The Commonwealth Games that started on July 23 will continue till August 3 and so Glasgow is in the sporting spotlight. The excitement is palpable, the bunting's up and the city is already teeming with people. For the latest updates and last-minute ticket availability see glasgow2014.com.
If you haven't got tickets yet you can also watch the Games on giant screens throughout the city. And along with live sport, Festival 2014 will feature free entertainment with music, comedy and dance and food and drink stalls at four key venues around the city: Glasgow Green, Merchant City, Kelvingrove Bandstand and BBC at the Quay (glasgow2014.com).
Get your bearings
Glasgow's relatively compact centre, hemmed in by the M8 and the Clyde, is laid out in a grid pattern. In George Square, you'll find The Big G, a giant 3D installation based on the Games' logo. The tourist office is at 170-174 Buchanan Street, open daily 9am-5pm (visitscotland.com).
Many attractions are outside the centre; to the west you have the leafy West End, Kelvingrove Park and the main museums, involving a heart-in-mouth negotiation of flyovers. Luckily, along with a good bus network there's a handy circular Subway (spt.co.uk; single £1.40, all-day pass £4).
A walk in the park
Or a jog. For those veering less towards spectator sports, Parkrun is a growing phenomenon across Glasgow; the free, weekly, timed 5km runs on Saturday morning at 9.30am in Pollok Country Park will take place as normal during the Games. It started with 44 runners in 2008; today — including Springburn, Tollcross and Victoria park runs — more than 750 runners take part each week. Register to run at parkrun.org.uk. Pollok Country Park is in Glasgow's Southside: catch a train from Central to Pollokshaws West.
Lunch on the run
After working up an appetite, head to the award-winning Burrell Collection in the park (glasgowlife.org.uk; entry free, open daily 10am-5pm, from 11am Friday and Sunday) to enjoy fish and chips, home-made sandwiches or cakes in the airy café. Sir William Burrell gave the 8,000 exhibits — from paintings by Degas and Cezanne to tapestries — to the city.
Take a hike
Everyone watched in horror as the Glasgow School of Art went up in flames this year. While restoration work is under way, get your Charles Rennie Mackintosh fix by visiting the Willow Tea Rooms at 217 Sauchiehall Street (willowtearooms.co.uk), remodelled by Mackintosh inside and out and just bought by a charitable trust and gifted to the city. From here, cut down Hope Street to West George Street to George Square.
Turn right along Queen Street to the Museum of Modern Art. From here turn down Ingram Street towards the revamped Merchant City area and Café Gandolfi at 64 Albion Street (cafegandolfi.com). The wooden interiors were carved by late artist Tim Stead, whose work can be seen in the Museum of Modern Art.
Glasgow loves to shop and the city's square, not linear, Style Mile (glasgowstylemile.com) is a retail zone with more than 200 independent boutiques, flagship stores and malls around Buchanan Street — it has the UK's biggest footfall after London's West End.
Dining with locals
An old-school favourite is Two Fat Ladies at the Buttery 652-654 Argyle Street. This Glasgow institution is all wood-panelling, tartan carpets and knick-knacks, with starters such as mignons of beef fillet, Stornoway black pudding crush, au poivre sauce (£25.95).
Go to church
Sit silently in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on Argyle Street (glasgowlife.org.uk; free; daily 10am-5pm, Friday and Sunday 11am-5pm) in a chapel-like space and contemplate Salvador Dali's Christ of St John of the Cross. Afterwards, watch the short documentary about Dr Tom Honeyman, former director of Gla