Know Before You Go: Scotland

Know Before You Go: Scotland

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Communications

Most phone numbers in the U.K. now follow the format — 01 plus 8 or 9 digits, which is easy enough to dial if you are already in the country. However, if you have to call from the U.S., first dial the international dialing code (011) and country code (44), omit the lead zero, then dial the rest of the number. For example, if the phone number is 0131 555 5555 and you are not in the U.K., this is how you dial: 011 44 131 555 5555. A phone number beginning with 07 is probably a mobile phone (cell phone) and cannot be called from the U.S. Most public telephones accept coins (10p, 20p, 50p, £1), with a minimum connection charge 20p. An increasing number of kiosks also accept credit cards and offer e-mail and Internet access.

Electricity

The standard voltage in Scotland is 240V AC, 50Hz. North American appliances need a transformer and an adapter.

Money

British currency is pound sterling (£) and is made up of 100 pence (p). Several Scottish banks issue their own notes in denominations of £5, £10, £20, £50 & £100 which are technically legal tender throughout Great Britain.

Most hotels, restaurants and shops in Scotland accept major credit cards such as VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club and JCB. However, you should be aware that small B&Bs frequently do not take credit cards.

Passports and Visas

U.S. citizens will need a passport which is valid for six months after returning to the United States. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter the United Kingdom, unless they plan to stay longer than six months.

Tipping

There are no hard and fast rules for tipping in Scotland. If you are happy with the service, a 10-15% tip is customary, particularly in a restaurant or cafe with table service. Tipping in bars is not expected. For taxi fares it is usual to round up to the nearest pound.

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