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A fantastic free trip to Glasgow? Here's where we think you should go

4 August 2021

Glasgow is one of the best places to experience Scottish culture, yet discovering this bustling city doesn’t have to put you out of pocket: there are loads of fun things to do here that don’t even cost a penny.

We’ve put together this itinerary of free things to do in Glasgow so that you can have an unforgettable adventure there without needing to worry about the cost. Sightseeing has never been cheaper!

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Not too far from the city centre, you’ll find Kelvingrove, one of the most popular museums in Scotland. As you arrive here, you’ll be blown away by the stunning Victorian building which looks more like a king’s mansion than a museum.

Kelvingrove has been home to thousands of objects, artworks, and sculptures for over a century. There are 22 themed galleries here with collections that will teach you all about history, art, natural science, and much more. These exhibits are sure to mesmerise you, whether it’s the life-size elephants, the spitfire plane hanging from the ceiling, or the skeletal dinosaurs.

Since the museum has been designed with children in mind, you can be sure little ones won’t get bored here. Even if you only have one day in Glasgow, we'd highly recommend making a trip here.

Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Not too far from Kelvingrove in Glasgow’s West End are the spectacular Botanic Gardens. Covering over 20 hectares of land, these beautiful grounds have been the home of over 9000 species of plants since 1817.

As you explore the Botanic Gardens, you’ll quickly fall in love with all the gorgeous trees, flowers, and other plants here. Some of the trails around the gardens will take you right along the tranquil River Kelvin, and there are even glasshouses where exotic tropical plants bloom within magnificent Victorian architecture.

The grounds and the glasshouses here are breathtaking, especially on a sunny day. If the weather’s nice or you’re a nature lover, make sure you treat yourself to a relaxing walk around these Botanic Gardens.

The Riverside Museum

Also near Kelvingrove, where the Kelvin and Clyde Rivers meet, you’ll see the remarkable Riverside Museum. This truly unique building has architecture you’re unlikely to forget, and there’s plenty to discover within.

In the past, Glasgow made a name for itself thanks to industries like shipbuilding, train manufacturing, and engineering. The Riverside Museum is a commemoration of this industrial legacy and has on display various cars, trains, and even ships that would have been built here throughout history.

Inside the museum, there are over 3000 displays to get up close to, and plenty of interactive exhibitions where you can learn all about Glasgow’s history.

This modern-looking museum uses high-tech exhibits to let you look into the past. Be sure to check it out, especially if you’re interested in learning about Glasgow and how it became such a successful city. Oh, and keep an eye out for a Stormtrooper lurking in one of the rooms too.

Glasgow Cathedral and the Glasgow Necropolis

On the opposite side of the city, you won’t be able to miss the imposing sight of Glasgow Cathedral. This magnificent place of worship was built at the end of the 12th century, making it the oldest building in the city and one of the oldest cathedrals in the whole of Scotland.

The cathedral rests in the same spot where the patron saint of Glasgow, Saint Mungo, built his church. While the Gothic architecture of its exterior is doubtlessly stunning, its interior is similarly impressive as well: massive stained-glass windows decorate the stone walls with colourful, intricate artwork, and huge pillars with arches flank the great hall, making you feel tiny as you venture within.

Outside the cathedral, you’ll find the Glasgow Necropolis - a massive Victorian cemetery where only the most elite members of society could afford to be buried. You’ll see this from the grandeur of the graves here, many of which are complete with their own statues, spires, and mausoleums.

Glasgow Cathedral is an amazing building that is sure to stick with you. Its dark steeple rising high above the urban landscape is a striking sight, and seeing it lit up at night mere metres away from the dark, vast Necropolis will make you feel like you’ve been transported into a gothic horror story.

Pollok Country Park

Pollok Country Park is a bit of a way's away from the city centre, but it’s well worth making the trip out here. This picturesque park is the biggest in Glasgow, covering almost 150 hectares of land, and is so lovely it has even been used as a filming location for shows like Outlander.

At the park, you’ll find cycling trails, an art collection and Pollok House, a large 18th-century manor house. The house’s grounds are also home to a fantastic garden full of topiaries and colourful flowers. While the rest of the park is free to explore, you’ll need to pay for tickets to get into Pollok House.

Much of Pollok Country Park is woodland, and it’s a great place for all skill levels of cyclists. The park can also be easily accessed via the National Cycle Network. These woodlands are also a hotspot for wildlife, not to mention highland cattle and horses are kept on the land, so keep your eyes peeled while you’re there.

Pollok Country Park is a great place to spend a day out. Whether you’re a dog walker, a cyclist, or you’re just looking for a peaceful place to unwind, there’s plenty to see and do here.

A perfect penniless trip

Glasgow truly is one of the best cities in Scotland. If you’re struggling to figure out what to do during your time here, all of the places in this itinerary are fantastic and cost nothing to visit, so there’s no reason not to start exploring everything Glasgow has to offer.