Stuck in Glasgow Airport During the Holidays? Enjoy It!

Travel Tips, What's New — By maryaldoseri on November 5, 2010 at 7:51 am

The NileGuide challenge this week is to banish boredom…if your unlucky or lucky enough to experience a layover at Glasgow Airport. So lets provide 2 options..option 1 will be for those who just want to stay put in the airport and option 2 is for those who want to get out of the airport FAST and hit places within reach.

glasgow airport

Option 1 –  Layover in Glasgow Airport

The airport has various lounges available to business travellers which vary depending on your chosen airline company.  Typical of any international airport..right?  However it is worth mentioning that there are 3 lounges which can be used by all passengers for a small fee ( Under £20.00).

glasgow international airport

  1. Servisair Executive Lounge ( second floor )
  2. Business Wing Airport Lounge (on the 2nd floor. )
  3. Holiday Wing Airport Lounge (good choice for families –  children’s toys, and game consoles to keep the children entertained)

All provide complimentary soft and alcoholic drinks along with snacks with a pleasant ambiance.. highly recommended if you have more than 2 hours to spend in the airport and worth it for the 20 pounds!

Shopping in the Terminal

The shopping in Glasgow airport is not worth shouting about, ( I’m not a big fan of airport shops anywhere though!) Jenners which is Scottish store may be of interest to those from out of town.

Kool Kid Layover Help

Keeping kids amused in airports is always a challenge and usually involves shelling out cash and lots of it! Glasgow airport does a reasonable job of providing a few play areas and soft play in various locations around the airport.

kids at glasgow airport

Eating in the Airport

 glasgow airport restaurant

There is a good selection of restaurants, cafes and bars in the airport which are global chains. Garfunkels is particularly popular as being child friendly and offers a children’s menu and  pack to keep the kids occupied.

Hotels in The Airport

For those that would prefer more privacy or to snuggle down for a few hours sleep with all the trimmings

  1. The Express by Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport – a new 3 star hotel situated only 2 minutes walk to the airport terminal building.
  2. The Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport is less than a minute walk to Glasgow Airport

Option 2 Layover Exploring Outside Glasgow Airport

The airport is roughly a 5 minute drive by taxi,  to the popular  town of Paisley which provides a wealth of bars, restaurants and shopping. Popular landmarks include, Paisley Abbey, Paisley Museum and Art Gallery and Glennifer Braes. Glennifer Braes is a country park about 4 miles from airport. This park  is worth mentioning for a visit even in cold weather!   The panoramic views of Paisley and the Lower Clyde Valley to Ben Lomond from the Robertson car park,  could be just that perfect  memory of your trip to Scotland. The views are inspiring and the car park is a popular haunt of locals, in all seasons. It is a place  to go and escape the “Noise” of the fast paced society we live in. The silence and the sheer vastness of the views, has a soothing effect on  the mind and helps you to focus on what is really important!


The Palace Royale in Paisley is a thriving restaurant, serving Cantonese and Peking cuisine. Their “all you can eat buffet “  is highly popular and staff are very attentive. To boot it is handy for Paisley town centre. Or try Cardosi’s for inspirational Italian food in the heart of Paisley. For your last drink in Glasgow head to The Bull Inn, it is the oldest pub in Paisley and regarded by many as the best. They have retained many of the original features including stained glass windows, snugs and bar frontage. Visit to enjoy is a real traditional Scottish pub with great ale and roaring log fires!

If you simply must head back into the city centre (7 miles from airport) here are the best spots roughly a 20-25 taxi ride  from the airport.

  • The Lighthouse – The famed Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s derelict 1895 Glasgow Herald newspaper office has been renovated into Scotland’s first, dedicated, national centre for architecture and design.
  • The Peoples Palace and Winter Gardens which sits in Glasgow’s oldest and most famous green space-Glasgow Green, where you can experience the story of the people Glasgow from 1750 to today. If the clock aint ticking too fast,  the famous Glasgow Syle Mile,  shopping area is just a 5- 10 minute walk away.
  • Gallery of Modern Art – is the second most visited contemporary art gallery outside London and sits next to the trendy Royal Exchange Square, which again lies in the most popular shopping haunts in Glasgow.

Lastly a taxi from the city centre to Glasgow airport and vice versa, should cost no more than £19.00 each way ( probably cheaper and more convenient to hire a car!) and don’t forget the checking in times for your flight,

  1. Long Haul Flights 3 HOURS before departure
  2. European Flights 2 HOURS before departure
  3. UK & Northern Ireland Flights 1 HOUR before departure

So happy holidays and enjoy your visit to Glasgow and pack some warm clothing. You may want to check out our recent post on looking like a local in Glasgow.

I have not flown out from Glasgow airport for years,  as just returned last season,  from the Middle East. It looks likes security has really changed and there is only access now, to one restaurant and kids play area prior to going through airport security.. something to keep in mind if you intend to leave the airport during your layover.

Tags: Cardosi's, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow Airport, Glennifer Braes, Layover, Paisley, Paisley Abbey, Palace Royale, Peoples Palace and Winter Gardens, Style Mile, The Bull Inn, The LightHouse

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