Say what you want about the culture hub of the Scotland. Sure, she ain’t the prettiest urban lass on the block (Edinburgh’s got that all locked up), but Glasgow’s a necessary stop on any Scotland itinerary. And I mean any.
The challenge in planning a trip here is never what to see & do (there’s plenty o’ that, laddy!); it’s with choosing where to stay in Glasgow.
As the biggest city in Scotland, Glasgow covers a wide area with accommodations spread to all corners. Not knowing what you’re up against can send even the best travel planners into a panic.
Ready to suss our your accommodations in Scotland? Get everything planned out like a pro with this complete guide to the best areas & places to stay in Glasgow…
Where to stay in Glasgow, Scotland: A complete guide to the best neighbourhoods & areas for travellers
Don’t let Glasgow’s sprawling map throw you off: It’s not as hard as it first may seem to sort among the top areas & hotels for travellers.
As most of the top points of interest in Glasgow lie within the city centre, it’s the logical first place to start looking for your accommodations.
Within the centre, you can break it down further into smaller areas that appeal to specific types of travellers. That doesn’t mean that where you stop and end your Glasgow accommodations search!
Other areas like the West End are great alternatives with plenty to offer from cool pubs to expansive greenspaces that’ll let you escape the city buzz.
Need some pointers? Here’s a quick summary some of the best areas to stay in Glasgow for travellers:
- Central Glasgow: The most popular area to stay in Glasgow and home to the bulk of the city’s top attractions for travellers. You can’t go wrong picking one of the top hotels here!
- George Square: The main square of Central Glasgow. It’s located close to both the Buchanan Street Bus Station and Queen Street Station, making it the perfect location for tackling some of the best day trips from Glasgow. The shopping mecca of Buchanan Street is a mere block away.
- Merchant City: Located in the eastern part of the city centre, this area contains some of Glasgow’s oldest buildings. It’s one of the best places to stay in Glasgow for travellers looking to explore the city’s charming medieval side.
- West End: A fantastic neighbourhood located west of the city centre, the hip West End offers plenty of greenspace along with vintage second-hand shops, pubs, music venues & bars. This is one of the coolest areas in Glasgow and perfect for travellers who prefer digging into the local culture versus hopping between typical tourist sites.
✓ Best area to stay for first-time visitors
When you’re visiting Glasgow for the first-time, there’s no better place to stay than Central Glasgow. The city centre area is home to the Scottish capital’s most important attractions and has more than enough goin’ on at all time to keep you interested whether you have one day in Glasgow or a week.
Wherever you decide to stay in Central Glasgow—whether near George Square or in Merchant City (both covered below)—you’ll never be far from some of the city’s best pubs, restaurants, bars or boutiques.
The city centre is also the transport hub of Glasgow. From here, you’ll be able to scoot around the Glasgow area and the rest of Scotland with ease. Both the two major train stations—Queen Street and Glasgow Central—as well as the Buchanan Street Bus Station will get you anywhere you want to go.
Attractions in Central Glasgow: George Square, Glasgow City Chambers, Merchant City, Glasgow Cathedral, Necropolis, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Where to stay: The best hotels in Central Glasgow
Not only is Central Glasgow the best area to stay overall, the quality & selection of accommodations here is superb.
As a bonus, if you’re coming from another cities in the United Kingdom like London, you’ll be surprised with how surprisingly affordable hotels in Central Glasgow are. For what would fetch you little more than a budget guesthouse elsewhere, you can get into the mid-range in Scotland’s biggest city.
Here are a few of the best hotels & places to stay in Central Glasgow:
- ibis Styles Glasgow Centre West: If you’ve yet to experience Accorhotels’ hip & budget-friendly ibis Styles brand, Glasgow’d be a great place to give it a go. Like its brethren throughout the world, this gem in the western edge of the city centre showcases colourful & laid-back modern stylings that push it a step above other budget chain hotels.
