Glasgow Science Centre Visitor Guide

By Craig Neil. This post includes affiliate links.

The Glasgow Science Centre is situated on the River Clyde waterfront in Glasgow. The family-friendly attraction features a science mall, a 127-metre viewing tower and an IMAX cinema.

Discover one of Glasgow’s top tourist attractions with this guide which features an overview and useful visiting advice.

Glasgow Science Centre
Address:50 Pacific Quay,
G51 1EA
Opening Hours:Monday to Sunday 10.00 to 17.00
Admission Price:£12.50 per adult
£10.50 per child
Under 3's go free but require an under 3's ticket
Parking:Car park on-site.
£3 per day.
£1 per day for Science Passport holders.
Contact:0141 420 5000
Facilities:Gift shop, restaurant, toilets, wheelchair access, baby changing area, disabled parking
Photos:YouTube Video



In Glasgow? With kids? Stuck for things to do? Well, you’ll be pleased to know there’s one popular tourist attraction in the city centre that’s guaranteed to keep youngsters entertained, and it’s a place where mums and dads can join in the fun too.

The Glasgow Science Centre is located in the heart of the city on the banks of the River Clyde – more or less opposite the SECC – and it’s widely regarded as one of the top visitor attractions in Scotland.

This five-star rated attraction aims to inspire families to discover the wonders of science and technology through a series of fun interactive displays and exhibitions while also helping people of all age groups understand the world around them.

Glasgow Science Centre

There’s a definite bias towards children at the Glasgow Science Centre but that’s not to say mums and dads won’t enjoy it as well.

The organisers have managed to strike a nice balance between catering to junior members of the family as well as offering enough things to do to keep adults happy at the same time.

There are three main sections to discover as you make your way around the GSC – the Science Mall, the Glasgow Tower and the IMAX cinema, and there’s enough going on that you’ll be kept busy for most of the day which makes the 12-month unlimited entry tickets very good value for money.

In total there are over 250 educational and entertainment exhibits across three floors and it’s a bit of a Doctor Who Tardis in there because it somehow seems much bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside.

To be honest, that’s probably due to its bizarre architecture – just take a look at the photos on this page to get an idea of what I’m talking about.

Glasgow Science Centre

The GSC is sited next to a canting basin (a harbour where ships used to be turned on their side for hull cleaning) which is why the Science Mall looks like a rolled-over ship, while the futuristic shimmering silver of the domed IMAX 3D screen allows visitors to get a truly immersive cinematic experience.

Access to the site is easy thanks to a handy car park nearby and you’ll be able to buy food, drinks and gifts while you’re inside so you really can spend all day at the attraction.

But it’s also central enough that you can walk into the city centre in around half an hour if you want to explore the shops and cafés afterwards.

This is one Glasgow attraction that really does have it all and I think it totally deserves its Visit Scotland five-star award.

Read on to find out more about the Glasgow Science Centre.

Glasgow Science Centre

The highlights

1: The Glasgow Science Centre is great fun and while it’s primarily aimed at children there’s enough going on that adults will find it enjoyable as well. If you’re 18+ and not travelling with kids you might like to read a few Glasgow Science Centre reviews before leaving home.

2: The Glasgow Tower offers the best views in the city – when it’s working.

3: The planetarium is amazing. Pay the extra for tickets – it’s worth it.

Visiting tips

1: There aren’t many other attractions worth visiting south of the River Clyde but head north and you’ll find more things to do than you can poke a stick at.

Recommended attractions near the Glasgow Science Centre are the Tall Ship, the Riverside Museum, and Kelvingrove Museum.

2: Mid-week the GSC is full of excitable school tours so bear that in mind if you want a quiet time.

3: The tower has been plagued with mechanical problems so check the tower website page for the latest operational updates.

Glasgow Science Centre

Tourist information

The GSC is split into three main sections although the majority of the exhibits are located in the main crescent-shaped building in the middle.

The unusual domed building to the side is the IMAX cinema and the tall structure at the rear is the Glasgow Tower.

You can buy separate tickets for the Planetarium/IMAX if you like or you can just get a single entry ticket for the Science Mall but my advice would be to pay extra and get a Glasgow Science Centre passport which allows unlimited re-admittance for 12 months.

See the GSC tickets page for the latest prices.

