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.
Search and compare: cheap flights to Glasgow
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).
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.
Winter is generally the off season, especially the weeks following Hogmanay.
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.