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Newcastle

The Sage Gateshead, Newcastle

Practical Info about Newcastle

Getting around the city

Newcastle has an excellent public transport system, with plenty of buses, trains and taxis available. It may be worth phoning ahead for a taxi at the weekend, as the city can get quite busy. Newcastle is also home to the UK's first light rapid rail transit system, the Tyne and Wear Metro, a fast and efficient means of transport that operates within the city and connects Newcastle and Gateshead. There are plenty of car rental agencies in the city, though exploring Newcastle on foot is perhaps the best way to take in all the sights and sounds. There are also several cycling paths and bike rental options.

Time

GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).

Electricity

The electrical current in the UK is 230 volts, 50Hz. Flat three-pin plugs are standard.

Currency

The currency is the British Pound (GBP), which is divided into 100 pence. ATMs are available in all towns and Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted; visitors with other cards should check with their credit card companies in advance. Foreign currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change and large hotels, however better exchange rates are likely to be found at banks.

Communication

The international country dialling code for the UK is +44. Mobile phone coverage is extensive using GSM 1800 networks, which may not be compatible with some dual-band US cell phones. Internet cafes are available in all major towns and cities, train stations and airports.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 999/112

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan
Good Friday 18 Apr 3 Apr
Easter Monday 21 Apr 6 Apr
May Day 5 May 4 May
Spring Bank Holiday 26 May 25 May
Summer Bank Holiday 25 Aug 31 Aug
Christmas 25 Dec 25 Dec
Boxing Day 26 Dec 26 Dec

Climate

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Newcastle's climate is temperate, and although typical of the United Kingdom, it can be highly changeable. Due to the Gulf Stream, temperatures are usually warmer than in the rest of the UK and as Newcastle is in the rain shadow of the North Pennines, it is also one of the UK's driest cities. Summers are usually sunny and warm, while winters are cold, with occasional snow.

Newcastle International Airport

www.newcastleairport.com

Getting to the city

The Metro (underground train) system connects the airport to Newcastle Central Station, and other parts of the city, leaving every few minutes. Buses also leave regularly for the Eldon Square Bus Concourse in the city centre between 8am and 11pm.

Car rental

Car hire companies represented at the airport include Avis, Europcar, Hertz and National.

Airport taxi's

Taxis are available outside the terminal.

Facilities

Newcastle Airport has shops, bars and restaurants. Other facilities include a bank, bureaux de change, ATMs, left luggage, baby care rooms, and a children's play area. There is a business facility in the main terminal building equipped with fax, photocopier and internet access. Disabled facilities are good; those with special needs are advised to inform their airline or travel agent in advance.

Parking

The short-stay and express parking lots are located directly opposite the terminal. The medium-stay lot, just beyond, offers 15 minutes free parking for picking up or dropping off passengers. The long-term lots are located furthest from the terminal and offer the cheapest daily and weekly rates. Discounted rates are available for bookings made via the airport website.

Internet

Free wifi is available in the business lounges, and there are internet terminals located throughout the airport.