Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and is located at the west end of the Central Belt. It is found on the edge of the River Clyde and is an important economic and cultural center for the country. Glasgow has a spectacular live music scene as well as impressive architecture and history. It also has several popular shopping areas, some unique parks, and beautiful museums, and it’s a popular place to go to for a lot of reasons.
There is a wide range of accommodation choices available in Glasgow. Hostels remain one of the most affordable places to stay, and they usually have a fun and very social environment. So, if you’re looking to meet other visitors, a hostel may be your best bet.
What Are The Best Hostels in Glasgow?
1. Glasgow Youth Hostel
Glasgow Youth Hostel is situated in an impressive Victorian townhouse in the historic West End district of the city. It’s near Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and it has views over the stunning Kelvingrove Park. The hostel offers easy access to various attractions in the city, such as the Botanical Gardens, the University, and many museums. If you’re in town for the music events, you’ll also appreciate being a mere walking distance to Glasgow’s Armadillo, SECC, and Hydro Arena.
Glasgow Youth Hostel also provides a variety of amenities for guests. There’s an on-site coffee shop, a beautiful lounge area and TV room, a game room, and a shared kitchen and dining room. There’s also free Wi-Fi throughout the hostel. If you want to have more privacy, there’s a self-contained apartment available that sleeps up to six people. There are also single, twin, double, and four-bed private rooms available as well as eight-bed dorms that are split by gender.
Price: $23.08 to $24.59
Pros: Great architecture, convenient location, and modern amenities
2. McLays Guest House
McLays Guest House is a large and cheap guesthouse that has 81 rooms that are simple and budget-friendly. The guesthouse is located conveniently in the heart of the city and is near many museums and art galleries. It’s also near Sauchiehall St and Buchanan St, which are some of the city’s best shopping streets. Nearby you’ll find a wide range of cafes, restaurants, theaters, bars, and nightclubs. Various train and bus stations are just a short walk away as well, although the walk is a bit uphill and quite strenuous, so you’d probably be better off riding a taxi.
The guesthouse’s rooms are quite simple yet still comfortable. Also, there are single, twin, double, triple, and four or five-bed rooms, and they each have TVs and telephones. You can also choose from shared or en-suite bathrooms, and a full Scottish breakfast is served regularly.
Pros: Convenient location, access to public transportation, and comfy rooms
3. Euro Hostel Glasgow
Euro Hostel Glasgow is another choice for budget travelers and backpackers in Glasgow. It’s located conveniently right in the center of the city and looks out over the Clyde River. It’s also popular with all kinds of travelers, whether you’re a backpacker, student, or traveling with your friends or a group. It’s convenient whether you’re visiting the city for a concert, sporting event, or just to have a good time.
The hostel is affordable and straightforward, and it has a laid-back atmosphere. They are open to having both stag and hen parties, and a lot of guests enjoy partying till the next morning. If you’re visiting the city with a group, the staff can help you arrange any tours or activities you may need.
The hostel has both dorms and private rooms, and private rooms include singles, twins, doubles, and four or eight-bed rooms. Dorms can also accommodate four, eight, or fourteen people, and both female only and co-ed rooms are available.
Price: $15.62 to $19.52
Pros: Great value, exciting activities, and lots of room options
4. Tartan Lodge
Tartan Lodge is another affordable option in the city. It appeals to a variety of travelers, such as backpackers, solo travelers, and business travelers. Also, there are double and twin private rooms available that have en-suite bathrooms and TVs. There are also shared dorms available that can accommodate three, four, six, or eight people. Dorms also have bunk beds that each have a shelf, power outlet, and luggage space. Female dorms are also available.
This hostel is one of the most pleasant places to stay. It can feel a bit similar to a hotel, so if you want to experience a social environment, this may not be your best choice. It’s also a bit far from the city center, so if you’re going to spend most of your trip to the downtown area, another location can be more convenient. If you’re looking for cheap and comfortable, then this is the place to come.
Price: $12.33 to $16.95
Pros: Lots of room options, very social atmosphere, and great value
What Should I Look For in a Youth Hostel in Glasgow?
The last thing we want to do is to say any hostel is “better” than the others. So, we listed the hostels based on their overall reviews and highlighted things that are important to independent and budget travelers. When you’re booking a hostel in Glasgow, keep these things in mind:
- Location – Glasgow is quite a small city. Central District is one of the best areas to stay in. It’s comprised of 3 main districts: Financial, Theatre, and Merchant districts. In these areas, you can enjoy nightlife, museums, architecture and all of the main attractions of Glasgow.
- Price – You’re going to spend a lot of money on lodging and drinks. Aside from that, it’s not hard to find a meal in a cheap restaurant or buy food for a picnic in Kelvingrove Park.
- Amenities – One of the most crucial entry in this list is finding hostels that serve free breakfast; over the years, this trick will save you thousands of dollars. Aside from that, look out for free towels, free Wi-Fi, and free city tours. These little costs add up!
