Backpackers Glasgow – The Greatest Victorian City in the World

Glasgow is one of Europe’s most dynamic cities and has re-invented itself as a cultural travel destination for music, clubbing and creative arts. Renowned as one of the world’s friendliest cities, Glasgow’s rich trading past has contributed to the warm nature of the Glaswegians you meet today.

If you need a cheap hostel in Glasgow there are properties available all year round. Backpackers should check here for the best available prices.

Glasgow River Clyde

The dear green place is a former industrial powerhouse and is widely recognised as the second city of the British Empire. Famous for its shipbuilding and tobacco industry, Glasgow has reinvented itself as a cultural holiday destination for travellers in the twenty-first century.

Glasgow Kelvingrove Museum

Glasgow’s jewel in the crown is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which has an astonishing 8000 objects on display. Situated in the city’s bohemian West End, the Victorian museum hosts a superb collection of Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso masterpieces.

Most visitors descend upon the Kelvingrove Museum in search of Salvador Dali’s masterpiece ‘Christ of St John of the Cross’. This remarkable painting was controversially bought by Glasgow City Council in 1952 for £8,200 and has now become one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions.

University of Glasgow

Within walking distance of the museum is the magnificent Kelvingrove Park. Set on the banks of the River Kelvin, the park enhances and compliments the surrounding Gothic architecture of Glasgow University. Dating back to 1451, the medieval institution is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world and is a beautiful place to visit on holiday.

Visitors can also explore the Hunterian Art Gallery and The Mackintosh House free of charge. The university based museum is an elegant reconstruction of Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868 – 1928) former home.

Glasgow School of Art
Photo: Lex McKee

Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s innovative architectural style draws visitors from all over the world to Glasgow. His most celebrated masterpiece is the Glasgow School of Art building (see above). Mackintosh is widely recognised as one of the most important designers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

House For an Art Lover

His other favourites include The Lighthouse, Scotland Street School Museum and the House for an Art Lover, a contemporary edifice built from the Art Nouveau architect’s original blueprints. His works capture the diversity and eclectic spirit of Glasgow’s architecture.

Scotland’s largest city was formally recognised as the European City of Culture in 1990. Later it won the City of Architecture and Design Award (1999), and Unesco City of Music (2008) – the first British city to win this accolade. Glasgow’s industrial decline has long since faded into history, and in its place lies vivid modern architecture, award-winning museums and concert venues.

Within an hour’s drive of the Scotland’s historic capital Edinburgh and Stirling Castle, Glasgow makes an excellent base to visit the nearby Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Surrounded by majestic peaks and romantic glens, the beauty spot is one of the most unspoilt natural landscapes in the British Isles.

Glasgow is a superb place for backpackers wanting to explore Scotland’s outdoor scenery and it’s only thirty minutes away from Balloch – the gateway to Loch Lomond.

Glasgow Nightfall

Scotland’s most gregarious city also has a vibrant night life and clubbers are highly recommended to check out the Arches and Optimo for electro beats and salsa nights. Otherwise the city has a huge volume of bars, clubs and music venues to cater for all tastes. The world’s biggest pop, rock and hip hop artists regularly visit Glasgow as part of their UK tour.

Outgoing, friendly and with a rich cultural heritage, Glasgow is a must see destination on any trip to Scotland. With its epic club nights and superb music scene, the Scottish powerhouse has everything a young backpacker will need on holiday.

Where to stay in Glasgow

  • Bluesky Hostel is a super cheap hostel only a few minutes from Sauchiehall Street – the biggest clubbing district in Glasgow. Rooms are available from €14.17.
  • Euro Hostels Glasgow is a friendly city centre hostel perfect for first time arrivals in the city. Perfect as a crash pad for a big night out, it has all the facilities you need. Rooms are available from €19.36.
  • McLays Guest House offers backpackers great value budget accommodation in the heart of the city centre. Situated close to Buchanan Street – Glasgow’s biggest shopping street, it’s a superb choice for travellers arriving in Glasgow. Rooms are available from €34.96.