Now the typical Scottish rainy and dark days are starting to set in, what better way to spend a day off than getting lost in a museum? Glasgow is home to many museums within walking distance or a short subway ride from the city centre, most of which are free – a definite bonus for those of us on a student budget! All of Glasgow’s museums have something unique to offer, but here is a quick overview of the best.
- Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
Kelvingrove is possibly the best-known museum in Glasgow, and for good reason. It has been a city staple since 1901 and encompasses 22 galleries, with exhibitions from Ancient Egypt to Scottish Wildlife, and from Salvador Dali to Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Kelvingrove is truly a place where you can wander around for hours.
- The Hunterian
Located in Glasgow University’s iconic Gilbert Scott building, Scotland’s oldest public museum is not for the weak-stomached. It houses Glasgow alumnus Dr. William Hunter’s anatomical teaching and research collection. The Hunterian also holds Hunter’s insect collection and ancient Roman artefacts amongst many other things.
- The Lighthouse
Right in the heart of Glasgow just off Buchanan Street, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture really showcases the best of Scottish design, with extensive exhibits on Glasgow’s most famous designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh as well as more contemporary designers. Its striking spiral staircase up to the rooftop is totally worth the climb, where visitors can enjoy 360-degree views of Glasgow.
- The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens
If you want to learn about Glasgow life and culture from the 1750s right up until the Commonwealth Games in 2014, there is nowhere better than The People’s Palace, located by Glasgow Green. It provides a fascinating insight into Glasgow’s social history, with exhibitions on everything from industry in Glasgow to dancing in the Barras. The café at the People’s Palace is situated in the Winter Gardens, which houses exotic plant life and is in bloom year-round.
- The Riverside Museum
The Riverside Museum is home to Glasgow’s Transport Museum. It exhibits a fascinating history of transport of all kinds, not just in Glasgow but worldwide – from prams to skateboards and bicycles to trains. It also was recognised as European Museum of the Year in 2013. Plus, it’s right beside the Tall Ship museum – definitely worth a visit!
By Rebecca Cowie