How to get to Glasgow

If you’re flying internationally to Glasgow, it’s likely that you will first land at one of two big international hubs and fly to Glasgow from there. Very many flights come into London Heathrow, especially OneWorld member airlines. Heathrow is a big complicated airport, so if you’re landing there first, make sure you have plenty of time to land, clear border control and customs, and possibly change terminals to get to your connecting flight to Glasgow. I’d recommend at least and hour and a half; two hours will give you spare time if something unexpected happens.

SkyTeam alliance airlines often fly via Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Star Alliance airlines may connect in Frankfurt. Both of these airports have direct flights to Glasgow Airport.

From Glasgow Airport to the city itself there are two options: either a taxi direct to your location (£25-£35 depending on traffic and your destination) or the Glasgow Airport Express bus (£10 for a single journey, £16 for a return). The bus’s second stop is at Glasgow Central Railway station, from where you can get a taxi or train to your destination.

If you prefer Star Alliance airlines or are flying in from Scandinavia, it’s possible that your best option is to fly into Edinburgh Airport. The cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh are only 45 miles / 72km apart: Edinburgh is still a good choice!

To get to Glasgow from Edinburgh Airport, your best option is the Citylink 900 Coach direct to Glasgow Buchanan Street Bus Station. It departs from Stance D, runs every half hour during the day and hourly from midnight to 0500. A single journey is £14, a return £24 and the journey takes around 1 hour. A taxi would take the same amount of time and cost at least £100. Transport buffs may want to take the tram into Edinburgh City Centre then take the train from Edinburgh Waverley station to Glasgow Queen Street. That choice however is considerably longer and involves a descent into the station that is difficult to do with luggage.

It’s possible that your flight into the UK might arrive at a different airport. Manchester has direct trains to Glasgow - they are all very busy and it would be best to book your tickets (including a free seat reservation) in advance. For London Stansted, London Gatwick and Birmingham airports, Easyjet flies regularly up to Glasgow airport.

Using Icelandair to fly to Glasgow leads to an interesting possibility. It flies from a wide range of destinations including a number of key airports in the US. All these flights go to Iceland's capital city Reykjavík where you can break your journey for a 1-7 day stopover at no additional ticket cost. We've never done this, but it's on the list for a future flight to the USA.

Glasgow has two main railway stations. If you’re planning to take the train from anywhere in England except the North-East (as far south as York), then look for services that arrive at Glasgow Central station. These services will often be provided by Avanti West Coast trains or Cross-Country trains. For travel from York and the North-East, it’s usually faster to travel to Edinburgh Waverley station on LNER, then take a ScotRail service into Glasgow Queen Street station. Queen Street is also the station to look for if you’re travelling from the East or North of Scotland.

It’s always best to book rail travel well ahead of time. National Rail Enquiries covers all train companies. It is sometimes difficult to book a specific service (especially with Avanti) because they often release schedules a few weeks in advance. Best advice if you find yourself in that situation is to keep trying.

Here’s the fun train option if you’re flying into London — the Sleeper! This is an overnight train, running between London Euston station and Glasgow Central with a range of double and single rooms (including en-suites) as well as seated accommodation. Go to sleep in one city, wake up in the other!

Long-distance coaches operate to Glasgow from most major cities in Scotland and the rest of the UK. While they take longer than the train to get to Glasgow, they are often very much cheaper. All coaches in Glasgow arrive at Buchanan Street Bus Station. UK-wide services are National Express and Megabus, Scottish services are operated by Citylink.

If you want to travel by sea, there are services from Larne in Northern Ireland to Cairnryan in Scotland operated by P&O Ferries and Belfast Port to Cairnryan operated by Stena Line. While both of these accept foot passengers, costing around £22 for an adult single, their real advantage is the ability to bring your car or van over to Scotland.

From Cairnryan there are three coaches a day (taking around 2 hours) to Glasgow, or local taxis can take you to Stranraer station, where you can take a train (changing at Ayr) to Glasgow Central station. There are 4 trains a day, taking around 2 hours 20 minutes.

  • Last modified: 2023/10/26 11:45
  • by alan