Glasgow is a busy and growing area, with a university and the River Clyde finding spots at the heart of the city. It is the largest city in Scotland, and the main source of Scotland’s industrial needs. With plenty of parks, historical monuments and museums, there is plenty to do here for practically nothing. Don’t forget to walk into a pub or two, if not for the great food, then simply to talk to a friendly local who will tell you the spots you have to hit before leaving town.
Hostel prices – You can find dorm rooms for 20 GBP. Not all of the city hostels have private rooms, but for the ones that do, expect to pay 50-80 GBP for a double room.
Budget hotel prices – Some hotels in the center of the city start at 70 GBP a night. Hotels that are out a little ways are cheaper and start their rates at 40 GBP.
Average cost of food – Glasgow offers diverse restaurants and for every price range. If you stick to a casual dining or pub, you can get a great meal (pubs offer wonderful food and their local cuisine dishes are usually excellent!) for 10 GBP. A week’s worth of groceries costs 32-44 GBP.
Transportation – You can buy a roundabout ticket for unlimited travel in and around Glasgow for 4 GBP per day. A single fare in Glasgow is about 1.40 GBP. The city of Glasgow is pretty compact, so as long as you’re in the West End or the City Center, you can get anywhere you need to go by foot.
Money Saving Tips
Visit the free museums – Glasgow offers free entrance for most of its museums. You can easily spend half a day wandering through and admiring the great Scottish artists and never pay a thing.
Visit the West End – This bustling area of Glasgow is filled with bohemian shops and restaurants and great chances to people watch. The places here tend to be cheaper than in other parts of the city.
Top Things to See and Do
Visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum – The museum is free and it hosts an extensive art gallery, including Salvador Dalí’s ‘Christ of Saint John of the Cross. They have some great temporary exhibitions as well. When I went there, it was all about Dr. Who!
People watch at George Square – Right in the heart of Glasgow, this park is a great place to eat and people watch, try a local beer, or admire the architecture of the nearby council buildings. During the summer, it can get crowded.
Spend the day at Linn Park – Linn Park is a fabulous park that has beautiful scenery and many different walking paths along Cart River. It’s great in the summer time.
Shop at Barras Weekend Market – It can be a little crowded, but it’s fun to pass through the endless stalls of clothing, furniture and local treats. It’s best in the early morning when the crowds are thinner.
Visit the University of Glasgow – Aside from it being a beautiful university, the campus lies in an area that’s surrounded by shops, restaurants and parks. Campus staff offer tours that explain the history and architecture of the university.
Relax in Glasgow Green – One of Glasgow’s most historical parks, it was used for cattle and sheep-grazing in the 19th century. Now, it’s a great place to spend the day having lunch and people watching.
Wander through the Gallery of Modern Art – A great day activity which allows you to see spectacular sculpture and paintings, and learn about Scotland’s most influential artists. There is no entrance fee.
Visit Glasgow Cathedral – The cathedral is a fine example of Gothic architecture, dating from medieval times and built on a site first consecrated in 397 AD. It’s one of the oldest cathedrals in Scotland.
See a soccer match – Glasgow has three soccer clubs, the most famous of which are the Celtics and Rangers. There is an intense rivalry between the two teams and seeing a match between the two is one of the wildest things you can do in the city.
Spend the day at the Loch – Just a 20-minute drive from the city is Loch Lomond, a beautiful lake with opportunities for walking, canoeing, or even mountain biking. This is a good place to visit if you want a break from the urban atmosphere.
Take in some live music – Glasgow has a pretty decent music scene, with venues catering to different styles and experiences. For something small and intimate (but far from chic), check out a gig at King Tut’s bar, or for a bigger (or artistic) event, visit the SWG3 warehouse.
Enjoy the nightlife – Glasgow is by far the best place to party in Scotland. With cheap bars and massive clubs, it’s easy to dance the night away here. Make sure to go to a bar before you head to a club, as the drinks once you get on the dance floor are often more expensive. Nice ‘N’ Sleezy and the Garage are Glaswegian institutions and generally you’ll have a good time at either.