Best Neighborhoods in Glasgow: Your Useful Must-Read Guide
The biggest city in Scotland (no, Edinburgh isn’t the nation’s largest settlement), Glasgow is a hugely underrated place to live.
Famous for live music, unintelligible accents, smiling faces, and non-stop nightlife, the place is home to around 600,000 residents, and features a diverse range of people.
Although Glasgow’s population has stayed pretty steady in recent years, the city is slowly becoming an up-and-coming option for a brand-new life… so now’s a good time to make the big move.
And since you’re reading this page, you’re probably thinking about joining the party…
…so in this district-packed guide, we’ve brought you the 8 best neighborhoods in Glasgow—and everything you need to know about where to stay in Glasgow.
We’ve covered family zones, hipster hubs, hidden secrets, city-center funfests, and plenty more. Whoever you are and whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it with Homelike.
In our tell-all guide, we’ve brought you the following 8 neighborhoods:
- Glasgow City Center
- Merchant City
- The East End
Don’t know where to stay in Glasgow? Or which are the best neighborhoods in Glasgow?
Coming up, we’ve covered it all, along with must-know info on which districts are best suited to which people. Slip into your kilt and join us!
1. Glasgow City Center
Best for: Being close to the action, hopping around the big sights, and living like a tourist would
Obviously, this neighborhood sits in the very heart of the city—and it’s where you’ll find most of the action, adventure, and attractions.
So, naturally, it’s one of the best neighborhoods in Glasgow for anyone sticking around for only a short while.
Studded with loads of Victorian architecture, this part of Glasgow is much prettier than most people expect, and (like any city-center neighborhood) it’s brimming with places to eat and drink. Top picks included storied La Lanterna, hyper-local Ardnamurchan, and the hefty portions of informal Pasha Glasgow. It’s also a great pick for nightlife, and you’ll find plenty of locals, tourists and expats all boogying and boozing here.
All that said, Glasgow’s city center is a pretty busy neighborhood, and you won’t find many green spaces or pockets of peace (without wandering to get them). If you’re young and like fun, you’ll love this area. If you’re neither of those things, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.
Top tip: Glasgow’s city center isn’t a particularly residential area, so it can often be difficult to find a nice home here. It’s usually easier to get yourself a short term rentals instead—so you can move in swiftly with no fuss and no stress (and no dodgy landlords)
Best for: Hanging with the rich crowd, luxuriating in a fancy place, and spending wads of cash
Blythswood is a tiny area inside Glasgow’s city center. The most affluent part of the heart of the city, it’s known for rich residents, lofty prices, and lots of upmarket hotels.
If you have lots of money, you’ll think it’s one of the best areas in Glasgow. If you don’t, you won’t.
The neighborhood is made up of just a few streets, all centered around the tiny dimensions of Blythswood Square and its elegant flat-fronted townhouses. Living here feels like living on the set of some quaint British movie, and it’s a charming place to call home.
Located close to both Charing Cross station and the main M8 road, Blythswood is well-located for roaming around Glasgow (and further afield).
Other perks include a whole bunch of high-end eating and drinking spots (including unusually-elegant German-themed Bavaria Brauhaus, whiskey-crammed The Pot Still, and the chain familiarity of The Slug and Lettuce), and some mega-trendy cafes (check out Singl-end Garnethill and Black Sheep Coffee).
Most of Blythswood’s residents are middle-aged middle-class couples. It’s not the best spot for families or young people, or for anyone who isn’t comfortable with a hearty dose of pretense.
3. Merchant City
Best for: Chilling with hipsters, slurping in trendy cafes, and befriending a welcoming crowd of young faces
Depending on who you ask, Merchant City sits either in the eastern part of the city center, or the western part of the city’s eastern stretch.
But no matter where it is, the place has a reputation for being one of the most trendy and stylish districts in the city. Stuffed with cobbled lanes, arty cafes, and loads of hipsters, it’s popular with students and young couples.
The neighborhood’s most famous (and possibly best) venue is the Old Fruitmarket. These days, you won’t find many apples or kumquats here—but you’ll find a sprawling music hall offering symphonic stuff, jazz music, and plenty more.
