Where to Stay in Glasgow: Advice from a travel blogger about the best neighborhoods to stay in Glasgow, Scotland! (Plus 14 hotel and apartment recommendations)
We created this guide after a few trips to Glasgow, with the intention of encouraging more people to visit Glasgow, and have a great experience while there. While there are many areas we haven’t included, we’ve tried to provide an overall feel for the three neighborhoods we think are the best areas to stay in Glasgow, and have added hotel links for places we’d personally love to stay. If you’re also planning on visiting Edinburgh, don’t miss our Where to Stay in Edinburgh guide, too!
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Where to Stay in Glasgow: A Quick Guide to Finding The Best Areas to Stay in Glasgow
- Glasgow City Centre: Glasgow’s city centre is as convenient as you could possibly get, with two train stations smack dab in the middle of the city, and loads of fantastic hotels within walking distance. While Glasgow City Centre feels more like a downtown and less like a neighborhood, it’s a vibrant and convenient place to base yourself for a night to several days in Glasgow. City centre is probably the best area to stay in Glasgow for a first-time visit.
- Finnieston: Proclaimed one of the hippest places in Britain by The Times, Finnieston is cool and getting cooler, without much gentrification push-back thus far. Mixing old-school working class spots with craft beer bars, hipster restaurants and boutique shopping, Finnieston is hipster Glasgow embodied, without being pretentious. If you want to stay in Finnieston, pick somewhere close to Argyle Street. Of note, Finnieston is also home to The Hydro, and is thus the best place to stay in Glasgow for a concert at the Hydro. There is a nice selection of international chain hotels within walking distance to the Hydro along the river – probably the best area to stay in Glasgow for a concert.
- The West End: Mixing old money with student hot spots, the West End is a nice mix of vintage shops, sweet boutiques, great pubs and cocktail spots, and beautiful buildings. The West End is also home to Kelvingrove and the University of Glasgow. If you’re coming to Glasgow for a boutique shopping weekend or want to be spoiled for choices when it comes to restaurants and bars, stay in the West End.
- Popular Tours & Excursions from Glasgow
- Our Where to Stay in Glasgow Map
Where to Stay in Glasgow: An Introduction
Geoff and I first visited Glasgow in 2014 as a short-day trip from Edinburgh, and were totally surprised by how cool it is. Until we actually went there, we’d somehow had this preconceived notion that Glasgow was boring, not very beautiful, and basically lacking in anything we’d want to see as tourists. How wrong we were!
Since that first visit, we’ve been back twice: Geoff went on his own in 2015, to attend the Glasgow Film Festival and eat Haggis Pakora at Mr. Singh’s, a Glaswegian institution; and then we went back in 2016 to explore the city some more, visiting House for an Art Lover, checking out the Glasgow mural trail, and generally coming to love the city.
(If you’re still wondering if you should visit Glasgow, find out why we think you should visit Glasgow).
Glasgow reminds us a lot of Portland, Oregon, and Berlin, Germany. If you assess the city from a first glance, you might think, “what’s the big deal?” But if you give any of those cities a chance, and dig in a bit, you can’t help but see how awesome they are. Berlin certainly is not the most beautiful or picturesque of German cities, but it’s got serious soul. Same with Portland – you don’t go there to see things, but to experience the culture (hello! Food trucks!). Same goes for Glasgow, except Glasgow IS nice on the eyes!
This Glasgow neighborhood guide will help you find the best area to stay in Glasgow, and will hopefully encourage you to visit this underrated Scottish gem of a city!
Hop on the Glasgow Sightseeing Bus – In our experience, Glasgow sports one of the more convenient Hop-on/Hop-off sightseeing services. Running about every 20 minutes, it literally goes to everything you’d want to see. It’s especially convenient for those a little further out, but absolutely worth seeing, like the Transport Museum and Kelvingrove, but also districts and shopping centers are easily accessed on the 24 stop route. $19.96US per person, click here for more!
Where to Stay in Glasgow? The City Center is the Most Convenient Spot in the City
Stay in Glasgow’s City Center if you’re only in Glasgow for a night or two and want to make the very most of your time.
