My final stop in Scotland (and my 2016 Europe trip) was Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. It is also an industrial city and looked and felt much like it. Unlike Edinburgh, which is a walkable city, most attractions in Glasgow were far apart. I still walked to them as I refused to take public transportation at any point during my trip, but this also meant sore feet and blisters at the end of a day.
I stayed in Glasgow for two nights with a Couchsurfing host. He was also hosting another traveller from Germany, Sarah, so it worked out well as I had a travel companion. The host was unbelievably hospitable, making the guest and I a proper Scottish breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
My first day in Glasgow started off with a trip to the visitor centre. I haven’t mentioned this in my previous posts, but I always make the visitor centre my first stop in any city. Not only can you grab some maps and get suggestions for places to see, sometimes visitor centres also have discount passes for major attractions. I met with an American traveller off of Couchsurfing and we explored Glasgow that day. Our first stop was the Lighthouse, an architecture and design building, which has a lookout point at the top. Not worth it. It was free, but the view was horrible and blocked by metal frames on the windows. We then made our way to Glasgow Cathedral and St. Mungo’s museum, which are both free.
Glasgow Cathedral as seen from Glasgow Necropolis
The Glasgow Necropolis is also within walking distance from these two sites, and it was probably my most favourite part in the city. The Necropolis is an 18th century cemetery on a hill. There are over 50, 000 people buried there, although not every grave has a stone. The Necropolis has a much better view of Glasgow than the Lighthouse as well as some unique monuments to look at.
Later that evening, I met with Sarah and we went into town to have drinks. After walking into a pub and deciding it wasn’t right for us, we ended up at a neat little pub called, The Pot Still. There was a soccer match on with Germany playing, so the pub was filled with loud and drunk but friendly Germans. The pub had a huge selection of alcohol (especially whiskies) so the bar had a rolling ladder that reached to the ceiling! I was amazed.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery
The next day, I went to the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens where there was a small exhibit and gift shop. I learned a lot about Glasgow’s history. Fun fact: Glasgow’s subway is the third oldest in the world (built in 1896). The Winter Garden was under construction so unfortunately I couldn’t go through it, but the palace and grounds were nice enough. I then walked to the other side of the city to visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, which took about 40 minutes. It was a huge gallery, so I only focused on exhibits of interest, especially about Scottish history. After this, I went to the University of Glasgow, which is a few minutes walk from Kelvingrove. If this university isn’t Hogwarts, then I don’t know what is, because oh my this campus was beautiful! Every building I looked at I thought, “HOGWARTS!”and “HARRY POTTER!”
Tell me this doesn't look like it belongs in a Harry Potter movie?! This architecture reminds of the Mirror of Erisad scene from the first movie.
Later that day, I tried my first ever Five Guys burger. My American friend said it was his second favourite burger place, so Sarah and I had to try it. It was definitely worthy of second place. I did try to stay away from fast food places that have locations in North America, but I made an exception whenever my hunger called for it. That night, Sarah and I met up with another Couchsurfer from Norway and we had an amazing night at a pub called Sloans. The best part was listening to a few musicians having a jam session. I love Scottish music.
Overall, the trip to Glasgow went fairly well thanks to the wonderful travellers I met, but I wouldn’t stay more than one day. Compared to the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh, Glasgow was slow and slightly boring.
SIDENOTE: Everything that I wanted to do in Glasgow was FREE. This is every budget travellers dream. The only thing I paid for was my train to Glasgow, taxi to the airport, meals and drinks.
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