Free Things to Do on Your Next Trip to Glasgow

Free Things to Do on Your Next Trip to Glasgow

Scotland’s largest city is waiting for you to explore.

The Scottish metropolis Glasgow is a fascinating, colorful city. Alongside the exciting nightlife, culture and history are present at every step. Luckily, many of the fascinating sites are open to the public and free of charge.

The city is teeming with museums, parks, and architectural wonders. But there are even more free things to do in Glasgow beyond these. All it takes is the will to discover them and make the most out of your visit. 

Take a look at our list of amazing things to do in Glasgow without spending a dime.

Take a Free Museum Tour

Glasgow Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

There’s no shortage of museums in Glasgow, and all the major ones are free to visit. Besides that, the museums feature outstanding exhibits and cover various fields. While Scotland’s famed for the fantastic countryside, there’s plenty to leave you speechless within the confines of the city as well.

A visit to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum will easily take half a day. You can see exhibits of natural history – from dinosaurs to modern species. The museum section also features fascinating relics from ancient cultures. Scottish archaeological and historical findings have a place here as well, including an armor collection that’s highly appreciated worldwide. And its art gallery features art by Scottish, French, and Dutch masters.

The Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel offers an entirely different experience. Among the exhibits, there are thousands of historic vehicles for you to check out. Steam trains, cars and bikes, trams, and trolleys of old are on display. The museum sits on the river bank and includes the Tall Ship Glenlee that you can enter and explore.

Stroll Through Glasgow’s Amazing Parks

Glasgow Pollok Country Park

Glasgow, naturally, shares the gorgeous landscape with the rest of Scotland. This is most apparent in the city’s parks. 

The award-winning Pollok Park lies only three miles from City Center. It’s a huge estate that’s filled with woodlands and gardens that welcome visitors and wildlife alike. This overwhelmingly beautiful park is open for walks but also serves as a cycling hub.

Right by the University of Glasgow, Kelvingrove Park is a unique location that surrounds the Kelvin River. The lush treetops give way to extensive grassland, and various parts of Glasgow’s cityscape are visible beyond. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is also located inside the park. This impressive building emerges above the trees when you look to the west. You can even see the University of Glasgow nearby and to the north, the gorgeous Glasgow Cathedral.

Perhaps the most impressive, Glasgow Green is the oldest public park in the city. It hugs the Clyde River and stretches through several Glasgow neighborhoods. You can walk the park for hours, look at the many monuments found here, and pass through the famous McLennan Arch. Glasgow Green is a true marvel you’ll always want to come back to.

Admire the Glasgow Cathedral and Necropolis

Glasgow Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral is one of the biggest attractions among the fascinating city architecture. A medieval 12th-century building, it’s considered the oldest in Glasgow and the oldest surviving cathedral on the country’s mainland. The cathedral is also known as the High Kirk, St Kentigern’s, or St Mungo’s and is the prime example of Gothic architecture in Scotland.

Inside, the Glasgow Cathedral has rich stone carvings that decorate the impressive interior. The organ, built in the late 1800s, has seen several restorations. Today, the instrument has an imposing sound that wonderfully takes advantage of the building’s acoustics. You have to hear it to believe it.

Overlooking the cathedral and the whole city is the Glasgow Necropolis. While strolls through a graveyard might seem too macabre for some, the site has a unique atmosphere. 

The Necropolis is a renowned landmark of the city, and it’s easy to understand why. Every artistically crafted gravestone seems to tell a story as old as time. The city, viewed from the Necropolis, gives off a different impression. It becomes colored by the silent stone monuments, and the experience gets a new meaning.

The Glasgow Necropolis is a Victorian garden cemetery, and it truly is a garden. The perfect spot for peaceful, quiet walks, it has a specific kind of beauty not found anywhere else. Some gravestones give the more inquisitive visitors a look into ancient Glasgow secrets. Attention to details could lead you on a journey of mystery through the city’s long, rich history.

Climb the Lighthouse

Glasgow Mackintosh Tower

The Lighthouse is home to the Centre for Design and Architecture. It houses exhibitions, events, and visitors in a central location in Glasgow. Although it’s hard to miss the iconic Mackintosh tower, The Lighthouse remains hidden away among the streets. For many travelers, it can be readily counted among the Glasgow secrets.

There are four floors with galleries, multi-purpose spaces, and a cafe. The Mackintosh Tower and a newer viewing platform offer the stunning sight of the city skyline. The Lighthouse is unique both in its looks and its purpose. The main idea behind the center is the promotion of the creative industries – one of the reasons for the choice of the building. Because prior to becoming what it is today, the Lighthouse was the seat of the Glasgow Herald.

The building was the very first commission of the famous Glasgow architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Mackintosh is to Glasgow what Gaudi is to Barcelona. The city’s marked with his work and the Lighthouse could be an excellent starting point for a Mackintosh tour.

Visit the People’s Palace

Glasgow People's Palace

Return to the marvelous Glasgow Green and you’ll discover the People’s Palace right in the middle. 

You might consider it as one of the city’s museums, but a visit to the Palace is a grander experience. The setting plays a big part, as you’ll walk through the fascinating Green to get to the building. 

First, you’ll see a lush, gorgeous fountain, the Palace, and the cityscape behind. After the approach, memorable in itself, you’ll find in the palace stories from personal lives to historical milestones. The People’s Palace takes you back in time with tales of old Glasgow. You’ll see pictures and objects illustrating the city’s rich history. 

This is why the Palace can’t be simply described as a museum. It’s really a portal to the past and the legacy that lives on in today’s Glasgow.

Bring the Priceless Memories Back

Glasgow is a city with deep historical roots. As such, it has a unique soul and atmosphere that’s unlike most other locations. The sites that you can visit for free in Glasgow are a treasure to appreciate. 

Not only will you not have to spend money visiting the attractions – you’ll earn life-long memories.

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Free Things to Do on Your Next Trip to Glasgow