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Location: Glasgow Guide / Glasgow Information / The Glasgow Guide FAQ  

Glasgow Guide FAQs

  1. What is the time zone in Glasgow?

  2. Which language is spoken in Glasgow?

  3. What side of the road do I drive on in Glasgow?

  4. What measurement system is used in Glasgow?

  5. What is the currency in Glasgow?

  6. Can I use Scottish money in England?

  7. When are the public holidays in Glasgow?

  8. What about health/medical considerations when coming to Glasgow?

  9. What credit cards are valid in Glasgow?

  10. Do I have to pay more when paying by credit card in Glasgow?

  11. What about travellers' cheques in Glasgow?

  12. When are banks open for business in Glasgow?

  13. What is the Glasgow climate like? Is Glasgow in England?

  14. What about travellers' cheques in Glasgow?

  15. Where can I find ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) in Glasgow?

  16. How much money can I bring into Glasgow?

  17. What can't I bring through customs in Britain?

  18. Can I claim back VAT (Value Added Tax)?

  19. How much should I tip in Glasgow?

  20. What is the emergency telephone number in Glasgow?

  21. When is the cheapest time to make a phone call from Glasgow?

  22. Where can I find a pay phone in Glasgow?

  23. How do I pay for calls from pay phones in Glasgow?

  24. Which phone companies offer discounted international calls in Glasgow?

  25. How much does it cost to send a postcard from Glasgow?

  26. What is the cost of living/travelling in Glasgow

  27. How many channels can I get on terrestrial TV in Glasgow?

  28. What locally-printed newspapers can I buy in Glasgow?

  29. When do the pubs open in Glasgow?

  30. Are children allowed in pubs in Glasgow?

  31. Where can I access the Glasgow Guide while I'm there?

  32. What is the Glasgow climate like?

  33. What Consulates and High Commissions are located in Glasgow (and nearby)?

  34. What Consulates and High Commissions are located in Edinburgh?

  35. Are there other Glasgows?

  36. Is Glasgow in England?


What is the time zone in Glasgow?
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. When it's 12 noon in Glasgow, it's 7am in New York, 10pm in Sydney and 1pm in Berlin. British "summer time" (when the clocks go back one hour) commences the last Saturday in March and lasts until the last Saturday in October.

Which language is spoken in Glasgow?
English...with a very strong regional accent.

What side of the road do I drive on in Glasgow?
If you are driving in Glasgow, remember to:

  • drive on the left hand side of the road.
  • give way to traffic at the right on roundabouts.

The speed limit on motorways is 70 miles per hour, on A-class roads is 50mph, and on roads in built-up areas is 30mph (although be aware that in built-up areas near schools Glasgow council has implemented 'traffic calming' controls - speed bumps - to bring speeds down to 20mph). Remember that it is now compulsory to wear seatbelts in the front of any car, and in the back if you have them.

What measurement system is used in Glasgow?
Officially, the metric (kilometres, litres and kilograms) system of measurement is now in use, however, the old imperial (miles, gallons and pounds) system is still very popular. See below for some conversion tables.

What is the currency in Glasgow?
The British currency is the (£) pound sterling, consisting of 100 (p) pence. Coins come in denominations of 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2. Bank of England banknotes are legal tender in Scotland, in addition to those issued by the Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank. These Scottish banknotes (bills) come in denominations of £1, £5, £10, £20, £50 and £100.

Can I use Scottish money in England?
You can spend Scottish notes in England as they are exactly equivalent to their English counterparts on a one-for-one, commission-free basis.

If changing Sterling abroad, do not accept an inferior rate for changing Scottish notes than is being offered for English notes as the two are equivalent. Only a very small number of English traders may be reluctant to accept Scottish money and this is usually to do with suspicions relating to counterfeiting, as the trader may not be familiar with the look and feel of Scottish notes. That said, it is a good idea to change Scottish notes to English notes at a bank on either side of the border if you wish to make purchases in England. If you want a good in-depth discussion of this issue (especially matters relating to Scottish/English money and legal tender) go to: http://www.siliconglen.com/Scotland/1_7.html

When are the public holidays in Glasgow?
In general, Glasgow (and Scotland*) has the following statutory bank holidays:

  • 1st January - Ne'ers or New Year's day
  • 2nd January - Scottish New Year holiday
  • Easter Good Friday
  • May day holiday (first Monday in May)
  • Spring Holiday (last Monday in May)
  • Glasgow 'Fair Monday' (third Monday in July)
  • August holiday (first Monday in August)
  • 25the December Christmas day
  • 26the Dec Boxing day

Glasgow Fair Monday:

  • A trade fair holiday period during the 3rd and 4th weeks of July, this period is traditionally called the 'Glasgow Fair' when many Glaswegians would take their holidays from work. Today a relatively low proportion of Glaswegians holiday during this period, but the numbers are still quite large throughout Glasgow and the west of Scotland and there is a (trade) fair holiday on the Monday at the beginning of the two week period (i.e. the 3rd Monday in July).

...that's fine, but was does a 'holiday' mean in this context?

*These holidays differ from England as follows:
England gets Easter Monday instead of 2nd January.
England's August holiday is at the end of August.

What about health/medical considerations when coming to Glasgow?
No vaccinations are required for entry into Scotland. Citizens of EU countries are entitled to free medical treatment at National Health Service (NHS) hospitals on production of an E111 form. Also, Australia, New Zealand and several other non-EU European countries have reciprocal health-care arrangements with Britain. Citizens of other countries will have to pay for all medical services, except accident and emergency care given at Accident and Emergency (A&E) Units at most (but not all) NHS hospitals. Health insurance is therefore strongly advised for citizens of non-EU countries. Pharmacists can dispense only a limited range of drugs without a doctor's prescription. Most are open during normal shopping hours, though some are open late, especially in larger towns. Local newspapers will carry lists of which are open late. Doctors' surgeries are usually open from around 0830-0900 till 1730-1800, though times vary. Outside surgery hours you can go to the casualty department of the local hospital for any complaint requiring urgent attention.

What credit cards are valid in Glasgow?
Most hotels, shops and restaurants accept all the major credit cards (Access/MasterCard, Visa,Diners Club and Amex), though there may be a surcharge for using them (always ask before paying by credit card). You can use your credit card to withdraw cash from selected banks and Automatic Telling Machines (ATMs) or 'cash machines' as they are called in Scotland. Your bank or credit card company will be able to give you a list of locations where you can use your card. Visa cardholders can use the Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and TSB ATMs; Access/MasterCard holders can use the Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale; Amex cardholders can use the Bank of Scotland.

If you have an account with a high-street bank elsewhere in Britain, you can use your cash machine card in Glasgow. Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland accept Lloyds and Barclays cash cards; Clydesdale accepts HSBC/Midland and National Westminster cards. Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale and most building society cash machines are part of the Link network and accept all affiliated cards.

Do I have to pay more when paying by credit card in Glasgow?
It's unlikely, although if this is the case in any premises, a notice clearly stating that a differentiated pricing scheme is in operation should be prominently displayed

What about travellers' cheques in Glasgow?
As with any other city, the safest way for visitors to carry larger amounts of money is in the form of travellers' cheques. These are available for a small commission from all major banks. American Express (Amex), Visa and Thomas Cook cheques are widely accepted throughout city banks and are the most commonly issued. You'll normally have to pay a small commission again when you cash each cheque. This will usually be one percent, or a flat rate. No commission is payable on Amex cheques cashed at Amex offices. Note that in Scotland travellers' cheques are rarely accepted outside banks,larger hotels and bureau de change, so you're best to cash them in advance and keep a convenient amount of ready cash.

When are banks open for business in Glasgow?
Typically 9.30 to 1600 or 1700 Monday to Friday, although some open slightly later on Thursday evenings and a few branches may open on Saturday morning until 12.30pm. Outside banking hours you'll have to use a bureau de change, which can be found in the city centre and also at the airport and railway stations. Some bureaux charge comparatively high commission rates for changing cheques. Avoid changing money or cheques in hotels, as the rates are usually quite low.

Where can I find ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) in Glasgow?
At banks, supermarkets, shopping centres and motorway service stations.

