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Arrival airport? Glasgow or Edinburgh

Reading all the posts it seems everyone flies into Edinburgh. It seems the cost for either city is very close; I hear Edinburgh is more of a working city than Glasgow. Is that true? Trying to put together a 4-5 day trip before joining a tour group in Dublin, so we must factor in travel to Dublin on Day 5. Once we secure flights we'll secure a tour group to make the most of our time. Any additional flight tips/secrets will be greatly appreciated!

Posted by
6839 posts

I'm flying into Glasgow from MSP in early May. It was a bit cheaper than flying into Edinburgh and the connections worked out better for me. So I will be spending the first few days in Glasgow, checking out the sights, then at the end of my 3 week trip I will stop in Edinburgh for several days. The last night, I will head back to Glasgow and fly back from there.

I do know that Edinburgh has more traffic so it will probably be a bit easier to go in and out of Glasgow, but I'm not sure how much difference that makes.

Posted by
9780 posts

I hear Edinburgh is more of a working city than Glasgow. Is that true?


Posted by
6473 posts

I'm not sure what "more of a working city" means. If you mean less touristy then I, myself, would say the opposite, that Glasgow is more the working city, but that's a personal feeling.
I'll take Glasgow over Edinburgh any day, but then I'm rarely being a tourist, as such.

Although we always tell people on this forum, not to commute between the two cities I would almost always stay in Glasgow, as the hotel prices are usually far better in Glasgow than Edinburgh. Last year, in August, I got the PI at St Enoch for well under £40 a night, and actually had a choice of several PI's at that price. In Edinburgh I would have to go down to Leith or Newhaven for that, and have been very, very lucky. But St Enoch is slap bang in the centre of Glasgow.
To me it's a no brainer, stay in Glasgow, around the hour to Edinburgh, with a choice of routes. But I know that's heresy to say.
Access wise from the Airport it's motorway straight in from the airport to the city centre in Glasgow, whereas Edinburgh always feels such a grind creeping in from the airport.

Posted by
413 posts

I flew in to Glasgow last year and don’t remember any issues. It’s not a huge airport and there was a bus from there into town, Queen Street station I think it was. I enjoyed Glasgow a lot but it may feel more of a big city than Edinburgh, assuming you’d mostly stay around the Royal Mile and vicinity. If you do get the Glasgow, the hop on-hop off bus is really good and stops at or near a lot of the museums and sites you might want to see. And if you want a whisky tasting, look into the Pot Still. It’s a busy bar that does private tastings to your standards (beginner to expert scotch drinker).

Posted by
27360 posts

Glasgow is somewhat larger than Edinburgh (population 633,000 vs. 554,000) but much less touristy. Edinburgh seems to have more old stuff and the excellent National Museum of Scotland. Glasgow has Charles Rennie Mackintosh architecture and the Burrell Collection as well as other museums.

Glasgow's closer to the Highlands and the western islands, so if you want to visit either of those areas, Glasgow is a bit more convenient gateway, requiring a bit less transportation time to get to where you want to go.

Posted by
4292 posts

Flights to Edinburgh are usually cheaper for me, so that’s how I choose. Beyond that, choose based on which city or nearby area you want to see.

Posted by
10335 posts

Last year we flew from Dublin to Glasgow, ending our 2 weeks in Scotland in Edinburgh before taking the train to Liverpool. We had been to Edinburgh before. I don’t know how many nights you have, but if you have 5 nights you could spend 3 in Edinburgh for 2 full days there and 2 in Glasgow for one full day. You might consider flying into one and out of the other. You can take the train between them in less than an hour. We did the HOHO bus in Glasgow because sights are spread out. You could do the same in Edinburgh.

Posted by
15565 posts

There are plenty of flights between both Glasgow and Dublin and Edinburgh and Dublin.

Both cities have convenient transportation from the airport into the city. In fact there is a dedicated bus from Glasgow Airport to Edinburgh and from Edinburgh Airport to Glasgow.

My suggestion......figure out what you want to do in those cities and see which requires more time. It's only an hour by train between them. You could do day trips or split your hotels between the two cities.