Other Merchant City highlights include lots of medieval architecture, the every-July action of the fun-filled Merchant City Festival, and some unique and unusual attractions (make sure you check out the bizarre robotic performances of Sharmanka Kinetic Theater, and the eerily-immersive experiences at VR Simulators).
And to top it all off, there’s a train station at either end of the neighborhood—the High Street and Argyle Street railway stations are only a ten-minute walk from one another. Perfect for getting around the city!
Overall, Merchant City is one of the best neighborhoods in Glasgow for young people, late-night lovers, and anyone who enjoys the louder sides of life.
And although the district isn’t home to many good green spaces, it’s close to all the grassy spots of very-nearby Calton. Which conveniently brings us to…
Best for: Making friends with locals, exploring quirky venues, and rummaging around the alluring mess of Barras Market
If you want to get knee-deep in the history and heritage of the city, Calton is one of the best neighborhoods in Glasgow. Here, you get a lovely combo of age-old venues and modern quirk-spots, but all with a welcoming community spirit.
Calton is most famous for being the home of Barras Market, a local-trader throwback packed with anything you could ever imagine. Strolling around the stalls and stores of this place is like shopping in a time capsule.
Other highlights include Glasgow Green (a massive park with picnic spots, bike rides, and lots of riverside stretches), and the People’s Palace (a museum focusing on the heritage and intricacies of local people and local language).
Calton is also home to what might just be the most famous music venue in the city. Barrowlands (or ‘Barrowlands Ballroom,’ to give the place its proper name) has been serving up noisy slices of live-music action since way back in 1934… and some locals justifiably reckon it’s one of the best venues on the planet.
So, yep, Calton is clearly a great choice for young couples, solo relocators, and anyone keen to make some brand-new buddies. But it’s also an underrated pick for families, with lots of kid-friendly fun (parks, family restaurants, and the sprawl of Go Wild Soft Play), and endless useful conveniences.
In short, no matter who you are, Calton is one of the best neighborhoods in Glasgow. And it’s often a good place to start your new-home search.
5. The East End
Best for: Being a people person, living a local life, and finding a fairly affordable home
This sprawling neighborhood is made up of loads of different mini-districts, including Calton (which, in case you’re not following, is the area we’ve just covered above). Other parts of the East End include Gallowgate, Dennistoun, and Bridgeton.
All of these neighborhoods are vaguely different from one another… but generally speaking, they’re some of the friendliest and most interesting parts of the city. The sort of atmosphere you get from Calton is the same sort of atmosphere you get across the entirety of the East End.
The whole district offers an endearing blend of trendy vibes and old-school ones, and living here is a good way to get to know the “real” Glasgow (whatever that even means). Dennistoun in particular is known for being one of the city’s coolest districts, and it’s impossible not to fall in love with the place.
The container-packed Barras Art and Design is another must-visit venue, and features local business, outdoor yards, unique events, and endless places to munch and slurp. It’s located inside Barras Market.
Aside from all the fun stuff, the East End has lots of supermarkets, parks, and good connections to the city center. In short, it can be a great place to live—and as you venture further east, the neighborhood becomes more residential, more quiet, and more family-friendly (with lots of popular schools).
If you want to save some money without living right on the outskirts, the East End is one of the best neighborhoods in Glasgow. And unless you’re living in Calton, you won’t find many tourists in this neighborhood—ideal for feeling like a local.
Best for: A whole load of live music, munching on a hearty plates of gourmet food, and exploring one of the UK’s coolest neighborhoods
For the first time, we’re heading on over to the western stretch of the city.
Finnieston is famous for being super-trendy—and it’s in some ways pretty similar to Calton, with an edgy and independent vibe (it’s often voted as one of the coolest neighborhoods in all of the UK). That said, it’s a little more upmarket, a little more expensive, and a little more artisanal. Some of its best hip hangouts and drinking dens include themed-fun Lebowski’s, blast-from-the-past Kelvingrove Cafe, and no-frills The Brass Monkey.
Finnieston is also home to the OVO Hydro, a hefty arena-style behemoth that often hosts some of the planet’s biggest musical (and comedic) names.
