Free things to do and attractions in Glasgow
All the major museums and galleries in Glasgow are free to visit. With free gardens, parks, historic buildings and events too, the city is bursting with things to do that won't leave you short of change.
See below for a hand picked selection of attractions:
Glasgow Botanic Gardens is located in the heart of the city’s West End by the River Kelvin and contains a variety of plant collections, woodland copses and riverside walks as well as the famous Kibble Palace.
City Centre Mural Trail
You'll find this fantastical floating taxi on Mitchell Street adjacent to Glasgow's Style Mile, created by artist Rogue-one. Capturing the attention of all who walk past, it's a great piece to start your trail off with.
Gallery of Modern Art
Scotland's most visited art gallery and the centre for Glasgow's extensive modern art collection. Found in the heart of Glasgow in Royal Exchange Square, GoMA is free to enter. The gallery hosts a number of exhibitions from artists across the world which run throughout the year.
Join Dr Baker for a short guided walk around the city centre that will open your eyes to the many features within a few metres of George Square, that tell you about the city's industrial history.
One of Scotland's most magnificent medieval buildings, Glasgow Cathedral is the only one on the Scottish mainland to survive the Reformation of 1560 intact.
Glasgow Cathedral is built on the site where St Kentigern, or Mungo, is thought to have been buried in AD 612. St Kentigern was the first bishop within the ancient British kingdom of Strathclyde, and the present cathedral was built during the 13th - 15th centuries.
Admire carved stone bosses on the ceiling of the Blackadder Aisle, and one of the finest post-war collections of stained glass windows in Britain.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of Scotland's most popular free attractions and features 22 themed, state-of-the-art galleries displaying an astonishing 8000 objects.
The collections at Kelvingrove are extensive, wide-ranging and internationally significant. They include natural history, arms and armour, art from many art movements and periods of history and much more.
The most famous painting on display at Kelvingrove is the Salvador Dali masterpiece ‘Christ of St John of the Cross’. Sir Roger the Asian elephant is another big museum attraction. There is even a Spitfire plane hanging from the ceiling of the west court.
Just to the east of Glasgow Cathedral, stands Glasgow’s version of the world-famous Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. Some 50,000 people have been buried at the Necropolis, in around 3,500 tombs that extend anything up to 14 feet below the ground and which, on the rocky upper parts of the Necropolis, had to be excavated with the aid of blasting powder.
Today the Necropolis is partrolled by Park Rangers, guided tours are available and Glasgow Necropolis is high on the list of "must visit" attractions in central Glasgow, both as an object of interest in its own right, and as a viewpoint over much of the rest of the city. Monuments placed here were intended to be looked at and appreciated.
Glasgow Necropolis was always intended to be a multi-denominational burial ground, and one of its oddities is that while some of its monuments relate to multiple burials, others are in memory of people who are not buried here at all. The most striking example is the tallest monument in the Necropolis, to John Knox. A massive column is topped off with a 12ft high statue of John Knox himself. While John Knox has the earliest and tallest monument, others are not far behind in terms of height. One of the most striking is the mausoleum built for Major Archibald Douglas Monteath.
Parks and Gardens
2015 celebrated Glasgow’s Green Year and when it comes to being green, Glasgow really does live up to its name. Meaning “Dear Green Place” in Gaelic, the city has over 90 parks and gardens and in 2014, eight of the city’s larger parks won the coveted Green Flag Award - the benchmark standard for UK parks. So if you are looking for a place to enjoy some of the city’s amazing green space or simply some peace and quiet away from the city buzz, you'll be spoilt for choice.
People's Palace and Winter Gardens
Set in historic Glasgow Green, the oldest public space in Glasgow, the People’s Palace looks at the development of Glasgow and the story of its people, from the 1700s to the late 20th century. Covering everything from Tobacco Lords to Trade Unions, there are objects, images and personal stories revealing the history of this great city.
Riverside is home to some of the world’s finest cars, bicycles and in 2013 won the European Museum of the Year award.
A visit to the Riverside provides the ultimate day out. The Riverside is a multi-award winning museum located on the banks of the River Clyde, with over 3000 objects on display from Glasgow’s rich past. You will find an incredible array of objects from skateboards and vintage cars to prams and powerful locomotives. You can even walk down an old cobbled Glasgow street with shops dating from 1895 to the 1980s.
Berthed outside you will find the Tall Ship, Glenlee, the UK's only floating Clyde-built sailing ship and also free to enter.