Useful Info

Here's all the essential info you need to make the most of your trip to Glasgow

Useful Info

Welcome to Glasgow, planning your trip to can be part of the fun, so to get you started here is some of the basic info you'll need to know to make the most of your visit.

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Language

English

Currency

Pound Sterling (£)

Money

ATMs widely available. There are also a number of Bureaux de Change.
Credit and debit cards accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops. Some smaller shops and guesthouse accommodation may only accept cash.

Time Zone

Glasgow's timezone is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or one hour ahead of GMT, known as British Summer Time (BST), during the summer months.

Climate

Winters are relatively cold, with a January average of 4.0°C (39°F), and wet, with occasional snow. Spring (March – May) brings milder temperatures and the city’s parks and gardens are filled with spring flowers. The summer months (June to September) can vary between mild and warm and sunny, with the advantage for anyone visiting in the summer is up to 16 hours of daylight.

VisitScotland iCentre

VisitScotland's iCentres in Glasgow are situated within Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG and Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow G1 3AH.  For more info visit their website here.

Tipping

There are no hard and fast rules for tipping in Glasgow. If you are happy with the service, a 10-15% tip is customary, particularly in a restaurants or cafés. Tipping in bars is not expected. For taxi fares, it’s usual to round up to the nearest pound (£).

Smoking

Smoking is banned in all public places including all enclosed or partly enclosed public areas.

Telephone codes

The UK country code is 44, while Glasgow landlines start with a 141 area code, followed by a 7 digit number. To call abroad, dial 00 before the area code.

Shopping

City centre shops are generally open Monday to Friday until at least 7pm and from 10am until 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Late night shopping is on Thursdays, with many stores open until 8pm. For more info on shopping click here.

VAT (Tax)

All purchases, with the exception of food, books and children's clothing, are subject to VAT, which is currently 20%. This is already included in the price shown in shops.
Visitors from non-EU countries can claim a refund of VAT from selected shops on goods to be taken out of the country under the Retail Export Scheme. You can find information on how to reclaim sales tax by visiting the HM Revenue & Customs website.

Safety

Glasgow is like any other big city and basic commonsense rules apply. The centre of Glasgow is very safe and you should not encounter any problems. During the day, Police Officers and Community Enforcement Officers should be able to assist you if needed. 

Emergency services

In case of an emergency police, ambulance and fire brigade can be contacted by telephoning 999.

Visa requirements 

  • Visitors to Scotland must hold a valid passport before starting their journey and children may require their own passports.
  • All visitors who wish to enter the UK must meet the requirements of the UK immigration regulations.
  • EU citizens can stay in Scotland for as long as required. Visitors from other European countries outside the EU can stay for up to three months.
  • Visitors from the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, can stay for up to six months, providing they have a return ticket and funds to cover the trip
  • Visitors from any other country in the world will require a visa.
  • Application forms and information on how to apply for a visa, as well as guidance for visitors coming to the UK, is available on the UK Border Agency website.


Driving

Driving is on the left hand side of the road.
To drive in Scotland, you have to have a current driving licence. A foreign licence is valid in the UK for up to 12 months.
It is compulsory to wear seat belts in the front seat and if your car has seat belts in the back, they must also be worn.

Health

No vaccinations are required for visiting Scotland.
When travelling to Scotland from outside of the UK, make sure you know what emergency healthcare you are entitled to, what medicines you can bring into the country, what to do in an emergency, and what travel insurance you will need.
The Scottish Government provides detailed information on healthcare for overseas visitors in PDF, audio and large-print formats.

Electricity & conversions

The standard voltage in Scotland is 240V AC, 50Hz. North American appliances need a transformer and an adapter; Australasian appliances need only an adapter. Plugs have 3 square pins and adapters are widely available.

Faith Communities

For information about faith communities and places of worship in the city of Glasgow click here

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