A former European City of Culture in 1990, Glasgow’s arts and culture scene has only grown in the years since, with ever more prestigious ceremonies and events taking place in Scotland’s largest city. If you’re visiting Glasgow on a cultural excursion, you’ll find a wealth of museums and galleries dedicated to various elements of the city, the country, aspects of life and more niche interests.
The Burrell Collection is one of Glasgow’s oldest museums and deservedly one of the best known, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to make it the number one paid-for tourist attraction in the city. This eclectic collection of artefacts, objects and artworks was donated to the city in 1944 by Sir William Burrell, and includes everything from Bronze Age relics to 20th century curiosities.
Some of Glasgow’s top museums are free to enter, such as the ever popular Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum that contains many fine examples of classical and contemporary art. If your taste in art favours the modern however, The Gallery of Modern Art (abbreviated as GoMA) has been the major site for contemporary artworks in Glasgow since its opening in 1996, and you’re bound to find numerous challenging and innovative pieces to talk about, produced by local as well as international talent.
Other museums in Glasgow are dedicated to more specific aspects of the city’s heritage, particularly its industrial achievements. The Museum of Transport is perhaps the finest example, founded in 1964 and containing an ever growing collection of vehicles from across the ages, from bicycles to boats. This museum can be easily located in the city, across the street from the Kelvingrove Gallery and park grounds.
For something bang up to date, consider a trip to the Glasgow Science Centre on the south bank of the River Clyde, which features a number of modern exhibits including an IMAX Cinema and the Science Mall, home to interactive exhibitions that teach children more about the wonders of science. The Scottish Power Planetarium can also be considered a must for people of all ages who are drawn to the stars.
You don’t have to head indoors to enjoy this city’s heritage and cultural attractions on Glasgow holidays though, especially as many of Glasgow’s buildings are veritable works of art themselves. This applies especially to the so-called ‘Mackintosh Ten,’ the 10 best known buildings designed by celebrated local architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh – including the Willow Tea Rooms, Ruchill Church Hall and Queens Cross Church.
You can enjoy more fresh air when visiting the Glasgow Botanic Gardens at Kibble Palace, where plants from across the globe are displayed inside a magnificent 19th century glasshouse. The Botanic Gardens can be the ideal escape from the bustle of the city on Glasgow breaks, and you might also be interested in visiting the Winter Gardens at the People’s Palace, which collects numerous displays of Glasgow life from 1750 to the present day. The People’s Palace is easily reached from the city centre by foot, car or public transport.
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