- Grasshopper Hotel Glasgow: A sleek 3-star hotel located next to the central train station. Rooms are warm & cozy and adorned with custom furniture and lovely oak floors for a homy feel.
- Hotel Indigo Glasgow: It’s hard to put your finger on what exactly to expect in an Indigo. One thing’s for sure, it’ll be colourful. The rooms at this lovely boutique hotel are nothing short of stylish, blending classic European elegance with bright modern motifs. Glasgow Central is a quick walk away.
- Dakota Glasgow: One of the top luxury properties in Central Glasgow, this 4-star hotel stuns with dark rich decor straddling the line between classic & modern elegance. As striking as the rooms are, it’s impossible to ignore the brilliance of the on-site brasserie, The Grill, specializing in contemporary British seafood, classic cocktails & wine.
✓ Best area to stay for history buffs & day-trippers
No gathering place in Glasgow is more famous than George Square. Dating back to the late-18th century, George Square is the unofficial centre of the city and the most handsome of the six-pack of central Glasgow squares.
Staying around the George Square area is a boon for travellers, not just marvelling at the square’s beauty, but for indulging in all that Glasgow has to offer.
George Square is close to the city’s three main transport hubs—Glasgow Central, Queen Street Station, and Buchanan Bus Station—so scooting around Scotland becomes an absolute cinch. Plus, it’s supremely located to experience everything the city centre has to offer from its graceful architecture to its shopping.
Where to stay: The best hotels near George Square
As you’d expect, there are plenty of hotels near George Square. Thanks to the central location, the prices n this area tend to be on the high-end. Nonetheless, if you’re dead-set on getting close to George Square, rest assured that there’ll be something nearby in your price range.
Get your search started with one of these top hotels near George Square:
- The Z Hotel Glasgow: Knowing that World War Z was filmed in & around George Square, the name of this budget-friendly hotel couldn’t be any more fitting for zombie film buffs. Even if you’re not into slightly-cheesy-but-entertaining horror flicks, you’ll love everything about this modern hotel from its clean & comfortable rooms to its nightly wine & cheese tastings.
- ibis Styles Glasgow Centre George Square: A stylish modern hotel located just 200 metres from George Square. Besides the charming & funkily-decorated rooms, the area around the hotel teems with great restaurants, bars & some of the city’s best shopping to keep you occupied.
- Native Glasgow: A superb aparthotel set in a lovely turn-of-the-century Edwardian building with a whole lotta class. The self-catering units are bright & colourful and far more modern than the hotel’s heritage façade lets on. With George Square just seconds away and Queen Street Station less than two minutes away by foot, Native Glasgow is the perfect fit for families, culture lovers & day-trippers alike.
- PREMIER SUITES PLUS Glasgow George Square: A super central option with bright fully-featured self-catering apartment suites. Hook yourself up with a splurge-worthy penthouse suite to enjoy a drink on your own private balcony overlooking George Street or Queen Street.
✓ Top neighbourhood for shopping & city sightseeing
Stroll south of George Square and you’ll enter Merchant City, one of Glasgow’s oldest and most charming areas. The Scottish city’s rough-and-tumble reputation doesn’t quite fit the elegance & sophistication that you’ll soak up in the eclectic Merchant City.
Within its confines, you’ll get face-to-face with two of Glasgow’s best shopping streets (Argyle Street & Ingram Street) along with a handful of the city’s top restaurants & bars. As you stumble through the area, keep on the look out for laid-back vintage shops, street art, and tucked-away art galleries.
Where to stay: The best hotels in Merchant City
Like the rest of the city centre, hotels in & around Merchant City tend to be at the upper-end of Glasgow’s range. The sweet spot here is in mid-range accommodations. Some of the top hotels in the area are among the best in the city centre value-wise, and are perfect for getting the most out of your stay.
