Glasgow and Strathclyde
Glasgow Free Tour
There are many attractions spread throughout the city centre and surrounding area of Glasgow and you could easily spend a week seeing everything. This itinerary is perfect for people who are traveling on a budget or are just looking for a good value trip to Glasgow. All the attractions listed have no admission fee and they represent some of the top attractions in the city.
Total Cost: Free
Day 1: Kelvingrove / Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery
The first day of the itinerary starts in the west end of the city a couple miles from the main city centre. The public transport in Glasgow is excellent and to get from the city centre to the museum you can take the No 7 bus from Queen Street Station or hop on the subway at Buchanan Street (getting off at Kelvinhall Station). Either method should get you to the museum in around 15 - 20 minutes.
The museum is one of the best museums in the country and there is a great collection of both exhibits and art work spread over a couple of floors and inside a beautiful building. It will probably take a couple of hours to get around the museum at least, don’t miss the full size spitfire and the Glasgow Boys art section.
The next stop is the Hunterian museum which is only a ten minute walk from Kelvingrove Art Gallery. It is relatively easy to find, exit the museum and turn right on Argyle Street then walk a couple of minutes and you should see a brick arch for the University, walk through this and follow the road then the signs to the museum.
The museum is the oldest public museum in Scotland and inside you will find a great variety of exhibits and a wealth of information along with interactive displays which are great for getting more information. The art gallery is across the road from the museum and inside you will find some of the finest art works of any museum in Scotland with a mix of great Scottish artists and world renowned artists.
Day 2: Necropolis / St Mungos Museum / Glasgow Cathedral
The second day takes place in the opposite side of the city in the east end of Glasgow with all attractions situated in the same area of Glasgow. The Necropolis is first and it is easily walk able from the city centre and if the weather is good then it’s a nice walk. If you walk then just follow George St east until you come to the A8 at which point turn left and you will find the Necropolis on your right behind the St Mungo Museum.
The Necropolis is a huge graveyard or “city of the dead” covering 37 acres and is spread over several levels, there are many grand tombs and some fantastic views of the city from the top level. There is a guide available on selected days which is well worth doing if you get a chance.
The next stop is one of the best cathedrals in Scotland, the Glasgow cathedral which has some fantastic stained glass windows and magnificent architecture inside. The cathedral is over 800 years old and there are multiple levels to explore.
The final attraction for the day is the St Mungo Museum which is a couple of minutes walk from the cathedral. This museum is unique in that it combines all of the religions of the world into a single building with the different perspectives on life and death displayed side by side in various displays.
Day 3: Gallery Of Modern Art / Riverside Museum
The Gallery of Modern Art is situated in the heart of Glasgow and relatively easily to find, it is only a block south from George Square and it is distinguished with a statue of Duke of Wellington who has a traffic cone on his head (an old student prank).
The museum has some of the finest examples of modern art in the country and it is spread over several floors with a café on the bottom floor. The exhibits on display are diverse and constantly changing and all offer a thought provoking experience. The museum is not very large so it should not take much more than an hour to hour and a half to see everything inside.
If you are looking for a place to eat afterwards there are a number of nice cafes in the area, Café Andaluz is one of the most popular options and it is only a 5 minute walk north from the museum (turn left before you reach George Sq). The restaurant has a tapas menu and often has some great lunch specials on.
The next attraction is in the West End of the city and although you can walk to it (around 45 minute along the river) it is best to use public transport. The quickest option is the subway: Leave from Queen Street and then alight at Partick Station. It is then only around a 8 minute walk to the museum and there are signposts which will direct you there.
The Riverside museum has a fantastic collection of old vehicles of all shapes and sizes and it is a very interactive museum (popular with kids). You can climb aboard an old Glasgow Tram or a Double Decker bus and don’t miss the impressive wall of motorcycles. The museum has two levels and hundreds of vehicles to see. There is also a tall ship outside which you can visit and although this does incur a small admission fee it is worth seeing if you have the time, there are multiple decks and you get to see everything from the Captains Cabin to the poop cabin!