Glasgow’s city center is mighty convenient, and there are some fantastic hotel choices to pick from. If you arrive in Glasgow by train, you’ll likely be able to walk to your hotel, and you’ll be able to explore much of the city on foot as well. If you need to go somewhere that isn’t walkable, Ubers and taxis are affordable, and the metro system is dead easy to figure out.
Besides being convenient, the city center is full of cafés, restaurants and bars, attractions, and shopping, meaning you’ll never be lost for what to do.
If you’re coming to Glasgow for the first time, the city center is one of the best areas to stay in Glasgow. Similarly, it’s a great spot to stay for a short overnight or two-night stay in Glasgow, especially if you’re arriving by train.
Our Pick! Affordable Boutique
Grasshopper’s Hotel — This is where we stayed, and we can’t recommend it enough. It falls squarely in that “affordable boutique” category – not budget, but not luxury, with lots of charm and unique features. Your stay comes with a free, home-cooked breakfast, optional (costs extra) dinners at the hotel, and all the cupcakes and homemade ice cream you can eat (which in our case was a lot).
Affordable Design Hotel
Citizen M — We’ve stayed in Citizen M hotels before, and are big fans of the chain. They are uber modern, and we always feel like we’re checking into the future. What they are not, however, is private: showers have glass doors, so not really the place to stay with a family member or your BFF, unless you get separate rooms.
Blythswood Square — One of the best-rated luxury hotels in Glasgow, this place gets rave reviews from past guests. Great location in the city centre, beautiful decor, and nice added touches, like a 10,000 square-foot spa facility with 2 pools, an on-site movie theatre, and an on-site restaurant and bar.
DoubleTree by Hilton Glasgow Central — With a bit more of an upmarket feel than I typically expect from a DoubleTree property, this one has a contemporary, design hotel feel to it; an on-site swimming pool, sauna, and steam room (there’s also a gym, which costs extra); and a lovely looking lobby bar. Very good reviews.
Cheap & Cheerful
ibis Styles George Square — Modern, simple and fresh, we’ve always had good experiences with ibis’ ’boutique-inspired’ budget line of hotels. This one gets good reviews for comfort, location, and staff friendliness…it’s one of Trip Advisor’s top-rated (by past guests) hotels in Glasgow! And it includes breakfast.
Top-Rated Value Pick
Z Hotel Glasgow — Past guests love this place, and it gets all-around top marks. With prices ranging from $70 to $120 or so, this hotel seems to be a top pick on the quality vs. price scale. Fresh breakfast is included, snacks are on offer throughout the day, and complimentary wine and cheese is on offer from 5 to 8 each evening.
Where To Stay in Glasgow – Finnieston
Anchored by The Hydro — the new arena that was built for the Commonwealth Games — Finnieston has come into its own of late, earning headlines such as the hippest place in the UK, which Finnieston itself doesn’t seem to be very bothered by.
Sitting to the west of the M8, sandwiched in between the city centre and tony Kelvingrove and the West End, Finnieston more or less runs along Argyll Street, sprawling north to Sauchiehall, with the riverfront area around the Hydro to the south.
If you’re looking to stay in the neighborhood of Finnieston itself, we’ve recommended the Alamo, the Argyll, and the Lorne Hotel. If, however, you’re coming to Glasgow for a concert, you may want to stay a bit outside of the uber hip parts of Finnieston, picking a hotel down along the Clyde river – surely, the best area to stay in Glasgow for a concert at the Hydro. Those tend to be international chain hotels, and we’ve picked out The Crowne Plaza Glasgow, the Hilton Garden Inn, and the Village Hotel Glasgow as our top picks.
Elegant Guest House
The Alamo — An elegant 3-star guest house that honestly looks as though it belongs in 4-star territory. Overlooking Kelvingrove Park, the rooms mix contemporary colours and fixtures with period touches, creating a stylish but cozy appearance worth spending some time in the room to soak up! Wonderful reviews on TripAdvisor – the term “hidden gem” comes up.
