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Glasgow: A Quick Guide to the City on a Budget

Here are some of the best things to do when you’re visiting the beautiful city of Glasgow, Scotland

Image Source: Aerial Shot of University of Glasgow via shutterstock

I am not the most energetic person when it comes to doing things. But having spent a year in Glasgow, there were some things that I thoroughly enjoyed doing, leaving me with a long list of good, happy memories. Despite the hectic schedules of university and having to look after myself, there were days when I would actually leave my apartment and walk about the streets of Glasgow. So if you ever do find yourself in the gorgeous city of Glasgow, do check these out!

Reliving History through Museums and Galleries
Image Source: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum via dreamstime

Glasgow has quite a handful of luxurious museums and galleries. Housing some of the best works of art and sculpture, or pointing out the past, Glasgow is just a visual treat for those who are into culture and art. And the best part is, most of them have a free entry! These elaborate buildings have taken entire days to explore, and having to walk through their halls for hours is not something I would complain about. The first one I went to was The Hunterian, which was right on the university campus. Perhaps, one of my favourites is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, to which my friend dragged me to, even though I walked past it every day. Another one that is backed with history is the Riverside Museum. The Glasgow Science Centre also displays some of the best exhibits and shows. Maybe the reason I went to all these museums and galleries might have been the close proximity to each other and to where I lived. 

Quiet Strolls through the Parks
Image Source: Glasgow Botanical Gardens via dreamstime

With numerous parks in almost every inch of the city, Glasgow is a vibrantly green place for park lovers. Whether it’s just for a quick stroll to get out of your mind, or a relaxing place to sit down on the grass or the benches and take in the sun, the parks in Glasgow do not disappoint. I’ve walked countless times through the Kelvingrove Park, which separates the University of Glasgow from the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, with glimpses of the Kelvin River that flows right through the park. The Botanic Gardens are also quite a sight, especially the Kibble Palace, a lovely glasshouse within the park. The largest park in the city – the Pollok Country Park – is also a must-visit, featuring the magnificent Pollok House, and the breathtaking trails through the park. 

Brisking through the City on Walking Tours
Image Source: Glasgow Necropolis via shutterstock

Glasgow has its fair share of tours, some on the bus, with the most popular one being the City Sightseeing Bus Tour, a bus that I saw every single time I left my apartment. But as a university student who’s trying not to dish out money every chance she gets, I preferred the walking tours. The University of Glasgow has its own historical tour, but I’m pretty sure that if I never went on that tour, I would not know where half my classes were! I also remember walking to the Glasgow Cathedral, which might be familiar to fans of the series ‘Outlander’. I personally loved the Street Art Tour, which takes you through beautiful streets that are vibrant with murals and other street art favourites, especially around the City Centre. A public favourite is a tour through the haunting Glasgow Necropolis, with its beautiful gardens (and headstones!) If walking is not your thing, you can also rent out bikes for exploring the city.

Grabbing a Bite
Image Source: Ashton Lane via shutterstock

On days when I was too lazy to cook, I had food delivered to the apartment. Hooray for fast food! But on good days, I would also treat myself to some good food, from the cosy cafes and note-worthy restaurants around the city. I often found myself outside The Brunch Club or The Soul Food Kitchen or Ox and Finch. On days that I craved Indian food, Ashoka, Mother India, or even Chaakoo were life-savers. There were also some must-tries on the quaint Ashton Lane. Freshly baked doughnuts from Tantrum Doughnuts would sometimes top the meal. But that’s not to say that the food from food trucks was bad; in fact, I would get a quick, hot bite from some of them on ‘wild’ days. 

The Shopaholic’s Dream
Image Source: Buchanan Street via dreamstime

As miserly as I am, I have indeed spent many dimes on things that I absolutely do not need. Wandering through the streets, I have found myself walk in through many doors and look through all the fancy things that were on display. The City Centre is the go-to place for most things, with most stores having exclusive deals for students. Buchanan Street had quite the array of stores and dealers, most of them being big, well-known brands. I have also thrifted, many a time, through the stores across the many lanes that join Argyle Street. More often than not, they were vintage stores, of which there are plenty. Glasgow is also very famous for its temporary outdoor markets, especially the Sunday Markets, that has dealers with the most exquisite products. 

Like they say in Glasgow, ‘People Make Glasgow’, so you’re sure to find some of the friendliest and most helpful people you’ll ever meet. So the next time you’re in Glasgow, you’ll know just the right places to explore.

Written By

An open-minded introvert with strong beliefs, and an avid reader since her father bought her first comic-book.

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