Why you should make a side trip to Glasgow on your vacation in the United Kingdom

If you can’t fill in all your time for your UK and Europe vacation, then you should seriously consider a side trip to the beautiful Scottish city of Glasgow. Filled with Victorian and art noveau architecture, set along the River Clyde, and some of the friendliest people you’ll meet, it makes good sense to include Glasgow on your itinerary.

Getting to Glasgow

The easiest and most relaxed way to get to Glasgow is by train. Not satisfied with just owning several airlines, Sir Richard Branson founded Virgin Trains. They operate a reliable high speed train service across the United Kingdom. The train journey can be completed within five hours, with trains leaving from the central London station of Euston, and arriving in the centre of Glasgow. I was able to score a special sale fare for return First Class tickets, for about £60 ($75). First Class gives you a dedicated train carriage, with more space and better seating, and complimentary table service food. The service is typical British: efficient, friendly and polite. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee whilst the English countryside whizzes past as you travel at 120mph.

Photograph of inside of a Virgin Train

Glasgow city tour

I was once skeptical of those red open top tour buses, thinking they were a waste of time and money. But now they’re the first thing I do when visiting a new city because they take you through the most important sites and attractions, so you can then explore on foot in more detail. City Sightseeing Glasgow offers a one day pass for just £15 ($20), or you can pay an extra £1 and get a two-day pass. Best of all, you can hop on and hop off whenever you wish. The buses run approximately on a 20-30 minute timetable, so you can always get back on and continue the tour.

Photograph of Glasgow City Tour bus

Stand up comedy

Comedy says a lot about a person, community and country. And the Scots sure know how to have a good laugh! Even just the Scottish accent is humorous. The Stand Comedy Club

has regular stand-up comedy nights, featuring local and international comedians and good value drink prices. Entry is £14 ($18) payable at the door, and it’s advised to book online.

University of Glasgow

Spend a few hours wandering around the grounds of the beautiful University of Glasgow.

Founded in 1451, it’s the fourth oldest university in the English speaking world. Whilst you’re there, check out the Hunterian Museum,

located within the university grounds. In 1783, a rich local called William Hunter bequeathed his varied collections to the University, and included Egyptian artefacts, famous art works and animal specimens: a truly unique collection.

Photograph of University of Glasgow

Staying connected

With an abundance of things to see and do in Glasgow, you’ll want to share them instantly with your friends and loved ones back home on Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp. Glasgow City Council offers a free Wi-Fi service

throughout the downtown area. Just connect to the “GlasgowCC WiFi” network on your Smartphone and you’re good to go. To ensure you don’t get hit with an expensive bill when you return home, make sure to turn data roaming and cellular data OFF in your phone’s settings. Alternatively, you can buy a pre-paid UK SIM Card from My UK SIM Card

in the USA and have it shipped to your home before you leave. The SIM Card comes with 12GB of 4G LTE data as well as minutes and texts. There’s no contracts or overage charges so it’s a smart choice for the savvy traveller.