GLASGOW'S Riverside Museum has hit the two million visitor mark ...

just 16 months after opening its doors.

Museum bosses celebrated the record-breaking news at the city's newest museum.

When it opened, organisers hoped it would attract 800,000 visitors in its first year – but the venue has exceeded expectations.

Councillor Archie Graham, chairman of Glasgow Life, the charity that runs the museum, said: "Riverside has proved to be a massive hit with the public.

"People keep coming back to see the exhibits time and time again and to enjoy the changes we have made to the displays.

"Riverside has surpassed all our expectations and has become firmly established as one of Scotland's favourite attractions."

Riverside, which opened in June 2011, got its one millionth visitor last December.

The 2m figure compares to the 460,000 people who visited the former Transport Museum at the Kelvin Hall each year.

Riverside Museum is now the most popular attraction in Glasgow. In one day in June it was visited by more than 15,000 people.

The £74million museum has more than 3000 exhibits, including 150 interactive displays.

The Tall Ship Glenlee is also moored in front of the museum's south facade. Glenlee is one of only five Clyde-built sailing vessels still afloat in the world and the only one in the UK.

From massive steam locomotives to a recreation of a city street during the 1900s, Riverside showcases the innovation of Glasgow's pioneering engineers.

Highlights at the attraction include a wall of cars, a hanging bicycle velodrome, a huge locomotive and a display of motorbikes.

Earlier this year the Evening Times told how the museum had won a European award – beating competition from 12 other countries. It took the Micheletti Award after being named Most Innovative Museum in the fields of technology, labour and social history.

The gong, from the European Museums Association, came after the venue was judged on a variety of criteria.

They included the building's design, innovation in displays, the attitude and knowledge of staff, and events the public can get involved with.

Judges praised the museum's advisory panels, from the educational one, which addresses children and teachers, to a community panel for parents and older people and an access one for people with disabilities.

The venue also won a five-star rating from the Visit Scotland awards, which puts it among Glasgow Science Centre, the Hampden Experience and Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum on the list of the city's five-star attractions.

Riverside, designed by architect Zaha Hadid, was funded by Glasgow City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Riverside Museum appeal.

As well as housing the city's vast collection of industrial heritage, the venue has also played host to a number of events, including a seafood festival and a performance by Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill.

When the new museum replaced the former Transport Museum, opposite Kelvingrove, there were concerns people would stop visiting the two venues on a single day out.

But bosses say they are still seeing evidence that people are making a link between Kelvingrove and Riverside and visiting both during a day out.

And the Riverside Museum is following in the record-breaking footsteps of its older sister.

In the year before it closed for a £35million refurbishment, Kelvingrove attracted just over one million visitors. But in the first 12 months after re-opening, 3.2m people went to the West End attraction.

At the Scottish Track Cycling Championships last weekend organisers took one of Graeme Obree's bicycles off display to be useed in the first day of events at the new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.

The museum also hosted one of the original 1930s Coronation trams, which arrived at Riverside in time for September's 50th anniversary celebration of the last tram procession in Glasgow.

And since this spring there has been a popular exhibit at Riverside featuring Scottish Olympians and Paralympians.