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Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Neighborhood:
New Town
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Address: 1 Queen St., Edinburgh EH2 1JB, Scotland
Phone Number: 44 131 624 6200
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Today
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Thu 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri - Wed 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Fee: No
Description: Visit one of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings and explore a fascinating...
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.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 853
    Excellent
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    Very good
  • 84
    Average
  • 12
    Poor
  • 5
    Terrible
Good variety of images, excellent ambiance.

This is a converted Victorian gallery which has been thoughtfully updated for the 21st Century. The spaces are well-lit and artwork is displayed thoughtfully. With a nice cafe... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed August 30, 2015
BobTPerth
,
Perth UK

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English first
Perth UK
Level Contributor
31 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2015 NEW

This is a converted Victorian gallery which has been thoughtfully updated for the 21st Century. The spaces are well-lit and artwork is displayed thoughtfully. With a nice cafe, it makes for a good destination to take up half a day. Well worth a visit.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2015 NEW

Impressive building and well-laid out interior displays but does not compare with its English equivalent in breadth of 'portraits'.

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Level Contributor
180 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2015 NEW

Passed this while here for the festival and decided to go in. Went straight up to a WW1 exhibition and it was fantastic. Dawdled around for the next 1/2 hour looking at some incredible photos and pictures, not least the section where Scots from the arts and sports are featured, great pieces including Annie Lennox, Iain Banks, Sir Chris Hoy... More 

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Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
394 reviews
196 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 330 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2015 NEW

This has always been one of my favourite places in Edinburgh. It's free and a fabulous place to spend some time in any weather or to avoid the heaving crowds in Edinburgh. The actual building is great to look at too and you should remember to spend some time checking out your surroundings before you dash off to gaze at... More 

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Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2015 NEW

Although this was our first time to Edinburgh, we took the time to visit the Portrait Gallery. And glad we did. Deserved much more time than the 2 hours we had. I spent most of my time in the section devoted to Scottish artists. Find your way to the lower level to see this section and you will be impressed.

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bedford
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2015 NEW

Great gallery spread over 2 floors. easy access good facility's and coffee/restaurant with lovely outside area.

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Glenrothes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2015 NEW

I've visited here once so far and the interior is amazing, a very nice building indeed. I also enjoyed the death masks and whatnot. A nice and free way to spend an hour.

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Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
140 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2015 NEW

Disappointing art galleries. Portraits are not great quality, positioning is too random and the blurb alongside each is often badly written. The cafe however is a real gem - fresh home made soups, salads and cakes at reasonable prices. The service is a bit random though so don't expect to be served promptly.

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Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2015 NEW

We had a spare hour or two during our stay in Edinburgh and went to the David Bailey exhibition. It was well worth every single penny of the admission price. Inspiring and thought provoking. A real must see!

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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
44 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2015 NEW

If you aren't interested in history or portraits this museum is still worth a visit for the architecture alone. Poke your head in to the atrium and take a look. There is also a nice tearoom with good lunch foods if you want an alternative to regular restaurants or want to duck out of the rain. The portraits do provide... More 

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Staying in New Town

Neighborhood Profile
New Town
Suits and shopping bags rule the streets of New Town, until after dark when strappy dresses come out to play. This is the city’s central business district with its smaller offices, clothes boutiques, and many of the city’s flashiest restaurants and ritziest clubs. The architecture along roads like George Street helps give it a swank and formal feel: it’s a planned Georgian development of regal townhouses, geometric squares, and self-important statues. But it’s also a very wanderable neighborhood, with a healthy bustle at almost any time of day and fine people-watching in places like St Andrew's Square which fills with picnickers around lunch. You’ll also find a series of cheerful basement bistros on Hanover Street, while dark Rose Street has something of the feel of an undiscovered back alley and is chock-full of characterful pubs and small independent shops.
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