Glasgow Travel Guide: Travellers Tips

Banking

Most banks are open from Monday to Friday, from around 9am-5pm. Some branches in the city centre are also open on Saturday mornings. ATMs/cash machines are widely available throughout Glasgow.

Bureau de Change

Bureau de Change facilities can be found at the airports, train stations, most city centre banks, Tourist Information Centres and travel outlets.  Glasgow Tourist Information Centres operate Bureau de Change and Western Union Money Transfer Services.  For an accurate up to date exchange rate please visit XE.com.

Currency

British currency is pounds sterling (£) and is made up of 100 pence (p). Several Scottish banks issue their own notes in denominations of £1, £5, £10, £20, £50 & £100 which are legal tender in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Likewise, English, Welsh and Northern Irish banknotes are legal tender in Scotland. However note that £1 notes are not issued in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, and in some cases retailers etc. may not like to accept them. In the whole of Britain, coins come in denominations of 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and the relatively new £2.  For an accurate up to date exchange please visit XE.com.

Debit/Credit Cards

Almost all hotels, restaurants, shops and bars in Glasgow accept major credit cards such as VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club, etc.

Driving In The UK

In the UK, cars are driven on the left hand side of the road. 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.  The speed limit in built up areas is normally 30mph, and on motorways or dual carriageways is 70mph.

To drive in the UK, you need to have a current driving licence. A foreign licence is valid in the UK for up to 12 months. If travelling with your own car you must be properly insured and it is advisable to check your policy prior to your journey. For additional information on driving in the UK, maps, travel insurance or road service, contact the AA (Automobile Association) or the RAC (Royal Automobile Club).

For up to date traffic and roadworks information see the Traffic Scotland website.

Emergency Services

Dial 999 from any phone to contact the emergency services. This includes police, fire brigade, ambulance and in some areas, mountain rescue or coastguard.

Health Care

EU citizens are entitled to free or reduced cost medical treatment at National Health Service hospitals. With the exception of accident and emergency treatment, all non-EU members will be charged for medical treatment and must have adequate health insurance when travelling.

Newspapers (also available online)

Postal Services

Most post offices are open Mon-Fri from 09.00-17.30 and some are open on Saturdays from 09.00-12.30. Stamps are available from most stationery shops, newsagent and Tourist Information Centres. Comprehensive details on postal services are available from the Royal Mail website. Glasgow’s main post office which is in St. Vincent Place, is open Mon-Fri from 08.30-17.45 and on Saturdays from 09.00-17.30.

Public Holidays (2010)

New Year Jan 1st & 2nd
Easter March 21st & 24th
May Day May 5th
May Bank Holiday May 26th
Glasgow Fair July 19th
September Weekend Sept 26th & 29th
Christmas Dec 25th & 26th

Radio Stations (also available online)

Station Frequency (FM)
Rock Radio 96.3 fm
Real Radio Scotland 100-101 fm
BBC Scotland 92-95 fm
Clyde 1 102.5 fm
Clyde 2 1152 am
Smooth Radio 105.2 fm
Awaz FM 107.2 fm
BBC Radio 1 99.5 fm
BBC Radio 2 89.9 fm
BBC Radio 3 92.1 fm
BBC Radio 4 95.8 fm
BBC Radio 5 - Five Live 909 am
BBC Radio 6 - 6 music only available online
BBC Radio 7 only available online

Smoking

On Sunday March 26, 2006 Scotland introduced a new law which bans smoking in public places. The law includes all enclosed or partly enclosed public areas. For more information please visit clearingtheairscotland.com.

Telephone Services

Most public telephones accept coins (10p, 20p, 50p, £1), with a minimum connection charge 20p. An increasing number of kiosks also accept credit cards and offer e-mail and internet access.

Television

There are 5 main terrestrial television stations in central Scotland.  BBC1, BBC2, Scottish Television, Channel Four and Channel 5 offer a wide range of programming to suit all tastes.  Satellite and Cable are also available in most hotels, at least with some channels available.

Time

The time in Scotland is consistent with Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) except from late March to late October when Daylight Saving Time is in effect (clocks are put forward one hour). Most public transport timetables use the 24 hour clock.

Tipping

There are no real rules for tipping in Scotland.  If you are happy with the service, a 10-15% tip is customary, particularly in a restaurant or café with table service.  Tipping in bars is not expected.  For taxi fares it is usual to round up to the nearest pound (£), and if your taxt driver is particularly friendly he won’t be offended if you give him a wee pound.

Tourist information

For links to tourist boards in Glasgow, please see our Glasgow Tourist Information page. (Currently under construction). VisitScotland.com also provides information on accommodation, transport, visitor attractions and events for the whole of Scotland.

Transport

For more information on travel and transport in and around Glasgow see our travel guide pages which includes airports, bus stations, train stations, plus some transport advice.

Travel Insurance

It is strongly recommended that visitors to the UK arrange travel insurance to cover the loss of possessions and money as well as health and dental treatment.

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are required prior to visiting Scotland.

Value-Added Tax (VAT)

All purchases in Britain, with the exception of food and books, are subject to VAT, which increases the cost of an item by 17.5%. 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. For information on the scheme, please visit the UKs HM Customs and Excise website.

Visas

EU members may travel and work in the UK with no visa requirement. Citizens from the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand do not require a visa to visit the UK but are prohibited from work. Citizens from other countries require a visa which can be obtained from their nearest British Consular office. For additional information on UK immigration and visa requirements visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.