Useful info

Offical language

The official language is English.

Currency and exchange

Great British Pound - GBP, £, Sterling.

Foreign currency and travellers cheques can be exchanged at banks, post offices, travel agents, bureau de change kiosks and some hotels throughout the city.

Credit cards are widely accepted in Glasgow and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) or cash machines can be found throughout the city.

Climate

Glasgow is one of Scotland's milder areas with temperatures usually higher than most places of equal latitude away from the UK, due to the warming influence of the Gulf Stream.

Winters are relatively cold, with a January mean of 4.0°C (39.2°F), though lows sometimes fall below freezing.

Spring is generally mild and very pleasant. April often has above average sunshine and many of Glasgow's trees and plants begin to flower at this time of the year and parks and gardens are filled with spring colours.

Summers are warm and have the added benefit of 16 hours of daylight and many of the tourist attractions have extended hours during this period.

Autumns are generally cool to mild with increasing precipitation. During early autumn there can be some settled periods of weather and can feel pleasant with mild temperatures and sunny days.

Visa requirements

You will only need permission (known as 'entry clearance' or 'a visa') to come to the UK for a business visit of up to six months if you are a visa national. Currently 108 countries require a visa to enter the UK. You can apply for a visa within 3 months of intended date of travel at visa sections at UK embassies, high commissions and consulates and through visa application centres around the world. The visa is valid for 6 months.

If you are a non-visa national, permission to come for up to six months is not needed.

Tipping

There are no hard and fast rules for tipping in Scotland. If you are happy with the service, a 10-15% tip is customary, particularly in a restaurant or café with table service. Tipping in bars is not expected and for taxi fares, it is usual to round up to the nearest pound (£).

Telephone codes

The UK country code is 44, while Glasgow landlines start with a 141 area code, followed by a 7 digit number. To call abroad, dial 00 before the area code.

Shop opening hours

Shops in the city centre are generally open Monday to Friday until at least 7pm and from 10am until 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Late night shopping is on Thursdays, with many stores open until 8pm.

Safety

Glasgow is like any other big city: it has safe areas and less safe areas, and the basic commonsense rules apply. The centre of Glasgow is very safe and you should not encounter any problems. All of the city centre and tourist areas are well policed. During the day, the City Centre also has many 'information officers' who should be able to assist you if needed. 

Smoking

Smoking is banned in all public places including all enclosed or partly enclosed public areas.

Electricity & conversions

The standard voltage in Scotland is 240V AC, 50Hz. North American appliances need a transformer and an adapter; Australasian appliances need only an adapter. Plugs have 3 square pins and adapters are widely available.

Time zone

Glasgow's timezone is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or one hour ahead of GMT, known as British Summer Time (BST) during daylight saving time in the summer months.

Driving

The UK drives on the left hand side of the road.

To drive in the UK, you require to have a current driving licence. A foreign licence is valid in the UK for up to 12 months.

It is compulsory to wear seat belts in the front seat and if your car has seat belts in the back, they must also be worn.

If travelling with your own car you must be properly insured and it is advisable to check your policy prior to your journey.

For additional information on driving in the UK, maps, travel insurance or road service, contact the Automobile Association or the RAC (Royal Automobile Club) and for up to date traffic and roadworks information see the Traffic Scotland website.

VAT

All purchases in Britain, with the exception of food and books, are subject to VAT, which increases the cost of an item by 20%. This is already included in the price shown in shops.

Visitors from non-EU countries can claim a refund of VAT from selected shops on goods to be taken out of the country under the Retail Export Scheme.

Healthcare

EU citizens are entitled to free or reduced cost medical treatment at National Health Service hospitals. With the exception of accident and emergency treatment, all non-EU members will be charged for medical treatment and must have adequate health insurance when travelling.

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are required prior to visiting Scotland.

Emergency services

In case of an emergency police, ambulance and fire brigade can be contacted by telephoning 999.


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