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Free Things To Do in Glasgow

If you have extra time, City Chambers is worthwhile.

#1

#1 in Glasgow

Free
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.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
The Burrell Collection
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.
... more

#2

#2 in Glasgow

Free
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).

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1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Pollok Country Park
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).

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#3

#3 in Glasgow

Free
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.
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Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
City Chambers
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.
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#4

#4 in Glasgow

Free
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.
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Churches/Religious Sites Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Glasgow Cathedral
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.
... more

#5

#5 in Glasgow

Free
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.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Riverside Museum
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.
... more

#6

#6 in Glasgow

Free
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.

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Parks and Gardens Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Kelvingrove Park
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.

... more

#8

#8 in Glasgow

Free
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.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
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.
... more

#10

#10 in Glasgow

Free
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.
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Shopping Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Barras Market
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.
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#11

#11 in Glasgow

Free
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.

  • Amazingly the lush grounds don't seem that popular with locals (except on sunny weekends) and away from the entrance you may just about have the place to yourself. The wooded gardens follow the riverbank of the River Kelvin and there's plenty of tropical species to discover." -- Lonely Planet
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Parks and Gardens Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Botanic Gardens and Kibble Palace
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.

  • Amazingly the lush grounds don't seem that popular with locals (except on sunny weekends) and away from the entrance you may just about have the place to yourself. The wooded gardens follow the riverbank of the River Kelvin and there's plenty of tropical species to discover." -- Lonely Planet
... more

#12

#12 in Glasgow

Free
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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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
People's Palace and Winter Gardens
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.
... more
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