As Scotland’s largest city and a major international centre, Glasgow has much to offer visitors looking to soak up a little culture during their trip, especially in its numerous museums. Whether you’re hoping to while away an afternoon browsing contemporary artworks or your interests centre more on Glasgow’s famed industrial and engineering achievements, you’ll find many places to satisfy your thirst for culture just a short walking distance from each other in the bustling city centre.
Many of Glasgow’s museums are open year-round, and even if you’ve explored them in the past, many host temporary or seasonal exhibits to keep things fresh. Some of its most visited museums have even received major overhauls to offer an improved experience to visitors, such as the revamped Museum of Transport which will open at its new Riverside Museum location in spring 2011 and is sure to become a major fixture for city breaks.
If your interests are more artistic than historical, Glasgow’s excellent galleries won’t disappoint either, from the modern selection at the Gallery of Modern Art to the myriad delights of the comprehensive Burrell Collection – gathered by industrialist Sir William Burrell throughout his life. You should also be sure not to miss the famous Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which reopened its doors in 2006 and houses an impressive 8,000 exhibits. The building also has the distinction of being the UK’s second most visited gallery and museum outside of London.
The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery is another top destination for gaining an insight into Glasgow’s heritage, and includes a recreation of the home of Scotland’s most famous engineer, Glasgow’s own Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Mackintosh’s influence can be seen in many locations throughout the city, and the buildings he designed have become cultural icons and effective museums themselves, well worth tracking down.
Although some temporary museums exhibits carry a charge, many of Glasgow’s museums and galleries are free to enter. That means a visit to Glasgow won’t break the bank and you’ll have more to spend on Glasgow hotel, eating out at the city’s excellent restaurants or simply enjoying a coffee and refreshments in museum cafés. You may also be tempted to buy souvenirs of your visits if anything particular caught your eye as you wandered the exhibits, and you should always keep a few pounds handy to make valued donations if you enjoyed your trip around the cultural powerhouses of Glasgow’s museums