I’ve been so many times in Glasgow lately, both to visit the Scotland’s largest city and to explore its surroundings, like for example the World Heritage Village of New Lanark. In this article I explain how to reach the city centre from Glasgow International Airport.
First of all, please don’t confuse it with Prestwick Airport, the other local – but smaller – airport situated in South Ayrshire and 32 miles (51 km) from Glasgow. It’s linked to the city by train on the route Glasgow-Ayr.
The Glasgow Airport Express service 500 to and from the city centre
It’s the Glasgow Airport’s official bus service and it connects the airport to the city centre in 15 minutes. It’s operated by First Bus and in 2018 it was awarded “Glasgow Airport’s Customer Service Team of the Year”.
At the Airport, the bus service departs/arrives from Stance 1, situated just in front of the terminal. In Glasgow, departing/arrival point is Buchanan Bus Station, stance 46. The stops in the city are the following:
- from the Airport: Bothwell Street, Bothwell Street (near Hope Street and Central Station), George Square (near Queen Street Station), North Hanover;
- from Buchanan Bus Station: North Hanover Street, George Square, St Vincent Place, St Vincent Street, Waterloo Street.
Once on board you can leave your luggage in the designated area and then sit back and enjoy the trip. Every seat has its own USB charging point and free 4G WiFi is also available.
Once arrived, you can decide to explore the city with Glasgow’s Hop-on Hop-off sightseeing bus. The stops are located near the local attractions and you have unlimited travels for 1 or 2 days depending on the ticket chosen. More information, fares, timetables and online purchase are available in this page.
Timetable and tickets
The Glasgow Airport Express 500 operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week except Christmas Day. It departs up to every 10 minutes during peak times and it’s the fastest link between Glasgow Airport and the city centre. Indeed, the full journey from/to Buchanan Bus Station takes around 25 minutes.
For timetables and to plan your trip in advance my advice is to check Traveline Scotland and download the app on your smartphone.
There’re different kind of tickets available depending on your needs.
A single one costs £8 for adults, £4 for children and £16 for families for a maximum of four travellers; the return ticket is valid within 28 days the date of purchase and it’s £12 for adults, £6 for children and £24 for families for a maximum of four customers.
Otherwise, if you’re travelling in a group of up to five adults, a single journey costs £20 while a return ticket is £30.
Then, if you’re a frequent passenger the Flexi-10 may be useful. It’s a ten single journeys pass to/from the Airport and it costs £50.
Another ticket available is the FirstDay, allowing you to travel across the First Glasgow network – including the Express service 500 – on the day of purchase until 1am the following day. It costs £12 for adult and £6 for child.
It’s possible to buy the tickets:
- on board, paying by cash, credit/debit/contactless card;
- online and then you get them directly to your phone;
- immediately on your smartphone through the mtickets app.
Speaking of “journey planner”, the new First Bus app helps you to get bus times throughout Scotland and real-time information on local services around you.
Having said that, for any further information and latest prices please always check Glasgow Airport Express website page. All the pictures of this article are courtesy of First Bus.