Glasgow is one of the UK’s most exciting and vibrant cities, regarded by many as the beating heart of Scotland. It is known for its nightlife, cultural prominence, world-renowned architecture and friendly environment, making it the perfect place for students. So whether you’re new to the city or not, make yourself at home; here are 20 of the best things to do in Glasgow as a student.
Address: 471 Western Road, Glasgow, G12 8HL
Glasgow is home to a diverse range of restaurants and food chains that won’t take a bite out of those precious student loans, but Paesano Pizza is perhaps one of the best. This Glasgow-exclusive pizza joint is a firm favourite among students, and with its rustic décor, lively atmosphere and delicious pizzas starting at just £6, what’s not to love?
Address: Argyle Street, Glasgow, G3 8AG
Kelvingrove Museum is one of Glasgow’s most popular spots for tourists and locals alike and houses 22 art galleries and hundreds of exciting and interactive exhibits. The museum is free to visit, and the place is so expansive it is almost impossible to explore the whole place in just one trip.
3. Watch some movies at Glasgow Film Theatre
Address: 12 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RB
Glasgow has plenty of places to watch mainstream movies and Hollywood blockbusters. Still, the Glasgow Film Theatre offers a much more niche cinema experience, with screenings of arthouse films, indie flicks and foreign-language movies. The smaller, more intimate screenings and the old-school décor, complete with red carpets and a butterfly staircase, creates the perfect nostalgic cinema experience for true film enthusiasts.
Address: Ashton Lane, Glasgow, G12 8SJ
If you want a fun night out with friends, look no further than Ashton Lane, a small cobbled street in the West End, lined with affordable bars, restaurants, and even its own antique cinema The Grosvenor. There are multiple options for food, including the ramen stop Ramen Dayo and the iconic Ubiquitous Chip, as well as several bars that make it a perfect stop for a pub crawl or a chilled night out. Vodka Wodka is a particularly popular student spot, with cheap cocktails and cosy outdoor seating. A trip to Ashton Lane is never dull!
Address: 272A St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5RL
Glasgow is known for its many iconic live music venues – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut is just one of these venues, and has housed many renowned talents such as Radiohead, Coldplay, White Stripes and Snow Patrol. King Tut’s was apparently responsible for Oasis’ big break when they played there early in their career in 1993. It is even said that an artist hasn’t made it until they play this famous Glasgow joint. Regardless of your musical preferences, a night at King Tut’s is always an unforgettable one.
Address: 730 Great Western Road, Glasgow, G12 0UE
Life in the city can be overwhelming, and sometimes it is nice to get away to greener pastures. The Glasgow Botanic Gardens is a haven of parks, scenic walkways, and glasshouses growing flowers and plants of all shapes, sizes and colours. You could spend hours wandering Kibble Palace or taking in the greenery. Every summer, the Botanic Gardens hosts the Bard in the Botanics Shakespeare festival, and the gardens become the scenic backdrop for professional Shakespeare productions. The Gardens also feature a tea room, and there is even an occasional vintage book fair for bookworms.
7. Go vintage shopping at Glasgow’s second-hand markets
While Glasgow city centre boasts some major mainstream fashion retailers, such as New Look, Topshop and Primark, there are also plenty of opportunities for buying second-hand. The Vintage Kilo Sale is the UK’s biggest kilo sale and has been coming to Glasgow for several years – you can buy a whole kilo of clothes for just £15! Mr Ben’s retro clothing market also offers a massive second-hand selection from high-end brands like Levi’s, Burberry and Fred Perry. We can all do our bit in the fight against fast fashion, and buying second-hand means saving the planet and some money along the way!
Address: 50 Pacific Quay, Glasgow, G51 1EA
The Glasgow Science Centre is often regarded as a visitor attraction for families and children. Still, it also hosts an adults-only event on the last Wednesday of every month called Science Lates. Over-18s have the opportunity to have a drink, join in the silent disco and explore the Science Centre after hours. Science Lates is a perfect option for date night or something different to do with friends, and students can enjoy discounted ticket prices at just £10.
Address: 7 King Street, Glasgow, G1 5QZ
If you’re looking for a bar with added flare, Super Barios arcade bar is the perfect place, packed with vintage arcade games such as Pacman, Streetfighter and Pinball. Many of the games are free to play, and the machines are changed every now and then to keep things interesting, making it the perfect spot for gamers.
