Must-See Sights: Free things to do in Glasgow City Centre

Must-See Sights: Free things to do in Glasgow City Centre

Scotland's largest city situated on the banks of the River Clyde, Glasgow is world-renowned for its art, architecture, and culture. With history going back 1,500 years to currently being known as the 'shopping hub' of Scotland, the city has plenty of options to learn about its transformation. Known globally for its love of sport and music, the city hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and was designated the UNESCO City of Music in 2008. 

In this blog post we:

  • List the best places to visit for no charge at all
  • Show all places on an interactive map to help you locate each place easily.

Glasgow has many options for free things to do in the city centre. There are parks to spend an afternoon like Pollok Country Park and Glasgow Green or museums like the wonderful Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and Scotland Street School Museum.

Free Things to do
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    Updated and correct as of 17/11/23.

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    Museums and Galleries

    free things to do in glasgow city centre

    Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

    Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

    Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of Scotland's most popular free attractions, the museum features 22 themed, state-of-the-art galleries displaying over 8000 objects. Refurbished and re-opened in 2006, the museum building itself is one of the most stunning in the city. Don't miss the Charles Rennie Mackintosh display for a closer look at the work of one of Glasgow's most celebrated architects and designers.

    things to do in glasgow for couples

    Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel

    Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel and The Tall Ship

    Positioned right next to each other the Riverside Museum of Transport and The Tall Ship are located at the junction of the Rivers Kelvin and Clyde. The museum houses the city’s fabulous transport and technology collections, which have been gathered over the centuries and reflect the important part Glasgow has played in the world through its contributions to heavy industries like shipbuilding, train manufacturing, and engineering. The museum opened in 2011, with over 3,000 objects from the city's world-famous collections displayed inside.

    Next to the museum is The Tall Ship which was built in 1896 on the River Clyde. Find out about the history of the ship and the voyages it undertook whilst walking aboard one of only 5 Clyde built ships still afloat, and the only one in the U.K. Aboard the ship you get a feel of what life was like for the sailors aboard the 'Glenlee' and how they coped spending many weeks on end at a time sailing across the seas.

    People's Palace and Winter Gardens

    Telling the story of Glasgow and its people, The People's Palace details the history of its residents from 1750 to the present day. Located in Glasgow Green, the palace shows how Glasweigens have lived over the years through interactive displays, historic artifacts, paintings, prints photographs, and film.

    Scotland Street School Museum

    The school was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh between 1903-1906 for the School Board of Glasgow. It tells the story of 100 years of education in Scotland, from the late 19th century to the late 20th century. Find out what school days were like in the reign of Queen Victoria, during World War II, and in the 1950s and 60s, in three reconstructed classrooms. First opened in 1906, learn how school kids in Glasgow were educated and went about their day-to-day schooling lives at the Scotland Street School Museum.

    The Hunterian Museum

    ‌Founded in 1807, The Hunterian is one of the leading university museums in the United Kingdom and Scotland’s oldest public museum. The museum is home to over a million magnificent items including meteorites, mummies, roman artifacts, objects from Captain Cook's Pacific voyage and works from the famous Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Within this diverse collection you will find astounding artefacts, amazing art and an astonishing array of animal life.

    History and Culture

    Provand's Lordship

    Provand’s Lordship was built in 1471. It is one of only four surviving medieval buildings in Glasgow. The house is furnished with a selection of 17th-century historic furniture and royal portraits. Fully restored in 2000 after two years of restoration work, the house is fully open to the public with free entry.

    Walks and Nature Trails

    Glasgow Botanic Gardens

    Glasgow Botanic Gardens is located in the heart of the city’s West End and contains a variety of plant collections, woodland corpses, and riverside walks as well as the famous Kibble Palace. They look after a collection of over 9000 different plants with the greatest number growing in the temperate and tropical glasshouses and over 20 hectares of landscaped grounds to explore along the beautiful River Kelvin. This is one of those romantic things to do in Glasgow for couples that will keep them occupied for a couple of hours in a peaceful setting.

    Glasgow Green

    Within walking distance of the city centre, Glasgow Green is one of the oldest parks in Glasgow. Awarded the Green Flag in 2011 (the benchmark national standard for quality parks and green spaces), the park is enjoyed by many not just for a stroll enjoying the green space on offer, but is also used for gigs from some of the world's biggest acts. Situated within the park are the fabulous People's Palace and Winter Gardens, see above for more details.

    what is there to do in glasgow city centre

    Pollok Country Park

    Pollok Country Park

    Situated just 3 miles from the city centre, Pollok Park is the only country park in Glasgow and also holds the title of the city's largest park spanning 146 hectares. Also a recipient of the Green Flag Award which was last achieved in 2016, the park has maintained a high standard throughout its history. It is well known for several reasons including being home to the police mounted and dog-handling divisions, the famous Burrell Collection, and Pollok House. It also has many open spaces that have been used in scenes for the popular series Outlander.


    Use the map below to locate all the best things to do in Glasgow mentioned above to create your itinerary for your trip. We’ve also added places in the city to eat that offer good food at a decent price for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    Open Google Maps to see distance information between locations and directions on how to get to each place.

    Please note...

    All outdoor activities including walking involve a degree of risk. The walks are recommended due to the features of each forest but this may change over time and further research is required before undertaking any activity. The weather can also impact the surface and general conditions of each path so please keep yourself updated with the weather forecast before setting off to enjoy your walk!

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