Glasgow, or ‘The Dear Green Place’ as some people call it, is the largest city in Scotland and third largest in the United Kingdom. It is located on the River Clyde. During the Victorian age Glasgow was called the ‘Second City of the British Empire’. It was an industrial city with chemical, textile industries and most notably shipbuilding and marine engineering which produced many famous ships. After the decline of the industrial age Glasgow reinvented itself with urban renewal projects in the 1960s. Today Glasgow has a vibrant cultural scene and is a great launching pad form which you can explore the rest of the Scotland. This makes Glasgow the perfect for car hire. Car hire in Glasgow gives you the mobility to explore all of the surrounding sights.
Basic info and car hire in Glasgow
Location: Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country's West Central Lowlands in Scotland
Population: There are around 1,209,143 people living in the Greater Glasgow urban area. At the 2011 census, Glasgow had a population density of 8,790/sq mi (3,390/km2).
Official language: English, Scots, Gaelic
Currency: Pound sterling (GBP)
Weather: Glasgow’s climate is classified as oceanic. Winters are cool and cloudy with a January average of 5°C. It is very unlikely that there is any snow, and if it is it’s short-lived. In the summer overcast and humid conditions without rain are frequent. The warmest month is July, with average highs above 20°C. Temperatures in the summer very rarely exceed 30°C.
Public holidays in Glasgow: Unlike the rest of United Kingdom, most bank holidays are not recognised as statutory public holidays in Scotland. Most public holidays are determined by local authorities across Scotland. It is also worth noting that many large shops aren’t closed during public holidays, since there are no restrictions in Scotland.
Internet coverage: Glasgow is the first city in Scotland that has launched a council-led scheme offering free access to the internet.
Road conditions: Roads in Glasgow are well maintained but there can be traffic jams. For live traffic and travel news for Glasgow visit this site.
Driving in Glasgow
- International Driving Permit: If your driving licence was issued in European Union, you can drive in Scotland.
- Additional requirements: Legal limit for alcohol in blood is up to 50 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood. Penalties for exceeding the limit are heavy as driving under the influence of alcohol is a very serious offence.
- Children in the car: Children under the age of 12 or under 4 ft 5 in (135 cm) tall are required to use appropriate child seat. You can rent one with your car hire company.
- Driving side of the road: Left
- General speed limits: All signpost have seed limits in miles per hour. Look out for a circular sign with red border and a number (in mph). If there are no signposts, national speed limits apply.
What to see in Glasgow
Glasgow has so much to offer that it seems almost impossible to pick just a few attractions that you can enjoy during your trip. We picked a few to help you with the choice.
Our favourite spots
Glasgow Botanic Gardens
This free to enter attraction was laid out in 1841 to supply the University of Glasgow. The gardens’ main building – iron and glass domed glasshouse – was built in 1873 and is still beautifully preserved to this day.
Park your hired car at nearby parking spots.
Pollok Country Park
If you want to escape the clutches of the city and relax in the nature but don’t want to travel too far, visit the Pollok Country Park. The park has numerous walks, a woodland garden, a walled garden, places to picnic, a play park for kids to play in and much more.
You can leave your hired car at Haggs Road, just few minutes walk from the park.
The cathedral was built in the 15th century. It is decorated with seven pairs of figures representing the seven deadly sins. The building is imposingly big and dark – a brilliant example of Gothic architecture. It is one of the few Scotland’s cathedral that survived the Reformation.
Park your hired car at High Street Car Park nearby.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum
This museum in situated in a magnificent Victorian building and features various art exhibitions. The whole room dedicated to the Scottish art, a room full of beautiful French Impressionist works and numerous Renaissance painting from Italy and Flanders.
You can leave your hired car at Bunhouse Rd Parking just 4 minutes walk from the Gallery.
Hotels in Glasgow
Amadeus Guest House
This lovely Victorian town house is located near the East End attractions and just two-minute walk from subway.
This boutique hotel is situated in the heart of Glasgow’s popular West End. Several rooms overlook the Botanic Gardens.
Argyll Guest House
This guest house offers budget bed and breakfast or room only accommodation. Located near Art Gallery and Park in the West End.
Hotel du Vin Glasgow
For those is search of a luxury this hotel is the right address. Once the legendary One Devonshire Gardens, frequented by celebrities it is still worth a stay.
Drive your rental car around Glasgow
With a car hire in Glasgow you can be carefree about your choice of day trips to the surrounding. You can visit the countless Lochs. There are so many that is it hard to decide which to see. Loch Lomond is the largest freshwater lake in Britain. The other one worth visiting is Loch Awe, the longest freshwater lake in Britain at 25 miles. Loch Fyne is the largest Sea Loch in Scotland at 40 miles long. In this Loch you can see a lot of marine life – Dolphins, Seals, Others and even Basking Sharks.
Another this that Scotland is famous for besides its Loch is castles. Drive your hired car to the nearby Stirling's Castle, just 30 minutes from Glasgow. The place is famous as the locations of the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and the Battle of Stirling Bridge where William Wallace beat the English in a battle for Scottish independence. Another nearby castle, just 25 miles drive from Glasgow with your hired car is the 15-century Newark Castle.
Where to eat, drink and party in Glasgow
Glasgow, once an industrial city, had a transformation from a period of economic decline which began in the 1980s. By the end of the decade Glasgow has been declared European City of Culture, City of Architecture and Design and Unesco City of Music. Unsurprisingly Glasgow’s music scene is vibrant and creative and an average of more than 100 music events take place each week.
In the past few years Glasgow has earned a reputation among food lovers as restaurants have been popping up all around the city.
If you are a fan of Indian food you should visit the Balbir’s. They offer pure, healthy Indian food with impressive taste.
This intimate piano bar is located near the King’s Theatre. It serves delicious food all day.
This small café offers tasty lunch options, delicious cakes and great coffee. They also have free Wi-Fi so feel free to linger.
The Bay Tree restaurant offers a mixture of Arabian, Mediterranean and European dishes.
Major events and festivals in Glasgow
Glasgow is a vibrant city with numerous events happening every day. Festivals are held through the whole year in Glasgow form music to film, comedy to books and family to the arts.
Aye Write! is Glasgow’s biggest book festival. You can attend workshops and advance your writing skills.
This winter music festival takes place on numerous venues across the city. Over 2,100 artist play in over 20 different venues.
This music and dance festival will feature some of the fines musicians and dancers from Scotland and across Europe.
This annual festival takes place every year in February. For more information and tickets visit their official site.