The Youth Hostels in Glasgow
1. Alba Hostel Glasgow
Price: $10.42 to $54.26
Pros: Comfy and clean rooms, modern facilities, access to public transportation, and no curfews
Cons: The atmosphere depends on your fellow guests, and the staff are quite nosy
2. Scotia Airport Hotel
Price: $52.07 to $58.59
Pros: Convenient location, all private rooms have en-suite bathrooms, great amenities, and delicious breakfast meals
Cons: The hostel’s décor is a bit drab
3. St. Enoch Hostel
Price: $19.96 to $105.9
Pros: Great on-site bar, a functional shared kitchen, convenient location, lots of room options and accommodating staff
Cons: Its atmosphere is not very lively
4. The Heritage Hotel
Price: $55.12 to $106.34
Pros: Good location, modern and spacious rooms, delicious breakfast, and accommodating staff
Cons: The mattresses can be a bit squeaky, and the rooms can get quite noisy
5. Clyde Hostel
Price: $15.52 to $38.19
Pros: Very friendly staff, fun lounges, fully-equipped shared kitchen, and great amenities
Cons: The Wi-Fi is sometimes spotty, and some rooms have a mouse infestation
6. The Hampton Court Guest House
Price: $44.27 to $126.73
Pros: Spotless rooms, access to public transportation, amiable staff, free breakfast, and great value
Cons: Not for more mature travelers as there are a lot of stairs and there’s no elevator
7. University of Glasgow – Cairncross House
Pros: Friendly staff, a shared kitchen, and free Wi-Fi access
Cons: Some bathrooms need to be repaired. The rooms can also get quite noisy (because of the doors)
8. McLays Guest House
Price: $74.22 to $238.71
Pros: Very clean rooms and bathrooms, great breakfast, convenient location, and friendly staff
Cons: Not very social and there’s a shortage of activities here
9. The Victorian House
Price: $54.25 to $96.79
Pros: Free breakfast, convenient location, lots of room choices, and decent amenities
Cons: The rooms are quite bare, and the staff are quite grumpy
10. Glasgow Metro Youth Hostel
Price: $28.65 to $186.17
Pros: Very quiet location, comfy rooms, great value, and free Wi-Fi
Cons: The kitchen, bathrooms, and some rooms can get quite smelly
11. Beersbridge Lodge
Price: $56.42 to $58.6
Pros: Convenient location, friendly atmosphere, and decent amenities
12. Crosshill House
Price: $41.23 to $64.67
Pros: Great location, modern amenities, no curfew, and very laid-back atmosphere
Cons: The staff can get quite grumpy and sometimes the heater is turned off so you won’t have hot showers (usually in the evening
Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city and the fourth-largest in the UK, has a population of about 600,000. It also has a population of over 2,000,000 if the neighboring towns of the Clydeside area are taken into account. Situated at the west edge of Scotland’s Central Belt on the banks of the River Clyde, Glasgow’s historical importance as Scotland’s main industrial center has been challenged by decades of socio-economic and political change alongside various regeneration efforts. Despite this, Glasgow remains one of the nation’s key economic centers outside of London.
Glasgow was awarded the European titles of City of Architecture and Design (1999), City of Culture (1990), and Capital of Sport (2003). In 2008, Glasgow was the second Scottish city to be a part of the UNESCO Creative Cities initiative when it was designated as a UNESCO City of Music. In preparing for its bid, Glasgow organized an average of 130 music events a week, ranging from Celtic music and opera to pop and rock. The city has evolved itself from being the once-mighty industrial powerhouse of Britain to a center for commerce, tourism, and culture. It was the host city for the successful Commonwealth Games in 2014.
Glasgow has also become one of the most visited cities in the British Isles, and visitors will find a revitalized city center, the best shopping outside London, excellent parks and museums (the majority of which are free), and easy access to the Scottish Highlands and Islands.
What Should I Pack For My Trip To Glasgow?
If you’re going on a trip to Glasgow, you shouldn’t forget to bring these:
- Travel Water Bottle: Always go on a with a water bottle – it’ll save you a lot of money and reduce your plastic usage to help save our planet. AR bottle is sturdy, lightweight, and maintain the temperature of your drink – so you can enjoy a cold Red Bull, or a steaming coffee, regardless of where you are.
- Microfiber Towel: It’s always worth taking a proper towel because hostel towels are sometimes untidy and take forever to dry. Microfiber towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.
- Security Belt with Hidden Pocket: You should never hit the road without wearing a security belt. It resembles a regular looking belt with a hidden pocket on the inside – you can hide up to twenty banknotes inside and wear it even through airport scanners without setting them off. It is hands down the best way to protect your cash.
- Camera or Mobile Phone Camera Accessories: One thing’s for sure – Glasgow is a picturesque destination! Get perfect photos from your phone using clip-on-lenses with wide-angle, macro, and optical zoom. With its ability to turn travel photos from basic looking to those akin to the ones captured by professionals, this universal lens sits neatly over any phone camera. It comes with a durable, travel-friendly case!
