Cost of Living in Glasgow: A Student Guide

writer icon

Allaa Ashraf

calender icon

22 October, 2023

time icon

4 mins read

time icon

Tips and Advice

Share NOW

fav icon
main topic image

Most people hear “study in the UK,” and a mental image of London appears in their heads. We’re here to tell you that there are other fantastic cities in the UK for students, and Glasgow is one of them.

Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, is vibrant and quite more affordable to live in than London. It is home to two world-class universities, namely the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian University. It also has a thriving arts scene and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. In other words, everything a student might need!

The average cost of living in Glasgow can offer an exciting academic and social experience. In this blog, we will delve into the various aspects of the cost of living in Glasgow, from accommodation and food to transportation and entertainment, providing valuable insights into managing your finances while enjoying all that Glasgow has to offer. Come on, let’s get down to business!


Costs in Glasgow

We know expenses and numbers are not fun things to handle, especially as an international student. But in this section, we make life easier for you by providing you with expected costs and some tips and tricks to save on them.

Student Accommodation in Glasgow

First things first, accommodation! Accommodation is one of the biggest costs for students, but Glasgow offers a range of affordable options. The average rent for a single-person flat at a student accommodation in Glasgow is around £200–£900 per month, depending on the area. PBSAs (Purpose-Built Student Accommodation) can be a good option for students who want to build a social network and have some privacy. Some of the best private student accommodation options include Gibson Street Roost, Glasgow West End, and Riverside Glasgow.

How to Save Money on Student Accommodation in Glasgow

Here are some tips for saving money on accommodation in Glasgow:

  • Choose your location wisely. The closer you are to the city centre, the more expensive the rent. Try to find accommodation that’s a little farther away from the heart of the city but has accessible modes of transportation.

  • Share accommodation with fellow students. Sharing a flat with another student will help reduce rent expenses. Also, you get company and make friends!

Food in Glasgow

Okay, we know. Being in a foreign country and experiencing its food and different cuisines is a must-do. While it’s a delightful and tempting thing to do, it can be quite costly if done on a regular basis. 

Dining out in Glasgow can cost you anywhere from £10 to £20 for a meal at a mid-range restaurant, and takeout costs around £5 to £10. Grocery expenses in Glasgow can range from £20 to £40 per week.


Saving Money on Food

There are a number of ways to save money on food in Glasgow. These include:

  • Cook at home more often. Eating out can be expensive, so try to cook as many meals at home as possible.

  • Shop at budget supermarkets. There are a number of budget supermarkets in Glasgow, such as Lidl and Aldi, where you can find good-quality food at low prices.

  • Take advantage of student discounts. Many restaurants and cafes offer discounts to students, so be sure to ask and have your student ID on you all the time!

Transportation in Glasgow

If you’re living off-campus or have chosen an accommodation that’s somewhat far away from your university, no worries! Glasgow has a very reliable public transportation system that makes it easy for you to get around the city without the need for a car and will help you save a lot on the cost of living in Glasgow. 

A weekly Subway Smartcard costs around £15. Buses are also a great way to get to your university or anywhere in the city without breaking the bank. A weekly student ticket from First Bus costs around £17.50.

Saving Money on Transportation

  • Students are also eligible for a discount on bus and train fares. So, do your research and make use of those.

  • Use a bicycle. Cycling is a great way to save money on transportation while exploring the city firsthand. Renting a bicycle in Glasgow can cost you around £50 per month.

  • Don’t use taxis unless you really, truly have to. Taxis are quite expensive in Glasgow and will definitely take a big chunk out of your pocket. So, try to avoid using them as much as possible.

Utilities and Bills

If you’ve not accounted for utilities and bills in your budget plan for the cost of living in Glasgow, reconsider your budget plan. Gas and electricity can cost you anywhere from £30 to £40 per month; the internet can cost you around £20 to £30 per month; and mobile plans can cost you around £10 to £20 per month. So yeah, quite a fortune per month on bills.


Saving Money on Utilities and Bills

  • Opt for all-inclusive student accommodation. Try to look for student accommodation in Glasgow that includes gas, electricity, and internet in your rent so you don’t have to worry about paying extra for them.

  • Look for budget-friendly mobile plans, and choose mobile companies that offer student discounts.

Entertainment in Glasgow

Last but not least, entertainment and extracurricular activities! You can't possibly be studying in Glasgow and not truly experience what it has to offer beyond the classroom. A cinema ticket in Glasgow can cost you around £8 to £12. And if you’re a history buff or an art geek, many museums and galleries in Glasgow offer free entry!

Saving Money on Entertainment

  • Again, take advantage of student discounts. Many places in Glasgow, including cinemas, museums, and restaurants, offer student discounts. Always carry your student ID card and ask if they have any special deals.

  • Explore free attractions. As we’ve mentioned above, Glasgow offers free entry to many of its parks and landmarks.

  • Don’t forget to get creative and find ways to have fun with your friends without breaking the bank!

Additional Tips to Save Money in Glasgow

Want some extra tips on saving money while studying in Glasgow? We got them! Here are some other tips and tricks to save on the cost of living in Glasgow:

  • Get a part-time job for students. Yes, this will help you earn extra money to cover your living expenses.

  • Apply for student scholarships. There are a number of bursaries and scholarships available to students, so be sure to do your research and apply for any that you are eligible for!

And there you go! Glasgow is quite the city to study and live in. It’s a dynamic city that offers students a wide range of experiences, from cultural festivals to beautiful parks and historic sites. While the cost of living in Glasgow is relatively low, it is important to balance your budget to make the most of your time in this remarkable city. Good luck!


Subscribe to download

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to live comfortably in Glasgow?

down icon

The cost of living in Glasgow is relatively low compared to other major UK cities. A single person can live comfortably in Glasgow for around £1,500–£2,000 per month. This includes the cost of accommodation, food, utilities, transportation, and social activities.

Is Glasgow expensive for students?

down icon

Glasgow is a relatively affordable city for students compared to other cities in the UK.

How much does it cost to live in the University of Glasgow for international students?

down icon

The cost of living for international students at the University of Glasgow varies depending on the student's lifestyle and accommodation choices. However, the university estimates that international students will need around £11,300–£16,000 per year to live and study in Glasgow.