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Most people know Glasgow as an industrial powerhouse, however it also displays beautiful Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture and has been joined by some amazing modern structures - including the 'Armadillo' - some of our Guru's choices for the best places to stay in Glasgow are also some of Glasgow's most beautiful buildings.
Over the last few decades this city has been injected with all sorts of creative energy and the Glasgow of today is buzzy, vibrant, arty - and even edgy. The live music scene is one of the UK's best, the art scene is well respected and there are galleries everywhere, whilst the riverfront is just a great place to 'be'.
Did you know that Glasgow is the third largest city in the UK? Armed with that fact, it becomes easy to see why there are so many comparisons with London. Glasgow is supposed to have the best shopping outside of London, whilst its industrial role means it's also wealthy, and thus the architecture is beautiful. Glasgow was at its richest during the 19th and 20th Centuries and this is when some of the most spectacular, and ornate, constructions went up - this was also the home of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a leading proponent of the art nouveau style. Strolling around the city you're bound to see something worth appreciating, but there are plenty of walking guides.
Glasgow's wealth is also reflected in the city's generous numbers of galleries and museums per capita. There are museums to all sorts, but some of the best known are the Burrell Collection, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, the Hunterian Art Gallery and Museum and the Riverside Museum.
What Not To Miss
- The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a great spot, not just for art fanatics. It boasts 22 themed, state-of-the-art galleries displaying a wide range of exhibitions. You'll love spending a few hours wandering around this fascinating spot, home to around 8,000 objects!
- The 27-acre Glasgow Botanic Gardens is a wonderful place to spend the afternoon. Follow the Heritage Trail or learn all about the gardens with a guided tour before enjoying a drink in their tearooms.
- The Glasgow Science Centre is a fabulous family day out! With hands-on exhibits, a planetarium and a number of other fascinating exhibits, you're all bound to leave having learnt something new.
- Set in a wonderfully historic building, The People's Palace houses a number of artefacts detailing Glasgow's cultural and industrial past.
- Sports fans will love a guided tour of either Celtic Park or Ibrox, the homes of Scotland's most notable football teams.
The best places to stay in Glasgow will encourage you to explore every nook and cranny but definitely try and check out the Barras, Glasgow's now legendary weekend flea market, for tat and more.
Glasgow City Break
- Blythswood Square, once the home to the famous Automobile Club, has a traditional exterior, not echoed inside. Here you'll find up to the minute contemporary interiors plus a top notch spa.
- 15 Glasgow is a boutique B&B in a quiet garden square. Come here for huge beds, decadent bathrooms and a clever mix of contemporary and traditional interiors. Great location a stone's throw from a wide selection shops and restaurants in the city's trendy West End.
- Malmaison Glasgow is a chic converted church within walking distance to the city centre. It boasts simple yet elegant rooms and a brasserie serving both French and British dishes. What's more, there's even a champagne bar!
For Great Value
- Grasshoppers boasts a splendidly central location right around the corner from the city's bars, restaurants and many sights. With unfussy, Scandinavian-style accommodation at a very decent price, this is a great base from which to get to know Glasgow.
- CitizenM Glasgow is centrally located and offers contemporary accommodation with trendy interiors. This hip property also boasts a 24 hour canteen and bar, as well as a huge lounge area in which to socialise! A fun-filled and trendy spot.
Treat Yourself to Glasgow
- Mar Hall is a bit out of town, but this gorgeous Gothic mansion, set in 400 acres, is a very attractive alternative to staying in the city. The luxurious decor, excellent restaurant and seductive Aveda spa make this a wonderful place to escape to.
- Abode, Glasgow is the ultimate way to see the city! Set in a Georgian townhouse, it splendidly mixes modern furnishings with period features (and a touch of tweed to top it all off!) Plus, it's centrally located - what more could you possibly ask for?
- Hotel Du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens, set in a lovely Victorian townhouse, boasts stylish and upmarket accommodation featuring plenty of dark hues. Enjoy divine cuisine served up in their oak-panelled bistro, one of Scotland's finest eateries. A terrific stay!
- The luxury 5* Blythswood Square is located in Glasgow's West End. Featuring quirky contemporary accommodation, there's also a splendid award-winning spa in which to unwind after a long day sightseeing.
- Crossbasket Castle is a stunning 17th-century castle offering luxurious accommodation with sash windows, floral motifs and antiques. Plus, their restaurant's run by the legendary Albert and Michel Roux Jr! A superb retreat, wonderful for a spot of romance.
- Finglen Country House is set at the foot of the Campsie Hills with plenty of brilliant walking trails all around. This intimate B&B provides tasteful accommodation and a wonderful garden to boast a relaxed ambiance.
For an apartment
- If you think that you'd prefer a city centre apartment, then visit our online partner, booking.com, where you'll find a comprehensive selection for all budgets.
- Given that it's in Scotland, Glasgow's weather can be predictably unpredictable - so you should always be prepared for a spontaneous downpour! With that in mind, it's probably best to visit in July and August when the average temperature is 15°C and there's the least likely chance of rainfall.
- Visitors can fly into Glasgow Airport, located 9 miles west of the city centre. Once you've arrived, take the Glasgow Airport Express 500 Bus into town, (leaving every 10 minutes), which takes 15 minutes and costs £7.50. If you decide to take a taxi it'll cost you around £16.50.
- If you're coming up from London and don't fancy waiting around in airport queues then take the train! They take around four and a half hours - plus, you can find some incredibly good deals if you're savvy enough to book in advance.