Source: Cosmopol Glasgow
Address: 165 Hope Street, Glasgow, G2 2UQ
If you ever find yourself with a bit of Dutch courage, head over to Cosmopol karaoke bar for a singalong, with free entry any night of the week. You can book a booth, sit back with a drink and enjoy a night of musical entertainment, from the excellent to the not-so-excellent.
Address: (starting point) Glasgow Central Station, Gordon Street, Glasgow, G1 3SL
Forget everything you thought you knew about the city; the atmospheric Glasgow Ghost Tour and City Centre Game will show you a whole new scary side to the place. Using your smartphone, you will be guided to some of the city’s most haunted locations, solving clues and reading ghost stories about each destination along the way. Hint: start your tour at night after sunset for added fear factor!
Address: Springfield Quay, Glasgow, G5 8NP
Student life at Glasgow isn’t just about clubbing and drinking – a night at the bowling alley can be just as entertaining! Hollywood Bowls is a quirky and affordable spot for bowling, with a retro Hollywood-style aesthetic, amusement arcade and bustling bar and restaurant, and students get two games for just £8.25. Rent some shoes and book a lane!
Address: 128 Renfield Street, Glasgow, G2 3AL
Gather a team and head down to Australian-style bar Walkabout for their famous Sunday quiz nights. It’s free to play, and you can win up to £1,500 in prize money, among several other prizes. Walkabout also serves great food and offers screenings of live sports games most days of the week.
Address: 253 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G2 8DL
For an alternative dining experience, head over to Platform, Glasgow’s favourite indoor food market at the Argyle Street Arches. The bare-brick, industrial-style décor and vibrant lighting gives the place a casual, underground feel and the many food trucks provide plenty of choices. Despite accommodating over 4,000 customers every weekend, there are plenty of benches and seats – so make this the next spot on your culinary bucket list!
Address: 124 Portman Street, Kinning Park, Glasgow, G41 1EJ
For a creative and slightly rambunctious day out, hit the tees at Fore Play Mini Golf. The two available courses feature some wacky designs, from a model of The Armadillo to a massive traffic cone, and tickets start at just £7. There are also plenty of options for food if you work up an appetite, and you can make your visit a boozy one with their range of cocktails, spirits and beers.
Address: 139 Middlesex Street, Kinning Park, Glasgow, G41 1EE
Try out your skating skills at Rollerstop, Glasgow’s favourite rollerblading rink, offering skating lessons and themed disco nights. The Saturday Retro Roller Discos are some of the best on offer, playing classic tracks from the 70s, 80s and 90s, and the Tuesday night 2 for 1 deal means you can skate with a mate. Whether you’re a skating pro or a first-time roller, Rollerstop is guaranteed to be a good night for everyone!
Address: 297 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JN
King’s Theatre is one of Glasgow’s most iconic and historic venues for live performances in dance, theatre and music. Whilst trips to the Kings can be royally pricey; students can access a discount through the Student Standby deal; simply show up on the day of a performance and get a ticket for just £10. What a bargain!
Address: Byers Road, Glasgow, G12 8QX
Don’t be intimidated by the brooding, gothic architecture of the Oran Mor – inside it is nothing but cheerful and inviting. While most might know the Oran Mor as a great pub, it is also a dynamic spot for live performances, and A Play, A Pie and A Pint is one of the best events it has to offer. It does exactly what it says on the tin – you can watch a play while enjoying a free pie and a pint. The event is great value for money, with student discounts on selected nights, and the summer and winter pantomimes are a must-see!
Address: 161 Duke Street, Glasgow, G31 1JD
Glasgow is home to the Wellpark Brewery, where Scotland’s own beloved Tennents lager is concocted and perfected. It’s free to pay a visit to the Tennents heritage centre, peruse the authentic artefacts and learn all about the history of Tennents, dating back over 450 years. You can also get a tour of Wellpark Brewery and a pint of Scotland’s finest thrown in, all from just £12.50.
Address: 17 Vinicombe Street, Glasgow, G12 8SJ
The Hillhead Book Club is well-known for its cosy, hipster interior and chilled student vibe, but the bar also puts on a brilliant Lady Balls Bingo night, hosted by a talented team of drag queens. With free entry, plenty of good booze and a £500 cash prize up for grabs, it’s sure to be a hilarious, feel-good bingo night!