To Scotland and back within 24 hours? Yes! Thanks to my forever love, Ryanair, you can now fly to Glasgow on early Saturday morning and return before breakfast on Sunday.
This (surprisingly cheap) gem of a city is located by the river Clyde in the west of Scotland. Flights as cheap as €5 (€10 if you’re flying on the weekend), ancient stone buildings, heaps of free art museums, excellent shopping opportunities and regional delicacies make this the perfect destination for a spontaneous weekend getaway with friends, family or by yourself.
I have designed an exemplary route, which guides you across the city by foot, avoids unnecessary detours and includes some of my favorite museums, attractions and restaurants- that can all be seen in a single day.
Bonus: Glasgow’s arrival gate is designed like a magical forest. As in wooden benches, tropical wallpapers, stone-patterned carpets, exotic sound effects and all that jazz. Your vacation starts right there!
Once you’ve dropped your luggage off at your hotel, you will be ready for some breakfast.
Rose and Grants is a cozy coffeeshop/deli focused on locally sourced ingredients and wholesome meals. Find delicious homebaked goods, salads, sandwiches, soups and a traditional English breakfast platter as well as a number of vegan options. I go here every time I’m in town and I won’t stop until I’ve worked my way through the whole menu (and then I’ll just start again at the top). If you’re not hungry yet, you can also stop by for lunch on your way back.
The People’s Palace
The People’s Palace is only a ten-minute walk from the deli and contains an interesting, colorful and creative exhibition on the history of the city and its people with exhibits ranging from prison cells to dance instructions and pre-war washing machines. It comes with a small but beautiful botanical garden for that extra dose of vacation vibes while you sip on a cup of post-breakfast tea or just enjoy the atmosphere. Admission is free.
Gallery of Modern Art
Next up is the Gallery of Modern Art, short: GOMA, which also takes us back to the city center. Modern art may not be my favorite art genre but I thoroughly enjoyed strolling through this museum, which includes quite a few pieces you won’t be able to stop thinking about.
How about some pizza or pasta after that English breakfast? Pizza Express makes delicious, thin- and thick crusted pizza and pasta. Their signature starter, dough balls may not sound very exciting at first but never underestimate the power of gooey, fluffy carbs dipped in garlic butter. It’s right next to the GOMA, too!
The final museum (recommendation) is the Lighthouse. It offers a number of architectural exhibitions on multiple floors but what’s most spectacular about it is definitely the view. A terribly high amount of stairs (bring an oxygen tent) lead you to an observation deck from which you can look over the whole city. Admission is free!
Hot chocolate at Hotel Chocolat
Ready for a break? Hotel Chocolat is an English chocolate company famous for its handcrafted pralines and delicious hot chocolate made out of 100% chocolate rather than cocoa powder and artificial preservatives. It has its own, cozy seating area excellent for catching up on some reading or people-watching.
Tip: try white chocolate vanilla and thank me later!
Taste of home, anyone? NY American Grill offers a fine selection of American and local beers along with hearty, traditionally American delicacies in a dim setting. Some booths even offer a lovely view over Buchanan (shopping) street, which you should definitely stroll down at some point during your stay. Most stores are open until 8 p.m.
Whiskey at The Pot Still
Because this is Scotland and their favorite pastime is drinking, we are far from done for the night. The Pot Still has one of the largest selections of Whiskeys in the whole country. Their entire menu can be found on their website, so if you’d like to avoid the overwhelming panic of having to choose one at the counter, I suggest taking a look in advance. Cheers!
Since you only have one day and your return flight is at 7 a.m., it’s advisable to try to stay as close to the city center as you can instead of losing time on public transport. You most likely will not be spending a lot of time in your room and I recommend you think about staying at a hostel. A 4-bed, ensuite dormitory at Euro Hostel will only cost you €15 a night and guarantees a fabulous view over the city. (Bring three friends and you won’t even have to share a room with strangers.)
Airbnb offers a series of affordable, homey rooms in the city center but depending on how spontaneously you book your trip, there might not be any vacancies.
Booking.com will find the perfect hotel for you.
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Getting There and Getting Around
Frankfurt airport is easily reachable by train or car, circa 1 hour from the KMC and 30 minutes from Wiesbaden. Bus 500 takes you straight from the airport to the city center in less than 20 minutes. An open return trip only costs £12 and there’s free wifi on the bus. Use google maps to find the nearest stop to your accommodation. While Glasgow does have uber, there’s also a subway and bus system, which is bound to take you anywhere you’d like to for a lot less money.
Extend your stay!
The Scottish Highlands have been voted the most beautiful holiday destination by many magazines and I can absolutely understand why. One- to three-day bus tours leaving from Glasgow multiple times a week show you its most magical highlights from Isle of Skye to Loch Ness and beyond. If you can spare a few days, I highly suggest you do not leave this continent without having seen the Highlands.
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Author’s profile: Leonie is a poetry-loving literature student with a passion for small towns, road trips, and breakfast food that’s being served at all hours of the day. When she isn’t hopping from one bargain flight to the next, she is making sure you’re hanging with the locals and staying updated on events in your area.