Cozy Guest House
Argyll Guest House — Another nice-looking guesthouse, the Argyll has nicely decorated rooms, many combining natural materials with Scottish fabrics and plaids. Mornings include a full Scottish breakfast, and overall this place looks clean, comfortable, and in a nice location ready to enjoy Finnieston, the West End and City Center. There are a few complaints about noise, which is worth noting if you’re a light sleeper!
Lorne Hotel Glasgow — An updated hotel with contemporary decor and a warm, cozy feeling, this place gets generally good marks from past guests: good location, nice decor, great on-site Indian restaurant, clean and comfortable. Like the Argyll, however, there are a few complaints about noise worth considering.
Village Hotel Glasgow — If you’re unfamiliar, the Village Hotel Club is a chain of hotels operating around the UK. On the exterior, they look like a standard international chain. On the interior, however, they channel more of a boutique vibe: funky decor; large and well-equipped gym; nice bar and restaurant. This one gets great reviews, and is in a nice location for catching a concert!
Crowne Plaza Glasgow — Crisp, clean, modern and comfortable, the Crowne Plaza overlooks the river and is only a few minutes’ walk from the Hydro. The hotel gets top marks from past guests for comfort, design, and the on-site bar, as well as good breakfasts and a fitness center. Certainly the most luxurious choice in the area if you’re looking for a bit higher-end service and details.
Great Value 4-Star
Hilton Garden Inn — Past guests consistently rate this place well on value, comfort, and staff friendliness, as well as a great location right on the river and just across a foot bridge to the Hydro. Rooms are bright and inviting looking, and while nothing stands out as spectacular, this seems like a solid option that won’t let you down.
Where to Stay in Glasgow – The West End
With a decidedly more local feel to it, the West End is tony and student focused, home to the beautiful University of Glasgow campus, cute Ashton Lane, the shops along Byres Road, Kelvingrove park and museum, and the Botanical Gardens. You could spend an entire long-weekend food and drink trip in the West End, and be totally satisfied – there are just so many places to choose from. The West End is also a fantastic spot to base yourself if you want to do some boutique shopping (international chains are focused in the City Center), or are in Glasgow to visit the University.
If you’re looking for quirky cute, the West End has you covered.
Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor Hotel — A luxurious 4-star hotel well located to explore Glasgow’s Byres Road — an area full of cafés, shops, and little laneways — as well as for visiting students or attending events at the University of Glasgow. On-site gin bar, comfortable beds, clean and modern rooms, but mixed reviews on staff.
Chic & Modern
Argyll Western Hotel — A twin sister to the place of the same name in Finnieston, this Argyll property looks much the same: nicely decorated rooms combining natural materials with Scottish plaids. It looks truly charming, and gets top marks across the board from past guests. A great option if you want to experience Glasgow’s West End, or are in town to go to the University or Botanical Gardens.
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So Where Should You Stay in Glasgow?
If I had friends or family going to Glasgow for one or two nights, and it was their first-time visiting Glasgow, I’d suggest they stay in Glasgow City Center, because it’s so convenient, and there are so many great hotels to choose from:
- Grasshopper’s Hotel — A small but inviting hotel with a boutique feel to it, where staff feel like old friends.
- Citizen M — An affordable design hotel chain with a futuristic vibe and small but comfortable rooms.
- Blythswood Square — A luxurious boutique hotel perfect for romantic trips or treating yourself.
- DoubleTree by Hilton Glasgow Central — A fresh and modern looking chain hotel with a fitness center and nice rooms.
- ibis Styles George Square — An affordable property in the “cheap and cheerful category” from consistently good ibis.
- Z Hotel Glasgow — A top seller in Glasgow, with excellent quality for the price.
The best area to stay in Glasgow for a shopping trip is either the city center (see above) or the West End. The city center has loads of international brands and chains to enjoy, with many concentrated along the “Style Mile” of Buchanan Street. The West End has more boutique shops, as well as quirky and vintage shops. The West End is also full of great cafés, bars and restaurants.
- Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor Hotel — An upscale 4-star hotel with bright, comfortable rooms and an on-site gin bar.
