99+1 essential places in Glasgow
Whether you’ve lived here or you’ve just arrived, you have hundreds of brilliant things to do in Glasgow. From Glasgow’s dazzling variety of art, architecture, shopping and leisure to the wild natural beauty of the surrounding countryside.
Find something new at Glasgow’s landmarks, discover new parts of town you’ve never even heard of before or check the favourite Glasgow place. Enjoy!
The 5 best Glasgow Museums
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Admire the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Designed by Sir John W. Simpson and E.J. Milner Allen, this architectural masterpiece was opened as the Palace of Fine Arts for the Glasgow International Exhibition held in 1901. It is built of red sandstone, designed in Hispanic Baroque style.
The museum has 22 themed galleries displaying over 8000 objects around a Centre Hall with a concert pipe organ constructed and installed by Lewis & Co.
It has one of the finest collections of arms and armour in the world, a vast number of outstanding European artworks, a selection of European jewellery from the 18-19th centuries and exponents of the Glasgow School of Art.
Two of the most famous items in the museum are a painting by Salvador Dali, “Christ of Saint John of the Cross”, and a restored Mark 21 Spitfire.
Red sandstone building.
Visit The Hunterian Museum
The University of Glasgow’s Hunterian includes various buildings on the main campus: The Hunterian Museum, The Hunterian Art Gallery with The Mackintosh House, The Zoology Museum, The Anatomy Museum and the recently renovated Kelvin Hall, where they are moving part of the collections.
Founded in 1807, The Hunterian is Scotland’s oldest public museum and was built in 1793 on the funding bequest to the University of the Scottish anatomist and scientist Dr William Hunter.
The initial collection has grown considerably, and now include works by artists such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh, as well as superb geological, zoological, anatomical, archaeological, ethnographic and scientific instrument collections or a gallery devoted to the Romans in Scotland.
Scotland’s oldest public museum.
See Riverside Museum
The Riverside Museum building was designed by the world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid and engineers Buro Happold and opened in June 2011. The purpose was to replace the previous home for the city’s transport collection, at the Kelvin Hall.
Today, the fifth most popular attraction in Scotland is home to over 3,000 objects showcasing Glasgow’s transport heritage from its glorious maritime past to the early to mid 20th Century.
The selection of objects on display includes vintage cars, paintings, skateboards, bicycles, films, velocipedes, prams, voiturettes, a stormtrooper and one of the largest locomotives on display in Britain, designed and made in Glasgow.
Outside there is access to the tall ship Glenlee, a 1896 bulk cargo carrier and the UK’s only floating Clyde-built sailing ship.
Discover People’s Palace and Winter Gardens
The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, set in the Glasgow Green, opened in 1898.
At the opening ceremony Lord Rosebery billed it as “a palace of pleasure and imagination around which the people may place their affections and which may give them a home on which their memory may rest” and declared the building “open to the people for ever and ever”.
Since the 1940s, this A-listed building it is a museum that explores the city’s social history of the people and the city of Glasgow from the 18th century to the present day through historic artefacts, exhibits depicting the past, prints, photographs, personal Glaswegians’ stories and paintings.
Attached to the People’s Palace is the elegant Victorian glasshouse -the Winter Gardens – filled with exotic palms and plants.
Social history of Glasgow.
Go Gallery of Modern Art, GOMA
Built in 1778 as the neo-classical townhouse of William Cunninghame of Lainshaw, a wealthy Glasgow tobacco baron, the building has undergone a series of different uses, such as part of the Royal Bank of Scotland or the telephone exchange, the Royal Exchange for over 100 years, or a library.
Reconverted again in 1996, the library till remains, but it is now the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), which has been the main gallery of contemporary art in Glasgow, offering a programme of temporary exhibitions and workshops and displaying work by local and international artists.
This A listed building is currently the most visited art gallery in Scotland.
It was the Royal Exchange for over 100 years.