Glasgow’s Top 10 Attractions – Museums, Fine Buildings and Impressive Gardens
Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city and was recently named one of the world’s top 10 cities by the Lonely Planet Guide. With so much to see and do it’s no wonder it’s such a popular holiday destination. We’ve put together a “Don’t Miss” list of Glasgow’s top attractions if you only have a couple of days in the city
Glasgow is famous for its collection of wonderful museums and art galleries. The Burrell Collection is the city’s most famous and popular tourist attraction, drawing hundreds and thousands of visitors each year.
Sir William Burrell (1861-1958) gave his marvellous art collection to the city of Glasgow in 1944. John Meunier, Brit Anderson and Barr Gasson were responsible for the design of the modern gallery which was opened by the Queen in 1983. From magical artefacts dating back as far as the Bronze Age and much more, the Burrell Collection will certainly amaze you.
The Burrell is located on the south side of the city in the middle of Pollok Country Park. It’s easy enough to get to by public transport.
By Train: take the train at Central Station to Pollokshaws West Station. Here you’ll see signposts for the short walk to the park.
By Bus: take bus numbers 45, 47, 48 and 57 to Pollokshaws Road.
By Car: if you’re coming from the M77, exit at Junction 2 and follow the signs.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is Scotland’s most popular and visited free tourist attraction. In 2003 it closed its doors for refurbishments and opened three years later in July 2006. In the first 6 months it attracted an overwhelming 2 million visitors’, putting The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum top of Glasgow’s tourist attraction list.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is located in the spectacular Kelvingrove Park at the West End of Glasgow.
How to get here by public transport:
By Bus: take bus number 9, 16, 18, 18A, 42, 42A or 62 from Hope Street at Central Station, and all stop directly outside. Please note: bus number 42 leaves from Bath Street.
The Museum of Transport in Glasgow is one of the most popular museums of transport in the British Isles. Founded in 1964, the museum houses many exhibits of national and international importance, attracting over half a million visitors each year. The museum showcases a huge collection of vehicles and models telling the story of transport over the years, by land and sea, with an exclusive Glasgow flavour.
The Museum of Transport is located across the road from Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum’ in the City’s West End.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a talented Scottish architect and designer, born in 1868. He had a huge influence on Scottish and European architect and design. The following are the top 10 Charles Rennie Mackintosh buildings: Glasgow School of Art, Mackintosh House, The Willow Tea Rooms, Ruchill Church Hall, Queens Cross Church, Martyrs’ Public School, The Lighthouse, Daily Record Building, Scotland Street School and House for an Art Lover.
The University of Glasgow was founded in 1451 and is listed as one of the world’s top 100 universities. It’s the fourth oldest university in the United Kingdom and has approximately 16,000 undergraduates, 4,000 postgraduates and 4,000 adults in continuing education.
Today it’s the only University in Scotland with a full range of departments in Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Law and Dentistry. Steeped in history and set in stunning surroundings, a trip to the university is a must when in Glasgow.
The University’s main campus is located on Gilmorehill in the West End of Glasgow, just 3 miles from the vibrant city centre. The University is easily accessible by bus. Route 44 runs through the main campus from the city centre. A seasonal tourist bus also stops at the University
Set in the West End of Glasgow, Glasgow Botanic Gardens are located in a large public park with amazing tropical and temperate plant collections from around the world. There’s also a number of glasshouses at the botanic gardens including the Kibble Palace Glasshouse.
Kibble Palace is a 19th century cast iron framed glasshouse designed by John Kibble. In 1873 it was brought by barge to its current location in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens. It’s a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
Located on Great Western Road the gardens are easily accessible from the city centre.
By Train: Hillhead Underground Station is just a 5-minute walk away.
Bus: various routes operate from the city centre to Great Western Road.
By car: Follow M8 to Junction 17 and take the A82 (Great Western Road) west for about 1 mile.
The Gallery of Modern Art, also know as the GoMA, is the main gallery of contemporary art in Glasgow. The GoMA was opened in 1996 in a neo-classic building in the heart of Glasgow city centre.
Built in 1778, it was originally home to William Cunninghame of Lainshaw, who was a wealthy Glasgow Tobacco Lord. Over the years the building has undergone a series of different uses before becoming an art gallery. GoMA showcases works by both local and international artists.
Glasgow Science Centre is located on the south bank of the River Clyde in Glasgow. The Science Centre is a purpose-built centre that comprises of three buildings: The Science Mall, the IMAX Cinema and the Glasgow Tower.
The Science Mall has three floors of interactive science and learning exhibits, a Science Show Theatre and the Scottish Power Planetarium.
The IMAX Cinema provides entertainment for all the family showing the very latest in movie entertainment.
The Glasgow Tower stands 127 meters tall and gives visitors a bird’s eye view of Glasgow city.
The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens is made up of a museum and glasshouse that tell the story of Glasgow and its people from 1750 onwards. You can see various collections and displays as well as learn more about Glaswegians at home, work and leisure.
The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens are located just a short walk from the city centre, within the grounds of Glasgow Green.
The Provand’s Lordship is located at the top of Castle Street in the shadows of Glasgow Cathedral. It’s only a short walk from the city’s main bus station and shopping district.
It’s one of the very few buildings from Glasgow’s medieval period. Provand’s Lordship was built in 1471 as part of St Nicholas’s Hospital and was more than likely used to house clergy and other staff for the Cathedral at the time.
In 1978 the building was offered to the City of Glasgow’ by the Provand’s Lordship Society. Today the house is furnished with 17th century Scottish furniture which was donated by Sir William Burrell.
If you’re planning a trip to Glasgow you may decide you want to hire a car. Our advice is to book your car hire well in advance. For the best prices and instant confirmation take a look at our car hire Glasgow airport page.
As always we’d love to hear from you. What’s your favourite place to visit in Glasgow?