Learn about the story of Glasgow and its people, discover tropical plants and watch bagpipe performances at this social history museum and public garden.
At the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens you will come to appreciate the social and cultural history of the people of Glasgow from 1750 to the present day.
Opened in 1898 in Glasgow Green park, the People’s Palace is a treasured building that stores the city’s history in an accessible way. You can’t miss its entrance because it is marked by the Doulton Fountain, a towering terracotta water feature.
Venture inside and pick up a map from the reception or join a free guided tour. Browse the Single End exhibit to learn about the living conditions of local families in the 1930s. See a reconstruction of a single-room dwelling typical of the era. Admire The Glasgow History Mural, a ceiling painting by figurative artist Ken Currie. See depictions of scenes from Glasgow’s past, including a massacre of hand weavers in 1787 and employment struggles of the late 20th century.
While here, look for a pair of banana boots. World-famous Scottish comedian Billy Connolly wore them during his tour in the 1970s. There is something amiss with the portrait of John Glassford, an affluent tobacco trader, and his family. While artist Archibald McLauchlan originally painted a slave in the background, the servant is now gone.
At the back of the museum’s main entrance are the Winter Gardens, a Victorian glasshouse with a collection of exotic flora. Enjoy a coffee in the café; sitting in the warm atrium among huge tropical plants you can imagine that you are in some faraway paradise.
The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens are a 25-minute walk from the city center. Public buses stop close to the park’s entrance. The palace is open from Tuesday to Friday while the gardens are open daily. Both attractions are closed on December 25 and 26 and January 1 and 2 .