From England, head for the M6, M74, M73 and then the M8. It's about a seven-hour drive from London (or four from Liverpool), but it's only worth taking the car if your stay is part of a wider jaunt around Scotland.
British Airways, BMI, KLM, Air Berlin, Flybe and easyJet all operate regular flights to Glasgow from London, Manchester, Bristol, and many other regional and international hubs. KLM and Air Berlin fly in from Stansted; easyJet flies in from Luton and Gatwick. Careful, though - some operators fly to the smaller, less convenient Prestwick terminal (www.gpia.co.uk) rather than Glasgow's international airport (www.glasgowairport.com).
There are regular services to Glasgow Central and Glasgow Queen Street (both in the city centre) from all over the UK with Virgin and GNER, as well as a sleeper service with First ScotRail (www.firstscotrail.com).
Country code for the UK: +44. Glasgow: 0141.
Chew your nails to the quick with The Cutting Room, Louise Welsh's murder mystery. Brush up on the dialect with How Late It Was, How Late, James Kelman's Booker-winner. Relive the demolition of the Gorbals in Jeff Torrington's Swing Hammer Swing!
Do go / Don't Go
Don't come for Hogmanay unless you can cope with hard, boisterous, over-the-top partying everywhere you look.
The city is well served by black cabs; Glasgow Taxis is on +44 (0)141 332 7070. If you're going out late on a Friday or Saturday, it's worth booking to avoid the queues at ranks.
10-15 per cent is standard in restaurants; round taxi fares up to the nearest pound or so.
Glasgow isn't afflicted by the icy east-coast wind that scours Edinburgh, but it's noticeably wetter. Hats, brollies and waterproof jackets are indispensable. It can be surprisingly bright on some days though, so bring your shades, too.
Don't miss the Victorian-era Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (www.glasgowmuseums.com), which houses works by Dalí, Rembrandt, Monet and Van Gogh. Check out the unrivalled collections of Whistler, the Glasgow Boys, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh at the Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery on the Glasgow University campus (www.hunterian.gla.ac.uk). Theatre buffs can catch new writing and dynamic reinterpretations of the classics at the Tron (www.tron.co.uk). Glasgow's SECC is a huge venue that stages concerts, events and international pop acts from Rihanna to Red Hot Chili Peppers (www.secc.co.uk).
Remember the scene in Trainspotting that's subtitled to help sassenachs interpret the strong Glasgwegian accent over the din of the nightclub? The city's distinctive dialect is a rich and wonderfully wry vernacular; gen up on the finer points of Glesga's patter from Aye to Zebadeed with Michael Munro's amusing guide, The Complete Patter.
Princes Square (www.princessquare.co.uk) in Buchanan Street is Glasgow's most civilised shopping centre. Fashionistas shouldn't skip a trip to the Italian Centre: as well as Versace and Armani boutiques, there's Cruise (+44 (0)141 572 3232), packed with rails of Prada, Fendi and D&G. For bold, stylish jewellery, Brazen at 58 Albion Street (+44 (0)141 552 4551) in Merchant City is worth a look. Vintage-lovers can rummage through the rails in Saratoga Trunk at 61 Hydepark Street (+44 (0)141 221 4433), and you'll find knockdown Gucci et al at the Designer Exchange off Royal Exchange Square. Bargain-hunters will love browsing at the Barras Market, a vast, weekend fleamarket on Gallowgate, open Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm.
The Glasgow Necropolis is a creepy but fascinating Victorian garden graveyard in the grounds of Glasgow Cathedral, with a spectacular city vista (www.glasgownecropolis.org). Kelvingrove Park is another excellent vantage point from which you can survey the west of Glasgow by the banks of the river Kelvin.
All of Glasgow's museums (www.glasgowmuseums.com), from the Museum of Transport to the excellent St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, offer free entry to their permanent collections.
February Glasgow Film Festival (www.glasgowfilmfestival.org.uk). March Glasgow Comedy Festival (www.glasgowcomedyfestival.com), with stand-up shows from the likes of Alan Carr and Russell Brand. April Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Visual Art (www.glasgowinternational.org). Glasgow Art Fair (www.glasgowartfair.com) is an open-air showcase of all manner of contemporary art from all over Europe, in the middle of George Square. June Bard in the Botanics - Glasgow Repertory Company's Shakespeare season, set in the Botanic Gardens (www.glasgowrep.org). September Merchant City Festival - fashion, film and performance art (www.merchantcityfestival.com). November Whisky Live Glasgow takes over the SECC for a massive get-together of the world's favourite blenders and distillers (www.whiskylive.com). Glasgow On Ice sees George Square transformed into an ice rink that remains frozen and fun until the New Year.