, where she now works as a freelance music administrator.

SEE

Glasgow is a UNESCO City of Music and the hub of Scotland's vibrant music scene, so you're bound to find a gig you'll enjoy. You can catch world-class jazz, traditional folk music or something much more experimental, and all in one night if you so wish it. My (current) favourite venue is a toss-up between The Glad Cafe on the Southside – eclectic, amazing musicians playing in an intimate space, with delicious pan-Asian vegan food (it feels like a little taste of Melbourne!) or The Blue Arrow, Glasgow's newest basement jazz club, thegladcafe.co.uk, thebluearrow.co.uk

DO

The beautiful Victorian glasshouses of Glasgow's Botanic Gardens contain an amazing collection of exotic plants, and there is even a hidden abandoned train platform to peek onto (if you can find it). I love to follow the paths down to the River Kelvin, where you can take a peaceful walk along the green banks, best finished off with a pint of Joker IPA at Inn Deep (hidden in the disused railway tunnel), facebook.com/InnDeep/

EAT

We chose our flat partly due to the proximity to Mother India's Cafe (opposite the Kelvingrove Museum) – I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it's Scotland's best Indian restaurant, but I'm sure that will be contested pretty quickly as Glasgow has such a great rep for Indian food. You can't book, so get there early as there is always a queue out the door. The paneer makhani isn't on the menu anymore, but if you ask nicely they'll make it just for you, motherindia.co.uk

DRINK

With an open fire to get cosy next to in winter and tables outside if it's sunny, The Belle strikes the perfect balance between an old man's pub and a trendy hipster joint. Ask for the Malt of the Month – I can't guarantee which whisky you'll get, but I know it will be tasty, 617 Great Western Rd.

AVOID

Being rude – Glaswegians pride themselves on their friendly nature and sense of humour, and if you're up for a chat, who knows where your day might end up? Last time my parents were visiting, they went to the local supermarket, then stumbled back four hours later - after asking a man in the street for directions, he had taken them on a spontaneous pub crawl round the West End's best pubs!

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