Where To Stay In Glasgow: The Ultimate Neighborhood Guide
Glasgow is the most populated city in Scotland and a wonderful place to get to know! It is also one of the most populated cities in the United Kingdom and does see a large number of tourists each year. Like most other cities, Glasgow is divided into neighborhoods. Where to stay while here? We've got the information to help you decide.
Each neighborhood has its own personality, pros, and cons. If you are hoping for a quiet vacation you do not want to pick a neighborhood that is best known for its hopping nightlife. If you are visiting Glasgow on business, you will most likely need to be near the business district or Glasgow City Centre. While you are in this fabulous city, take advantage of a luggage storage locker to keep your things safe and in one place. Then enjoy touring and seeing the sights.
Now, where to stay in Glasgow? Read on!
Where to stay in City Centre – for first time visitors
For first time visitors to this iconic Scottish city, staying in the City Centre is the perfect way to be closest to all the touristy things and be right in the middle of all the action. Glasgow City Centre is within walking distance of the Buchanan Street museums and art galleries, George Square, and several amazing restaurants and shops. You will not have to rely on public transit when you can walk to everything.
Some of the most modern hotels and hostels can also be found in and near the City Centre. If you are looking for something a bit more intimate, there are several cozy guest houses available for rent. These quaint guest houses can be rented for a night, a week, or even longer and do have several modern amenities for your comfort.
Looking for free things to do? Pack a picnic or grab some take out for a picnic in Kelvingrove Park, stroll through one of the most important squares in the United Kingdom, or spend time checking out the shops and malls. There is a shuttle that runs from the airport to the city center. The Buchanan Street Bus Station is also easily accessible.
There are always large crowds flocking here to spend time exploring the main attractions, eating at the fantastic restaurants, or taking part in some much-needed retail therapy along The Style Mile. The Style Mile is made up of Sauchiehall Street, Buchanan Street, and Argyle Street.
Night owls will rejoice when staying in central Glasgow with a plethora of nightclubs, bars, and pubs to choose from. The Classic Grand is a must-visit when you are here, it is one of the most popular Glasgow destinations. It is best known for its country music roots and décor.
Where to stay in West End – for budget travelers
Running along the River Clyde, Glasgow’s West End is a great budget-friendly place to stay when visiting the city. While you will need a taxi or public transit to reach the West End, the hotels and hostels here are cheaper than if you were to stay in the City Centre. This is home to the historic Riverside Museum filled with shipbuilding artifacts and historic records.
The West End will have plenty of great things to do that will not break the bank. Sit back and enjoy a fragrant cup of tea on Ashton Street or stroll along Byre Road and do a little shopping. An important landmark to visit is the spire of Sir George Gilbert Scott on the Glasgow campus. The Clydeside Distillery offers tours, giving you a look into how Scottish whiskey is made.
There are several great low-cost hotels in the neighborhood but there are also adorable cottages and guest houses available for short-term renters. If staying in a hotel is not appealing, look for an authentic Scottish cottage to rent while you are in Glasgow. There are also several of the best luxury hotels in Glasgow located here.
While not as trendy as the City Centre, the nightlife in the West End is still filled with excitement. From pubs and bars to museums and ghost tours, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied at night. The locals in the West End are very friendly and willing to help you see more of the city. The Buchanan Galleries are just a short distance from this neighborhood.
Old money collides with the trendy student crowds, creating a rather interesting and unique blend of high-end restaurants and fast food joints, vintage shops and trendy boutiques, and classy cocktail spots and vibrant pubs. Whether you are staying here to check out the institutions of higher learning, are here on business, or are visiting to check out the glamourous boutiques and shops of the West End, you'll love this neighborhood.
Where to stay in Glasgow East – for families
When visiting Glasgow with family in tow, plan to spend the most time in Glasgow East. Filled with amazing family-friendly activities, this is a great neighborhood to stay and play in when visiting Glasgow. There are plenty of parks and playgrounds where you can relax with your kids and spend time out in the fresh air.
Also known simply as the East End, Glasgow East is home to Celtic Park, the Tollcross Swimming Center, Emirates Arena, and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. It is a great place for sports lovers to visit and offer great discounts on family ticket packages. The East End is also home to the School of Art, Caledonian University, and University of Strathclyde.
Kelvingrove Park is nearby, although not in the neighborhood, but the Glasgow Botanical Gardens are within walking distance of most of the hotels in Glasgow East. The Glasgow Cathedral towers above the buildings and homes in the neighborhood and is open for tours. The fantastic architecture of the Necropolis will leave you in awe.
