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Parking at Glasgow
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Glasgow Airport (GLA), also known as Glasgow International Airport, is Scotland’s second-busiest airport and the eighth-busiest in the UK. With two terminals and one 8,720ft (2,658m) runway, Glasgow Airport is home to 30 airlines offering flights to over 120 destinations worldwide. Welcoming over nine million passengers per year, GLA is at the core of Scotland’s transport infrastructure, providing flights to more Scottish destinations than any other airport and serving as the principal transatlantic and long-haul entry airport into Scotland.
As the main airport serving western Scotland, Glasgow Airport is located just seven miles (11 kilometres) west of Glasgow city centre and is easily accessible via the motorway and a variety of convenient public transport options.
If you’re driving to the airport from the east, simply exit the M8 at junction 28, or at junction 29 if you’re coming from the west.
A number of dedicated airport bus services pass through Buchanan Street Bus Station in Glasgow city centre - a hub for bus services from all over the country - making it easy to reach the airport from other parts of Scotland. Although GLA doesn’t have its own train station, Paisley Gilmour Street station is just over one mile (1.6 kilometres) away from the main terminal and is connected by numerous shuttle bus services, providing access to Glasgow Airport from the wider area and cities beyond, with Edinburgh only a 90-minute train ride away.
Originally known as “Abbotsinch”, the present-day Glasgow Airport takes pride in its long associations with both the RAF and the Royal Navy, as well as its distinctive architectural history.
Established in 1932, the site of Abbotsinch was used to house a variety of RAF squadrons and aircrafts, including the famous RAF Bomber Command and the iconic Spitfire. The RAF still has a unit based in Glasgow International Airport today, dedicated to providing flight training to university students who plan to join up.
Between 1940 and 1963, Abbotsinch was renamed to HMS Sanderling and used as a torpedo training facility by the Royal Navy. Upon leaving, the Navy donated the HMS Sanderling’s ship’s bell to the airport and it can be seen on display today.
Since then, Glasgow Airport has seen rapid expansion as commercial and cargo demands have steadily increased. One of the airport’s earliest buildings is now housed inside GLA’s main terminal and forms a striking front for the airport’s check-in desks.
Between Glasgow Airport’s main terminal and the newer, smaller Terminal 2, visitors are not short of entertainment, food and family-friendly facilities. Whether you’re pining for something to eat or drink, buying those last-minute holiday essentials or looking for something special, GLA houses a range of major high-street retailers as well as a special selection of shops, bars and restaurants that all draw inspiration from the meeting of GLA’s Scottish heritage with the culture of its 120 international destinations.
If you require any special assistance for your visit to Glasgow Airport, please read the airport’s helpful passenger information page.
Facilities at Glasgow Airport include:
As a key component in Scotland’s national and international transport networks, Glasgow Airport’s parking facilities cater to every visitor’s needs, whether you’re on holiday with the family, flying on business or just picking people up.
Glasgow Airport has long-stay, short-stay and multi-storey car parks located on-site, so you can leave your car for anything from a couple of minutes to a few weeks, safe in the knowledge that the frequent security patrols, CCTV monitoring and 24-hour attendance will keep it secure while you’re away.
GLA’s short-stay car park is only a few minutes’ walk from the main terminal building whereas the multi-storey is directly opposite. Complimentary shuttle buses run between the long-stay car park and the terminal every 10 minutes and take only five minutes to make the journey, so Glasgow Airport’s parking facilities are entirely fuss-free.
Like many international airports, GLA’s car parks can become busy at peak times, so if you know when you’ll be visiting, pre-booking your parking can save you time and money. All of Glasgow Airport’s car parks use an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system, which means your parking is paperless if you’ve pre-booked a space. All you need to do is drive up to the barrier and your registration details will be automatically checked to let you in.
Compare GLA’s parking options here at Looking4Parking.com to make your visit as straightforward and affordable as possible.
Whether you’ve just touched down at GLA and need a place to rest or your flight is first thing in the morning, you can book your hotel room with a parking space so that your car is only minutes away from a good night’s sleep.
There is a wide range of hotels at Glasgow Airport that cater to all tastes and budgets, from the affordable to the luxurious, so whether you’re holidaying on a budget and saving some spending money for the trip or you’re starting your holiday in style with pool access, restaurants and spa facilities, you’ll find what you need.
The hotels at Glasgow Airport either provide their own parking or include a place in the short- and long-stay car parks as part of your reservation; most include free overnight parking for the duration of your stay.
