Glasgow Life and Travel Tips
(Glasgow, Scotland, UK)
Glasgow is a wonderful place to visit at any time of year and this busy Scottish city has an enormous amount to offer tourists. Scotland weather is at its best during the summer months and this is a particularly popular time, although the city does not really have an 'off-season' as such, with many popular festivals in and around Glasgow throughout the year. Glasgow is even busy during the winter, when the Scottish weather is at its coldest.
Many people travel to Glasgow in December to enjoy the Christmas festivities and the city's exceptional decorations, to do their Christmas shopping at the large shopping centres and of course, to celebrate Hogmanay (the New Year) in lively Scottish style.
Glasgow is at its quietest from January to mid-March and this is probably the only time when hotels reduce their prices and hotel rates to attract more guests.
Tourism and Tourist Information
There are a number of tourist offices and outlets throughout Glasgow and these provide useful information and services, with the main outlet being situated at George Square, in the heart of the city. There is also a useful tourist information desk available at Glasgow Airport and at the Buchanan Bus Station on Buchanan Street.
Glasgow and Clyde Valley Tourist Information Centre
Address: 11 George Square, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Open hours: October to May, Monday to Saturday - 09:00 to 18:00, June to September, Monday to Saturday - 09:00 to 19:00, April to September, Sunday - 10:00 to 18:00
Glasgow St. Enoch Square Travel Centre
Address: St. Enoch Square, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 08:30 to 17:30
As in any large city, always maintain an awareness of your surroundings in Glasgow and try to blend in and not look like a tourist when visiting. Although crime levels are fairly low, look like you know where you are going and be particularly careful with hand baggage. Wear a bag or camera across your body, or even consider using a concealed money belt.
Places of Worship
The diverse city of Glasgow is home to a large number of different cultures and most religions have a presence. Many of the churches in Glasgow belong to the Anglican faith, although all faiths are always welcome. Newspapers generally list times of services for the main denominations.
Pharmacies and Chemists
Most pharmacies in Glasgow are open from at least 09:00 until around 18:00 and supermarkets often have in-store chemists. Local drugstores will usually open until 18:00, although some may stay open until later, and these usually have a pharmacy counter for dispensing prescriptions.
English is the most commonly spoken language in the Glasgow and the United Kingdom, although regional Scottish dialects can vary greatly and some Scottish accents can be very strong.
Tipping in Glasgow is quite discretionary, with taxi drivers usually being given a 10% gratuity or thereabouts - although this is not essential. Glasgow restaurants often include service charges and these are always clearly stated on the menus, otherwise a gratuity of around 10% is usually expected in recognition of prompt and courteous service. Hotel staff, such as luggage handlers, happily accept a tip of one or two pounds. Generally, no other public service workers in the city will expect tips.
In many buildings and on public transport in Glasgow, rules restrict smoking and this is usually indicated by no-smoking symbols in prominent places. Pubs and bars no longer permit smoking inside their premises.
Smoking in Glasgow, and Scotland as a whole, is not as fashionable as it once was, so it is always worth exercising discretion and sensitivity when selecting a place in which to smoke, although in general, smoking is more permissible here than many other parts of the United Kingdom. The best advice would be not to smoke unless others around you do so.
The University of Glasgow was founded in 1451 and is the fourth oldest university in the United Kingdom and is Scotland's second oldest university, second only to St. Andrew's University which was founded in 1411. Glasgow University is home to 13,000 undergraduates and the medical school is the largest of its kind in the United Kingdom.
The University of Strathclyde, in the heart of Medieval Glasgow, is the city's second university. Housed in a number of buildings, the University of Strathclyde was previously known as the Royal Technical College and was given its university status in 1964.
Invitations to Eat
Much business is done over the dinner table in Glasgow and business lunches frequently take place at central restaurants recommended by your host. In most good restaurants there will be a comprehensive wine and beer list and tables usually need to be booked in advance. Business dinners in Scotland are also often conducted at home and these tend to be less formal affairs, with a pre-arranged time for arrival about half an hour before dinner is served. Although guests are not expected to arrive bearing gifts, a bottle of wine or flowers are very much appreciated and should be presented upon arrival. Social dinners are rarely formal affairs and guests will be encouraged to relax.
The British love pubs for their informality and social atmosphere. Pubs and wine bars in Glasgow are most often places to meet and be seen, though each has its own standing in the local community, with some being frequented by business people, locals and celebrities, and others by tourists and holiday makers.
One of the most common social customs associated with drinking in pubs is that of buying a 'round' of drinks when drinking socially with a group. Members of the group take their turn, in no particular order, and as people's glasses empty it is a good idea to reciprocate and offer to buy the next round.