Those looking for cheap things to do in Glasgow will be spoiled for choice. Glasgow may be a dynamic and energetic city, but it has its entertainment for people of all budgets. As the largest city of Scotland, with attractive sights that rival Edinburgh, Glasgow and it's full range of cheap museums, galleries and other attractions has become a perfect destination for backpackers, penny pinchers and anyone else looking to save a few bucks while they enjoy Scotland.
Eating on a budget in Glasgow is not quite as simple as some cities. There are a few good food trucks, but the best way to eat cheaply in the city is to find its hidden treasures. When in doubt, latch onto a university student for recommendations. One of the best places to get a truly great meal deal is at the Bread and Butter restaurant tucked to the side of the city centre. This little university canteen serves up massive portions and a drink for only a fiver. They host a rotating selection of meals that change each day like macaroni and cheese, curry and lasagna so visitors and university students alike won't have to eat the same thing over and over again. Diners can add a beer for another dollar or pay a couple dollars more for a personal gourmet pizza that is well worth it. Cheap eaters are not likely to find a better deal in the city when it comes to food.
Pick Up A Cheap Souvenir
For those that happen to be on Jessie Street on Wednesday, Saturday, or Sunday, they will have a chance to pick up unique souvenirs for relatively cheap prices. Jessie Street is home to Glasgow's Polmadie Car Boot Sale, the largest of its kind in Scotland. A car boot sale is basically a flea market where vendors show up to sell their odds and ends from the back of their cars. Visitors can pick up antiques, vinyl, rare books, clothes, tobacco accessories and even food, all of which are available at super low prices with most vendors being open to trading and haggling. The sales open at six in the morning on weekends and visitors that want the best deals or the best selection of goods should be there by then.
Enjoy a Free Museum
Glasgow doesn't have any free museum days mostly because it really doesn't need them. While some of the small niche museums have admission fees, the city's best museums are completely free of charge to explore. Visitors can enjoy the Roman artifacts at the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, the collection of transport and travel exhibits at the Riverside Museum or take in the collection at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, whose building is itself a piece of art. The crown jewel of Glasgow's museums is the CCA, or the Centre for Contemporary Arts. This massive museum is the bustling hub of creativity and is the focal point of the city's art scene. They showcase local projects that cover the entire creative spectrum including film, music, spoken word and even Gaelic presentations.
Arlington Baths Club
After originally opening in 1871, the Arlington Baths Club is the oldest swimming club in the UK. The idea was based on Roman public bath houses, but with less open nudity. Although Arlington Baths Club costs a membership, and a pretty pricey one at that, they can be sampled for free under the guise that you are considering a membership. On Tuesdays for women and Wednesdays for men, a free tour of the facility as well as a swim in the wonderful heated baths awaits visitors for free of charge.
Take in a Unique Show
While Glasgow has its fair share of traditional theatre experiences, those who want both an affordable and uniquely interesting show should head down to the Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre that sits along the Tron. Using a series of different kinetic and animatronic sculptures that originated in Russia, the theatre puts on three performances each week as well as hosting a variety of educational and family-oriented events in between. The Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre is one of the most popular attractions in Glasgow, but the shows only cost eight to nine dollars.
Enjoy a Free Walking Tour
While visitors may notice the big red tour buses of the city, those cost a pretty penny to ride on. Those who want to see Glasgow and get a little exercise while doing it should opt for the free walking tours. The most worthwhile walking tour is the Merchant City and Victorian Glasgow walking tour that departs from the lion statues in front of The Cenotaph in George Square. This historical tour leads visitors down Glasgow's oldest streets to enjoy the exciting history, architecture and hidden past of the city. While the tour is free, be sure to leave a tip for the knowledgeable guides at the end.