Most hotels at GLA have frequent express shuttle buses that take you from the hotel lobby straight to check-in, so you’re never more than a few minutes away from your terminal. You can explore airport hotel and parking packages on our site.
Scotland’s distinctive cuisine is famous around the world and, with the multitude of restaurants throughout Glasgow Airport’s main terminal building, you’ve no excuse not to try it there. If you’re in the mood for something different, GLA offers a wide selection of family-friendly restaurants, cafés, pubs and bars providing a variety of food and drink from around the world. Whether you’re after a quick caffeine-fueled pick-me-up or a celebration to kick off your holiday, you won’t struggle for choice in the main terminal.
The main terminal at GLA is packed with familiar high-street retailers and lifestyle brands, giving you plenty of choice when you’re stocking up on essentials or perfecting your holiday look. Glasgow Airport also offers a handy 'Shop and Collect' service to store your oversized or valuable purchases safely for collection upon your return.
Glasgow Airport is particularly proud of its enduring relationship with the Royal Navy, having operated as a torpedo training facility between 1940 and 1963. As a token of gratitude, the Navy donated the HMS Sanderling’s bell to GLA when it was being converted into a commercial airport. The bell is a unique and important part of Glasgow Airport’s eventful history and is displayed in GLA’s Sanderling Bar for all visitors to see.
As Glasgow’s aviation industry took off in the late-20th century, Glasgow Airport went through rapid change, moving and expanding its site to accommodate more and more planes, travellers and cargo. Although the original 60s art deco terminal has not survived, a subsequent Brutalism-inspired building has been respectfully preserved inside today’s main terminal facility. Designed by Basil Spence and completed in 1966, the old terminal’s Brutalist inspiration is best appreciated as soon as you enter the airport as it has been put to good use as the front of GLA’s check-in desks.
Dotted throughout Glasgow Airport are a number of tables with built-in puzzles designed to put your children’s brains to the test. Located next to terminal seating areas, they’re the perfect activity to keep the kids occupied and in one place whilst you take a well-earned break.
If you’re looking to put your feet up for a moment or kick off your holiday in style, Glasgow Airport’s UpperDeck lounge has something for everyone. A stylish, modern space with panoramic views of GLA’s busy runway and airfield, the UpperDeck offers complimentary drinks and snacks, unlimited WiFi and even has an innovative Games Zone to keep the kids - and probably some of the adults - busy before a flight.
One of Glasgow’s most famous figures is the architect, designer and artist, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Active at the turn of the 20th century, Mackintosh's visionary buildings have become some of Glasgow’s most iconic, with the prestigious Glasgow School of Art, now named The Mackintosh Building in his honour, cited by experts as one of the finest buildings in the UK. The Hunterian Gallery at The University of Glasgow has painstakingly rebuilt the interior of Mackintosh's home, which he designed and lived in with his wife and fellow artist, Margaret. Less than 10 miles (16 kilometres) from Glasgow Airport, the house is filled with furniture designed by Mackintosh and a rotating selection of artworks by the couple is hung on the walls, making it a truly unique place at which to experience the work of one of the modern world’s most important designers.
Sat nav instructions: Mackintosh House, 82 Hillhead St, Glasgow, G12 8QQ
Loch Lomond National Park and its huge array of outdoor activities is only a 20-minute drive away from GLA, so whether you’re after an adventure or just craving some fresh air, there’s nothing more convenient. With bikes to hire, horses to ride, hills to climb, golf to play, fish to catch, stunning sunsets over the loch and breath-taking sunrises over the mountains, Loch Lomond National Park is rural Scotland at its best and only 15 miles (24 kilometres) from the airport.
Sat nav instructions: Loch Lomond National Park, Carrochan, Carrochan Road, Balloch, G83 8EG
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has been a free-entry favourite with Glasgow residents and visitors alike since first opening in 1901. The museum proudly displays the 8,000 items and artefacts it has acquired over the years in its 22 distinctly-themed galleries. From Scottish art to Ancient Egypt via one of the finest collections of arms and armour in the world, there’s something for everyone.
Sat nav instructions: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Argyle Street, Glasgow, G3 8AG
Formerly the site of a power station, Braehead is now home to a huge entertainment and retail mega-centre. Across its 1,059,970 square feet (98,474 square metres) of floorspace, the Braehead centre contains over 120 shops, the Braehead Arena and an international-level ice rink that hosted the 2000 Curling World Championships. If that’s not enough, Braehead Soar, situated nearby, is an artificial slope specifically designed to help people get into skiing and snowboarding, providing all the gear you need to hit the slopes straight from the airport.
