EU citizens may live and work free of any immigration controls. Citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are generally allowed to stay six months without a visa.
The pound sterling is the currency used in Scotland as well as the rest of Great Britain. Scottish banks also issue their own banknotes. These notes are generally accepted in England.
The language spoken in Glasgow is English. Scottish Gaelic is spoken is some areas of Scotland.
Thanks to the shelter provided by groups of hills around the city, Glasgow is somewhat warmer than the rest of Scotland. It has a temperate climate with milder winters and warm summers that is also prone to quick changes. The warmest months are generally June, July and August with January and November being the coldest. May and June are the driest months, while January and October generally see the most rainfall.
Medical care is free to residents of the UK. If you are from outside England, even if you are a member of an EU member state, you may be required to pay for any medical treatment.
Glasgow is located in the Greenwich Mean Time Zone (GMT) which is one hour behind Central European Time (CET) and five hours ahead of Easter Standard Time (EST).
Shops in Glasgow are generally open between 9am-6pm, with late night shopping on a Thursday. More and more shops open now on Sundays from 12pm-6pm.
Banks are usually open between 9.30am and 3.30 or 5.00pm.
The city’s main tourist office is located in the city centre at 11 George Square. It opens from Mon-Sat 9am-6/7/8pm, Sun 10am-6pm.
There’s also a good tourist information desk you can check out on arrival at Glasgow International Airport.
In Britain, a 17.5% sales tax (VAT) is levied on all goods and services. This doesn’t apply to books or food but it must, by law, be included on your restaurant bill. With regards to shopping, this tax can be claimed back on goods taken out of the country by non-nationals but not all stores participate in this 'Retail Export Scheme' so, before purchasing, look for a sign or enquire.
Travellers cheques are widely accepted in the city’s banks and currency can be exchanged here too. Banks tend to offer the best exchange rates and commission is sometimes charged for cashing travellers cheques in foreign currencies. If you have sterling travellers cheques there’s no commission fee, if you cash them at a bank affiliated to the issuing bank.
There are a huge number of cash points throughout the city and all major credit cards are widely accepted. These can also be used to obtain cash advances from ATMs or banks. You can also use regular bankcards which are members of the bigger international networks including Cirrus, Plus and Link in machines which bear the symbol.
The electrical current used in Glasgow is 240V.
The international code for the UK is +44. The area code for Glasgow is 0131. If you're calling from outside the UK, dial the international code of the country you’re in, drop the first 0 for Glasgow and dial the number.
If you’re dialling overseas from within Glasgow, dial 00 (international access code), the country code, then area code and the local number.
Public payphones can be found across the city and will either take coins, credit cards or prepaid phonecards (and sometimes all three). The minimum cost of a call is 10p, with phonecards available to buy from post offices and various newsagents.
The main post office is in the city centre at 47 St. Vincent Street, a short walk from Central Station. Open Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri 9am-5.45pm, Tues 9.30am-5.45pm, Sat 9am-5.30pm, Closed Sun.
Some restaurants in Scotland include a service charge in the bill and if that’s the case a tip isn’t necessary. However, if it’s not, you should leave a tip amounting to at least 10% unless you were unhappy with the service.
It is worth noting what the public holidays are before you travel there as the majority of businesses, banks and shops usually shut for the day.
In Scotland they take place on January 1st (New Year’s Day), 2nd January, March/April (Easter), first Monday in May (Early May Bank Holiday), last Monday in May (Spring Bank Holiday), first Monday in August (Summer Bank Holiday), December 25th (Christmas Day) and December 26th (Boxing Day).