A Glasgow landmark which is to introduce an entrance fee for the first time in its 150-year history has been named among the city's best 'free' attractions by an influential travel magazine.

Condé Nast Travel says the perfect day for cost-conscious tourists "starts with a wander down the banks of the Clyde to the sculptural Riverside Museum before heading back into the West End for an organ recital and a peek into one of the finest examples of Victorian glass houses, in the Botanic Gardens."

Kibble Palace, which was once privately owned and located on Loch Long, is described as a "beguiling greenhouse with its teacake dome."

In 1873, having been dismantled, transported by barge and enlarged through the initiative of its owner, the B-listed glasshouse re-opened as an event space lit by 600 gas lamps "before becoming the horticultural destination it is today."

Glasgow City Council announced in February that visitors will soon be required to pay £3 to view the exotic plants, sculptures and Kibble goldfish as the local authority battle to close a £50m funding black hole. The other glasshouse in the park will not incur a charge, reports The Herald.

Glasgow Times:

The council said introducing a minimal fee would allow it to strike a balance between raising revenue and cutting services. It is expected to raise £185,000 a year for the council.

However, the decision prompted an angry response from those who say it provides sheltered access to nature for a wide mix of people including parents with young children, the elderly and students.

The Kibble houses plants from around the world including Australian and New Zealand ferns.

The actor Tam Dean Burn, organised a series of “soft occupations” of the Kibble every Saturday to challenge the council’s decision and believes "those who need it will be hardest hit".

He said: "We know how important green space is for mental wellbeing, how some people these days need a warm space, or older people need a place to connect."

"The council GCC insisted that a petition is not possible until six months after a decision has been announced.

Glasgow Times:

"So with that being the budget meeting in February we could only re-submit this month.

"As soon as we get that confirmed we will have a petition party at our Saturday occupation and gather as many signatures as quickly as possible to show the depth of feeling on this.

"That is already very clear from speaking to people."

Glasgow is one of the few cities in the world that prides itself on offering free entry to most of its museums and galleries but some have argued that the policy is unsustainable given the pressures local authorities are facing.

Visitors are encouraged to make a donation at top visitor attractions including Kelvingrove Art Gallery and the Burrell Collection.

Card machines placed near the exit of the Banksy Cut and Run exhibition generated around £10,000 for GoMA during its 10-week run and exist in many of the city's other museums.

Glasgow Life receives about £75m a year – two-thirds of its income – from the council to run these alongside arts, sport, libraries and community services.

Museum workers are currently being balloted for strike action in a dispute over job cuts as Glasgow Life battled to make £7.1m worth of savings.

Last year the council signalled its intention to 'sell' Kelvingrove Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art and the city’s George Square HQ in a bid to settle outstanding equal pay claims. 

The “sale and leaseback” plan will see the authority sell a number of “operational property assets” to a council-operated legal entity which would then rent them to taxpayers at a commercial rate, "for a specified term" likely to be between 30-40 years.

A council spokesman said: “We are looking in detail at how we can implement the budget measure to charge an entry fee for the Kibble Palace.

“This work takes account of factors such as the listed status of the building and disabled access.

Glasgow Times:

“Further information on the proposed pricing structure will be published in due course.

“A public petition in relation to the Kibble Palace was lodged shortly after the budget decision but was ruled out at the time as it was received too close to the original council decision, which is in keeping with our rules on petitions."

Glasgow is described as "Scotland's coolest city" by Conde Naste, which also singles out The Burrell Collection, The People's Palace and the Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow as other 'free' highlights.

Crabshakk is described as one of Glasgow's best restaurants.