How much money can I bring into Glasgow?
Any amount, in any format - cash, travellers' cheques, letters of credit, etc. - the more the merrier! There are no restrictions on bringing money into the UK.

What can't I bring through customs in Britain?
The UK has much stricter rules on offensive weapons than almost any other country in Europe. You should declare any possible potentially offensive instrument at customs, as the chances are you will be committing an offence if you carry it on to the streets.

Can I claim back VAT (Value Added Tax)?
Yes, if you are a non-EU visitor and as long as you complete the appropriate form at the time of purchasing your goods and then have the goods to display when going through customs. Not all stores participate in the Retail Export Scheme and you may be charged an administration fee. (Value Added Tax (VAT) is 17.5% and is applied to most goods and services - the RES does not apply to services.)

How much should I tip in Glasgow?
Hotels, restaurants, taxis, hairdressers, barbers: 10-15% (check to make sure the service charge is not included in the bill first, though). Porters: 50-80p per case. Hotel doormen: £1. Helpers in cinemas, theatres, supermarkets and petrol stations: won't expect anything in way of a tip. Bar staff: not an established practice, but buying them the odd drink for themselves is most welcome (they don't usually have the drink, but take a token amount).

What is the emergency telephone number in Glasgow?
999 for fire, police, ambulance or coastguard services. Emergency calls are free from pay phones - you will be asked which service you require by the operator who answers.

When is the cheapest time to make a phone call from Glasgow?
Anytime at the weekend: from midnight on Friday to midnight on Sunday. Besides that, on weekdays after 6pm to before 8am is cheaper than during the day, i.e. business hours.

Where can I find a pay phone in Glasgow?
In most major city centre streets and shopping precincts. Alternatively, they can be found in a wide range of places, including: hotels, pubs, clubs, restaurants, shops, sports centres, libraries, hospitals, cinemas, theatres, rail and bus stations, airports and motorway service stations.

How do I pay for calls from pay phones in Glasgow?
Most commonly by inserting coins (20p, 50p, £1), although phonecard and credit card pay phones are also available.

Which phone companies offer discounted international calls in Glasgow?
Try SwiftCall on (Freephone) 0800 769 0033 or Atlas International on (Freephone) 0800 026 8888.

How much does it cost to send a postcard from Glasgow?
Within the UK: 28p (First Class) and 20p (Second Class). Airmail postage costs for postcards are: 38p to Europe and 42p to all other destinations. For more information about the cost of postage in Glasgow and the UK go to this Royal Mail page.

Of course, you can send an electronic one for free here or here.

What is the cost of living/travelling in Glasgow
Glasgow isn't an expensive city to visit. Cheap accommodation is available in hostels or B&Bs, transport is relatively cheap and you can get by on £20-25 per day if you eat in cafés, pubs or cheap restaurants. Also, most of the museums and galleries are free. If you want to enjoy the city's better restaurants and go out at night, then you'll need at least £50-60 per day, without being extravagant. Single travellers will have to pay more than half the cost of a double room in most places and should budget on spending around 60% of what a couple would spend.

How many channels can I get on terrestrial TV in Glasgow?
If you don't include satellite and cable, then there are 5 standard terrestrial channels: BBC1, BBC2, STV (Scottish), Channel 4 and Channel 5.

What locally-printed newspapers can I buy in Glasgow?
Try The Herald (55p), The Evening Times (32p), or The Daily Record (32p).

When do the pubs open in Glasgow?
Generally, from 11am to 11pm or midnight during Monday to Saturday, and from 12.30pm to 11pm on Sundays.

Are children allowed in pubs in Glasgow?
Yes, but only in pubs with a Childrens' Certificate and only during the hours of 11am to 8pm. Children must be accompanied by someone over 18 at all times while on the licensed premises and , of course, they must not consume alcohol, including wine.

Where can I access the Glasgow Guide while I'm there?
Access to the Internet is available from easyInternetcafe in Glasgow's St Vincent Street in the city centre.

What is the Glasgow climate like?
The climate of Glasgow is characterised by its temperate nature. Periods of extreme heat or cold are infrequent and usually of short duration. Rainfall may occur during all seasons and rapid weather changes may take place over a period of a few hours.

