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Glasgow's famously rainy, so it's a huge bonus for visitors that its many museums provide so many good rainy-day options! Several collections — particularly in the wide-ranging Kelvingrove and Burrell — are impressive enough to be the pride of cities several times its size, which can be traced back to Glasgow's vital role in Britain's colonial empire. This makes many of its other museums all the more interesting, as they intelligently explore the city's social history; describing how the city once lived, worked, played, was schooled, and policed. And perhaps best of all for uncertain visitors, most museums are free, so there's little to lose by quickly dropping in.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Thrifty Traveller

13 Places

3 City Tips

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13 Places

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Art Museums

The Burrell Collection

Art Museums

The Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel

Speciality Museums

Hunterian Museum

History Museums

Glasgow Science Centre

Children's Museums, Science Museums

Gallery of Modern Art

Art Museums

People's Palace and Winter Gardens

History Museums, Speciality Museums

Glasgow Police Museum

Speciality Museums

Scottish Football Museum

History Museums, Speciality Museums

Scotland Street School Museum

History Museums

The Museum of Piping

Speciality Museums

The Tenement House

Historic Sites, Speciality Museums, History Museums

St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art

Art Museums, Speciality Museums

Christian W's City Tips

  • Most of Glasgow's museums are a fair walk from the city centre, but the city is served by a network of frequent buses run by First.
  • Cafes and restaurants are scattered throughout town and most museums have their own cafe too, so you'll never have a problem finding a bite to eat.
  • No matter what the season, there's always the chance of rain. Pack an umbrella or raincoat in case of showers as you travel between museums.
  • Save
    Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    This eclectic museum is full of treasures — from medieval armour to contemporary art — and is far and away the most visited Glasgow museum. Unmissable for any museum lover.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • There's a good cafe in the Kelvingrove, but for something more substantial wander up to Byres Road, the hub of Glasgow's hip West End restaurant area.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Visiting an old haunt 15/08/2018
    • Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition 15/08/2018
    • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
    Address:
    Kelvingrove Art Galleries Argyle Street
    Glasgow G3 8AG
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 276 9599
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Mon - Thu
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Fri
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    The Burrell Collection
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    The extraordinary fine art collection of Glasgow shipping magnate Sir William Burrell was once the largest solo collection in the world (some 9,000 objects) and gifted to Glasgow in 1944. Despite the scale and breadth of the collection — from ancient Chinese treasures through to medieval tapestries and furnishings — the museum is not too big to be overwhelming.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The surrounding park has some good hiking as well as a stately home — Pollock House, which is also worth a visit not least for its collection of Spanish paintings.
    • The Burrell Collection has a good cafeteria on site, but don't miss the chance to have a picnic in the grounds if the weather is good.
    • There's a decent-sized playground just outside the Burrell building.
    • Excellent free tours are offered every day, times vary so ask at reception as you enter.
    • First bus services 34, 57, and 57A run from Glasgow city centre, and stop on Pollokshaws Road, opposite the main entrance to Pollok Country Park — a 15-minute walk from the museum.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #33 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • interesting visit 22/07/2018
    • Wonderful, but Closed for Refurbishing 12/02/2018
    • The Burrell Collection
    Address:
    2060 Pollokshaws Road
    Pollok Park
    Glasgow G43 1AT
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 287 2550
    Other:
  • Save
    The Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Obvious by its eye-catching jagged roof, Glasgow's transport museum is a wonderful place to wander around and stumble upon venerable trams, cars, and motorcycles, as well as fine old models of battleships and liners and steam trains of yesteryear. Many were even built in the city.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The #100 bus from George Square links the museum to Glasgow Queen Street Station.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #14 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Trip to the good old days 14/08/2018
    • So much to see - and free! 14/08/2018
    • The Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel
    Address:
    Riverside Museum 100 Pointhouse Place
    Glasgow G3 8RS
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 287 2720
    Price range:
    US$500 - US$500
    Other:
  • Save
    Hunterian Museum
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    The Hunterian is not one but many museums dotted around the Glasgow University Campus. One of these specializes in all sorts of historical artifacts, from rocks and fossils to Roman remains, medals and coins. The Zoology museum with its 60,000 specimens is best for insect fans; while the compact Art Gallery has works ranging from Rubens and Rembrandt to the Scottish Colourists and Glasgow Boys. Also here is the Macintosh House with its meticulous re-assemblage of the principal interiors of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's home.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • Visitors are welcome to eat in the student cafeteria in the Fraser Building.
    • While you're here you might want to do a campus tour — scheduled tours are every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2pm.
    • Charles Rennie Mackintosh fans should also check out the city's Willow Tea Rooms, his House for an Art Lover, and the Scotland Street School.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #27 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • So much in a small space!!! 12/08/2018
    • Better than Kelvingrove 09/08/2018
    • Hunterian Museum
    Address:
    Glasgow University
    University Avenue,
    Glasgow G12 8QQ
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 330 4221
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Tue - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Glasgow Science Centre
    Children's Museums, Science Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    This is one Glasgow museum kids shouldn't miss thanks to its three huge floors of entertaining interactive puzzles, optical illusions, music, engineering, and craft areas. While this does mean it gets very busy, even on weekdays thanks to school visits, simply come prepared for this. There's plenty for adults to enjoy here too, including mind-control competitions and Madagascan hissing cockroaches.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • An on-site IMAX cinema plays short and feature-length films and can be visited separately.
    • Be sure to pay a visit to the huge revolving tower (just outside the main building) for views of central Glasgow and beyond.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #38 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Not too bad. 14/08/2018
    • No great experience for non English speakers 14/08/2018
    • Glasgow Science Centre
    Address:
    50 Pacific Quay
    Glasgow G51 1EA
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 420 5000
    Price range:
    US$18 - US$18
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Gallery of Modern Art