- Argyll Western Hotel — A chic and modern design hotel with charming decor and great reviews.
If you’re coming to Glasgow and want to get a feel for what all the fuss is about with Glasgow fast becoming one of the coolest cities in Europe, stay in Finnieston: hipster central. If you want creative and artisanal, often created by young entrepreneurs who are trying to make their mark on the world, stay around Argyll street in Finnieston.
- The Alamo — Elegant and charming, this is a beautiful-looking guesthouse with great reviews.
- Argyll Guest House — A twin sister to its namesake in the West End, with much the same vibe (but a bit louder).
- Lorne Hotel Glasgow — Updated, cozy and contemporary guesthouse, also with some noise issues.
The best place to stay in Glasgow for a concert at the Hydro is along the rejuvenated Clyde River:
- Village Hotel Glasgow — An affordable, boutique-inspired large hotel with great reviews from past guests.
- Crowne Plaza Glasgow — The most luxurious option on this part of the river, if you’re looking for an extra level of service and comfort.
- Hilton Garden Inn — Another great value option, especially for a one-night stay.
Loch Ness, Glencoe & Highland Full Day Tour
Loch Ness, Glencoe & Highland Day Tour from Glasgow – during this full day tour, you’ll experience the breathtaking scenery of the Scottish Highlands and the famous valley of Glen Coe. You’ll visit Fort William, Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle, and continue to Inverness before returning after a healthy dose of the Highlands!
Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond and Whisky Minicoach Tour
Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond and Whisky Minicoach Tour – this full day tour begins by visiting one of Scotland’s most revered landmarks, Stirling Castle and the national monument to William Wallace. The tour continues into the Highlands to explore Loch Lomond and ends with visit to the Glengoyne Scotch Whisky Distillery.
3-Day Isle of Skye and Highlands Tour from Glasgow
3-Day Isle of Skye and Highlands Tour from Glasgow – experience the best of the Scottish Highlands and include a day on Isle of Skye in this three day tour. You’ll see sights like Stirling Castle, Glen Coe and Eilean Donan Castle before crossing the bridge and spending a day and night on Isle of Skye. You’ll also spend a night at Loch Ness and see Urquhart Castle and more, before returning to Glasgow.
Where to Stay in Glasgow Map
To make it a little easier for you to plan your trip, and to find the best area to stay in Glasgow, I’ve created a google map that shows each of the hotel recommendations listed in our Where to Stay in Glasgow Guide.
Each neighbourhood is color coded. Purple represents Finnieston, Yellow represents the city centre, and Pink represents the West End.
An (affiliate) link to the hotel is in the description, which will take you straight to Booking.com to check availability and prices. Click on the icon to the left of the map title to see the legend, which breaks recommendations down by neighbourhood! Hopefully this is helpful – I’ll continue to update it when I find the time :)
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A Note About Our Hotel Recommendations In This Best Area to Stay in Glasgow Guide
Our goal with this Where to Stay in Glasgow Guide (and our Where to Stay in Prague, Where to Stay in Budapest, Where to Stay in Berlin Guides…you get the idea) is to make sure you find the best area for your travel preferences and style. We know all too well from personal experience that the area in which you stay can make or break a trip…and we definitely want to help you ‘make’ it.
So…the hotel recommendations in our Where to Stay in Glasgow Guide are based on what we’d suggest to friends and family with different budgets and trip styles, if they were coming toGlasgow. We haven’t personally been to all these hotels, but we’ve researched them carefully: is it in a good area that seems safe? Is it in a good location for enjoying Glasgow? Have past guests left fantastic reviews of the property? Would I tell my mother or sister-in-law that this is a good place to stay?
If it meets these criteria, I’ve added it to the list. Ultimately, our goal is to help you have a great visit to Scotland’s capital, and to do so without having to spend hours choosing the best place to stay in Glasgow! Hopefully we’ve succeeded…but please don’t blame us if we haven’t – at the end of the day, we expect you’ll check the most recent reviews as well, using our suggestions as a starting point and framework, and choosing the best area to stay in Glasgow for your own very unique trip!