With almost four million attendances across seven venues, every Glasgow Life Museum welcomed more visitors in 2023 than during the previous year, showing Glasgow’s cultural appeal.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum brought in an additional 312,000 people during the last calendar year, taking the total to almost 1.3 million visits. Likewise, Riverside Museum welcomed almost 1.3 million people.

Glasgow’s growing reputation for world-class museums, and their huge appeal in attracting tourists to the city, is underpinned by the fact that 70% of those who came to Riverside did so from outside Scotland. 

This was the first full year of opening for the highly acclaimed Burrell Collection, following major refurbishment. Such has been its success that it was crowned Art Fund Museum of the Year, the world’s biggest museum prize. Only a few visits short of half a million people explored the city’s newest museum, with 100% of those questioned rating their overall experience as ‘good’ or ‘very good’, with all saying they would recommend a visit to friends and family. 

Glasgow hosted international artist Banksy’s incredible Cut&Run exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in summer, creating headlines around the world, and confirming visitors’ appetite to pay for blockbuster exhibitions, which offer a unique opportunity to see a stunning array of art. 

Glasgow Museums Resource Centre continued to impress locals and visitors to the city with an increased number of public tours, which brought more than twice the number of people to the city’s publicly accessible museum store in 2023. 

Highlights included the opening of a new permanent exhibition at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow – City of Empire, continues our work to address legacies of slavery and empire across museums. 

Also, at Kelvingrove, we were pleased to work with the V&A to be the culminating host of a major retrospective on the work of Dame Mary Quant and share her amazing vision with our visitors. 

Head of Glasgow Museums, Duncan Dornan, said:

“It is hugely positive and promising to record growing visitor figures at every Glasgow Life Museum venue in 2023, with more people making time to visit than during the previous year. 

“There were many highlights, including The Burrell Collection scooping the world’s largest museum prize, when it was crowned Art Fund Museum of the Year in July, while internationally acclaimed artist Banksy staged his first solo show for over a decade at the Gallery of Modern Art. 

“Glasgow continues to lead the way opening a permanent exhibition addressing the legacies of slavery and empire across museums. 

“As a charity working for the benefit of Glasgow and knowing the huge difference accessing culture can make to our overall wellbeing, it is encouraging to welcome almost four million visits to our museums in 2023.”