With an eclectic mix of hotels and guest houses and cottages, there is a great place to stay no matter your needs. If you are here with your family, staying in a guest house or cottage may be a better option than in a hotel. Accommodations here tend to be pricier than the West End or City Centre but being close to kid-friendly attractions may be worth the extra price.
Where to stay in Glasgow North West – for a local experience
The North West neighborhood in Glasgow is a bustling neighborhood filled with shops, restaurants, attractions, and parks. The neighborhood extends north to Cowcaddens and west to Sauchiehall and finally over towards the City Centre. It is not a real touristy place to stay but if you are hoping to see Glasgow like a local, this is where you need to stay.
The central train station is not far from here and it is a short walk to the Buchanan Bus Station. Visit Glasgow and check out the Merchant City Festival hosted by the Glasgow City Chambers and held in the North West neighborhood. There are several tourist attractions to see when staying here.
North West Glasgow is also known as the Gateway to the Highlands and you will have breathtaking views of the highlands as well as Loch Lomond. Travel along A9 Road and head straight into Inverness. Kelvingrove Park South can be found here and has several hotels right next door. The neighborhood is a little seedy at night so be aware of your surroundings when you go out at night.
If you are planning to explore the neighborhood at night consider hiring a taxi to take you to your destinations and avoid walking. You will also want to carry very little with you, it makes you less of a target for pickpockets and unsavory characters.
Where to stay in Glasgow South – for nature lovers
On the southern side of Glasgow, you will be able to commune with nature unlike any other neighborhood. Glasgow South offers urban parks where you can enjoy a picnic or stroll through lush fields and along well-manicured walking paths. There are also several restaurants and cafes that offer outdoor dining so you can look out over the lush greenery.
In Glasgow South there are several options for accommodations, you can even stay in a castle and be treated like royalty. If staying in a castle is a little too ostentatious for you, check into one of the best hotels or rent a guest house during your stay. You will have to cross the River Clyde to get to Glasgow South.
Once an industrial hub, the neighborhood has been revitalized. Stroll along the tenement blocks and take in the amazing apartment towers, some are crumbling from neglect. Speirs Wharf is a great place to explore and hang out getting a feel for the pulse of the neighborhood. Spend time checking out the amazing network of canals that wind through the neighborhood.
When staying in Glasgow South you will want to avoid heading south of the River Clyde into the Gorbals. This poverty-stricken neighborhood does have a high crime rate and tourists are especially vulnerable when they venture into the area. The Southern Necropolis is located on the outskirts of Glasgow South and the Gorbals and is a wonderful place to visit with over 50,000 graves from the Victorian era.
Where to stay in Glasgow North – Gateway to the Highlands
Like Glasgow South, Glasgow North has a network of canals that lead you through the neighborhood and give you a glimpse into the rich history of the area. There are also only a few streets and buildings between you and the lush, breathtaking Scottish countryside.
Take a taxi or rent a car and head down A9 Road to explore Inverness. Stay to the left on A9 or you will end up circling around back to the city. You will want to visit early in the day or the sunshine will blind you and make it difficult to drive in that direction. Spend the entire day exploring Inverness including Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle before you head back.
Many people argue that even though Glasgow North, like the North West neighborhood, is the gateway to the highlands, it really is not a pretty neighborhood. Filled with old tower blocks and crumbling industrial buildings, Glasgow North needs some of the revitalization that Glasgow South has had.
Locals are very friendly in this neighborhood and will go out of their way to make you feel at home. Visit the Glasgow Botanic Gardens and spend time learning about the local flora as well as delighting at the exotic plants and flowers on display here. Visit Kelvingrove Park South for a little downtime.
There are several hotel options here including the Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor, a luxury hotel filled with amenities. There are even a few budget-friendly choices for those looking for less expensive places to stay. There are a few cottages and guest houses available for short-term renters and those may be ideal if you are looking for a little peace and quiet.
Spacious rooms and a charming hotel
Fly into Glasgow Airport and come for the West End Festival and then explore some of Glasgow's oldest buildings. Check out the St. Mungo Museum and stroll through the historic centre of the city. Be sure to experience a traditional Scottish breakfast, served at most hotels so you have plenty of energy to navigate the shopping streets in the different neighborhoods.
There really is so much to see and do when in Glasgow and staying in the right neighborhood to suit your needs is essential. Are you wanting a budget hotel near Clyde River or a modern spot in Glasgow Green with all the amenities? Wherever you stay, grab a Glasgow map to explore every corner of the city. You may want to be near the main train stations so you can easily move throughout Glasgow.