The GlasgowLiving Guide to Freshers Week in Glasgow
It’s that time of year again. Are you ready for freshers week in Glasgow? Even if we pretend to complain, we love September and the return of the students. The city regains a new lease of life – the clubs are packed, the streets are more animated and the coffee shops refill with the sound of urgent keyboard tapping and the scent of a good, strong roast.
If you’re coming to Glasgow for university, you are going to have an absolute ball. The weather might be a bit grubby, but the people will more than make up for it. When you arrive in a new town, it can be tricky to know where to start. We’ve put together this guide to get you started. From pizza to yoga, boozing to bakeries, we have a great selection of places to go in your first few weeks. Just try and make it along to a few lectures as well, yeah?
Freshers Week in Glasgow: The GlasgowLiving Guide!
1- Get your Freshers Fringe Wristband
As well as your own university’s freshers events, make sure you get yourself a band for the Freshers Festival and Freshers Fringe. Normally £20, you can pick it up for just £15 with our discount code, glasgowliving17.
What does this band get you?
Free club entry (various venues), free food, discounted haircuts, gym use, bowling, tattoo discounts, taxi rides … literally everything you could possible think of to make your freshers week the best ever! In fact, why only have a freshers week? The wristband delivers the goods from 15th – 30th September – 14 days of exclusive goodies. See the specifics here.
Plus, use your wristband to get Q-skip entry to the Freshers Festival in George Square. This two-day event brings together local businesses, restaurants, venues and more. It’s a chance to see what the city has to offer without leaving the square. Expect discounts, freebies and the chance to network – you might meet your new BFF, get your student job sorted, or at the very least, fill up on free pizza!
2- Tour Bath Street
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If the union gets too samey, then Bath Street is the next big destination for a discerning fresher looking for a drink and a dance. Head to Bloc+ for amazingly cheap and delicious food, or Howling Wolf for drinks and live music. If you’re looking for a dressier night, try the Tiki Bar (slightly more expensive) then dance the night away in Lola’s, Saint Jude’s, with free entry for freshers fringe band-holders. Those who like to glam up will also enjoy Kushion – be prepared to queue!
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Tuesdays and Thursdays are the big student nights at Buff Club down Bath Lane – and again you’ll get in for free if you flash your wristband. Tuesday is Killer Kitsch, the longest-running midweek night in Glasgow so you know they’re doing something right. Hip Hop Thursdays is the slickest soundtrack in the city-centre with an encyclopaedic playlist of the best hip-hop, past and present.
3- Go to Sub Club
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Saturdays at Sub Club are the longest-running underground club night in the world. This legendary basement club has a Tuesday night which always brings the students from all over the city. iAM offers electronic beats and a chance to sample this world-famous club on a student budget during freshers week in Glasgow.
Just behave yourself at the door – the bouncers won’t take any of your nonsense, wee man!
4- Have a Hungover Brunch
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If there’s one thing our bonnie city does well, it’s brunch. The West end is a fantastic place to head. Just a few of the best spots include Cafezique, Kaf, Tribeca, Roastit Bubbly Jocks, Papercup, For Fika Sake, Stravaigan …
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We haven’t even made it to the Southside yet. It’s just as well that Scottish students do 4 years. You might just manage to visit them all in that time if you do brunch once a week.
5- Take a Sub Crawl
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You will probably be invited on one of these fairly soon after you join any society, from Harry Potter to hockey. Make sure you go. No freshers week in Glasgow is complete without it. You buy an all-day ticket, and hop on and off, visiting a bar at each stop. Most also involve hideous dressup of some ilk – make the most of it!
Warning: don’t get off at Ibrox. It’s an unspoken rule, you don’t get off at EVERY stop. And that is one of them.
6- Visit Ashton Lane
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This magical little cobbled street is a Glasgow gem. Just off Byres Road in the West End of the city, it could have you fooled that you’ve stumbled into Bruges. When the dusk comes, the fairy lights go on.
7- Check out the Museums
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Glasgow Museums owned by the council are free. This link has a list of them. You should also visit Glasgow University’s Hunterian Art Gallery and Museum for an eclectic personal collection of anatomical specimens and works by the Glasgow Boys.