Start your accommodations search with these top places to stay in Merchant City:
- Motel One Glasgow: You won’t find much better value in the heart of Glasgow than this unique new hotel. Both the rooms & the common areas are drenched with a modern Scottish elegance that strikes well above its price-point. Glasgow Central Station is just steps away to continue your journey through Scotland.
- Moxy Glasgow Merchant City: You never go wrong with Marriott’s newest brand of chic mid-range hotels that completely live up to their hyped-up name. Their flagship Glasgow location, perched on the edge of Merchant City near High Street Station, delivers all the style and sophistication that the chain is quickly becoming famous for. The location just minutes from the heart of the city and to some of Glasgow’s most treasured attractions (like Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis) gives Moxy a winning touch.
- Fraser Suites Glasgow: A sophisticated aparthotel occupying an enchanting 19th-century heritage building. Each suite comes equipped with a fully-stocked kitchenette and a spacious living area that’s perfect for unwinding after a long day of sightseeing. Glasgow’s best shopping is just a few blocks away on Argyle and Buchanan Street.
✓ Top neighbourhood for relaxation & local culture
As amazing as Central Glasgow is for travellers, there’s one other area that might captivate just as forcefully: the West End. Home to the University of Glasgow, this leafy district buzzes with a hip & youthful vibe unmatched elsewhere in the city.
Among the chillest places to hang out here is Finnieston, an area in the southern part of the West End that’s been hailed as one of Great Britain’s (and even Europe’s!) hippest neighbourhoods. Besides the smattering of innovative restaurants, pubs & bars catering to a variety of tastes here, Finnieston is home to SSE Hydro, the most famous live music venue in the city.
Where to stay: The best hotels in the West End
As the West End lies outside the city centre proper, you’ll be able to save a little when it comes to your Glasgow accommodations. This is the area of choice for budget-conscious travellers and anyone looking for a relaxing alternative to the bustle of the city centre.
Here are a few of the best hotels & places to stay in the West End:
- Acorn Hotel: One of the top budget picks in the West End area, this 3-star boutique hotel offers stylish rooms affixed with contemporary furnishings & modern amenities. The location next to leafy Kelvingrove Park is an ultra-relaxing perk.
- The Alamo Guesthouse: Set in a historic 19th-century Victorian building, this budget-friendly guesthouse exudes class like none other at its price-point. Most rooms offer shared bathrooms. Splurge on one of their superior rooms to upgrade to a private bathroom and views over Kelvingrove Park.
- Radisson RED Glasgow: Dipping into River Clyde at the southern edge of the district, this brand-spankin’-new 3.5-star hotel delivers hip & funky rooms and a host of fantastic on-site amenities including the OUIBar + KTCHN and RED Sky Bar, Glasgow’s first rooftop bar. The city’s most famous live music venue, The Hydro, is just minutes away by foot.
- Hydro SmartApartments: Quite possibly the most innovative accommodations in Glasgow, this apartment is wired up to the nines. The suite is fully-automated ranging from voice-controlled mood lighting, heating & aromatherapy to a complete audio & video entertainment system.
- Crowne Plaza Glasgow: One of the best luxury hotels in Glasgow, this riverside 4-star unleashes sleek modern rooms and a whole barrage of amenities to ensure your stay in Scotland’s biggest city is nothing less than memorable. Relax to spa treatments at the Isis Beauty Salon or sweat out that last bit of haggis and Scotch ale at the Club Moativation sauna or fitness centre.
Summary: The best places to stay in Glasgow
- Searching for a central hotel on a budget? You can’t do much better than The Z Hotel Glasgow. Located just steps from George Square, this budget-friendly hotel puts the entire city at your fingertips.
- Got a little more to spend on a mid-range hotel? The brand-new Moxy Glasgow Merchant City is a hip alternative on the northeastern fringes of Merchant City that won’t tug too hard at your purse strings.
- Looking for Glaswegian luxury? The centrally-located Dakota Glasgow features room affixed with rich & elegant decor matched only by the sophistication & innovation of its delicious on-site restaurant, The Grill.