Moving to Glasgow

An overview of Glasgow

If you’re moving to Glasgow, brace yourself for its vibrant energy, friendly people, vast choice of nightlife hotspots, and, of course, the strong accent. 

As the largest city in Scotland, Glasgow truly has something for everyone. If it’s not built-up architecture and naughty nightlife that you’re after, fear not – there’s also over 90 protected parks and green spaces to enjoy. Glasgow really lives up to its name – translating to ‘dear green place’ in Gaelic.

Plus, if you want to explore all the things that Scotland has to offer, you’re practically down the road from some of the UK’s most stunning landscapes, and just an hour on the train away from Edinburgh.

A park in Glasgow

The cost of moving to Glasgow

The cost of moving to Glasgow will vary from person to person. Mainly, the cost will depend on two key factors: where you’re moving from, and how much stuff you’re moving. 

If you are looking to move the contents of a three-bedroom house (roughly 875 cubic metres of stuff) from London to Glasgow, you should expect to pay roughly £1,543. This fee includes:

  • Loading/unloading 
  • Packing services/materials 
  • Dismantling/reassembling of furniture
  • The fee for distance travelled

The drive from London to Glasgow is around 412 miles, and most removal companies charge £1 per mile. (Source: comparemymove, 2020).

The amount of money you’ll end up paying for the move will also depend on the removal company you hire, your moving date, and whether you opt for any supplemental services, such as packing and assembly.

The cost of living in Glasgow

Similarly, the cost of living varies from person to person. Like any other city, the price of property, council tax, and sometimes even food in Glasgow will fluctuate, depending on the neighbourhood you settle on. 

To give you a rough idea of how much money you’ll be spending, we’ve outlined prices for a few food and entertainment items below:

ItemPrice
A pint of beer£3.50
1 litre of milk86p
12 regular eggs£1.88
1kg of local cheese£5.99
A loaf of bread85p
A bottle of wine£7
Basic dinner out for two£26
2 tickets to the cinema£20

Data from Numbeo December 2020

Property prices

If you’re moving to Glasgow, you can look forward to property prices at the lower end of the UK’s spectrum, since the average price for property in Glasgow currently stands at £193,302. In terms of property types, flats in Glasgow sold for an average of £149,211 and terraced houses for £171,918. 

To put this into context, buying a property in Edinburgh will put you back an average of £303,243, and London will be roughly double that, at an average price of £666,264. 

Some people prefer to rent for the initial move to a new city – this way you can suss out the best areas before committing to a mortgage. Renting in Glasgow will put you back roughly £960 each month – the second-highest price in Scotland.

Council tax

The amount you have to fork out each year for council tax in Glasgow will depend on the band your home falls under, which is based on the value of the house. Overall, bands range from A (£1,222 a year) to H (£4,291 a year).

Here’s a breakdown of all the bands:

Council Tax BandCouncil Tax Home ValuationCouncil Tax Water ChargeWaste Water
(Sewerage charge)
Total
AUp to £27,000£924£138£160£1,222
BOver £27,000 and up to £35,000£1,078£161£187£1,426
COver £35,000 and up to £45,000£1,232£184£214£1,630
DOver £45,000 and up to £58,000£1,386£207£240£1,834
EOver £58,000 and up to £80,000£1,821£253£294£2,368
FOver £80,000 and up to £106,000£2,252£299£347£2,899
GOver £106,000 and up to £212,000£2,714£345£401£3,461
HOver £212,000£3,395£414£481£4,291

You can find out more on the Scottish government website

Electricity bills

Bills in Glasgow will fluctuate, depending on your lifestyle – and if you’re moving from a warmer place, you might become more closely acquainted with the thermostat during the chilly months.

Your electricity bill, on the other hand, might be a pleasant surprise. According to NimbleFins, the average cost of electricity in Glasgow is 17.0 p/kWh, which is slightly cheaper than the UK average of 18.75 p/kWh. 

Public transport in Glasgow

Glasgow is a very walkable city, especially in the centre. However, if you’re unable to get around on foot, or are just feeling a little lazy, there are plenty of other options. 

  • Subway – It takes 24 minutes to complete the 15-station circuit, with trains running every five minutes at peak times. Tickets start from £1.55 for a single ticket – alternatively, you can get a Subway Smartcard, which you can top up as you go
  • Bus – There are over 80 bus routes that run across the city throughout the day and night. Tickets from £4.60 will cover unlimited travel in your selected area all day, or you can get a weekly ticket, starting at £17
  • Bicycle – Nextbike Glasgow has 700 bikes and e-bikes that you can hire in over 50 locations across the city. Plus, they’re available 24/7. Rental will cost £1 for every 30 minutes, or you can opt for a full-day price of £10 for 24 hours.

