Housed inside a striking sandstone Victorian edifice, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of Scotland’s most-visited cultural attractions. Works by Dali, Botticelli, and Monet are counted among its collection, alongside more eclectic items such as a taxidermy elephant, a Spitfire airplane, and a magnificent Lewis pipe organ.
Glasgow has a reputation as being a cultural powerhouse, with vibrant art, design, and music scenes. For visitors hoping to tap into the cultural side of the the city, a visit to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a must. Music fans will enjoy the daily organ recitals, which are followed by a short tour led by the museum’s music director.
You can visit the museum independently or as part of private tours, during which a dedicated guide leads you to the highlights of the museum’s 22 galleries, which cover themes ranging from natural history to French impressionism, Dutch and Flemish Old Masters to Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The museum also runs free hour-long guided tours twice a day, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Kelvingrove is a must-see for culture-seeking visitors to Glasgow.
- Families will enjoy the interactive, child-focused exhibitions.
- The on-site KG Café serves refreshments.
- There is free Wi-Fi throughout parts of the museum.
- The museum is accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is situated on Argyle Street, near the River Klein in Kelvingrove Park. Take the subway to Kelvinhall station and walk five minutes to the museum. Alternatively, First Bus lines 2, 3, and 77 all stop outside the museum.
When to Get There
The museum is busiest on weekends. If you’re visiting on a Saturday or Sunday, get there early to avoid the crowds. Organ recitals are held on the premises at 1pm Monday through Saturday, and at 3pm on Sundays.
Highlights of the Collection
Among the standout exhibits on show at the museum are the Spitfire LA198, which is suspended from the ceiling, and the Milan-made 15th-century Avant Armour, one of the oldest near-complete sets of armor in the world. The jewel in the museum’s art collection is surrealist Spanish painter Salvador Dali’s Christ of St. John of the Cross, a controversial work depicting a bow-headed Christ on the cross above a boat-dotted body of water. In 1961, the painting was vandalized by a visitor to the gallery, though it has since been restored.