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“Expensive but really good”

Glasgow Science Centre
Ranked #16 of 287 things to do in Glasgow
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Rated 5 stars by VisitScotland, providing programs of entertaining Science theatre, Planetarium, and around 300 hands-on interactive science exhibits over three floors, to introduce science to everyone. Interaction distinguishes GSC, very few exhibits in glass cases and many opportunities to participate in Science. Included workshops and shows are a highlight, ranging from shadow puppets for youngsters to computer coding, robotics and ethical hacking for adults. "BodyWorks" examines the science behind human health and well-being, "Powering the Future" the future challenges and solutions in our energy-hungry world, and the digital planetarium allows visitors to 'leave earth' and travel through the cosmos. Science Mall admission includes free workshops and shows, with add-on charges of £3.00 for access to the Planetarium. A shop and cafe are free to access. Schools and outreach programs extend the Centre's work into the community. The Centre is a registered charity with surpluses returned to the education mission. Car parking and public transport links or a 15 minute walk along the Clyde from the City centre. The adjacent IMAX cinema is now operated by Cineworld.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Baby buggy parking, Stairs / lift, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 23 August 2014

I visited Glasgow Science Centre with my husband, in-laws and 2 year old in August 2014. I'd never really fancied it, but many of my friends with young children recommended it, so we thought we'd give it a go.

It is really expensive: £10.50 for an adult (kids are £8.50 over age 3), and then it's extra for the tower, the planetarium, the IMAX and the car park. We didn't pay for any of the additional stuff but we really enjoyed the science mall. My friends were right, there was loads to do and our daughter loved it, the childrens' play area was perfect for her. The adults all had a great time trying out the experiments too and there were great views of the river.

We had planned to have lunch there but the cafe was rotten. This isn't the first time I've complained about the standard of food for kids at an attraction I've reviewed, but I really struggle to understand how these places can invest so much in making the exhibits so child-friendly, and then serving them up nothing more appetising than a ham sandwich or chicken nuggets for lunch. The cafe looked entirely gross and I would've been pretty annoyed at paying through the nose for such an unappetising menu.

Despite the cost and the horrible cafe, I would still rate the science centre as very good because the exhibition itself was great. It is worth a visit, but to try and minimise the expense, take your own lunch as there seemed to be seating where people were eating packed lunches. Also, you can use Tesco Clubcard vouchers towards tickets which could make it a lot more affordable. And I believe you can also get a discount to the museum when you buy a ticket for the city sightseeing bus. Finally, if you live locally, the annual pass is £24 which would be pretty good value if you plan going more than twice. I think we'll definitely look into that for our next visit!

Thank meg1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,287 - 1,291 of 2,119 reviews

Reviewed 23 August 2014

Quite pricey entrance fee, but so interesting. We spent about four hours there and had lunch there, too. Really helpful assistants and plenty to see and do which makes the cost more bearable. Not crowded and very well behaved children looking round. You can't blame the Centre for any children that misbehave. I also take exception to a contributor's comment that I must be easily entertained. I found it fascinating. We took our 15 year old grandson, he didn't text his friends once! He was really interested and actually talked to us. Well done Glasgow Science Centre! I loved it and we were able to do many of the activities together as a family or be a bit competitive, individually. The lunch cost £18 for two baked potatoes, cheese and salad, and chips and chicken nuggets and three very large soft drinks. We needn't have eaten there, but we chose too. Very positive experience. I agree it was a bit hot, but left my coat in the cloakroom. Ideal for a wet day.

Thank Emma097
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2014

We visited the Science Centre on a dull, rainy day so it was perfect! The cashier was really friendly, chatty and a wealth of knowledge about Oliver Cromwell once he learned we were from Cambridgeshire! This made the purchase and cost of tickets a little more bearable I think. The Centre is in a 3-storey building with exhibits and hands-on activities for a variety of ages. We all enjoyed experimenting with the heart monitors, measuring our sprint speed and finding out about air resistance. The visit to the Planetarium was an extra cost (£2.50 each) but the "show" we saw was spectacular and the guide who talked us through was engaging and extremely knowledgeable and brought the imagery to life. We also paid extra (£4.95/person) to go up the Glasgow tower for views over the city. There was a short talk before going up in the lift but it was extremely interesting (if not a little scary) to learn how the bottom shape of the tower is very much like the tip of a ballpoint pen - very reassuring to learn that the ballpoint pen is set in so many metres of concrete. The entry fee plus extras cost the 3 of us (2 adults, one child under 16) just over £50, but we had expected to pay for this, even though it was a little on the expensive side. That said, there was plenty to do and see, and the restaurant / café was pleasant, clean and only cost us around £8 for 3 drinks and fruit/chocolate snacks.

Thank Ally G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2014

I cannot believe we travelled all the way from Belfast for the day to see this white elephant of a place. It cost us - a family of two adults and two children 9 & 11 - just under £40 to enter. The Imax was not showing anything after 11.am (only one showing at 10.15am and that was before we arrived) and Planetarium was extra which we could not afford. The cafe, which is presented as an upmarket eatery on the website, was like a Tesco cafe only much more expensive, is enclosed in huge glass windows which made us feel like we were eating in a green house...very hot, stuffy and airless with no fresh air. Tea and coffee came from a serve-yourself machine and the cold drinks were ridiculously expensive. Soup of the day is served up in a bowl no bigger than a tea cup.

Cost us, a family of four, just under £40 for entry.
Imax was not showing anything for the rest of the day after one 10.15 am screening.
The Science Hall is just a big kids playground/creche - adults who find this place interesting must be easily entertained.
No proper layout - the kids just run all over the place.
Huge areas of wasted space.
Seating provision for those who want to rest or wait is appalling: just hard flat PVC benches, nothing with back support anywhere except for extremely uncomfortable circular seats in the entrance foyer that are like concrete to sit on.
Very few staff around the activities.
The gift shop is just toys and tat with nothing in between - dreadful.

If you have been to W5 in Belfast then you have been to Glasgow Science Centre only you have not spent as much money to enter nor wasted as much time walking around miles of space in between activities.

One good note - the maintenance man named Albert was a friendly face and very nice to talk to.

Otherwise give this place a miss.

7  Thank 27twinkle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2014

This is an amazing place! Full of hands-on experiments in all sorts of aspects of physics, biology, etc. The two of us (aged 66 and 67) could have spent all day in there, but sadly only had a couple of hours to spare. Our grandchildren (4 and 6) would love it. Yes, I suppose it is expensive, but not for what it is. £49 for a family of 5? Just think - Alton Towers, £49 for just one adult! Absolutely wonderful. I'd go back there again any day!

Thank Jean R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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