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GLASGOW FAQ'S

How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

The main point of entry for trans-Atlantic flights to Scotland is Glasgow Airport (IATA code GLA), located approximately 7 miles west of the city center. It is a hub for airlines British Airways and Flybe, and the airport also hosts flight agreements with dozens of airlines, including easyJet, Ryanair, United Airlines, US Airways, Icelandair, Emirates, and more.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport (IATA code PIK) is Glasgow`s secondary airport, and serves as a main base for low-cost airline Ryanair. It is 32 miles southwest of Glasgow city center.

From Glasgow Airport (GLA): Glasgow Airport Cabs are the only brand of taxis allowed to queue outside the international arrivals gate. The company is based at the airport and cabs are available from the queue 24 hours a day. If you would like to reserve a specific model of taxicab for accessibility reasons, call +44 (0) 141 250 7280 or visit www.glasgowairportcabs.com.

The Glasgow Airport Express is a shuttle which delivers travelers from Glasgow Airport to three stops in the city center: Hope Street near Glasgow Central station, George Square near Queen Street station, and Buchanan Bus Station. The shuttle leaves as often as six times per hour during peak times, and runs 24 hours per day. A one-way ticket is priced at under £10 and can be purchased directly from the bus driver when boarding. The buses leave from the street outside Stance 1 (the main terminal building).

From Prestwick Airport (PIK): Glasgow Prestwick Airport is the only airport in Scotland to be situated on a rail line. Glasgow Prestwick Airport train station takes travelers to Glasgow Central station in under 60 minutes. The train station is separated from arrivals at the airport by a covered walkway. Three trains per hour leave between 5:20 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily (from 8:50 a.m. on Sundays). Prestwick Airport does not have a ticketing office so be prepared to pay with the conductor once you've boarded. Show the conductor your flight confirmation and you will receive a discount on your fare.

Taxis queue right outside the terminal building all hours of the day and night. The airport works directly with Streamline Taxis, which offers special airport transfers to Glasgow city center or to Glasgow Airport. For more information, visit www.streamlinetaxis.com.

Local bus company Dodds of Troon offers a £10 one-way bus service, the X99, into Glasgow city center once each night after midnight to accommodate the late arrivals at the airport. The journey takes 90 minutes.

How do I get from the train station to my hotel?

Both stations are located in the city center, approximately 15 minutes apart from one another on foot. Glasgow Central station serves the routes coming into Glasgow from the south, while Glasgow Queen Street station serves routes coming in from the north and east.

A free bus (#398) runs at least twice an hour between Glasgow Central and Glasgow Queen Street stations (and vice versa); just provide your ticket departing later in the day to board the bus to the other station.

Taxis queue outside both stations. If you insist on calling your own cab, the companies are very competitive, usually responding within 15-20 minutes in the city center. The taxi fare is standard no matter which taxi company you use in Glasgow; fares average £3 for one mile.

How do I get around the city using public transportation?

The city buses and the Glasgow Subway are run by an organization called the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT).

Fifteen Subway stations (running through the West End, the city center, and the area south of the River Clyde) are interconnected by two separate lines. One runs clockwise and one runs counterclockwise. Adults can ride all day on one fare for under £5; a small fee (less than £1) will be charged if you buy your ticket with a credit or debit card.

Bus travel is geared less toward travel in and around Glasgow than it is around travel to other parts of Scotland and to points in Britain as far south as London. For more information on SPT, visit www.spt.co.uk.

How do I call/hail a taxi?

It is easy to hail a taxi in Glasgow. Simply wave your hand in the air from the sidewalk and the taxi driver will stop to pick you up. In the city center, taxi stands are located at Buchanan Street bus station and at Glasgow Central and Queen Street train stations. Simply stand in line for the next available cab and take one when it is your turn. Fares average £3 per mile.

I will have a car in Glasgow. Where can I park?

Many of the major car rental companies (Thrifty, Europcar, Budget, etc.) are represented both at Glasgow Airport and in the Glasgow city center. Daily rentals are competitively priced in the £10-£15 range. Dozens of parking lots are open during the day and evening in the city center; all are priced under £10 for a two-hour ticket. Just remember that signs which read `permit parking` indicate parking lots for people already holding permits, not for people looking to purchase them.

Note: Pay special attention to following the local driving laws, which will be different from the ones you know at home. Scotland, along with the rest of Great Britain, drives on the left side of the road, with the steering wheel on the right side of the car. U.S. driver's licenses are valid for 12 months after the traveler's last entry into Great Britain.

Is Glasgow a walking city?

Most of the city`s sights are located in a three-mile-long, one-and-a-half-mile-wide area on the northern bank of the River Clyde called the West End and the city center. The majority of the streets in this area are designed in a grid format, making it easy to navigate the city on foot.

Is Glasgow a dangerous city? Are there any areas I should avoid?

Despite having a long reputation of being the `scarier city` when compared to Edinburgh, Glasgow has seen a strong reduction in its crime rate over the past two decades. Travelers will find that the West End and the city center are particularly safe for tourists, even in the evening hours, but it is recommended to stick to main thoroughfares and well-lit roads after dark. Just practice the same street-smarts common sense you would practice in any major North American city.

Which areas are the best for shopping?

Glasgow is a well-known shopping destination, boasting over 1,500 shops in the city limits. According to many metrics, such as pounds spent, Glasgow is Great Britain's second-largest retail hub.

Much of the traffic that travels along three specific roads (Argyle Street, Buchanan Street, and Sauchiehall Street) is there to shop. One fun fact: A sizable portion of all three roads are pedestrianized, meaning cars are off-limits.

Nearly every major brand name known in Great Britain has a storefront on one of these streets, and many luxury goods from Europe, the United States and further afield can be purchased here as well. Look on Buchanan Street for stores selling authentic Scottish souvenirs.

Can I pay/tip in US dollars?

The units of currency in Scotland (as in all of Great Britain) are the pound sterling (£) and pence (p). U.S. dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for pounds (also commonly referred to in conversation as `quid`) upon arrival. Currency exchange desks and ATMs can be found at the airport and many locations throughout the city.

What is Scottish food like? What is a Scottish breakfast?

Traditional Scottish cooking is hearty with staples including fish (such as haddock, wild halibut and herring that's transformed into kippers),potatoes (called tatties), turnips (called neeps), oatcakes, porridge oats and local game such as grouse or venison. And let's not forget haggis, Scotland's national dish, which is a spherical sausage made of the liver, heart, and lungs of a sheep, chopped and mixed with suet and oatmeal and seasoned with onion, pepper and other spices packed into the sheep's stomach and boiled.

Scottish breakfast, or the full fry-up, as the locals may call it, consists of most or all of the following: eggs, bacon and sausage; black pudding or haggis; grilled tomatoes and mushrooms; fried bread or potato scones; toast with marmalade or jam; juice and coffee or tea. A feast this size can often keep you going right through until lunch!

I want to play golf in Scotland. Are there golf courses that are located in the vicinity of Glasgow?

Scotland is the birthplace of golf, and over 90 golf courses are located within an hour`s drive of Glasgow alone. Southwest of Glasgow is the region of Ayrshire, which boasts nearly two dozen golf courses. Many of them are well-known worldwide, including Turnberry and Royal Troon, which have both hosted the British Open golf championship, and Prestwick Golf Club, which started the British Open tradition in 1860. Consider arriving during Ayr Golf Week, in early June.