It’s one of the best neighborhoods in Glasgow for chowing down on a range of varied eats and treats. Here, you’ll find everything from high-end sandwiches to laid-back trucks serving street-style fayre (MacTassos in particular is a popular munch-time spot).
Finnieston is also right beside Kelvingrove Park, home to monuments, memorials, an art gallery, some beautiful riverside stretches, and lots of stuff for families, runners, and cyclists. It’s one of the best and most popular green spaces in the city.
If you’re young, and you want to make friends with fun-loving bohemians, you’ll think this is one of the best neighborhoods in Glasgow. And if you’re looking for a family-friendly neighborhood that isn’t too residential or quiet, it’s also a good choice.
Best for: Hanging around with students, working in West Glasgow hospital, and saving money without venturing too far west
Just west of Finnieston, you’ll find Kelvinhaugh. Quite where one begins and the other ends, no-one really seems to know (and depending on who you ask, Kelvinhaugh is just another part of Finnieston).
Anyway, it’s a slightly more affordable version of its nearby neighbor, and it’s vaguely more gritty.
It’s a popular choice for students—you’ll find a young population here, along with lots of university accommodations. Many of its other residents work in healthcare—West Glasgow Hospital, one of the biggest in the city, is also located in the district.
Kelvinhaugh is also one of the best areas in Glasgow for outdoor spaces. Like Finnieston, it’s close to Kelvingrove Park, but other hangouts include stretches of both the Kelvin and Clyde rivers, and the kid-friendly Bee Garden.
Another of the neighborhood’s highlights is the Riverside Museum, which focuses on the history and heritage of the city’s industrial past. And just a short stroll from it, you’ll find warehouse-style venue SWG3 (offering endless late-night events, including Bongo’s Bingo, live DJ sets, and plenty more).
When people are considering where to stay in Glasgow, this usually isn’t one of their first picks. But it should be—it borders trendy Finnieston, it’s close to the city center, and it’s a decent place for finding relatively-affordable accommodation. It’s slowly becoming a more popular spot, so you might want to get here before everybody else does.
It’s also a good under-the-radar choice for families, especially those with young children. Hop just over the Kelvin River, and you’ll find a lot of quality schools—both Hyndland Primary School and Thornwood Primary School have great reputations.
Best for: Finding good schools, raising a family, and exploring some massive green spaces
Less central than most other districts we’ve covered, the southern neighborhood of Shawlands is great for green spaces, living a quiet life, and finding peaceful pockets (but without being too far from the city center).
The neighborhood’s most well-known outdoor area is Pollok Country Park, which measures in at a gargantuan 146 hectares (360 acres). It offers cycling routes, gardens, walking trails, wildlife, and lots of kid-friendly attractions.
Shawlands also borders pond-and-viewpoint-filled Queen’s Park, while the meandering riverbanks of White Cart Water run right through the heart of the neighborhood.
When families are working out where to stay in Glasgow, this is usually one of the first areas they consider. And it’s a wise choice—here, you get good schools, good conveniences, and a safe atmosphere. Some of Shawlands’ best schools are Shawlands Primary School (you probably could have worked that one out for yourself), and Merrylee Primary School.
And although the district sits around 3 miles (5km) south of the city center, it’s still well-connected to all the action and adventure. Lots of bus routes run through this part of the city, and the district is home to three separate train stations.
Because of its homely and comfortable vibe, Shawlands was recently voted as one of the best places to live in Scotland. If you’re raising a family in the city, it’s an excellent option. But if you’re traveling without kids, you might find it a little mundane.
8 Best Neighborhoods in Glasgow: Final Thoughts
Alright, we’ve reached the end of our guide to the 8 best neighborhoods in Glasgow. Thanks for joining us!
As we’ve already mentioned, we offer serviced apartments and serviced flats throughout various parts of the city. They’re all super comfortable and cozy—and they’re ready to move into today. And because our homes are well-equipped for working, they’re all pleasant and productive spaces.
Thanks for reading, thanks for wandering over to Homelike, and have fun living in Glasgow. See ya!
Oh, and for information on a different type of UK relocation, check out our list of the 15 best neighborhoods in London, our expat guide to living in London, living in the UK and moving to the UK with a pet.