- For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Holiday Autos.
Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Glasgow for you?
Best Hotels in Glasgow
citizenM Glasgow 198 rooms from $90Glasgow
The most northerly outpost of CitizenMs luxe for less brand. Simple rooms with huge beds and fab rain showers, plus a 24hour bar and canteen, and huge lounge area. A great central location plus trendy interiors and high-tech gadgetry, make this the perfect choice for a fun filled city break.Value chic - With rooms from as little as £69 per night, what's not to like?Sights nearby - Situated in the heart of the city close to all attractions.Lively - Hip and happening.Recommended by - CN Traveller
Grasshoppers 30 rooms from $98Glasgow
A budget-friendly hotel located near Glasgow's Central Station. 30 rooms decorated in a serene, clean Scandinavian style. A laid back kitchen restaurant serves up local produce. A great crash pad from which to enjoy this bustling city.Sights nearby - Ideally situated to access Glasgow's best sights including the Science Centre, Botanic Gardens and Modern Art Gallery
Finglen Country House 2 rooms from $169Glasgow (Clachan of Campsie)
Hidden away at the foot of the Campsie Hills comes this intimate countryside B&B. The tastefully appointed rooms look out onto the beautiful garden and mountains beyond. Perfectly situated for exploring the vast natural beauty of central Scotland.Great walks - Great walking opportunities in the beautiful Campsie Hills.Sights nearby - Visit nearby Stirling Castle (15 miles).Full of characterSecluded setting - For escaping.
Cameron House 132 rooms from $214Glasgow
On the shores of Loch Lomond, this baronial country house is a secluded getaway not to be missed. The sumptuous guest bedrooms have been decorated in a contemporary style with a distinct Scottish feel. Fantastic facilities and beautiful scenic views.Spa breaks - One of Glasgow's most renowned spas - utter indulgenceTotal relaxation - Golf and spa - something for everyoneSailing - Loch Lomond Sailing ClubSwimming Pool - Outdoor and Indoor poolRecommended by - Kiwi Collection
Abode, Glasgow 59 rooms from $240Glasgow
A lovely Georgian townhouse that has been recently decorated to combine modern luxuries with with gorgeous period features. Located in the heart of the city, the hotel offers private dining, a conference suite and comfortable bedrooms. Tweed furnishings, large windows and high airy ceilings.City Style - Modern, revamped hotel in the middle of townSights nearby - The Glengoyne Whiskey DistilleryGreat walks - Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens 49 rooms from $259Glasgow
A luxury boutique hotel in a great location. Individually designed bedrooms with bold dark fabrics and modern bathrooms, some with freestanding baths. Whiskey is offered on arrival. The restaurant offers modern Scottish cuisine and has an extensive wine list. A stylish option.Foodies - The oak-paneled bistro is one of Scotlands finest, serving spectacular cuisine crafted from locally sourced fresh produce.City Style - Luxury accommodation in one of the best addresses in Glasgow, with superb stained glass windows and opulent style.Sights nearby - This central location, is just minutes from most of Glasgow's museums, galleries and her Cathedral.Great walks - Just around the corner is the Glasgow Botanical Gardens, perfect for an afternoon stroll.Recommended by - Fodors, Frommers, Kiwi Collection
Blythswood Square 100 rooms from $267Glasgow
A luxury 5 star spa hotel in Glasgow's West End. Its landmark heritage creates an imposing facade. The contemporary interiors and wellness spa have all the modern comforts. The glorious penthouses and many private rooms are ideal for corporate or social entertaining. A chic choice.City Style - An elegant 5 star hotel in a great location, with red velvet alcoves and fringed lamp shades nodding to the square's shady past!Spa breaks - Indulge yourself at in the award-winning basement spa with mud chamber, sauna and extensive treatments.Suites - Also penthouses with private lift, terrace, bar, dining room, rooftop viewsSwimming Pool - Indoor poolRecommended by - Fodors, Good Hotel Guide
Mar Hall 53 rooms from $280Glasgow (Bishopton)
An imposing mansion with epic surrounding views. Grand bedrooms with large sash windows and four poster beds. A world class golf course is attached. A spa with an extensive therapy list and beauty treatments for those wishing to relax. Formal and informal dining options. An ideal rural escape.Total relaxation - The spa and indoor pool provide easy relaxation and the surroundings are perfectly tranquil.Great walks - Plenty of walking on the 240-acre wooded estate of the Earls of Mar, especially along the banks of the River Clyde.Swimming Pool - Large indoor poolDesigner - Uniquely designed interiors.Recommended by - Small Luxury Hotels
Crossbasket Castle 9 rooms from $333Glasgow (High Blantyre)
A stunning 17th-century castle, lovingly renovated into a luxury hotel. Well proportioned rooms and suites feature large sash windows, floral motifs and antique furniture. An elegant restaurant run by the legendary Albert and Michel Roux Jr and plenty of country pursuits. A spoiling rural retreat.Weddings - A stunning backdrop to a wedding, with a large ballroom and conveniently close to Glasgow too.Country Escape - Live in splendour at this spectacular castle. The perfect place to get away from it all.Great walks - Take a scenic walk through the Falls of Clyde and find pretty forests, waterfalls and plenty of wildlife to spot.Fishing - Fish for Brown Trout on the hotel's section of River Calder. Salmon fishing is also available nearby.Recommended by - Johansens, Small Luxury Hotels