Find out practical information about travelling to Glasgow.
English (Glaswegian dialect).
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are widely available. There are also several Bureaux de Changes in the city.
Credit and debit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops. Some smaller shops and guesthouse accommodation may only accept cash.
Glasgow's time zone is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or one hour ahead of GMT, known as British Summer Time (BST), during the summer months.
In spring (March to May), enjoy mild temperatures with the city’s parks and gardens filled with spring flowers. The summer months (June to September) can vary between mild and sunny with up to 16 hours of daylight. Winters are colder, with a January average of 4.0°C (39°F) and occasional snow.
VisitScotland Glasgow iCentre is located at 156/8 Buchanan Street, beside the south entrance of Buchanan Street Subway Station (G1 2LL). The team of friendly, knowledgeable advisors will provide information to help visitors make the most of their visit to both the local Glasgow city area and the rest of Scotland. The iCentre team can advise visitors to the city on a wide range of ticketing options for local tours, activities and attractions during their visit. A range of quality gift items are also available within the shop. For more information check out the VisitScotland website.
Tipping is down to customer discretion on the given service, with a 10-15% tip standard when customers are pleased with service in restaurants, cafes and bars. For taxi fares, it’s usual to round up to the nearest pound (£).
Smoking is banned in all public places including all enclosed or partially 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 every day until at least 6pm. Late night shopping is on Thursdays, with many stores open until 8pm. For more information on shops in Glasgow, visit our shopping page.
Value added tax (VAT)
All purchases, except food, books and children's clothing, are subject to value added tax (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 value added tax (VAT) from selected shops on goods to be taken out of the country under the Retail Export Scheme. To find out information on how to reclaim sales tax, visit the UK government website.
In case of an emergency the police, ambulance or fire brigade service can be contacted by telephoning 999.
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. Check out the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's (DVLA) website for more details.
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.
For information on healthcare for overseas visitors, visit the National Health Service (NHS) Scotland website.
Electricity and 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.
Article last updated: September 2021