Airport guide

Airports in Glasgow

On the River Clyde on Scotland's west central lowlands, Glasgow is one of Europe's great cities, and one of the most beautiful. An economic powerhouse in the 19th century, Glasgow was built on wealth and innovation. Its Victorian architecture is magnificent. Many buildings were designed by local architects Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Alexander Thomson, built to express Glasgow's standing as the British Empire's second city. That one building, Templeton's Carpet Factory, was designed to resemble the Doge's Palace in Venice, gives some idea of how wonderful this city is.

Visitors arriving on cheap flights to Glasgow will discover that the city's cultural offerings are every bit as impressive as its buildings. There are 13 museums, all offering free admission, exhibiting everything from medieval tapestries to 1950s trams.

Saving on admission fees will mean there is more money to be spent on another great Scottish passion - going out. Glaswegans are gregarious and the pubs of the city are lively year round. They also have a passion for shopping. After London, Glasgow is the UK's largest retail centre.

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Glasgow climate

Thanks to the warming influence of the Gulf Stream that flows up the Clyde estuary and the protective Clyde Valley hills, Glasgow has a mild climate. Extreme heat and cold are rare. Winters (December, January, February) are generally long and wet. There is occasional snow and very cold winds. Spring (March to May) is mild. Summer, the most popular time for travellers to book cheap flights to Glasgow, is unpredictable - the days can be mild and wet or warm and sunny. July sees the highest temperatures - about 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).

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When to fly to Glasgow

Peak Season:
Most visitors take cheap flights to Glasgow during the summer months. This is when the most popular attractions will have extended opening times and although good weather is not guaranteed, this is the mildest time of the year to visit.

Off Season:
Winter is generally the off season, especially the weeks following Hogmanay.

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Getting downtown Glasgow

Travellers who have just landed on cheap flights to Glasgow have several options for getting downtown. There are regular bus services (Service 500 Arriva's Glasgow Flyer) from Glasgow Airport to the city centre. The journey takes approximately 25 minutes. Charter coaches operate from the short stay coach park on Bute Road beside international arrivals.

Rail tickets from Glasgow Airport to Glasgow Central station, via Paisley Gilmour Street station, can be purchased from the SPT Travel Centre on the ground floor of the terminal building, next to domestic arrivals.

Metered taxis are available 24/7. There are several options for car rental.

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Getting around Glasgow

Set out on foot to best explore Glasgow. If you’ve forgotten some good walking shoes, take advantage of the hop-on, hop-off City Sightseeing bus to make your way around. You can also head out to the water for a cruise on Loch Lomond or to the islands in the Firth of Clyde. 

The city’s public transportation will help you get around very easily. The local rail network is great and the buses are connected to the subway and trains. There are only a few night buses, but the local buses cover the day service very well. 

To get between the city’s centre and the West End, stick to the underground. A smart way to save money is to get a Roundabout Glasgow ticket, which allows unlimited underground and train travel for one day. Family passes are available too. 

Taxis are plentiful, but the rates will rack up quickly. You’ll find that taxi drivers have some of the best knowledge of the city though, so it may be worth it to you in the end. If you are driving into the city, leave your car at the park-and-ride stop located at the underground rail station outside Glasgow. When you’re in the city, you’ll wish you didn’t have a car. There are too many one-way streets, traffic jams and not enough parking to make it worth your while.

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Glasgow insider information

  • The centre of the city is the heart of the shopping district. Buchanan Street, Argyle Street and Sauchiehall Street offer high-end and high-street fashion while the Merchant City area is more boutiquey.
  • Glasgow has its fair share of festivals. There are musical festivals (Celtic, Jazz, Piping, Orchestra), comedy festivals and theatre festivals, and, of course, Glasgow's Hogmanay that takes place between November and January. A highlight of Hogmanay is Shindig, a weekend of music and dancing in celebration of St Andrew, Scotland's patron saint.
  • Art Nouveau artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh has left his best work throughout the city. The School of Art is considered his masterpiece combining Mackintosh's love of nature with his travels to Europe. His work on the "art tearooms", which he did at the behest of Catherine (Kate) Cranston, a local businesswoman, can be best seen at the Willow Tearooms in Sauchiehall Street.
  • Sports-mad visitors landing on cheap flights to Glasgow will make for a Celtic/Rangers game at Parkhead or Ibrox. Games between Glasgow Rangers FC and Glasgow Celtic FC are a hard-fought affair. Firhill is home to Partick Thistle FC. The Scottish Football Museum is at Hampden Park, home to the Scotland national team.

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Glasgow airports

Glasgow Airport (GLA) (website: www.glasgowairport.com) The airport is located 13km west of Glasgow, off junction 28 of the M8 motorway.

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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    Approx flight times

    Calgary International to Glasgow International:
    8 hr 5 mins

    In-flight reading

    Alive and Kicking: A Story of Crime, Addiction and Redemption in Glasgow's Gangland

    David BryceAll about the gritty side of the city, Bryce’s account is an honest one of his time in prisons and fighting addiction in the East End of Glasgow.

    Once Upon a Time in Glasgow

    John WatsonThe city from the earliest times.

    Night Song of the Last Tram: A Glasgow Childhood

    Robert DouglasWonderful, evocative memoir about growing up in a tenement in Glasgow at the end of the Second World War.

    Charles Rennie Mackintosh

    Alan CrawfordIllustrated biography of one of Glasgow’s most famous artists.

    Travel Tips