Glasgow Travel Guide

Scotland  
Credit

Courtesy of claudiodivizia/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Free Things To Do in Glasgow

If you have extra time, City Chambers is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Things to do in Glasgow
    View all Photos
    #1 in Glasgow
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Travelers express astonishment at this museum's near pitch-perfection. The Burrell Collection's glass walls not only encase a variety of objects and artworks, but they also usher in the surrounding woodlands. In the collection, donated by the late millionaire Sir William Burrell, you'll find everything from Chinese ceramics to Rodin sculptures. And once you're done with the art, you can wander about the surrounding Pollok Country Park.

    Open daily, the Burrell Collection can be viewed for free. And travelers highly recommend you take advantage of this steal, saying the museum's variety of art and its milieu are beyond compare.   

  • #2
    Pollok Country Park
    View all Photos
    #2 in Glasgow
    Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    After a perusal through the vast and varied art assemblage at the Burrell Collection, you might want to rest your eyes in the green and leafy Pollok Country Park. Comprised of about 360 acres, the park makes for a peaceful retreat -- one that is peppered with grazing Highland cattle, formal gardens and long expanses of unadulterated Scottish greens. If you're in the area, recent travelers highly recommend taking a walk through the Pollok Country Park (which is open daily from sun up to sun down).

  • #3
    City Chambers
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    #3 in Glasgow
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Accommodating some sort of governing body since the late 1800s, the Victorian-style City Chambers today hosts the Glasgow City Council. You'll find the impressive building on the east side of George Square, and if you take one of the building's free guided tours, you'll view an ornate entrance hall, banqueting hall and some sumptuous staircases, among other features. Open weekdays, the City Chambers are free to tour.

  • #4
    Glasgow Cathedral
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    #4 in Glasgow
    Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Dedicated to the city's patron saint, St. Mungo, the Glasgow Cathedral was consecrated in the 1100s but was finished around 300 years later. Of almost equal delight -- to experts and travelers alike -- are the cathedral's architecture (the nave, crypt, chapel) and the legends surrounding St. Mungo's life. And in fact, the symbols found on Glasgow's Coat of Arms relate directly to the St. Mungo legends, including the tree, bird, fish and bell.

    Recent visitors recommend following your tour of the cathedral with a walk through the nearby necropolis. The Glasgow Cathedral is free to tour and is open daily, though it does have abbreviated hours on Sundays to make way for morning services.

  • #5
    Riverside Museum
    View all Photos
    #5 in Glasgow
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    This free museum displays the city's transportation history. One neat exhibit showcases a 1938 Glasgow street scene "with period shop-fronts, era-appropriate vehicles and a reconstruction of one of the Glasgow Underground stations," according to Frommer's. Some travelers highlight this exhibit, while others really enjoyed the Clyde Room's model boats. Visitors were also highly impressed with the in-house café.

    The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info, visit its website.

  • #6
    Kelvingrove Park
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    #6 in Glasgow
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you're planning to spend an afternoon at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, you should also allot some time for lounging in the lush Kelvingrove Park. You can walk along the River Kelvin, which meanders through the park, or stroll by the duck pond and numerous monuments before stopping by the park's open-air theater to see if anything is on. "The park also houses recreational tennis courts, a skate park, playground, and lawn bowling green," Frommer's says. "Don't be surprised to hear bagpipes played by shirtless, bearded college students." Travelers highly enjoy this park for its variety of things to do.

  • #8
    Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
    View all Photos
    #8 in Glasgow
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is another favorite museum (that's also free!). Built at the turn of the 20th century to resemble a Renaissance-style castle/cathedral, the museum was closed for about three years in the early 21st century for major renovations. Now, the Kelvingrove is the most visited gallery and museum in Scotland. Amongst its collection of European masters such as Botticelli and Monet, you'll discover exhibits on Mackintosh, Scottish storytelling and Scottish armory, among others.

    One TripAdvisor user enjoyed the Kelvingrove's variety, writing, "There something for everyone here." He goes on to write that among the great exhibits to view (Mackintosh Art Deco artifacts to Egyptian mummies), this free museum offers a great coffee bar.  Open daily, the museum's specific hours are posted on its website.

  • #10
    Barras Market
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    #10 in Glasgow
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Some recent travelers disappointingly note that the Barras Market had really gone down in quality. However, the majority of visitors seemed to enjoy their few hours digging through piles of flea market goods and haggling in the market. Get to the market off the Argyle Street train station, or you can hop on a bus that drops off at Glasgow Cross. Open on the weekends, travelers say the Barras really gets going about 11 a.m. and ends about 5 p.m.

  • #11
    Botanic Gardens and Kibble Palace
    View all Photos
    #11 in Glasgow
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Botanic Gardens are yet another free attraction in Glasgow. Bursting with colorful flora and fauna along the River Kelvin, the gardens also encase a number of greenhouses including the fantastic Kibble Palace, which contains a very rainforest of tropical plants and trees. Botanic Gardens make a good reprieve from the city, especially if you're on your way from buzzy Byres Road's restaurants, bars, cafés and shops. One TripAdvisor traveler recommends entering the gardens in the West End at Great Western Road or from the top of Byres Road. Open daily, the gardens offer shortened hours in the colder months.

  • #12
    People's Palace and Winter Gardens
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    #12 in Glasgow
    Museums, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located on the Glasgow Green, the free People's Palace is a museum dedicated to the city's social history of normal folk. For instance, one of the exhibits details Glasgow's interesting vernacular, while another displays the desk of political activist (and Glasgow resident) John MacLean. Adjacent to the museum are the Winter Gardens -- a greenhouse that acts as a cozy reprieve for people and tropical plants alike. Stop in for a coffee at the in-house café before venturing on. One Yahoo! Travel user recommends combining your museum visit with a stroll through the coffee shops and galleries of nearby Glasgow Green. The museum is closed on Mondays, but the Winter Gardens are open each day of the week.

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