Accommodation in Glasgow for the Savvy Traveller

Grand Central Hotel is a 19th-century railway hotel inside Central Station in Glasgow, Scotland
Grand Central Hotel is a 19th-century railway hotel inside Central Station in Glasgow, Scotland | Courtesy of Grand Central Hotel / Expedia
Photo of Mike MacEacheran
Contributor7 December 2020

The modern art, the buzzing nightlife, the second-to-none architecture: everyone has a different reason to come to Glasgow, but it makes sense to choose your location wisely. There’s no better way to experience the best sights, attractions and landmarks of Scotland’s second city like Buchanan Street, George Square, City Chambers or Kelvingrove Park than swaggering around at street level, seeking out in-the-know hotspots and must-see locations in between. Here’s Culture Trip’s pick of the best accommodation in this Scottish city.

Grasshoppers Glasgow

Hotel
Map View
Grasshoppers Glasgow
Courtesy of Grasshoppers Glasgow / Expedia
Near the Gallery of Modern Art, City Chambers and plenty of buildings carrying the Charles Rennie Mackintosh stamp, this Union Street hotel is slap-bang next to Central Station. That means it’s ludicrously easy to get out and about to see plenty more of the city’s stand-out landmarks with little effort. How about hopping on the train to Shawlands to ogle at the Burrell Collection or Pollok House, for instance? Alternatively, take the train to Dumbreck for lunch at Mackintosh-masterminded House of an Art Lover in Bellahouston Park.
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Malmaison Glasgow

Hotel
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Courtesy of Malmaison Glasgow / Expedia

No wonder artists, musicians and writers are obsessed with Glasgow – there’s a real sense that everyone is having a better time here. That’s easy to see if you stay at this former-church-turned-creative-hotel. The unmissable Mitchell Library is nearby, as is King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut (aka the best bijou live music venue in Britain), the fiercely independent GFT (Glasgow Film Theatre) and the CCA, Glasgow’s chief creative hub. In fact, it’s such a highlight that before planning a stay, check out its listings for poetry, film nights, gigs and gatherings to ensure your arts schedule is aligned.

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citizenM Glasgow

Hotel
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CitizenM, Glasgow
Courtesy of CitizenM / Expedia

Plum in the city centre – in the heart of Glasgow’s mini theatre land – this hip hotel is brimming with all sorts of life hacks. Once you skip through the self-service check-in terminals and open-plan canteen, you can duck outside to see what you really came for. Glasgow’s “style mile” Buchanan Street and swish Princes Square Mall are close at hand, while you’ll find a raft of restaurants and burger joints in all the arterial blocks in between. Afterwards, either the Theatre Royal or Pavilion Theatre beckon, or glam-up for a one-off special at the Royal Concert Hall.

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15Glasgow

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
Map View
Courtesy of 15Glasgow / Expedia

Kelvingrove Park is to Glasgow what Hyde Park is to London. It’s for jogs, strolls, picnics, biking and daily musing, no matter what the season. You can feel its non-stop buzz from behind the shuttered sash windows at this boutique guesthouse tucked away at its southeast corner. After a bespoke breakfast in the company of the house cat and dog, beeline to the baroque Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum nearby. Fancy fact: it’s the most-visited museum in Britain beyond London.

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Dakota Glasgow

Boutique Hotel, Chain Hotel, Hotel, Luxury
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Courtesy of Dakota Glasgow / Expedia

City-centre nightlife: that’s why you’ve come here. You might even have heard the old adage that you can have more fun at a Glasgow funeral than at an Edinburgh wedding – and you’d be right. Start with a quick rendezvous over cocktails in the hotel’s Dakota Bar, or a flute of bubbles in the Champagne room, before venturing out under the bright city lights. Both Sauchiehall and Bath Streets are jammed with cocktail bars and clubs. To get you warmed up, try the Tiki Bar & Kitsch Inn, Slouch, Firewater, old-school pub The Griffin or legendary indie Shangri-La, Nice N Sleazy.

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  • Point A Glasgow

    Budget Hotel
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    PointA Glasgow
    Courtesy of PointA Glasgow / Expedia

    Power showers, hairdryers, mood lighting, a jukebox and even an ironing room to help you look your best. Every little helps when there are so many sociable cafes, restaurants and bars oozing good-time vibes in this part of the city. Post-brekkie, take a walk to explore the city’s daytime dark side: start at Glasgow’s granite-stone Cathedral to see the tomb of Saint Mungo, the city’s patron saint. Then, continue to the Necropolis, a city of the dead regularly voted among the world’s most stirring cemeteries.

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    Grand Central Hotel

    Hotel
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    Grand Central Hotel
    Courtesy of Grand Central Hotel / Expedia

    A key feature of this former railway hotel inside Central Station: plenty of space to stash your shopping swag. Start with a spree at the gold-plated jewellery boutiques of the nearby Argyll Arcade, then circle back via the modish boutique in the Gallery of Modern Art to the hotel’s Champagne Central bar. Over sharing-board nibbles, see out the day in style with a bottle of Brut.

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    Motel One Glasgow

    Hotel
    Map View
    Courtesy of Motel One Glasgow / Expedia

    Towering over Central Station, this good-looking address is rammed with industrial railway romance and close to an abundance of Glasgow city-break essentials. Start with a bracing walk along the Clyde riverside to the People’s Palace and the urban lung of Glasgow Green, before returning via Royal Exchange Square and the unmissable Gallery of Modern Art. You could stop off in the thriving Merchant City along the way, or beeline your way back to the hotel for a beer or a brew in the sociable cafe-lounge on a vintage train-style quilted bench.

    These recommendations were updated on December 7, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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