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Glasgow on a budget

Glasgow on a budget

Glasgow on a budget

Looking to have a full city experience without breaking the bank? You'll find plenty of affordable or free attractions and activities to enjoy in Glasgow.

Attractions and museums

A birds eye view over Kelvingrove Art Gallery. It's a sunny day, the trees are bloomed and the grass is perfectly lawned outside the gallery.

Glasgow is unique in that many of the city's top museums and galleries are free-to-visit. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and The Burrell Collection are 2 of Scotland's cultural gems. They are known for their world-class cultural collections, as well as their beautiful parkland settings.

Located side-by-side on the River Clyde are The Riverside Museum and The Tall Ship. Explore the city's maritime history and transport museum, both ideal attractions for all the family.

3 children wearing high vis vests lean over a banister looking down. A large rug is displayed on the wall behind them.

For social history, explore what life was like in Glasgow 500 years ago at Provand’s Lordship – one of only 4 remaining medieval buildings in the city. St Mungo's Museum of Religious Life and Art delves into the importance of religion across time and place. In the city centre, the Gallery of Modern Art hosts world-class work by leading artists.

For details on each of these free-to-visit attractions, go to

A grand, marble staircase inside the City Chambers in Glasgow.

Glasgow City Chambers is one of the city's most majestic buildings, set in the heart of the city in George Square. Take a free tour of its Instagram-worthy interiors - visit the city council's website for details.

Fairfield Heritage Centre explores when Glasgow was home to the greatest shipyard in the world (book a free tour at Fairfield's website).

If sport is more your area of interest, then check out the museum and stadium tour at Scotland's National Football Stadium. Book via Scotland Football Museum's website for 1 tour (£8) or both (£14).

Tours and trails

Expert guided bus tour

A great way to take in many of the attractions is on the City Sightseeing Bus Tour. Once you've got your day ticket (£18), enjoy sights and attractions on the move with 22 stops to choose from. Too much to take in on 1 day? Upgrade your ticket to a 2-day ticket costing £24. Book at city sightseeing's website.

A person is standing in front of one of the mural trail artworks, Generation Green. A young child is planting a windmill in soil, a blue spade is beside them.

Self-guided tours by foot

Parks and outdoor activities

A pathway through a park leads towards a glasshouse. Trees and pink rhododendrons overhang the path.

City parks

Glasgow is known as the Dear Green Place due to its large number of green spaces. The southside is home to the city's 2 biggest parks, Pollok Country Park and Linn Park. The west end has some of the prettiest parks, Botanic Gardens and Victoria Park. The east end is home to the city's oldest park, Glasgow Green, and the north has the newest green space in the award-winning Hamiltonhill Claypits. Visit our parks and gardens page for more inspiration.

Free to visit outdoor hidden gems

  • Hidden Gardens - the back of Tramway opens out to a green urban space that is great for relaxing or attending events. Visit
  • Glasgow Necropolis - a beautiful Victorian cemetery with great views of the city. Visit
  • Children’s wood - a green space designed to connect children to nature and bring people together. Visit the
  • Lane wanders - the west end is the place to go for strolls down cute, cobbled lanes full of creative businesses. Check out Ashton Lane, The Hidden Lane and Ruthven Mews.
2 people play tennis on a grass outdoor court. Trees surround the court and the impressive Glasgow Uni tower can be seen between the trees.

Active and sporty

For fun outdoors, there are many different kinds of activities to enjoy. At Kelvingrove Park in the west end, you can play lawn bowls for free. Tennis is free before 4pm on weekdays and is £10 per court on weekday evenings and weekends. Book courts in advance via The skate park is also free-to-use for all ages.

The OVO Bikes are a great way to explore the city on 2 wheels. Hire a standard bike for £2 for 20 minutes or £20 for 24 hours. Check out some suggested routes on the Smarter Travel Glasgow website.

Popular across the UK, Parkruns are free 5km timed events taking place in various parks. Known for a friendly and open to all atmosphere, visit to find a local event to take part in.

Entertainment for all

A group of musicians around a table beside a fireplace play their instruments, including a keyboard, guitar, accordion and fiddles.


Music is all around in Glasgow, the UK's first UNESCO City of Music. A not-to-be-missed Scottish experience in Glasgow is an evening in a cosy pub listening to traditional musicians. The best spot for this is in Finnieston, where you can enjoy live music at The Ben Nevis Bar, Islay Inn and Park Bar.

From blues music at The Howlin' Wolf to trad nights at Stravaigin, there are lots of free live music sessions to enjoy across the city. Visit our bars in Glasgow with free live music for details on each of these and more.

Cinema and theatre

For cinema lovers, the Glasgow Film Theatre does deals throughout the week. They have £6.50 tickets before 5pm on Fridays and pay-what-you-decide screening every second Monday. Check out for what's on.

From independent to blockbuster, expect luxury recliner seats at the Vue cinema at St. Enoch Centre. From £8.99, you can enjoy a film at any time. They also run family deals at the weekends. Visit for listings.

For theatre, try out A Play, A Pie and A Pint at the beautiful Oran Mor in the west end. Enjoy an original play and lunch for £18.50 during the week (£16 on Wednesdays). Visit for what's on.

Culture in the neighbourhoods

Platform Arts Centre, Glasgow Women's Library and The Glad Cafe are 3 community venues that organise budget friendly cultural events. Check out what's on at Platform's website, visit and visit

Also, check out our what's on section and tick free events or search for a certain price range to find out what's coming up soon.

Casual dining

Glasgow has a varied food scene that covers all tastes and budgets. From cheap bites on-the-go to deals, there is much to choose from.

Sugo Pasta and Paesano Pizza are 2 sister restaurants that are open for walk-ins only. They serve up yummy and authentic pasta and pizza for all the family at reasonable prices. There are also a number of great spots for sit in or on-the-go, including Korean meals from Kimchi Cult! and award-winning kebabs at Shawarma King. For great street food in casual surroundings, try the Dockyard Social. Visit our Cheap Eats in the City page for more inspiration.

Article last updated: April 2024

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