Visiting Glasgow for budget travellers can be an exciting experience as the national arts and cultural hub in Scotland has Victorian and Art Nouveau architecture for all to admire. It's the home of the Scottish Opera, National Theatre of Scotland, and has its own thriving music scene as well as an impressive collection of museums. 

    You don't have to spend a fortune to get to know Glasgow's heart and soul. There are plenty of enriching, educational and exciting experiences to be had here that won't break the bank. Check out how to enjoy Glasgow with a small budget, with some of the best, most wallet-friendly experiences you can have on your holiday travels in this Scottish port city, below.


    Buchanan Street

    Go window shopping

    • Shoppers

    Buchanan Street is an entertainment and cultural hub of Glasgow. While it's known for upscale designer shops, fine dining, and other high-end offerings, Buchanan Street also offers live performances all day every day from street artists and buskers along the lane. 

    You'll also find roadside cafes and many inexpensive places to grab a bite while you're on your way. Even if you're not spending a lot, it's a great place to soak up the atmosphere and culture of Glasgow, and even to enjoy a pint at one of the local bars while you watch the world go by.

    Location: Glasgow G1 2JX, UK


    photo by MSeses (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Scottish Football Museum

    Experience the history of football

    • History

    The Scottish Football Museum in Hampden Park draws fans of football from all over the world. You can spend a whole day exploring the exhibits here and go on a journey through the entire history of the sport. 

    You'll find thousands of things to see here, from uniforms and balls to records of championship matches and even film footage that highlights some of the greatest football matches ever played by some of the greatest players ever to take the field. The Scottish Football Museum is without a doubt a must-visit, even if you're only a minor fan of the sport.

    Location: Hampden Park, Glasgow G42 9BA, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)141 616 6139


    photo by Groundhopper2000 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Merchant City

    Stroll through one of Glasgow's oldest quarters

    • Families

    Merchant City dates back to the 1750s and once housed the warehouses of some of the wealthiest merchants in the region. More recently, the historic buildings that dot this quarter of the city have become home to some of the coolest galleries, restaurants, bars, clubs, and boutiques around. 

    It's even better in the summer during the annual Merchant City Festival, with family-friendly activities and some of the best arts and entertainment Scottish culture has to offer. It's a vibrant location all year long where the most artistic and creative types around base themselves. You can walk the streets and check out floating galleries, do some window shopping or grab a cup of coffee at a local street cafe.

    Location: Glasgow G1 1NQ, UK


    photo by Postdlf (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Tenement House

    Take a tour of early 20th century

    • History

    Tenement House is a time capsule in Glasgow that takes you back to the early 20th century. Originally the residence of Miss Agnes Toward from 1911 through 1965, the house has been preserved precisely since then. You can walk through the home to see a coal-fired kitchen stove and check out household items from days gone by, including a jar of jam dating back to 1929! 

    You'll see reclining chairs upholstered with black horsehair, box beds, original working gaslights and antique medication bottles. You can see a ball of soap that turned jet-black after decades of handling. There are also rotating history exhibits and holiday celebrations at various points throughout the year.

    Location: 145 Buccleuch St, Glasgow G3 6QN, UK

    Open: Friday–Monday from 11 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)141 333 0183


    City Chambers

    See the striking marble construction

    • History
    • Budget

    The Glasgow City Chambers were inaugurated by Queen Victoria in 1888 and are famed for their grand marble staircase and vast banquet hall. Outside, it's one of the most imposing and iconic buildings in the city, located at the heart of George Square. Guided tours of the interior are free and will take you up one of the largest solid-marble staircases in Western Europe, which is made entirely of Italian Carrara marble. 

    You can also view the over 1.5 million hand-laid tiles in the domes and vaulted ceiling. You'll see magnificent 'electrolier' chandeliers that were commissioned before the hall was completed in 1885, each run from a generator in the basement.

    Location: 82 George Square, Glasgow G2 1DU, UK

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)141 287 2000


    Glengoyne Distillery

    Enjoy some spirits

    • Couples
    • Group

    The Glengoyne Distillery opened in 1833 and has been described as among the most beautiful distilleries in Scotland. Glengoyne whisky is famed for its slow distillation process – just a third of the rate of other whiskies – to result in the unique and fruity taste for which it's known. 

    A wide variety of tours are available to suit just about any budget, which include the regular distillery tour, a tasting tour and a tour that offers a whisky and chocolate pairing. There are also the Master Blender Session tours, Masterclass tours, and Cask Tastings that require advanced booking. It's a fun way to experience the making of one of Scotland's national spirits.

    Location: Dumgoyne, Killearn, Glasgow G63 9LB, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)136 055 0254


    photo by shirokazan (CC BY 2.0) modified


    The Hunterian

    Get cultured with free exchibits

    • History

    The Hunterian is famed for having the largest display in the world of the works of James McNeill Whistler. Even so, it also has massive holdings from Charles Rennie Mackintosh, including the reassembled interior of his home. It's among the oldest museums in Scotland and has a collection of over a million artefacts, images, documents and other exhibits. 

    Things to see and experience here include getting up close and personal with meteorites and mummies as well as artwork from classical to modern. No trip to Glasgow is complete without a trip to The Hunterian, and you're sure to see some of the most astounding artefacts you've ever seen.

    Location: 82 Hillhead St, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)141 330 4221


    photo by Ham (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    University of Glasgow

    Explore the hallowed halls

    • History

    The University of Glasgow is more than just an institute of higher learning. This venerable institution was founded in 1451, making it a location with deep roots and even deeper history. It's among the oldest institutions of its kind in the English-speaking world. You can take a walking tour of the grounds and visit some of the most significant spots from its history. 

    These include the gravestone of Thomas Reid and the staircase Lord Kelvin walked to reach his laboratory every day. You'll also learn about the university's connections to figures like James Watt, Adam Smith, and Isabella Elder, among others, as you read the names on the Memorial Gates.

    Location: Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)141 330 2000


    Victoria Park

    Relax in the tended green space

    • Families

    Victoria Park comprises 20 hectares of green space that adjoins the Scotstoun, Whiteinch, Jordanhill, and Broomhill districts. It was dedicated and named in 1886 in honour of Queen Victoria's jubilee that year. This park offers a wealth of completely free activities you can enjoy, from relaxing walks along Victorian paths to historical monuments. 

    There are World War I and World War II memorials, a children's playground, and a pond with 2 small islands – the larger of which you can cross to over iron bridges. Its gates date to 1887 and have been fully restored to their original colours. You might even catch a glimpse of the only wild-breeding parakeet flock in Scotland here.

    Location: Glasgow G14 9NW, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)141 287 5064


    The Lanes

    Find hidden treasures

    • Shoppers

    The Lanes are a series of 5 quaint streets where you'll find some of the finest indie shops and restaurants in the region. Start on Cresswell, then work your way along the Dowanside, Ruthven, and Ashton lanes. Here you can find hidden arts-and-crafts galleries that promote Scottish creativity, handmade crafts, clothing and arts, fine stationery, and vintage tearooms. 

    You can find stores that sell licensed Harry Potter merchandise and offer science and potion workshops for the kids, ethnic cuisine, and vintage record and comic book stores. You'll also find arthouse cinemas, unique performance-art studios, live music venues, and the famed Innis & Gunn brewery. It's all tucked away in just a few streets within a few minutes' walk.

    Location: Hillhead, Glasgow G12 8AA, UK


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    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.

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