The largest city in Scotland, Glasgow, is blessed with some of the greatest representations of Victorian architecture in the world, most notably the works of famed Glaswegian architects Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Alexander Thomson. Eco-friendly travelers fly to Glasgow for the city’s more than 70 stunning parks and gardens, earning it the Gaelic title of “the Dear Green Place”. Apart from its aesthetic beauty most Glasgow travelers are pleasantly surprised by the energy of the city, from its trendy bars to its artsy galleries and great shopping. In fact, the shopping is one of the main reasons visitors from all around Europe hop on a flight to Glasgow for a city break.
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 center.
While strolling through the city music seems to fill the air, seeping through the thick walls of its opera houses and concert halls. Stop into a pub on a weeknight and listen to a band looking to break into the scene, after all many award winning bands including Franz Ferdinand and The Fratellis first began their careers in this inspiring city playing at such gigs. But serious music lovers booking flights to Glasgow should definitely visit at a time when the city plays host to some great music festivals, particularly the Glasgow Music Festival.
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, however, it’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before booking your Glasgow flight. Glasgow winters are cold and wet with some snow and little sun. November through March, temperatures are typically in the 30s and low 40s. Spring brings warmer weather and the sun. Summer days start off a little foggy but typically clear up and warm up. July and August days are often in the low 60s. There is a chance of rain year-round, but that also brings all the lush greenery. May and June typically have the least amount of rainfall.
April to September is the tourist season for Glasgow. The peak of this season is July and August — the most expensive months to purchase your flights tickets. These two months are further inundated with visitors when the British schools are on vacation. For this time of year, book your flight tickets in advance and reserve your accommodations before booking your Glasgow flights.
In October there is the Great Scottish Run, where tens of thousands of people take on the 10k or half marathon challenge. It is wise to book your flights to Glasgow earlier to save money during the week surrounding the challenge.
The best times to book cheap flights to Glasgow are late spring, early summer, and fall. All the attractions are open, accommodations are easy to find, and the weather is warm.
Glasgow is a beautiful place to visit during the spring, and if you’re not too bothered by wet weather, you can experience the start of flowers beginning to blossom and find cheap flights to Glasgow. Along with good value flight tickets, you’ll also find cheaper accommodation in the spring time and later August. The peak of Winter can be very cold and wet, with almost all attractions closed or un-enjoyable due to the weather. If you want a quiet weekend away then the winter can be great, and if you don’t mind venturing a little bit, Scotland does offer Winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.
Glasgow is most popular from late spring until late autumn, so to find the cheapest flights to Glasgow make sure you book as early as you can. You’ll find cheaper accommodations during the spring time, though, and cheap flight tickets are readily available. The winter period offers the cheapest flights to Glasgow although avoid this time of year if you don’t like being cold or limited on activities.
If you can be flexible about when you travel, you’ll find some absolute bargains during the peak months so search around for the best deals on your flight tickets and see if any events are taking place during your trip.
Fly direct to Glasgow from New York, Chicago, Philadelphia or Washington, D.C. in about six to seven hours. If you’re willing to stop over in London, you have a wealth of connecting flights available to you.
Fly direct to Glasgow on Virgin Atlantic, Delta, United or American Airlines. British Airways, KLM, Emirates, Aer Lingus and Air France also connect from the United States to Glasgow.
A visit to Scotland means rain, so pack that travel-sized umbrella and a rain jacket. You need that jacket even during the summertime, and if you’re planning to get out of the city and head up toward the Highlands, you should also pack waterproof shoes for your trekking. Scotland is famous for its wool, so if you don’t take a sweater with you, plan on buying one once you’re there. In addition, if you plan to spend a lot of time outside, especially in the Highlands or in the spring, take some insect repellent to ward off the annoying Scottish midges. Of course, you also need adapters to plug your electronics in; check the specifics on your mobile devices to see if you also need converters.
You can easily find your way from the airport to the city center after your flights to Glasgow, with several different options to choose from. One of the easiest is the Glasgow Shuttle, which goes to and from the airport and the city center throughout the day. You can also jump on the bus to go to one of a few different train stops, in case you want to catch the train to different parts of Scotland.
For those of you who are healthy and enjoy exercise, there are a couple of routes connected to the airport that allow for hiking or cycling, which might be a fun way to get to the city if you have little luggage. Of course you could hail a taxi directly from the Arrivals Terminal, although this won’t be cheap, you can split the fare with friends if you’re not travelling alone.
Setting out on foot is the best way to 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 center 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.
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.
Glasgow sometimes gets overlooked in favor of its sister city, Edinburgh, but this beautiful city on the River Clyde has a rich history with unique ties to science and technology that have helped make the modern world what it is. Visit the Riverside Museum to learn about Scotland’s contributions to transportation (steam engines and asphalt roads, for starters), and then experience that earlier age for real when you sail up the Firth of Clyde on the paddle steamer The Waverley. Don’t miss a stop at the Glasgow School of Art to marvel at the beauty of the work of Charles Renne Macintosh, whose work ties together Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts movement.
Scotland is, of course, the home of great Scotch whisky, so make sure you go on a pub crawl while you’re here. Visit some of Glasgow’s historic pubs, such as The Scotia, the Old College Bar and Sloan’s. Glasgow is also home to some of the best Indian restaurants in all of Great Britain, so make a stop for curry at Balbir’s, the Wee Curry Shop, Mother India’s Cafe or the House of Shah. The good times don’t stop after the sun goes down — Head to King Tut’s, a tiny music venue that has nonetheless helped launch the careers of bands like Radiohead and Oasis.
If you want to get out of the city without taking the lengthy trip to the Highlands, head to the beautiful Loch Lomond, just a quick drive north of Glasgow. Rent a canoe to go out on the loch, or mountain bike around its banks to catch the scenic views. Another great reason to get outside is attending a football game (soccer to Americans) at the Scottish National Stadium at Hampden, and poke your head to the Scottish Football Museum there. If you’re attending a Rangers or Celtic game, make sure you’re wearing the right colors to blend in!
From Glasgow, you can connect directly with airports all over Great Britain as well as throughout Europe, including Barcelona, Brussels, Munich, Milan and Warsaw. Pick up a direct flight to Philadelphia, Orlando or New York, or make a connection to fly out of Glasgow to Los Angeles, Miami or San Francisco.
Getting to the airport is easy via taxi or bus, or take the train from the Paisley Gilmour Street station. The airport is only a mile out of town, and you can even connect to it by foot or bicycle along the dedicated foot path network and National Cycle Network routes.