Relaxing in Glasgow

Authored By:

CIEE Glasgow

In Glasgow, the pursuit of tranquility, a quality cup of tea, or the perfect spot to catch up with friends isn't just a pastime; it's a part of the city's fabric that students and locals alike cherish deeply. Lets uncover the serene parks, captivating coffee and tea shops, and welcoming spaces where students can unwind after a day of studies, reflecting Glasgow's vibrant yet laid-back atmosphere.

Green Spaces for Solace

A large park in Glasgow

Kelvingrove Park, a sprawling green heart in the city, invites students to step away from their studies into the embrace of nature. It's a perfect setting for those afternoons when you need to recharge, offering scenic walks and peaceful corners for reading. With incredible views of the University of Glasgow and the River Kelvin passing through, it's a favourite with all Glaswegians. 

Glasgow Botanic Gardens, set in the city's West End by the River Kelvin, offers a peaceful retreat with its expansive plant collections and scenic riverside walks. The heart of the Gardens is the Kibble Palace, a striking glasshouse that showcases the national collection of tree ferns and tropical rainforest plants. Established in 1817, the Gardens have evolved into a beloved public space that combines natural beauty with educational opportunities. It boasts a variety of orchids, carnivorous plants, and a dedicated research library with a vast collection of botanical literature. Open from 7am to dusk all year, with free entry, it provides a tranquil environment for relaxation and study. 

Coffee Shops for Study and Conversation

Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, nestled in the West End, is a sanctuary for tea enthusiasts and anyone looking for a peaceful spot to study. It’s a place that invites you to slow down, sip on a carefully selected tea, and dive into your studies or a good book. Check out their events calendar for live folk music or even poetry reading in a cosy space.

Cashel Coffee & Dry Goods, a hidden gem among Glasgow's coffee scene. Cashel offers a large open plan and inviting space for students for those study sessions or casual meet-ups with friends. With it's location half way between the city centre and the west end, it's rarely too busy, making it an ideal spot for focus or meet ups! 

Social Spots to Unwind

Ashton Lane, a cobbled backstreet nestled in Glasgow's West End, adjacent to the University of Glasgow, has transformed from a run-down area in the 1970s into a vibrant hub for nightlife and culinary delights. This transformation began with the relocation of the Ubiquitous Chip restaurant, sparking a renaissance that attracted other businesses, making it a cherished spot among locals and visitors alike​​​​. Today, Ashton Lane boasts an array of bars, restaurants, and a licensed cinema, making it a focal point for those seeking a mix of cozy beer gardens, Scottish cuisine, and unique dining experiences like cheese or chocolate fondue at Brel, or a blend of Scottish and Indian flavors at The Wee Curry Shop​

The Stand Comedy Club delivers laughter and relaxation with its lineup of comedians. It’s a place where you can forget about deadlines for a few hours and just enjoy the camaraderie of friends in a fun setting. Glasgow, famed for being a city which makes or breaks comics, is a great place to watch the next big comedian in a tight, intimate venue.

Architectural Beauty and Inspiration

Cloisters at the University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow Cloisters offer a stunning architectural backdrop that inspires both awe and a sense of academic heritage. It’s a place of beauty and tranquility, perfect for those reflective moments or a quiet break between classes. 

Glasgow Cathedral, with its Gothic architecture and storied history, stands as a beacon of inspiration in the city. Not just a place of worship, the cathedral and its surroundings offer a peaceful retreat for students. Its ancient beauty and the tranquility of the Necropolis provide a unique contrast to the city's bustling student life.

In Glasgow, the blend of beautiful parks, relaxing coffee shops, vibrant social spaces, and inspiring architectural landmarks creates a rich environment for students. These spaces offer a study-life balance, ensuring students have access to a variety of experiences within the city. Whether it's finding peace in greenery, enjoying the buzz of a coffee shop, laughing away stress, or soaking in historical beauty, Glasgow caters to every need, making it a truly student-friendly city.