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Once the extraordinary 18th-century mansion of tobacco magnate William Cunningham, this building now provides intriguing and attractive spaces — complete with stained glass and Corinthian columns — for stimulating contemporary art. Nicknamed GOMA, the museum has a solid permanent collection (Scottish artists include Peter Howson, John Byrne, Toby Paterson, Ian Hamilton Finlay and Tim Stead) but its temporary exhibitions are often more enticing.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • There’s a good cafe with free WiFi in the basement.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #287 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    • Art workshop 06/08/2018
    • Lovely building but.... 04/08/2018
    • Gallery of Modern Art
    Address:
    111 Queen Street
    Royal Exchange Square
    Glasgow G1 3AH
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 287 3050
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Mon - Wed
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Thu
    10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
    Fri
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    People's Palace and Winter Gardens
    History Museums, Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    This purpose-built Victorian sandstone museum gives a flavour of Glasgow culture by looking at the ordinary lives of its working East End population. It looks mostly at the 19th and 20th centuries —  temperance tracts, trade-union banners, and suffragette posters — and is well worth it to gain a good insight into the era.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • The museum cafe is pleasantly located in the conservatory Winter Gardens and deserves a visit.
    From the community
    Ranked #45 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Highlights of Scottish Working Folk 06/08/2018
    • A very educational visit 06/08/2018
    • People's Palace and Winter Gardens
    Address:
    Glasgow Green
    Glasgow G40 1AT
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 276 0788
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Mon - Thu
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Fri
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Glasgow Police Museum
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    This is the place to find out about the history of the UK’s first police force and admire Europe’s largest display of uniforms and insignia from the four corners of the globe. But it's much more than just artefacts, with many interesting anecdotes recounted as well.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • The museum lies in Glasgow's Merchant city, alongside plenty of cafes, bars, and restaurants and around a five-minute walk from Glasgow central station.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #15 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A look back at the police dept. 14/08/2018
    • Interesting visit 14/08/2018
    • Glasgow Police Museum
    Address:
    30 Bell Street
    Glasgow G1 1LG
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 552 1818
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 PM - 4:30 PM
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Scottish Football Museum
    History Museums, Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    A huge array of well-labelled items relating to Scottish and worldwide football can be found here, helping to provide a sense of the popular sport's rich history. The crown jewel is the world's oldest football trophy: the Scottish Cup.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Combined tickets include a tour of Hampden Park stadium, the main venue for Scotland's international matches.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #36 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Must-see for every football fan! 28/07/2018
    • Excellent tour with Andy 22/07/2018
    • Scottish Football Museum
    Address:
    Hampden Park Letherby Drive
    Glasgow G42 9BA
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 616 6139
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Scotland Street School Museum
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Scotland Street School is interesting both for being designed by architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and for its museum of education from the 1800s to the late 20th Century. Reconstructions and costumes create nostalgia for adults and fun for kids.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • For free parking you need to get your entrance ticket stamped at the reception desk, then verified at the subway station.
    • Shield's Road Subway station is across the road from the museum.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #32 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • It is how you make it - we had a fun, free day out 13/08/2018
    • A journey in time 29/07/2018
    • Scotland Street School Museum
    Address:
    225 Scotland Street
    Glasgow G5 8QB
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 287 0500
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Tue - Thu
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Fri
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    The Museum of Piping
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    This is a small but informative museum dedicated to that most Scottish of instruments, the bagpipe. From its its humble roots to its significance as a ceremonial instrument, it's all here! This makes a great stop for anyone with an interest in Scottish culture.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • A small but very good quality Scottish restaurant — The Piper's Tryst — is on site and serves excellent regional delicacies such as "cullen skink" (Scottish fish soup) and haggis.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #60 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    • Bagpipes galore 27/07/2018
    • Wonderful Little Gem 22/07/2018
    • The Museum of Piping
    Address:
    30 - 34 McPhater Street
    Glasgow G4 0HW
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 353 0220
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Sat
    9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    The Tenement House
    Historic Sites, Speciality Museums, History Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    Tenement House is a snapshot of Glasgow life, which was never intended as a museum. Miss Toward — who lived in this traditional Glasgow apartment — changed almost nothing from when she moved there in 1911 to when she moved out in 1965, leaving behind a remarkable time capsule of early-20th-century Glasgow life.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Take bus #6 to Stow College or the underground to Cowcaddens Station to get to Tenement House.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #22 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Good old days 14/08/2018
    • Turn back timeg 11/08/2018
    • The Tenement House
    Address:
    Tenement House 145 Buccleuch Street
    To avoid the steep hill walk from Renrew Street to Buccleuch Street
    Glasgow G3 6QN
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 333 0183
    Price range:
    US$10 - US$10
    Hours:
    Sun
    1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Mon - Sat
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art
    Art Museums, Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Christian W Says:

    This small museum thoughtfully looks at all the various world religions and has a few artefacts to go with each. Illuminating for those with little knowledge, including children, this is a good free stop-off if you are visiting Glasgow Cathedral or the Necropolis.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Good views from the top floor to the adjacent Necropolis.
    • Entry is free although a small donation is requested.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #55 of 345 things to do in Glasgow
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • 5* staff! 14/08/2018
    • Fascinating Museum 12/08/2018
    • St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art
    Address:
    2 Castle Street
    Glasgow G4 0RH
    Scotland
    Phone:
    +44 141 276 1629
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Tue - Thu
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Fri
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
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