8- Tour a Brewery
Drygate and West on the Green are the craft beer options. You can make a day of it at either, and enjoy lunch and beer tastings afterwards. The Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery also does a tour, if you’re a particular fan.
9- Drink (a lot) of coffee
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There are some truly fabulous coffee shops in the city, and you’ll need some caffeine to get through freshers week in Glasgow. From home-roasting to unique Glasgow blends, find them all in our recent article covering the current best in the city.
10- Eat some Pizza
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For free pizza, head to the Freshers Festival. Best pizza in the UK? We’ve got that: head to Paesanos. For pizza and beer, head to Firebird. If you want variety, head to Byre’s Road where you can pick between La Vita Spuntini or Little Italy, who have cohabited peacefully for years on the West End’s main street.
11- Stay Zen with some Yoga
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Love it or hate it, yoga in 35-degree heat really helps to sweat out a hangover. Try 30 days for £30 at Bikram Yoga Glasgow. Lulu Lemon offers luxury yoga-gear, but the kind-hearted community gets together regularly for free yoga practices – you can stay up to date on their Facebook page.
12- Take a Walk up Necropolis Hill
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Edinburgh-dwellers do go on about Arthur’s Seat, but the view from the top of Glasgow’s Necropolis is stunning on a clear day. Take a walk in the East End and take in the marvellous architecture and the legacy of Glaswegians from hundreds of years ago.
13- Comedy in the Stand
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You haven’t really done freshers week in Glasgow until you’ve been roasted by a comedian sat in the front row of the Stand. This tiny West End comedy den is an institution and does student-friendly prices on certain nights of the week.
14- Bar-hop in Finnieston
‘The Woo’! And a live DJ from 8:30pm tonight too… To book, call 0141 564 7988 or visit http://www.lebowskis.co.uk/glasgow-west/reservations.php #awayoflife #Lebowskis #lebowskisglasgow #lebowskiswest #burgers #whiterussian #TheDude #thedudeabides #cheers #finnieston #dudefood #glasgowpub #glasgowlife #glasgowbeergarden #glasgowPubQuiz #glasgowlivemusic #liveDJ
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This stretch of Glasgow has been hailed as the new Shoreditch. Whilst we’re not sure we’d go that far yet, it’s certainly on the up. Trendy bars include Lebowski’s (extensive White Russian menu), The Kelvingrove Café (shabby-chic and classy) and the Ben Nevis (whisky). Ox and Finch does a beautiful meal if you’re feeling flush after SAAS day.
15- Take a walk in your local park
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Glasgow isn’t called Dear Green Place for nothing. If you’re a runner looking for new routes, you can find Park Runs around the city.
Find your nearest park here.
16- Head to IKEA
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The 77 bus will drop you off a short walk from the Swedish superstore. Stock up on meatballs, lamps, cosy rugs and candles to keep the hygge vibes strong, even in halls.
The Freshers Fest bloggers recently published their top 15 IKEA goodies for students, read it here.
17- Join the Street Food Revolution
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Finally, keep an eye out for Streat Food events on a campus near you! Started up by a Glasgow Uni grad, they bring the best street food to the coolest events to make sure you’re eating well – don’t forget to reassure yer ma when she calls.
Look out, too, for the Big Feed in Govan – a huge street food event currently taking place once a month.
18- Get yourself along to the Freshers Festival
For over a decade, students across Scotland have been flocking to Freshers’ Festival to fill their buckets and bellies with freebies and discounts, and revel in a two-day long event featuring Glasgow’s best clubs, pubs, eateries, music, accommodation and more!
And this year is definitely no different. In fact, you eager freshers are in for a real treat – with the chance to get your mitts on goodies from the coolest brands in the city and get involved in the fiercest attractions we’ve ever laid our eyes on. So make sure to get yourself along to George Square, 20th and 21st September, grab FREE VIP TICKETS and bring along pals for what will be the highlight of your student experience.
Keen to know more? From beauty samples and gym memberships to club nights, microbreweries and movies (oh and heaps of free grub) here are just some of the reasons why you can’t miss Freshers’ Festival this year – you’re welcome!