Glasgow Science Centre

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Last Updated: by Craig Neil.

The Glasgow Science Centre is a prominent and cutting-edge attraction located on the south bank of the River Clyde in Glasgow’s West End. It comprises three distinct buildings and offers a wide variety of science and technology-related activities in a science mall packed with hundreds of interactive exhibits, a 127-metre viewing tower, and an IMAX cinema.

Glasgow Science Centre
Address:50 Pacific Quay,
Glasgow,
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
contact.us@gsc.org.uk
Facilities:Gift shop, restaurant, toilets, wheelchair access, baby changing area, disabled parking
Photos:YouTube Video

Overview

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. 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.

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, which makes the 12-month unlimited entry tickets very good value for money.

Glasgow Science Centre

In total, there are over 250 exhibits across three floors in the Main Science Mall, which is a striking, titanium-clad building that’s the main hub of the complex. These exhibits cover diverse themes such as energy, the environment, health, and space, allowing children to learn through hands-on exploration and interactive displays.

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. Next door is the futuristic domed IMAX 3D screen, which uses advanced technology to screen documentaries and educational films, as well as the latest blockbusters, providing viewers with an immersive cinematic experience unlike any other in Scotland.

Access to the site is easy thanks to a handy nearby car park, and you’ll be able to buy food, drinks, and gifts while you’re inside so you can quite easily spend all day at the attraction. It’s also central enough that you can walk into the city centre in around half an hour if you want to explore Glasgow’s shops afterwards.

Glasgow Science Centre

The Highlights

1: Standing adjacent to the Science Centre is the Glasgow Tower, a remarkable feat of engineering and the tallest fully rotating freestanding structure in the world. Visitors can take a ride to the top of the 127-meter tower for panoramic views of Glasgow.

2: The Glasgow Science Centre is packed with hundreds of interactive exhibits across three floors, designed to educate and entertain visitors of all ages. These exhibits cover a broad range of topics, so whether simulating a Formula 1 race or exploring virtual reality, there’s always something to engage curious minds.

3: The Centre’s state-of-the-art planetarium is a must-see, offering a fascinating journey through the cosmos with its immersive space shows. Visitors can gaze at the stars, learn about the constellations, and explore the mysteries of the universe in a stunning digital projection.

Visiting Tips

1: There aren’t many other attractions worth visiting south of the River Clyde, but head north and you’ll find lots of family-friendly destinations. Recommended attractions near the Glasgow Science Centre are the Tall Ship, the Riverside Museum, and Kelvingrove Museum.

2: The Glasgow Science Centre is designed to be accessible to all visitors, with features like lifts, ramps, and accessible toilets throughout the complex.

3: While the Glasgow Tower is an iconic part of the complex, it has been plagued with mechanical problems since the time it was built, so check the tower website for the latest operational updates.

The 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.

Big Explorer

The ‘Big Explorer’ is a giant boat situated on the first floor where younger children can get involved with science and technology. Budding Elon Musk’s can play with an interactive crane, splash around with water wheels, go wild with bubble tubes, and get creative in the construction centre.

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

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 primarily aimed at under-8-year-olds.

Glasgow Science Centre

Science Mall

The Science Mall is one of the biggest areas in the Science Centre which is housed in a bright and airy hall that’s 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

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 lift because the views across the city are stunning, although it’s not recommended if you’re afraid of heights. 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.

Glasgow Science Centre Tower

Imax/Planetarium

The GSC IMAX features state-of-the-art 3D technology to immerse viewers in fantastic voyages through space and time. The enormous 15-metre dome of the planetarium is the screen where narrated shows are projected, which is a highlight for many visitors as they get to go on a journey through the universe with stunning visualisations of the night sky, galaxies, and distant celestial objects.

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 why I recommend purchasing the 12-month season ticket.

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 astounded by the power of physics, and interact with knowledgeable 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

Book Tours

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 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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Craig Neil

Craig Neil is the author, photographer, admin, and pretty much everything else behind Out About Scotland. He lives near Edinburgh and spends his free time exploring Scotland and writing about his experiences. Follow him on Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube.