There’s something changing about people’s perceptions of Glasgow. That shift from beer cans to beauty and culture can be traced back to 1990 when the former industrial giant was awarded the title of European City of Culture.

The granting of this status reflected the now welcoming and warm nature of this creative, historical hub. This summer, the shift in Glasgow’s fortunes continues at, quite literally, a running pace when speed guru Mo Farah descends on the city along with other uber-athletes.

From July 23 to August 3, Glasgow will gain global recognition as it hosts the 20th Commonwealth Games. According to Glasgow 2014, a fifth of people attending the Games have never been to the host city, while more than half of ticket-holders admit to knowing little to nothing about Glasgow. But many spectators have decided to combine attending the Games with a longer trip to Scotland, so once you’ve had your fix of sport, head out into this great city for an altogether different experience…

Things to do:

See all of Glasgow on a City Sightseeing bus tour and let a savvy guide show you the humour and personality Glaswegians have to offer while you’re at it. Check out one of two Universities or visit the Botanic Gardens. There’s also the Riverside Museum and Glasgow Cathedral, with all of the city in between, while a good part of the tour runs along the River Clyde too. While a complete tour lasts one hour and 50 minutes, you can hop and on off as you wish and make a weekend of it (tickets last for two consecutive days). A ticket costs £12 or save £1 by booking online here.

Where to eat:

The University Café: Try Scotland’s famous fried Mars bars at a Glaswegian chippy or local greasy spoon café. A great find is the University Café, which also serves up traditional Scottish meat pie and legendary ice cream. The décor here is quaint and retro and prices start from £11 for a full meal (87 Byres Road, 0141 339 5217).

Rock Lobster: Rock Lobster Seafood Bar and Grill offers quality local ingredients and Italian heritage in the heart of Glasgow. Splash out on a lush half lobster with thermidor sauce, fries and salad from £25, or try a Scottish oyster from as little as £2.

The Banana Leaf: The Banana Leaf café offers southern-Indian cuisines at southern-Indian prices. There are some things you simply must savour in life and the £1.49 banana soup special is one of those memorable dishes that really is worth a try. For your main you can sample a refreshing chicken coconut fry prepared with coconut milk, onion, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and green chilli. This succulent main originating from Kerala will set you back just £6.

TNT Tour Search offers awesome trips to the UK and Ireland – book yours here.

Where to drink:

Bar Soba: Tucked away down a tiny side street, Bar Soba is as cool as bars come. It serves Pan-Asian street food alongside inventive cocktails and Japanese beers. The excellent staff are young, enthusiastic and attentive and certainly a draw to drinking here. Sit back and make yourself comfy in the chic interiors – and if your aesthetic tastes still aren’t satisfied, there’s The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture next door, to feast your eyes on instead.

KOKOMO: Drop it like it’s hot on one of KOKOMO’s R’n’B and hip-hop nights. This swanky and modern venue is the place to party alongside Glasgow’s beautiful people. Open every night with offers of free entry, drinks promos and DJ sets, KOKOMO also has a VIP room where you may spot a celebrity or local football player.

Where to stay:

Euro Hostel Glasgow: Overlooking the River Clyde in Glasgow’s city centre, Euro Hostel offers all you really need with clean dorm rooms and a choice of private rooms. There’s also a decent bar where you can start off the night, and all for around a tenner a night.

Grasshoppers Glasgow: Ease into affordable luxury at Grasshoppers Glasgow, a hotel with a penthouse floor of 30 individual bedrooms. Wood-panelled walls, Caledonian oak floors and furniture have been made for Grasshoppers by a specialist joiner and are set along a backdrop of handmade wallpapers. The location is perfect for those of you using public transport, as it sits in the heart of Glasgow city centre, right next to Central Station.

Citizen M Glasgow: Lounge around under coloured lighting and recline on a luxury bed at citizen M Glasgow, which is located 400m from Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall. Modern rooms feature free wi-fi and there’s also a designer lobby and 24-hour canteen, serving everything from sushi to salad.

(Ad)venture beyond Glasgow…

We love a city break as much as the next person, but when you’re in Scotland, you simply have to explore its stunning countryside; it’s ripe for adventure and ‘breathe in that fresh air’ moments. Hike, bike, canoe and sea kayak through Loch Lomond, Glencoe and Fort William with HAGGiS Adventures on their ‘Explore the West Highland Way’ six-day tour. With a pick-up from Glasgow every Saturday from July to September, the trip costs £595. Click here to book.

TNT Tour Search offers awesome trips to the UK and Ireland – book yours here.

Image credit: Thinkstock, Mr Philip Halewood, City Sightseeing Glasgow, citizenM Hotel, Grasshopper Hotel