Sat nav instructions: Braehead, King’s Inch Road, Glasgow, G51 4BN
Situated in the city’s West End, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens are only nine miles (14.5 kilometres) from the airport and have been offering shelter and tranquility away from the bustle of the city for 200 years, having been set up in 1817. The Botanic Gardens feature several ornate glass houses, which are just as impressive as the unique collections of rare plants and trees that they hold. Whether you’re just visiting for a quick walk or are intrigued by the long and colourful history of Glasgow's Botanic Gardens, entry is completely free.
Sat nav instructions: Glasgow Botanic Gardens, 730 Great Western Road, Glasgow, G12 0UE
Glasgow Cathedral’s rich history is intertwined with that of the city. Allegedly the site where St. Mungo, Glasgow’s patron saint, built his first church, the 800-year-old Cathedral was built in the 12th century and is a superb example of Scottish Gothic architecture. In 1451, the Cathedral precinct housed the very first classes of the University of Glasgow and played a significant role in battles over the subsequent 100 years. A medieval masterpiece and iconic symbol of Glasgow, the Cathedral is a must-see.
Sat nav instructions: Glasgow Cathedral, Castle Street, Glasgow, G4 0QZ
Glasgow’s Barrowlands Ballroom is one of the UK’s premier venues for live music, with its quirky charm, sprung dancefloor and 2,100-capacity attracting some of the world’s most popular artists since its renovation in 1960. Legendary bands such as Oasis, U2, The Clash, The Stranglers, The Smiths and, more recently, Muse and The Foo Fighters have all graced the stage. If you’re looking for an evening of entertainment in Glasgow, your first move should always be to check what’s happening at ‘the Barra’.
Sat nav instructions: Barrowlands Ballroom, 244 Gallowgate, Glasgow, G4 0TT
Proud brewers of Scotland’s favourite pint, the Tennent’s brewery tour will take you behind the scenes of the brand and explain how the beer-making process has changed since the brewery opened over 450 years ago. With mountains of memorabilia, cutting edge technology and, of course, the occasional taster, the Tennent’s tour is a great way to explore and enjoy the rich heritage of one of the country’s best-loved beers.
Sat nav instructions: Tennent’s Breweries, 161 Duke Street, Glasgow, G31 1JD
If you’ve got a bit more time on your hands, the city of Edinburgh is only an hour east of Glasgow. As well as its own collection of galleries, museums and even a zoo, Edinburgh is internationally renowned for the Edinburgh Festival: an eclectic mix of music, comedy and the performing arts that takes over the whole city between July and September every year. With Scotland’s rail network easily accessible from Glasgow Airport, a trip east to Edinburgh is a lot easier than you might think.
Sat nav instructions: Edinburgh Waverley Train Station, Edinburgh, EH1 1BB
Glasgow Airport’s two terminals accommodate some of the world’s largest airlines, acting as a hub for Flybe Loganair and a major gateway for national and long-haul international flights from airlines such as British Airways, Delta, easyjet, Jet2.com and Ryanair. Below is a list of every airline operating at GLA for your reference and convenience:
|Thomas Cook Airlines||2|
Glasgow Airport is connected to the M8 via junction 28 if you’re coming from the east and junction 29 if you’re coming from the west. The postcode for the airport when travelling by car is PA3 2SW.
GLA’s terminals and car parks are all clearly signposted, but it’s a good idea to double-check where you need to be before setting off. The airport has a helpful passenger information page, complete with maps of the facilities.
Almost all of the bus and coach routes that connect with Glasgow Airport pass through Buchanan Street Bus Station in the city centre every 10 minutes. Buchanan Street is the main hub for bus and coach services from all over the country, making it easy to get the bus to GLA from Glasgow and beyond.
Tickets for most bus or coach services to and from the airport can be pre-booked or simply bought from the driver. Because GLA is so well-connected to Scotland’s motorway network, it’s only a 15-minute ride from the city centre and the airport bus terminus is right outside the main terminal building.
Glasgow Airport doesn’t have its own train station, but the nearest, Paisley Gilmour Street Station, is just one mile (1.6 kilometres) to the south. It is also a stop on many of the frequent bus services between GLA and Glasgow city centre, so the train is a convenient option for reaching Glasgow Airport from any major city around the UK.
