Although there’s been plenty of talk about putting together a rail/tram link from Glasgow Airport into the city centre, it still seems some way off, so until then the most convenient option by public transport is the Glasgow Airport Shuttle Bus 500.
The service runs 24 hours a day and leaves every 10 minutes from directly outside the terminal and takes just 15 minutes (traffic permitting) to reach the first city centre stop at Bothwell St. It then stops near Central Station and Queen St Station before reaching Buchanan Bus station 25 minutes after leaving the airport.
It costs £7 one way for a ticket (£4.20 for children) or £9.50 (£4.80) for an open return within 28 days. Tickets can be bought on board the bus but I bought mine (and other tickets) at the Tourist Information Office inside the terminal.
These prices were correct as of Jan 2016.
It’s a simple, effective way to get into the city centre and the modern buses have luggage racks and digital information boards showing the next stop. Bear in mind though that the one way traffic system around the centre of the city means that the return bus stops might not be quite where you expect them to be, so before you leave it to the last minute to get back to the airport it would be wise to check out where the return bus stops are located. For more information check out the First Bus company’s website.
It is not the first time I have used a City Sightseeing Bus, but I realised that I had not added the service to my VT pages.
The service starts and ends in George Square and has 24 stops on the bus route - the ticket lasts for 2 days. You can get off and on at any of the stops; some are request stops so remember to signal to the driver that you need them to stop.
There is also a tour commentary available in 9 languages.
The main train/bus company in Glasgow is First. The other companies are cheaper but less frequent and not widespread.
If you have a "permanent" address in Glasgow, go to a newsagent or a bus station and buy a pass. It's a cardboard card that costs roughly £1 on which you put your pic, and you go every week, every two weeks or every month to the newsagent to get a "stamp" on it (it is cheaper to buy by the month).
- The stamp is sold only on Saturday and Sunday (not late in the evening though).
- There are different colours depending on the zones: yellow is the town center (Zone 1), then it's pink, then green if I remember well.
If you live in Glasgow and work in, say, Dumbarton, you'll be better off buying a multizone/multitransport pass at Central Station. It may cost a little more, but you'll be entitled to take whatever bus AND train.
-Apparently, it doesn't work on night buses.
To stop a bus: check it's the right number (sometimes they have extra letters A, B, C and it can make a difference), WAVE.
Show your pass to the driver.
If you buy your ticket on the bus, make sure you have the right change (or more). You'll have to say where you are going. The price is pro rata. It's sometimes cheaper to buy an all-day ticket.
If you're taking a south-bound train in Central Station, you can try to buy a day tripper. It's an all-day ticket, roughy £9, that will allow you to travel on whatever train and bus (most Scottish companies) - but not ferries- around Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Glasgow City this day.
(Note: This is valid only after 9am on weekdays).
Glasgow city sight seeing bus takes you around all of the main sights of Glasgow and you can hop on and off through out the journey. The tour starts at Glasgows George square which is in the city centre near queen street station and next to city chambers. The cost is £9 for adults £7 concessions, kids 5-14 £3 and a family ticket for 2 adults and upto 3 children £20. The whole tour last for around 80 minutes. The commentry is English, Spanish,French, German, Italian and Swedish. On some tours there is also a live commentary. You can make savings if you book your tickets on-line. The tour takes you to many of the cities museums all of which are free entry (except the science museum) and to the secc and armodillo
Hop-on, hop-off open top bus tours.
Take a tour bus around the city, you will listen to the history of Glasgow whilst interesting places and buildings are pointed out en-route.
The cost for one adult is £9 and this gives you a two day pass, enabling you to jump on and off the bus at leisure. There are 21 stops and the tour lasts for approximately an hour.
There are hundreds of buses and routes in Glasgow with first glasgow being the main bus service provider. They have buses that can take you all over the city and the outskirts of Glasgow. Buchanan street bus station information desk and the travel centre in st enochs square next to st enchos centre will be able to help you with all you transport needs and tell you what buses to get etc. Also Buchanan street bus station is where all the buses from other parts of Scotland, England, and indeed Europe usually terminate and is where trips to other areas of scotland usually begin
The buses in Glasgow and plentiful, regular and mostly pretty clean. At night it is best to sit on the bottom deck nearish to the driver as there are often a few 'neds' up the back on teh top deck and they can get pretty lairy. If you are going out and about then get a day ticket. You can also get a transport card for bus and underground. The tourist buses (sightseeing) are pretty expensive but are a good way to see the city in a short time. If you have a bit longer then you can do most of it using the public buses. You can get a bus map from the bus station at Buchanan St. Number 44 is goes past the university and crosses Byres Rd.
A tip for tourists is that if using the bus and train network in the Glasgow area you can save money if you ask for the right ticket.
For trains it will work out much cheaper to get a return ticket and on the buses ask for "an all day ticket", that could save a lot. Buses may also have return tickets.
If using First Bus you will need to put the exact fare in the box when you enter the bus but drivers give change on some buses such as Arriva which goes to Paisley and Glasgow Airport.
Don`t be in too much a hurry that you miss out on this!
Also, there are special price excursion to places like New Lanark and Rothesay. These tickets can be bought at the main rail stations of Queen Street and Central.
There are several different bus tour operators in Glasgow, I chose to go with the red buses. They've got many different stops and run a hop-on hop-off policy and their pass is valid for two days so you'll really get a chance to see whatever sights you feel like watching more. You'll go by places like all three universities, the cathedral, Provan's Lordship, the tall-ship etc.
The tours start from George Sq, but as I said you can hop on pretty much anywhere in the city.
If you are not sure what you want to see in Glasgow, or if you want to make sure you see everything, I suggest you take yourself on an open-top bus tour of the city. There are at least two operators doing them and they leave from George square every hour (maybe ever more at certain times). That way you will get to an idea of what is on offer and where it is and will learn lots of intersting stuff while you are at it!
The bus routing system is really good, and it's cheaper to an all day bus card.
an All day bus card shouldn't cost more than GBP 2.50 or 3.00- you can get it on the bus.
weekly cards also available.
Bus drivers are flexible, and will stop somewhere if you ask them rather than stirktly the bus stop.
There is a very good public transport system in Glasgow, and the buses are especially good value for money. For an ticket that you can use on all First buses as many times as you want, ask the driver for an all-day ticket (which currently costs £2.20).
Standing at a bus stop is not enough, if you want the bus to stop you need to stick out/up your arm to show that you want to come along. It seems to be the same practice throughout the whole of UK.
The bus drivers are also v-e-r-y flexible with the definition of "bus stop". You may be dropped off in between if you ask for it and he may stop 50 metres from the bus stop if there's a queue.
There are many buses in Glasgow these days, so many that we don't think you will have any problems getting from point A to B quickly.
If you are ever unsure of where a bus goes to, don't hesitate to ask someone at a bus stop as they will probably be abke to give you exact numbers and times.. it seems to be a skill bus riding gives people!
One tip though. When you go on a double decker bus, try to stay in the lower deck as the upper deck is a homing point for the less desirable people who jump onto the buses like drunks, school kids, neds and druggies.
This is not so much of a problem during the normal business hours of the day 8:00am - 7.00pm but after that you can almost guarantee a influx of the scum culture venturing out to the city. Being on the top deck of a bus alone and then finding a hoard of noisy neds coming up the stairs is a scary experience!
The main bus company in Glasgow is First Glasgow how do a travel ticket with a map of areas it covers and places to go. But if your wanting to find out about the city yourself why not try out the "All Day" ticket at £2.10 that will give you unlmited travel in Glasgow for a day. You can just but it on the bus.