Visitors looking to spend a weekend in the city will find several hotels near the Glasgow Science Centre by clicking this link to Travel Supermarket.

Glasgow Science Centre

Big Explorer

The ‘Big Explorer’ is a giant boat situated on the first floor where younger children can get fully involved with science and technology.

Budding Elon Musk’s can get their science groove on with an interactive crane, splash around with water wheels, go wild with bubble tubes and get creative in the construction centre.

This part of the Science Centre is very well done and you’ll struggle to find anywhere else that offers such a diverse range of activities.

There’s a water exhibit where little ones can discover the properties of water (ponchos included), a special soft play area for babies, a ship’s bridge where they can become a pirate and even drop-in workshops and make-and-take activities. Phew!

The theme running throughout this section is manning a busy cargo ship and children are encouraged to get all hands on deck (though it’s aimed at under-8-year-olds so older children probably won’t find it very interesting).

Even so, when I visited I saw a few dads having just as much fun (if not more) than their kids were.

Science Mall

Glasgow Science Centre

The Science Mall is one of the biggest areas in the Science Centre and it’s housed in a bright and airy hall that’s absolutely full to the brim with interactive exhibits to prod, poke, spin and jump on.

The mall is split into three sections – forces and energy, logic puzzles and optical illusions – and is primarily designed for over 8’s, though some of the exhibits like those in the puzzle and illusions area are designed for all ages to enjoy.

If you’ve ever been to the Camera Obscura in Edinburgh you’ll have an idea of what this part of the GSC is all about so expect to find a series of mind-bending illusions like a room where you can grow and shrink in size and displays where you can see into infinity.

The Glasgow Tower

Glasgow Science Centre

The Glasgow Tower stands on the banks of the River Clyde behind the Science Mall and is officially the tallest fully rotating freestanding structure in the world.

This marvel of modern engineering is an incredible 127 metres tall and allows visitors panoramic views from a glass-walled lift that takes just over two-and-a-half minutes to reach the top.

It’s certainly worth paying the small additional fee to take the trip to the top because the views across the city are stunning – although don’t even bother if you’re in the least bit worried about heights.

I have to say heights don’t normally bother me, but the ride to the top of the Glasgow Tower left me with that sinking-stomach feeling you get when you climb on board a rollercoaster.

But at least the tower doesn’t move about like a rollercoaster, although it does rotate.

Take a look at it from the side and you’ll see that it looks just like an aeroplane wing, which is intentional as it can completely rotate in any direction to face into the wind. It’s all very, very impressive and a high point (no pun intended) of a visit to the Glasgow Science centre.


Glasgow Science Centre

The GSC IMAX features state-of-the-art 3D technology to immerse viewers in fantastic voyages through space and beyond.

The enormous 15-metre dome of the Glasgow Science Centre planetarium is the screen where narrated shows are projected but while they’re very good they don’t last long, although there are occasional IMAX releases to watch in addition to the main planetarium event.

The IMAX shows are educational in content but they’re really enjoyable and differ from the planetarium as they delve into the realms outside of space where you can go on a voyage under the sea or into the remote wilderness of the Arctic.

The narration during each show (they rotate shows throughout the day) is genuinely interesting and I’d have no problem returning several times to watch them throughout the year (which is another reason I recommend the 12-month season ticket as it works out at just 50p per week).

The only negative I have is that IMAX shows are an additional cost on top of the entrance tickets.

Discover more places to visit in Glasgow with: The Best Places to Visit in Glasgow – Ultimate Visitor Guide.

Glasgow Science Centre

Things to do

BodyWorks Exhibition: This interactive exhibition puts your body and mind to the test. Explore over 100 exhibits, games, and challenges that help you discover how your body works. This hands-on experience is both educational and fun, appealing to children and adults alike.

Science Show Theatre: Experience live science shows that are as entertaining as they are informative. Witness explosive demonstrations, be awed by the power of physics, and engage with expert presenters. These exciting shows are a great way to learn about the fascinating world of science in a lively and interactive environment.

Planetarium: Step into the state-of-the-art digital planetarium and embark on a cosmic journey through the universe. With expert presenters guiding you, explore the night sky, visit distant galaxies, and learn about celestial bodies. This immersive experience is captivating, awe-inspiring, and ideal for space enthusiasts of all ages.

