How Much Does It Cost to Live in Glasgow for One Month?

Glasgow's commanding position on the River Clyde has defined its development over the decades. During the 18th century, with the onset of Britain's Industrial Revolution, the city expanded rapidly. It grew into one of the world's centres for the production of chemicals and textiles and pioneered cutting-edge engineering, especially in shipbuilding. At its peak in the early 1900s, Glasgow provided one of the largest seaports in Britain and was amongst the country's main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America and the West Indies.

After some years of urban decline following the collapse of its industrial base, Glasgow has re-invented itself as a dynamic modern city with flourishing media, artistic, sporting and business sectors. The River Clyde 'corridor' has been enhanced with bold new architecture including a Science Centre, IMAX Cinema and Exhibition and Conference Centre. New sporting facilities, including the impressive 'Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome', were added as part of the city's preparations for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

There's a growing 'foodie' scene, centered on Scotland's excellent local produce, lively bars and clubs and a well-regarded University, making Glasgow a desirable place to work abroad or study abroad.


What is the Cost of One Month of Housing in Glasgow?

Glasgow Street, copyright CC user Kent Clark on Flickr

Between £560 a month for a room in a shared hostel dorm to £1,100 for a self-contained apartment.

AirBnb has private rooms in shared homes in central locations from £22 a night. Expect to pay from £275 a week for self-contained studio or one-bedroom accommodation. Try the Gumtree or citylets websites.

Hotels like Fraser Suites, 1-19 Albion Street, have double en-suite rooms for £75 a night. A double room in a 'bed and breakfast' guesthouse like Beersbridge Lodge, 50 Bentinck Street, will cost around £45 per night. The city is well supplied with hostels including Euro Hostel, 318 Clyde Street, which offers a bed in shared dorms for around £18 a night to a single en-suite room for £24. It welcomes groups of all sizes so is perfect for friends travelling together to volunteer abroad.

Student accommodation is available during vacations, including at Margaret Macdonald House, minutes away from the beautiful and historic Glasgow School of Art. Expect to pay around £165 a week for a single room with shared facilities. 

Glasgow Central Train Station, copyright CC User Jacob Earl on Flickr

About £66 if you are just travelling within the city

Trains: Glasgow has a good transport links including Glasgow International Airport for flights within the UK and abroad, Glasgow Central Station for connections to England and Wales and Queen Street Station for trains to Edinburgh and other parts of Scotland.

There's also an extensive network of suburban trains in and around Glasgow and an underground line that serves 15 stations in the centre, west and south of the city (single £1.40, £4 all day or £45 for a month).

Buses: Buses are operated by 'First Glasgow'. 'FirstDay' tickets allowing 'hop-on/off' travel on all its buses can be bought from drivers for £3 and is valid until 1am.

The 'ZoneCard' is Glasgow's flexible ticket for unlimited travel by rail, subway, most buses, and some ferries in the region, depending on which 'zone' you have selected. It can be used wherever you see the ZoneCard logo. The card can be purchased at any staffed station. You will need a passport-sized photo of yourself.A ticket covering 3 Zones in the city costs £65.90 for a month.


What is the Cost of Food for One Month in Glasgow?

Glasgow Street Market, copyright CC User Jim Forest on Flickr

Budget £250-£300 for meals mostly cooked at home with the odd lunch and drinks out

Buying food in supermarkets, expect to pay around 85p for a litre of milk, just under £2 for 12 eggs, £6 for a bottle of wine and £2.10 for a kilo of apples. Drinking out, expect to pay £3-£4 for half a litre of local beer and £2.50 for a cappuccino.

Markets are a good way to sample local produce and pick up some bargains. Glasgow's Farmers Market offers seasonal vegetables, fresh fruit, quality meat, free-range eggs, bread, cakes, cheese and fresh street food. It is held at Queen's Park (at the corner of Pollokshaws Rd and Langside Avenue) every 1st and 3rd Saturday of month and at Partick, Mansfield Park every 2nd and 4th Saturday of month, 10am – 2pm.

The city has some excellent and good value restaurants including The 78, 10-14 Kelvinhaugh Street, which has lunch dishes from £4 and offers a 10% student discount.

Glasgow is famous – or more accurately infamous – for its boozy pub scene. Friday and Saturday nights are particularly lively. Check out The Admiral, 72a Waterloo St, which has live music on some evenings and The Black Sparrow, Sauchiehall Street.


What is the Cost of Entertainment for One Month in Edinburgh?

Kelvingrove Art Gallery, copyright CC user chris@APL on Flickr

Museums: Glasgow has lots of great (and free) Museums including one based on water. At The Tall Ship at Riverside you can board the barque Glenlee, one of the many hundreds of ships built in Glasgow's shipyards. Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Argyle Street, features themed, state-of-the-art galleries displaying thousands of objects. The Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square, is open every day. It houses a changing programme of a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, video and installations. There's also a chance to go back to school at the Scotland Street School Museum. This former school, designed by the great architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1903, recreates classroom 'experiences' from the Victorian era, the 1930s and the 1960s.

Sports: The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, 100 London Road, is open everyday and offers cycling from £8.10 and hour with an 'introduction to track cycling' course available for £10.40.

Nightlife: There are some great live music venues in Glasgow including the Glasgow O2 Arena where you can see world famous artists. Tickets from £28. For up and coming bands try King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, 272a St Vincent's Street, and The Sub Club, 22 Jamaica St. Tickets to both of the latter £10.


Want to Volunteer For One Month in Glasgow?

Glasgow has many opportunities for those looking to volunteer abroad, including positions at the Glasgow Film festival, positions in shelters for homeless people and assisting those with mental illnesses. Volunteer Glasgow's website is a good place to start looking for openings.

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