Information & Facts
Like the rest of Scotland, the weather in Glasgow is
unpredictable and several degrees colder than England in the south
of the British Isles. Winters are long and wet, with very cold
winds and some snow, with seldom a sign of the sun, but when spring
arrives (between March and May) the mild temperatures and colourful
flowers in parks and gardens make the city a cheerful place to be.
In summer most days start off misty but warm up to sunny, mild
As the city gradually becomes more international and
cosmopolitan, the restaurants in Glasgow follow suit. Celebrity
chef Gordon Ramsay is from the fair city, and though it lacks an
international reputation for fine dining, you'll find plenty of
good options when looking for places to eat Glasgow.
Interestingly enough, the restaurant scene in Glasgow has been
named the 'Curry Capital of Britain', and you'll find a number of
good Indian restaurants for all budgets, as well as the ubiquitous
fish and chips takeaways. Glasgow is home to large immigrant
populations, so there are tasty eateries that serve Greek, Korean,
Lebanese, Spanish, Japanese, and Turkish cuisine in addition to the
usual Chinese, Italian and Thai options.
Many Glasgow restaurants close for either Sunday or Monday.
Diners are expected to tip waitstaff around 10%, or 15-20% for very
good service. Smoking is prohibited in all restaurants and bars in
Glasgow's city centre is compact and easily explored on foot,
but public transport will be needed to reach some of the major
attractions, which are further out. The integrated transport
network includes a reliable but confusing bus system with
connections to the underground and train network. Some routes
operate limited services throughout the night. The simple
underground system, also known as the Clockwork Orange, has two
circular routes that are easy to understand; this is the best way
to get between the city centre and the West End. The suburban train
network is fast and efficient. There are various passes available
for all forms of transport, including the family Daytripper pass
combining underground, rail, bus and ferry service. Taxis are
readily available and provide excellent, if fairly expensive,
service. A car is not necessary in the centre, and it is often
easier to get around using public transport; car users can make use
of the park-and-ride system at underground stations outside the
English is the official language, though visitors will be
astonished by the variety of regional accents.
The currency is the pound (GBP), which is divided into 100
pence. ATMs are available in all towns and Visa, MasterCard and
American Express are widely accepted; visitors with other cards
should check with their credit card companies in advance. Foreign
currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change and large hotels,
however better exchange rates are likely to be found at banks.
Travellers cheques are accepted in all areas frequented by
tourists; they are best taken in Pounds Sterling to avoid
Shopping in Glasgow is one of the best-kept secrets in Europe.
The city is second only to London for the most retail space in the
UK, and attracts dedicated shoppers from all over the country.
The heart of the Glasgow shopping districts is the 'Golden Z',
which zigzags through the city centre along the pedestrian malls of
Argyle, Buchanan and Sauchiehall streets. Here you'll find all the
major European brand names, with Buchanan Street and its mall the
Buchanan Galleries attracting the most upmarket shops. The Argyle
Arcade has a large concentration of jewellery shops, and Princes
Square is a stylish centre set in a renovated Victorian
If chain stores aren't your fancy, nearby Bath Street and Hope
Street are home to a number of independent shops and boutiques
where you can find a unique Glasgow souvenir or gift. De Courcy's
Arcade has a fun variety of book and music stores, and a few quirky
independent gift shops. Popular Glasgow souvenirs include wool
knits like cashmere sweaters, mittens and scarves; swirling
paperweights of Caithness glass; and local food like smoked salmon
and shortbread cookies.
There are also city centre markets that are well worth a visit,
including the Barras in the East End, which boasts hundreds of
market stalls selling all manner of items. Be wary of counterfeit
goods however, as the market is rife with knock-offs and pirated
There are a few popular shopping malls in Glasgow, mostly on the
periphery of the city. The biggest and busiest can be found in
Braehead, Silverburn and Glasgow Fort.
Shops in Glasgow are generally open from 9am-6pm Monday to
Saturday, closing later (8pm) on Thursday evenings. The shops in
the outer parts of the city may be open slightly later, and more
and more stores are opening on Sunday afternoons.
Local time in the United Kingdom is GMT (GMT +1 from last
Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).