IMAX Cinema: Dive into a world of immersive film experiences in Scotland’s largest cinema screen. With a screen that’s 80 feet wide and a sound system that lets you feel as well as hear the action, you’ll be transported into another world. From nature documentaries to sci-fi blockbusters, the IMAX offers a cinematic experience like no other.

Glasgow Tower: Ascend the 127-meter-high Glasgow Tower, the only fully rotating tower in the world. Enjoy panoramic views of the city and beyond, and learn about the landmark’s innovative design and construction. The tower offers a unique opportunity to see Glasgow from a different perspective and appreciate the city’s breathtaking skyline.

Glasgow Science Centre


Award-Winning Exhibits: The Centre has won several awards for its interactive exhibits, which cover topics from the human body to climate change. These exhibits are housed on three floors, each dedicated to a specific science theme.

Planetarium: The Centre is home to a state-of-the-art planetarium, offering awe-inspiring journeys through the universe. It uses advanced digital technology to provide an immersive experience of the night sky.

IMAX Cinema: The Glasgow Science Centre boasts Scotland’s first IMAX cinema where visitors can watch science and nature documentaries on a giant 80-foot dome screen.

Glasgow Tower: At 127 metres high, the Glasgow Tower holds the Guinness World Record for the tallest fully rotating freestanding structure in the world. From the top, visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the city.

Environmental Commitment: The Centre is committed to environmental sustainability. It has a rainwater harvesting system and a biomass boiler.

Things to do nearby

The Tall Ship. 150 Pointhouse Rd, Stobcross Rd, Govan, Glasgow G3 8RS. 21-minute walk.
Located next to the Transport Museum on the bank of the River Clyde. The Tall Ship is a fully restored Victorian sailing ship that allows visitors to explore the historic vessel from bow to stern. There is a café and gift shop inside. Entrance is free.

The Tall Ship

The Riverside Museum of Transport. 100 Pointhouse Rd, Govan, Glasgow G3 8RS. 20-minute walk.
A modern museum that explores the history of transport with interactive displays and one of the largest collections of rare cars, trains and motorbikes in Scotland. Entry is free.

The Glasgow SEC. Exhibition Way, Glasgow G3 8YW. 10-minute walk.
Arts and exhibitions arena located on the bank of The River Clyde. The SECC is split into three different buildings which are the most distinctive in Glasgow. The Finnieston Crane is nearby and there are cafés and bars inside the centre.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG. 25-minute walk.
One of Scotland’s most-visited museums, Kelvingrove offers a diverse range of exhibits from across the globe. The museum is situated near the west end of the 84-acre Kelvingrove Park. Entry is free.

Kelvingrove Park. 6 Professors’ Square, Glasgow G3 6BY. 28-minute walk.
One of the oldest public parks in Scotland. Kelvingrove Park features a collection of memorials, walking paths, sports areas, the River Kelvin and Kelvingrove Museum.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to go around Glasgow Science Centre?

The duration of a visit to the Glasgow Science Centre depends on which tickets are purchased, but seeing an Imax show, viewing the tower, and exploring all the exhibits will take around 4 hours.

How tall is the Glasgow Tower?

The Glasgow Tower is the tallest building in the city at 127 metres (417 feet). The next tallest building is the Glasgow University Tower at 85 metres (279 feet).

Is Glasgow Science Centre good for adults?

Glasgow Science Centre is primarily aimed at children, so many of the displays and exhibitions will not be of interest to adults. However, the IMAX planetarium and the Glasgow Tower offer an interesting experience for all ages.

What visitor facilities are there at the Glasgow Science Centre?

Gift shop, toilets, café, car parking, disabled parking, wheelchair access, lifts. Visit the Glasgow Science Centre website for updated information on available facilities.

What is Glasgow Science Centre famous for?

The Glasgow Science Centre, located in Glasgow, Scotland, is known for its interactive science exhibits, planetarium, and IMAX cinema. It is a popular destination for families and school groups interested in learning about science and technology.

What age is Glasgow Science Centre for?

Glasgow Science Centre is primarily aimed at schoolchildren aged 3-15, although adults will find many of the exhibits interesting such as the planetarium and IMAX.

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By Craig Neil

Craig Neil is a travel writer from Edinburgh with a passion for visiting Scotland's tourist attractions. Over the last 15 years he has explored Scotland from the Shetland Islands to the Scottish Borders, and he shares his travel experiences in Out About Scotland.