HI Hostels Blog

Things to do in Glasgow

Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city and is renowned for its culture, style and the friendliness of its people. Groups of all kinds flock here every year to experience the city’s eye-catching architecture, museums and galleries, city parks, great shopping and nightlife. To keep costs down without compromising on quality or location, stay at HI’s group-friendly Glasgow Youth Hostel. This fantastic hostel situated in the West End of the city, overlooking Kelvingrove Park, is ideally located within easy reach of the Riverside Museum, Botanic Gardens and Glasgow Science Centre. So, whether you’re planning a curriculum led school trip, an organised club outing or simply a gathering of friends, this Scottish city has a lot to offer without breaking the bank.

Go for a walk

On the doorstep of our Glasgow Youth Hostel, Kelvingrove Park is a family-friendly Victorian park with bags of character. The park contains a bandstand, children’s playground, skate park, bowling green and various statues and monuments. The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife and habitats, including birds, squirrels and sometimes even otters.

As part of a legacy project inspired by the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, Ramblers Scotland has devised a series of free, short routes from central walking hubs across Scotland. Three such routes start at the An Clachan café in Kelvingrove Park. The Bronze route is a short circuit of the park itself, while the Silver route goes through the park to the Kelvingrove museum and back, and the Gold route takes in the River Kelvin Walkway to the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. So if you enjoy walking, give it a go!

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

For culture buffs

Set in an imposing late-Victorian red sandstone building, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is free and full of eclectic displays. It is in the top three free-to-enter visitor attractions in Scotland and one of the most visited museums in the United Kingdom outside of London. Only here can you see a giant stuffed elephant posed beneath a genuine Spitfire suspended in mid-air. Paintings and sculptures range from modern Scottish to French Impressionist and Renaissance Italy. The displays also include natural history, medieval weapons and anthropological exhibits.

Quirky West End

Sometimes known as Glasgow’s Covent Garden, De Courcy’s Arcade, just off Byres Road in Glasgow’s bohemian West End, has numerous cafes, bars, restaurants, boutiques and vintage stores. The area has a variety of small shops where you might find a special souvenir and, along with nearby cobbled Ashton Lane, is also popular in the evenings for its friendly and relaxed feel.

Botanic Gardens

If flora and fauna are more your thing then you won’t want to miss Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens, home to nofewer than 10 large Glasshouses, including the Kibble Palace, a wrought iron framed glasshouse originally built in 1873. Orchids, arid land plants, tropical plants and the Victorian Water Lily are some of the favourites to be found in the collection. The Gardens host a variety of events throughout the year including theatrical performances, live music, talks from experts and art fairs.

@Finlay McWalter
@Finlay McWalter

Riverside Museum and Tall Ship

Architect Zaha Hadid’s new Riverside Museum houses an enormous collection of transport-related displays, with more than a century’s worth of bikes, cars, trains, boats, buses, carriages and any other conveyance ever used. Interactive displays and the hugely popular historic Glasgow street scene bring the objects and stories to life. Behind the museum is the impressive Tall Ship, built in Glasgow in 1896, the only one of its kind in the UK.


Explore the world of science

Are you a science and technology enthusiast? Then take a stroll along the River Clyde waterfront and visit Glasgow Science Centre. It houses three floors of more than 250 interactive exhibits, a Science Show Theatre and Planetarium.

For artsy types

Sadly, the Glasgow School of Art is currently not accessible, but there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy works from the turn-of-the-century Scottish architect and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh who brought international fame to the city of Glasgow. Visit the House for an Art Lover situated within the beautiful landscape of Bellahouston Park and see a real interpretation of his designs. Or step back in time for afternoon tea at the Willow Tearooms and its art deco surroundings, away from the hustle and bustle of the shoppers on Sauchiehall Street.

For more information, visit www.syha.org.uk or www.visitscotland.com.

Tell us your tips in the comments…

Find out more about Glasgow by visiting our Tripbook here.

Glasgow downtown

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