- International Adapter: Glasgow uses 3-pin British style plugs. You’ll need an adapter. So, save yourself from the hassle of trying to track down an adapter at your destination and paying twice as much if you’re not planning to buy one in advance.
Why Should I Visit Glasgow?
Glasgow is a welcoming and vibrant city filled with character, personality, and great events. No matter what time of year you visit, you’ll find world-class visitor attractions, unique neighborhoods, remarkable architecture, an ever-changing food and drink scene, and legendary nightlife.
So, here are some of the reason why you should visit this historic city:
Housing one of Europe’s most significant civic art collections, the city has a fantastic mix of world-renowned museums, art galleries, and award-winning tourist attractions. It includes the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the Riverside Museum, which are FREE to visit. There are also hidden gems that you can discover like the Tenement House, where you can experience 20th century Glasgow’s atmosphere, and the oldest music hall in the world – the Britannia Panopticon. Also, there are family-friendly attractions such as Glasgow Science Centre and a very modern art scene, too, evidenced through expertly curated programs at venues such as Tramway, the Centre for Contemporary Arts, and the Gallery of Modern Art.
Glasgow has it all when it comes to entertainment options. It’s a legendary music scene with many famous indie and intimate venues, such as the Barrowlands and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. There’s also an annual schedule of events filled with world-class festivals such as Piping Live. As a creative and cultural hub, home to most of Scotland’s national performing arts organizations, such as the National Theatre of Scotland and Scottish Ballet. Couple that with boutique cinemas, basement comedy clubs, glitzy casinos, or underground club nights, Glasgow has it all.
If you ask a local about what you should see and do in the city, they will recommend that you take a walk and “lookup” to experience Glasgow’s rich and diverse architectural landmarks. From the Glasgow Cathedral to the Neo-Gothic University of Glasgow – believed to be the inspiration for the “Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” in the Harry Potter series – to the Art Nouveau marvels of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Glasgow’s vibrant history has left a legacy of the most exquisite Victorian architecture in the UK. Still, you only have to take a short stroll along the ever-changing riverside to see innovative, cutting-edge designs.
Make sure to check out the lanes and arcades in the West neighborhood for cool vintage, second-hand, and indie boutiques, the South for the quirky, small stores full of locally-made and crafted products, and the East for some exciting weekend markets and independent traders. Buchanan Street is the city’s main pedestrianized shopping street where there is no shortage of mega malls, well-known brand names, and specialty shopping. At the same time, Ingram Street in the Merchant City is where to find exclusive fashion brands.
Glasgow has an ever-evolving food and drinks scene, and the Finnieston neighborhood, considered to be the city’s ‘foodie quarter,’ has been at the heart of this constant reinvention with a fascinating blend of cool, quality and cheap venues found here. Also on the top are the city’s several street food markets, where traders create tantalizing options from their quaint trucks in a relaxed, friendly setting. Or experience the taste of local fare, from the traditional haggis, tatties, and neeps to the most excellent seafood, head to one of Glasgow’s Scottish restaurants. If it’s a classic pub full of Glaswegian charm and a drum of whiskey that you’re after, then the city’s bars, along with weekly toe-tapping traditional music sessions are perfect for you. Also, for hip hangouts, go to one of the city’s hippest music bars, a lot of which provide plant-based meals, helping Glasgow maintain its status as one of the UK’s most Vegan-Friendly cities.
Where Can I Party on a Tuesday in Glasgow?
Aside from the on-site bars on some of the hostels on this guide, you can head to Buff Club, Bamboo, Kushion, Firewater, and Sub Club if you want to party on a Tuesday.
Where Should I Go After Exploring Glasgow?
After visiting Glasgow, you can head to smaller cities like Aberdeen and Inverness or see the majestic Scottish Highlands. You can also visit famous lakes such as the legendary Loch Ness and the stunning Loch Lomond. If you want to continue partying, the best explore next is Edinburgh. If you have more time to extend your getaway, you can also go to Amsterdam and London.
What Is Glasgow Famous For?
Glasgow is known for the Glasgow patter, a distinct dialect of the Scots language that is well-regarded as it is difficult to understand by visitors of the city. Glasgow expanded from a small rural village on the River Clyde to become the largest seaport in Scotland and the tenth-largest by tonnage in Britain.
Is It Safe In Glasgow?
Glasgow, like most parts of Scotland, is exceptionally safe. It’s very similar to any big city: it has secure areas and more shady ones, and the same thinking applies here – don’t do things that you wouldn’t do in your city.
Does Glasgow Have A Red Light District?
In Glasgow, Scotland, the traditional red-light districts are The Drag in Anderston around Blythswood Square, Glasgow Green, and Collegelands. People who seek the services of prostitutes travel to these areas, where women wait for customers on the street or inside brothels.