Book flights to Glasgow and find out why Rough Guides voted it the world's friendliest city. The largest city in Scotland might have a rough and ready reputation, but scratch the surface and you'll discover a paradise for foodies, fashionistas, and art lovers. With the outstanding beauty of the Trossachs National Park right on its doorstep, there are plenty of reasons to love Glasgow.
Airports in Glasgow
Glasgow Airport (GLA) is the main airport serving Glasgow, and is about 7 miles away from the city centre. It's Scotland's main transatlantic and longhaul airport, although it comes second to Edinburgh in terms of passenger numbers. The busiest routes are between Glasgow and London's airports, so if you're flying from the Big Smoke we recommend booking your flights as early as possible to avoid disappointment and price hikes.
If you have booked your flights to Glasgow International airport or are planning to pick someone up, please check Live Glasgow Airport arrivals information.
Glasgow is also served by Prestwick Airport, which holds the distinction of being the only place in the UK where Elvis ever stepped foot. Today this airport is only used by Ryanair, who fly to a range of sunshine destinations.
Airlines that fly to Glasgow
British Airways, BA Cityflyer, Citywing, easyJet, Flybe, Loganair, and Ryanair offer flights to Glasgow from a number of UK cities. There are no domestic flights to Prestwick Airport.
Getting into Glasgow
The Glasgow Shuttle runs between the airport and the city centre. Single tickets cost £6.50* but you can get an open return for £9*. Alternatively you can take the 747 First bus, which is £4* for a single or £5* for a return. The First bus takes longer to reach the city centre as it stops frequently. There's a taxi rank outside the airport. It shouldn't cost more than £22* to reach the city centre. Car rental is available at the airport from Avis, National, Europcar, Enterprise, Hertz, Alamo, Dollar/Thrifty and Budget. If you've not got your transport sorted yet, you can compare prices on car hire at Glasgow Airport now.
*Prices subject to change
When to visit Glasgow
Glasgow is a true year-round destination, with unpredictable weather no matter what time of year you visit. Generally speaking the weather will be better from May until September, but you should still expect to encounter at least four seasons in one day. Pack carefully: you'll need your sunglasses and shorts as well as your jacket and umbrella. Winter in Scotland can be bitterly cold, and due to the northern latitude the day is very short. There are some good annual festivals, and if you can time your trip to coincide with them you should be in for a treat. The Glasgow Art Fair takes place in early April, while the massive Hogmanay celebrations take place at New Year.
What to see and do
Scotland's largest city is packed with Victorian architecture. Its cosmopolitan heart offers visitors the very best in art, museums, dining, music, bars and hotels.
Go gigging: Glasgow is a must for fans of live music. Whenever a band comes to Scotland, chances are they'll be playing in Glasgow. Rock gigs at The Barrowlands ballroom are notoriously fun, thanks to the sprung floor and great acoustics. King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut is another famous venue, where plenty of big indie bands cut their teeth. You'll find the biggest names in music performing at the SECC, and you'll probably spot them later on in the Cathouse having a quick 'swallae'.
Get arty: Edinburgh might host the world's biggest arts festival, but there's no doubt that Glasgow is Scotland's artistic capital. The massive array of art galleries is testament to that. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum houses one of Europe’s largest collections of civic art, while The Lighthouse offers a great range of contemporary pieces. Don't miss out on the Burrell Collection, or the Gallery of Modern Art. Another must visit for art buffs is Mackintosh House, the former home of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. No art tour of Glasgow is complete without popping into Transmission, a grassroots art gallery in the Merchant City.
Indulge in retail therapy: Shopping in Glasgow is excellent, whether you're browsing the high street shops on Buchanan Street or haggling with stall holders in the notorious Barras marketplace. The Argyle Arcade is home to Scotland's largest collection of jewellery shops, while Byres Road has plenty of cute independent boutiques and gift shops. If it starts raining, don't worry: you can get plenty done indoors at the Buchanan Galleries and the upmarket Princes Square.
Eat, drink and be merry: Glasgow has an exciting nightlife scene with a huge range of restaurants, bars, pubs, and nightclubs. If you fancy a bite to eat you can choose from a huge array of ethnic cuisines, or go upmarket in one of the posh eateries in the Merchant City. When party time rolls around you've got a great selection of busy Irish bars, trendy student pubs, swish cocktail bars and buzzing rock clubs to choose from.
Where to stay
If you haven't booked your accommodation yet, you can compare hotels in Glasgow now. Not only can you find the perfect place to stay, you can find the best prices too. Where you choose to stay in Glasgow will depend on what you want from your trip. Every area has a good range of hotels, from no-frills rooms near the big amenities to luxurious boutique hotels complete with their own spa.
Hotels in the City Centre are the most convenient, whatever you're in town for. This area is home to Buchanan Street, Sauchiehall Street, and Argyle Street (the Golden Z) which make up Glasgow's main shopping and going out area.
For high end hotels, posh shopping, and elegant bars, head to the Merchant City. Hotels in this part of town are perfect if you're planning a more luxurious trip to Glasgow. 19th Century Sandstone buildings give the area a majestic feel. Best of all, it's within walking distance of the city centre.
Art buffs should consider basing themselves in the peaceful West End. This area is home to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, the Hunterian Museum, and Mackintosh House. It's also home to Glasgow University, and the trendy Ashton Lane going out street with its quirky bars and restaurants. Further trendy hotspots can be found on the Great Western Road.
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Airports near Glasgow Intl
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