Average temperature

 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
°C3.53.85.07.310.313.314.614.212.08.95.64.18.5
°F38.338.841.045.150.555.958.357.653.648.042.139.447.3

    Average rainfall

 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
mm111.178.271.060.265.773.094.7108.0103.7115.7106.2116.71104.8
inches4.43.12.82.42.62.93.74.34.14.64.24.643.5

What Consulates and High Commissions are located in Glasgow (and nearby)?

    • Danish Consulate
      74 Kirkintilloch Road, Bishopbriggs G64 2AH (Tel: (0141) 762 2288)
    • Finnish Consulate
      124 Dowanhill Street G12 (Tel: (01324) 562241
    • German Consul
      Suite 214 Pentagon Centre, 36 Washington Street, G3 (Tel: (0141) 226 8443
    • Greek Consulate
      1 Kirklee Quadrant G12 (Tel: (0141) 334 0360)
    • Icelandic Consulate
      Green Gables, Moor Road, Strathblane, G63 (Tel: (01360) 771741
    • Italian Vice-Consulate
      24 St Enoch Square (Tel: (0141) 226 3000)
    • Malawi Consul
      160A High Street, Irvine KA12 8AN (Tel: (01294) 313103)
    • Netherlands Consulate
      3 Annandale Terrace, Dalnottar Avenue, Old Kilpatrick G65 (Tel: 01389-875 744)
    • Norwegian Consulate Royal
      18 Woodside Crescent, G3 7UL (Tel: (0141) 333 0618)
    • Pakistan Vice-Consulate
      137 Norfolk Street G5 (Tel: (0141) 429 5335)
    • Spanish Consul
      389 Argyle Street G2 (Tel: (0141) 221 6943)
    • Swedish Consulate
      16 Robertson Street G2 8DU (Tel: (0141) 221 7845)
    • Thai Consulate
      4 Woodside Place, Charing Cross, Glasgow G3 (Tel: (0141) 353 5090)

What Consulates and High Commissions are located in Edinburgh?

    • American Consulate General
      3 Regent Terrace (Tel: (0131) 556 8315)
    • Belgian Consulate
      2 West Street, Penicuik EH26 9DL (Tel: (01968) 679969))
    • Chinese Consulate General
      Romano House, 43 Station Road EH12 7AF (Tel: (0131) 334 8501 or (0131) 316 4789)
    • French Consulate General
      11 Randolph Crescent (Tel: (0131) 225 7954)
    • German Consulate
      16 Eglington Crescent EH12 5DG (Tel: (0131) 337 2323)
    • Indian Consulate
      17 Rutland Square EH1 2BB (Tel: (0131) 229 2144)
    • Japanese Consulate
      2 Melville Crescent (Tel: (0131) 225 4777)
    • Polish Consulate
      2 Kinnear Road (Tel: (0131) 552 0301)
    • Russian Federation
      58 Melville Street, EH3 7HL Tel: (0131) 225 7098
    • Spanish Consulate
      63 North Castle Street (Tel: (0131) 220 1843)

Are there other Glasgows?
Yes, there is also:

      • Glasgow, Delaware, USA
      • Glasgow, Illinois, USA
      • Glasgow Junction, Kentucky, USA
      • Glasgow, Kentucky, USA
      • Glasgow, Minnesota, USA
      • Glasgow, Missouri USA
      • Glasgow, Montana, USA
      • Glasgow, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, USA
      • Glasgow, Cambria County, Pennsylvania , USA
      • Glasgow, West Virginia, USA
      • Port Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Scotland
      • Mount Glasgow, Calgary, Canada.

    And finally...

Is Glasgow in England?
No. Glasgow is in Scotland, which is a country in the United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). The UK is one of the 15 member states of the European Union. Great Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales.


      KilometresMiles
      1.60910.621
      8.04753.107
      16.039106.214
      80.4675031.069
      160.93410062.137
      LitresGallons (UK)
      4.54610.220
      22.73051.100
      45.460102.200
      227.2985010.999
      454.59610021.998

    Back to Conversion Question

      KilogramsPounds
      0.45412.205
      2.268511.023
      4.5361022.046
      22.68050110.231
      45.359100220.464

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