Things To See in Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow Things To See

One of the main things to note about many of Glasgow's main attractions is that a lot of them offer free admission. From the huge variety of exhibits in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum to the unusual artefacts on display in St. Mungo's Museum of Religious Life and Art to the glasshouses filled with exotic flowers in the Botanic Gardens, this city has something for everyone.

Other free museums in Glasgow include the Hunterian Museum. Located in the University of Glasgow, this museum houses a large collection of artefacts from fossils to ancient texts. The Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art is another must-see, both for the building itself and also for the often colourful and strange works of art inside.

The Glasgow Science Centre is also well worth the visit and the entrance fee. Hugely popular with kids, adults will enjoy it too with plenty of interactive exhibits suitable for all ages.

Glasgow's quite a green city, with some lovely parks in and around the city centre. These include Kelvingrove Park and the Glasgow Green, home to the People's Palace and Winter Gardens.

If you want to take a trip away from the city, Stirling is only around 25 minutes away by train and is definitely worth a visit. Here you'll find the Old Town Jail and some great shopping, as well as one of Scotland's most popular attractions, Stirling Castle.

Attractions in Glasgow

  • Scotland Street School Museum

    225 Scotland Street, Glasgow, Scotland

    This school was designed by famous Glaswegian architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. As well as showcasing Mackintosh’s style, the building is now a museum with lots of different exhibits charting Scottish school life throughout the years.

    Open Mon-Thurs, Sat 10am-5pm, Fri and Sun 11am-5pm. Free admission.

  • St. Mungo's Museum of Religious Life and Art

    2 Castle Street, Glasgow, Scotland

    From the Mexican dancing skeleton to the Buddha statues, this museum highlights various different religious customs. The exhibits are spread across three floors and some of the religions covered include Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity. The UK’s first Zen Garden is located outside.

    Open Mon-Thurs, Sat 10am-5pm, Fri & Sun 11am-5pm. Free admission.

  • Glasgow Science Centre

    50 Pacific Quay, Glasgow, Scotland

    Hundreds of exhibits can be found in the Science Mall and they’re not just for kids. Practically every display requires you to participate and it’s a lot of fun to take part. The musical exhibits, such as the string less harp, are particularly popular. The centre also includes a planetarium and an IMAX cinema, which shows educational documentaries as well as feature films.

    Open 7 days, 10am-5pm.

  • The Hunterian Museum

    Gilbert Scott Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland

    First opened in 1807, this is Scotland’s oldest public museum. The huge collection includes curiosities from all over the world, as well as fossils, books and ancient artefacts. The main hall is spread over two levels and there are lots of interactive parts to the displays.

    Open Mon-Sat 9.30am-5pm. Admission is free.

  • Glasgow Cathedral

    2 Castle Street, Glasgow, Scotland

    Admission to the Cathedral itself is free, with concerts sometimes held inside. You can check out the impressive stained glass windows and also the lower church, home to the tomb of St. Mungo, patron saint of Glasgow.

    Open April-Sept Mon-Sat 9.30am-5.30pm Sun 1pm-5pm, Oct-March Mon-Sat 9.30am-4pm Sun 1pm-4pm.

  • Stirling Castle

    Esplanade, Stirling, Glasgow, Scotland

    One of the most important castles in Scotland, Stirling Castle is located only a 25 minute train journey from Glasgow. The castle is home to the Great Hall, one of the largest banqueting halls ever built. The castle dates from the 15th and 16th centuries and is where famous monarch, Mary Queen of Scots was crowned. On a fine day, the ramparts offer a great view of Stirling and the surrounding countryside. Free guided tours of both the castle and Argyll’s Lodging, a 17th century townhouse, are included in the ticket price.

    Open April-Sept 9.30am-6pm Oct-March 9.30am-5pm.

