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Know Before You Go
- Architecture aficionados will love exploring the streets of Glasgow. Plan your route before you arrive or join an official tour to make the most of it. From the Glasgow Cathedral to Charles Rennie Mackintosh's unmistakable buildings, there's more than enough to see as you meander around the city's streets.
- For fashionista's head to the "Style Mile". It's a square mile of retail therapy in the city centre. You'll find everything from high-end haute couture to bespoke tailoring. For lovers of vintage garments, you will have a plethora of options to explore as well.
- If you're looking for a fantastic day trip from Glasgow, head out to Loch Lomond. It's only a 47-minute drive from the city and is situated inside the beautiful Trossachs National Park.
- Glasgow has a thriving art scene. It's the headquarters for the Scottish Ballet, Royal National Orchestra, Royal Opera and the National Theatre of Scotland. It's the perfect destination for culture vultures that want to sink their teeth into the creative pulse of Glasgow.
Getting Around Glasgow
- Walking around the centre of Glasgow is one of the best ways to explore the city. Download the Glasgow Walking app and learn about the city as you explore some of its hidden gems on a self-guided walking tour.
- If you need to get around the city faster, use the subway. It's the easiest way to get from the city centre to the West end of Glasgow. Tickets start at GBP 1.40 for a one-way ride, or you can buy a Subway Smartcard to get a daily GBP 2.70 cap on rides. Trains run every 4-8 minutes from 6:30 am to 11:45 pm Monday to Saturday and 10:00 am to 6:12 pm on Sundays.
- Taxis can be flagged down from the street. Expect to pay GBP 5 to GBP 6 for trips from the centre of town to the West End and GBP 10 to 12 for destinations in the suburbs.
- Another affordable way to get around the city is with its extensive bus service. Glasgow has over 100 routes with buses leaving every 10 minutes. You can buy an all day ticket for GBP 4.50 within the city zone. Weekly tickets cost GBP 16.50 or GBP 19.50 if you want to use the wider network that can take you as far as Loch Lomond.
- If you have limited time in Glasgow, hop on board the City Sightseeing Bus. It's one of the most convenient ways to visit the city's top tourist attractions. The tour lasts about 1hr 30 minutes, and you'll go past The Glasgow Science Centre, Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow Cathedral and more. The buses run every day from 9:30 am until 4:30 pm and you can hop-off at any of the 21 stops on the route as often as you like.
When is The Best Time to Visit Glasgow
The best time to visit Glasgow is during its spring and summer months. From March to August, the days are long with up to 15 hours of daylight and temperatures are a comfortable 15°C. But the better weather does mean the city is it's busiest during this time of year.
September to February marks the city's winter and autumn months. Days are short, and temperatures are freezing (-1°C), but if you don't mind the gloom, you'll find the best rates on hotels and tours.
Flights to Glasgow are affordable all year round thanks to budget airlines. But if you want to save as much as possible on airfare, book your flights over the weekend when business travellers have returned home.
Airports in Glasgow
Glasgow International Airport
Glasgow International is Scotland's busiest airport. It's located 13 km from the city centre and was the first airport in the country to handle one million passengers in a single month. The airport is a hub for EasyJet, Jet2, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways.
Glasgow Prestwick is the city's secondary airport. It mainly caters for low-cost airlines, freight and charter operators. It's 51 km from the centre of Glasgow and is a hub for Ryanair. If you don't mind the distance, it might be cheaper to fly in and out of this airport depending where you are flying to or coming from.
Getting To and From Glasgow International Airport
Several buses run from the airport to the city centre. The quickest option is the 500 service that runs every 10 minutes. It's an express bus and does not stop until it reaches Bothwell Street. If there is no traffic, it should take you 20 minutes to get into Glasgow, and a one-way fare will set you back GBP 6. If you have more time on your hands, you can take the cheaper 747 bus. Tickets cost GBP 3.75 for a single journey, and the bus runs every hour.
If you prefer to take a taxi, you'll find the cabs waiting outside the arrivals terminal. A one way trip to the city centre will cost GBP 20-22 and journey time is the same as the express bus.
You can also hire a car at the airport. To get into Glasgow, get onto the M8 highway and follow it all the way until you reach the centre of town.
Getting To and From Glasgow Prestwick
A regular train service runs every 30 minutes from the airport to Glasgow Central Station. If you book your tickets in advance, you can save up to 40%, and there is assistance for disabled passengers as well.
The bus is one of the more affordable options to get from Prestwick into the city centre. The service runs from 7:35 am to 11:30 pm Monday to Saturday and 9:05 am to 7:05 pm on Sundays. Journey time is 50 minutes, and there is also an express airport bus if you have an early morning or late evening flight.
Renting a car or taking a taxi are the most expensive options. If you aren't on a tight budget, you can find cabs waiting outside the arrivals terminal and a variety of affordable car rental companies.