Airports can sometimes be confusing places, especially if they’re unfamiliar. Glasgow Airport has a team of friendly, roving ambassadors who are there to help and answer any questions you might have about your visit. There is also a visitor information centre hub on the ground floor of GLA’s main terminal building at domestic arrivals where you can get information on public transport, accommodation, events and places of interest around the airport and beyond.
Glasgow Airport provides a free, 24-hour help phone on the first floor of the Terminal 1, next to UK and Ireland departures, whether you need help with your bags or want to double-check your flight details.
Glasgow Airport makes it even easier to drop travellers off, providing a dedicated and partially covered drop-off area only a short walk from Terminal 1. The first 10 minutes in Drop-Off are free as well, giving you plenty of time to send family and friends on their way. As you get to the airport, just follow the signs for Drop-Off and you’ll find it next to Car Park 1.
At Glasgow Airport, all Blue Badge holders need only to present their badges at the kiosk for 30 minutes of free parking in any of the airport’s car parks.
It’s important to bear in mind if you’re driving a taller vehicle that GLA’s short-stay multi-storey has a height restriction of 7.2ft (2.2m). However, the airport’s open-air short-stay car park is only a few minutes away.
Whilst most of the restaurants, bars and cafés at Glasgow Airport close after the last flight, there are a number of franchises that stay open 24 hours a day so you can always get yourself a snack or a drink when you need it.
Whether you’re buying dinner for the evening or you forgot that certain something, Glasgow Airport has a fully-stocked, 24-hour supermarket attached for your convenience.
If you’re planning to get the train to Glasgow Airport, it’s important to note that the airport doesn’t have its own dedicated train station. However, Paisley Gilmour Street Station is only one mile (1.6 kilometres) away and many of the frequent shuttle buses between Paisley Gilmour Street and GLA will let you ride upon displaying your National Rail ticket, making your journey to GLA even smoother.
Only seven miles (11 kilometres) west of the city centre, Glasgow Airport is easily accessed by car, bus, coach or tram. Take a look at our guide to getting to GLA or consult the airport’s own ‘‘Getting Here’’ page for more details.
With dozens of flights leaving Glasgow Airport for 120 destinations around the world every day, it’s wise to leave plenty of time for parking and checking in before taking off. If you’re flying to Ireland or another airport in the UK, it's a good idea to check in no less than one hour before departure, whereas you should leave at least two hours for flights to Europe and three hours for long-haul destinations.
Although Glasgow Airport has two terminals, Terminal 2 is considerably smaller and situated right next to the main terminal. Both buildings are connected by a walkway so you don’t even need to go outside to get between them.
As Glasgow Airport is an international hub, it can sometimes become particularly busy and there may not always be parking spaces available. Booking parking in advance will often save you money and always guarantees you a space. Take a look at the options available to you at GLA on www.looking4parking.com before you travel.
Glasgow Airport and all of its facilities are fully accessible and clearly signed induction loops are fitted throughout to amplify announcements.
There is also a team on-hand to provide you with assistance throughout the airport and its car parks completely free of charge during your visit, but, if possible, try to let Glasgow Airport and your airline know at least 48 hours before you travel so they can make your experience as comfortable as it should be for you.
Along with a dedicated Special Assistance Desk in the main terminal check-in, Glasgow Airport has Help Points throughout the site. A guide with further information on special assistance and access facilities at Glasgow Airport is available on their passenger information page.
If you’ve lost something at Glasgow Airport, you can use the airport’s real-time lost property database or call the Luggage-Point team directly on +44 (0)330 223 0893. Lost property is stored for up to three months and Luggage-Point aims to respond to all enquiries within 24 hours. Once your property is claimed, you will need to provide proof of identity and pay a retrieval fee subject to the size and value of your item and for how long it has been stored.
Whilst GLA’s lost property team will do their best to reconnect you with your lost belongings, they are only responsible for items lost in the airport terminal or in the cabin of your aircraft. If your luggage hasn’t arrived on your flight, please contact your airline as soon as possible.
Glasgow Airport has an impressively wide variety of international cafés, bars and restaurants catering to all kinds of appetite and dietary requirements with some even staying open 24 hours a day.
Glasgow Airport’s complimentary mobile phone charging machines can be found airside and have adapters for most phones.
Glasgow Airport offers a wide variety of retail outlets both before and after check-in, from shops providing the essentials to luxury designers and brands in case you feel like treating yourself. You can find a complete list of GLA’s shops here.