  • City Chambers

    George Square, Glasgow, Scotland

    The City Chambers occupy the entire east end of George Square and was opened by Queen Victoria in 1888. It was built from the wealth gained from colonial trade and heavy industry and epitomises the optimism of late-Victorian city elders. It is worth taking a free guided tour (Mon-Fri 10.30am & 2.30am) to get a look at the wonderful interior with glorious Italian marble.

  • Merchant’s House

    Opposite Queen Street, Glasgow, Scotland

    This building is equally as stunning as the City Chambers, particularly the grand Banqueting Hall and stylish Directors Room. Entry is free but be warned it is by appointment only.

  • Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art

    Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow, Scotland

    As well as work by renowned international artists, the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art also showcases the work of various Scottish natives. The balcony galleries and larger rooms are full of interesting and thought-provoking exhibits.

    Open Mon-Wed, Sat 10am-5pm, Thurs 10am-8pm, Fri & Sun 11am-5pm. Admission is free.

  • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

    Argyle Street, Glasgow, Scotland

    First opened in 1901, this art gallery and museum is home to a huge collection of objects from artefacts to paintings from all over Europe. From ancient Egypt to the Wild West, this museum has something for everyone. Spread over a large area, there are a huge number of different exhibitions including a Dali painting. Free guided tours are provided daily at 11am and 2.30pm.

    Open Mon-Thurs, Sat 10am-5pm; Fri and Sun 11am-5pm. Admission is free.

  • The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

    Glasgow Green, Glasgow, Scotland

    The People's Palace is an impressive red-brick Victorian building, purpose built to act as a museum. Today it tells the story of life in Glasgow throughout various periods. Leading out from the museum, is a large conservatory housing the Winter Gardens, an exotic oasis, filled with palm trees and cacti.

    Open Mon-Thurs, Sat 10am-5pm; Fri & Sun 11am-5pm. Admission free.

  • Glasgow School of Art

    167 Renfew St, Glasgow, Scotland

    Here you’ll find the architectural work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It is one the most respected art schools in the UK and every piece of work in the house illustrates the architects wonderfully unique style. The east wing was started with the help of the much respected headmaster Fra Newbery in 1897 but the west wing wasn’t completed until 1909.

    Guided tours Mon-Fri 11am & 2pm, Sat & Sun 10.30am & 11.30am, July & August only.
    Booking advised; £5.
    The school also puts on exhibitions throughout the year, which can be viewed without taking a tour. For details check listings or telephone 0141/3534500.

  • The Botanic Gardens

    730 Great Western Road, Glasgow, Scotland

    A popular area especially in good weather, the Gardens have a selection of gardens and glasshouses for people to wander through. The Bard in the Botanics festival is held here annually.

    Gardens open 7am-dusk, Glasshouses open 10am-4.45pm (4.15pm in winter). Admission is free.

  • The Burrell Collection

    Pollok Country Park, Glasgow, Scotland

    This internationally famous collection is for some the principle reason for visiting Glasgow. It is the legacy of shipping magnate Sir William Burrell, who had a brilliant collector’s instinct and eye for a bargain. The collection contains more than 8,000 pieces from Egypt, Greece, the Near East and the Orient and stained glass and tapestries from medieval Europe. The most popular elements are the works of Degas, Rodin’s Thinker and the Warwick Vase, an 8-ton marble which dominates the courtyard.

    Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-5pm. Admission free.

  • The Transport Museum

    Kelvin House, Kelvin St., Glasgow, Scotland

    A large collection of trains, cars, trams, circus caravans and prams are housed in this museum as well as intricate models of ships that were built in Glasgow’s shipyards.

    Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-5pm. Admission free.

  • The Piping Centre

    30-34 McPhater St, Glasgow, Scotland

    This is the national centre for the promotion of the bagpipe. Included inside are rehearsal rooms, performance halls, accommodation, a museum and an attractive cafe and it is a meeting place for performers from all over the globe. For your average visitor the museum is of most interest wtih instruments and artefacts dating back as far as the fourteenth century on view.

    Open 10.30am-4.30am, daily. £2 admission.

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