Welcome to Glasgow! Get started here with some of the basic info you’ll need to know to make the most of your visit.
Pound Sterling (£)
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.
Glasgow’s timezone is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or one hour ahead of GMT, known as British Summer Time (BST), during the summer months.
Spring (March – May) in Glasgow enjoys mild temperatures with the city’s parks and gardens filled with spring flowers. The summer months (June to September) can vary between mild and warm and sunny, with the advantage of up to 16 hours of daylight for visitors throughout the summer. Winters are colder, with a January average of 4.0°C (39°F) and occasional snow.
Visit Scotland’s iCentres in Glasgow are located at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum (Argyle St, G3 8AG) and also the Gallery of Modern Art (Royal Exchange Square, G1 3AH). Visitors will be able to speak to VisitScotland’s Visitor Service Advisors, make cashless ticket and accommodation bookings and pick up a range of information to take with them on their travels around Glasgow and across Scotland. For more info visit their website here.
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 restaurants or cafés. Tipping in bars is not expected. For taxi fares, it’s usual to round up to the nearest pound (£).
Smoking is banned in all public places including all enclosed or partly enclosed public areas.
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.
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.
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.
Glasgow is like any other big city and basic common sense 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.
In case of an emergency the police, ambulance or fire brigade service can be contacted by telephoning 999.
- 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 is on the left hand side of the road.
To drive in Scotland, you must have a valid 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.
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.
For information about faith communities and places of worship in the city of Glasgow click here.