Working in Glasgow

According to Total Jobs, the average annual salary in Glasgow is £29,000 – a bit lower than the UK average of £30,800. This might be off-putting, but thanks to the city’s affordable cost of living, it balances out nicely. 

In recent years, Glasgow has diversified its job sector – moving away from its industrial history. As a result, the unemployment rate has halved and there’s much more on offer for newcomers in the city. Plus, the Glasgow Economic Strategy is aiming to add an ambitious 50,000 new jobs to the city by 2023.

The top industries in the Scottish city include digital technology, finance, creative economy, low carbon, life sciences. 

As for Glasgow’s top employers? You can look towards the University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde, Kura, J.P Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Barclays. 

The best neighbourhoods in Glasgow

Hillhead

Hillhead sits at the heart of Glasgow’s increasingly sought-after West End. Located in the middle of the Botanic Gardens and Kelvingrove Park, this area offers an array of museums, art galleries, and independent shops – proving extremely popular with students, young professionals, and families alike. 

Of course, it comes at a price, but if it’s in your budget, Hillhead is worth it.

Bearsden

While it might reel in the most expensive property prices in Glasgow, Bearsden also has a lot to offer, including some of the best primary schools in the city, Kilmardinny Loch Nature Reserve, quick and easy rail links to the city centre, and adorable independent shops. 

This charming suburb offers a tranquil alternative to the hustle and bustle of city life.

Shawlands 

This stylish area is much more affordable than West End, with just as much to enjoy. Praised for its great schools, unmatched Glaswegian cafes, and luscious leafy parks, Shawlands is fast becoming a go-to area. 

Plus, with a direct train line from Shawlands to Glasgow Central, which takes roughly 11 minutes, commuting will fly by!

Things to do in Glasgow

Enjoy Glasgow’s nightlife

From house to techno, disco to funk, rock to pop, Glasgow has something for everyone. The SWG3 arts complex is now one of the leading venues to hire in Glasgow – often putting on large outdoor live shows and high-profile club nights, along with more niche performances. Check out your options on Design My Night’s list of top venues. 

If you’d rather swap a night on the town for an evening watching your favourite band, head to the iconic Barrowland Ballroom. Alternatively, you can enjoy a handful of smaller venues such as King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Nice n’ Sleazy, and The Glad Cafe, which offer great places to hang out.

Visit the many breweries

Glasgow is heaven for anyone interested in tasting local tipples. Tennent’s is to Glasgow what Guinness is to Dublin – so it’s almost a write of passage for newcomers to tour the historic Wellpark Brewery, where it’s created.

Drygate Brewery – an ‘experiential’ micro-brewery – is extremely popular with the locals. You can chill with your friends whilst sampling 26 rotating beers on tap and countless bottled varieties.

Discover Glasgow’s design gems at The Lighthouse

This elegant building, tucked away on Mitchell Lane, is enough to draw anyone in. This Centre for Design celebrates the life and work of Glasgow’s very own Charles Rennie Mackintosh (who designed the historic part of The Lighthouse, originally The Herald newspaper building). 

And, if you take the stairs to the sixth floor, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the city.

Potter around some independent shops

Glasgow has many quirky, cobbled lanes to explore. In the West, Ashton Lane is lined with a mix of great bars and restaurants, whilst The Hidden Lane in Finnieston offers a mix of designer and crafty shops to look through. 

In the city centre, near Buchanan Street, expect to see all the typical high street names, but keep an eye out for fluorescent lighting and head for Mitchell Lane to find more independent goodies. 

Soak in the culture at the museums

There are plenty of city-owned museums and galleries around Glasgow, which are diverse and, in many cases, free to visit. 

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has a world-class collection of art and artefacts, from Natural History to Arms and Armour. At the Hunterian Art Gallery, you can find the Mackintosh House, and take in its historical and beautiful architecture. You can even pop by the Scottish Football Museum and get a glimpse of Scotland’s rich footballing heritage. 

Soak in the greenery

With over 90 parks and green spaces, you’ll never be far away from nature. 

Discover Pollok Country Park, one of the city’s best-loved green spaces – a short walk away from some Highland cows. Take a stroll through the picturesque Kelvingrove Park, set on the banks of the River Kelvin. Meander around the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, taking in its impressive glass houses and tropical plant collections. 

Take a day trip to the highlands

Not only is this city in reach of many of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions, but it’s also just a stone’s throw away from some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the UK. Great places to visit include the Scottish Highlands, the Ayrshire coast, Aran Island, Oban and, of course, the famous Loch Ness.