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Scottish National Portrait Gallery

1 Queen St., Edinburgh EH2 1JB, Scotland
44 131 624 6200
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As featured in Edinburgh for free
Ranked #15 of 207 Attractions in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Art Museums
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Visit one of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings and explore a fascinating overview of Scotland past and present though a wealth of imagery encompassing... more » Owner description: Visit one of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings and explore a fascinating overview of Scotland past and present though a wealth of imagery encompassing painting, photography, sculpture and film. Meet the people who have helped shape the nation’s identity at home and abroad from Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie and Robert Burns, through to more recent pioneers in science, sport and the arts.. See this outstanding national Collection in its newly refurbished 19th century home, from the suite of grand, top-lit galleries to smaller, intimate rooms, and discover the new Photography Gallery and the atmospheric Victorian Library. Round off your trip to the Portrait Gallery with a visit to our new café. Serving a delicious menu of fresh dishes and classic recipes, our team are passionate about sourcing the very best local ingredients and seasonal produce. A great place for lunch or even just a coffee break, our family-friendly venue is one of the best cafes in Edinburgh. Admission is free. Charges may apply for special exhibitions. « less
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933 reviews from our community

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English first
London, England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014 NEW

Love John Byrne's work and we found out he had an exhibition here while we were in Edinburgh. When we got there, they were doing free tours around the whole museum which had recently been refurbished. Beautiful building and worth visiting the library.

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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014 NEW

Fantastic visit - lots to see First World War exhibition was particularly poignant and really interesting.

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Stafford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014 NEW

Great paintings by John Byrne; excellent café too some of the best tea in Edinburgh. Interesting computer screen info and murals.

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Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014 NEW

By coincidence, I've visited this gallery after spending the previous evening writing a timeline of the history of Scotland. I'm glad that was the case, since I was able both to understand better the context of the paintings, and to complement the images in my head with actual representations from the time. But that is only the section in the... More

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Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
39 attraction reviews
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014 NEW

I simply did not allow enough time to take in all this gallery has to offer. Just as good as its counterpart in London (and I have visited that on no less than 10 Occasions) you have to make time to visit this treasure. I found it far more interesting than the Scottish National Gallery. Leave a good 2 to... More

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Fort William
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2014 NEW

Some world famous art with a lovely Scottish section. The modern art in the front building was not to my taste but I am sure the enthusiasts would appreciate it.

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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2014 NEW

loved the way the art was displayed, the guide was full of factual information and easy to navigate around. The restaurant served good coffee, a bit pricey for food and wine but the ambience made up for the price. Would like to see more female artists exhibiting.

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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2014 NEW

This is an outstanding piece of architecture with interiors which will make you gasp with delight.The quality of the finishes is of a high order and sets the scene for a wonderful selection of paintings. I went to the John Byrne exhibition which was really well laid out and very enjoyable. I have been to the cafe on several occasions... More

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Paris, France
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
13 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2014 NEW via mobile

Why lunchtime? Because of the very good cafe and their excellent lunch menu! Apart from that it is in a beautifully restored building, a good selection of paintings, regular special shows, not so big that you have to spend a whole day there. In short...a jewel of a place in the middle of the city.

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Dublin, Ireland
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
13 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014

A great way to pass a couple of hours. Well laid out and rich n in history, outlining the rich tapestry of Scottish life , right up to the present day, with the wonderful Jon Byrne exhibition.

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