Getting Around Glasgow
The best way to get around Glasgow is by foot. Many of the best things to do are located in the city center, and the grid layout makes it very easy to navigate. But several attractions are located on the outskirts, necessitating the use of the public transportation system or a car. Black taxis are also available, and you can hail these on the streets or find them in taxi ranks (or lines) throughout the city center.
If you took a plane into Glasgow International Airport (GLA), you can take a train, bus, taxi or rental car the 10 miles into the city center. The easiest way to reach the city center via public transporation is the Glasgow Airport Express service 500 bus, which takes 15 minutes. Tickets cost 8.50 pounds (or about $11) for adults and 4.50 pounds (around $6) for kids.
|On Foot||If you plan on staying in the city center, getting around on foot is your best bet. Its grid layout makes getting lost virtually impossible, and many of the best attractions are also congregated here.
First Bus Greater Glasgow serves the central city of Glasgow, as well as Greater Glasgow, from Loch Lomond to the northwest and Lanarkshire to the southeast. Bus tickets can be purchased in numerous quantities: a Single Fare, a FirstDay ticket for a day of unlimited travel and a FirstWeek ticket for seven days of unlimited travel. Fares start at about 2 pounds (around $2.50) and are determined by distance traveled (a zone system). First Bus has more than 950 buses serving more than 80 routes; timetables vary considerably by route and day of the week, with buses generally running from around 6 a.m. to after 11. p.m. on weekdays on major lines. First Bus offers a list of top attractions and corresponding bus routes on its website.
The Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) is Glasgow's efficient bus, ferry and subway system. The subway, called the Clockwork Orange, runs two circular routes – one running clockwise and the other running counterclockwise. Tickets can be purchased at the subway stations; a single, one-way ticket costs less than 2 pounds (around $2.50). Subways operate from 6:30 a.m. to around 11:30 p.m. every day except Sunday, when they run from 10 a.m. to around 6 p.m. During peak times, trains arrive every 4 minutes; at other times, they come approximately 6 to 8 minutes apart.
|Car||Because some of Glasgow's attractions are located on the outskirts, you might want a car for your stay. (Buses and subway trains can also take you to the outer-lying attractions). Rent them at the Glasgow airport, or find several agencies in the city. Keep in mind that Glaswegians drive on the left and that "permit parking" signs mean permit parking only. If you park in one of these areas without a permit, your car could be towed. While a valid driving license is required, an international driving permit is not.|
The U.K.'s iconic black cabs can be found in Glasgow. Hail one on the street, or find them in taxi ranks throughout the city. Several companies, including Glasgow Taxis and Hampden Cars, also allow you to book through their sites or smartphone apps. Uber also operates in Glasgow. Your taxi ride shouldn't surpass about 15 pounds (around $19), but keep in mind that an additional surcharge will be added if you ride late at night or early in the morning.
Like many cities around the U.K. and elsewhere, Glasgow has a bike-sharing system that permits users to traverse the city on two wheels. Prices typically range from about 1 pound (around $1.30) for a 30-mnute outing to 10 pounds (about $13) for a full day of access.
Entry & Exit Requirements
You'll need a valid passport to travel to the United Kingdom and to return to the United States. If you're planning to travel on to other countries, your passport may require six months of remaining validity. Note that U.S. citizens do not need a visa unless they plan on staying longer than six months. Visit the U.S. State Department's website for the latest information on the U.K.'s foreign exit and entry requirements.
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