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Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Certificate of Excellence
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

Read all 1,544 reviews
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  • 962
    Excellent
  • 472
    Very good
  • 93
    Average
  • 12
    Poor
  • 5
    Terrible
Cafe and art!

Fantastic food. The cafe could be one of the Edinburgh secrets. Fantastic atmosphere. All the paintings and pictures are must see! Recommend

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
Helvijs L
via mobile

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1,544 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Fantastic food. The cafe could be one of the Edinburgh secrets. Fantastic atmosphere. All the paintings and pictures are must see! Recommend

Helpful?
Thank Helvijs L
Level Contributor
91 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

A small but excellent collection with varied artists and exhibits. The architecture of the building itself also lends to the experience. Well worth the visit.

Helpful?
Thank Marea R
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

A place we regularly visit with excellent exhibitions and permanent collection. It also has an excellent café which can get very busy over lunch time.

Helpful?
Thank prb916
Forfar, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Really enjoyed this facility. It seemed historically accurate to me and covered the early history of Scotland till the present day. The cafe was excellent, if a little noisy.

Helpful?
Thank Ron K
Scotland
Level Contributor
146 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This red sandstone gothic/fantasy structure houses a brilliant collection which makes for an interesting few hours wander. The interior of the building is as fascinating as the exterior

Helpful?
Thank MargaretP
Barga Italy
Level Contributor
62 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Located on Queen Street 50 metres from St Andrew Square in the heart of the Georgian New Town of Edinburgh. Well worth several hours to study historical and contemporary portraits. Currently hosting the BP international portrait competition which alone justifies a visit! An unusual 19th C gothic building, it was significantly remodelled and modernised in the past 5 years to... More 

Helpful?
Thank Rongauld
Perth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Brilliant city centre attraction and it is free. There is something for everyone here, we prefer modern history as opposed to ancient history and enjoyed the portrait competition the most. The variety of paintings and photography was excellent. Well done, will most certainly visit again.

Helpful?
Thank Karen T
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A pleasant afternoon was spent pursuing the artworks on show at the Portrait Gallery. Entry is free, although there is a suggested £5/€5 donation, which still proves excellent value for money. The collections were many and varied, ranging from an exhibition on the World Wars, historic kings and queens and their subjects, a history of sport and more modern collections... More 

Helpful?
Thank Alessio C
Tayport. Fife
Level Contributor
237 reviews
146 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Gorgeous Gallery. Lots of amazing portraits. Lovely Library and stunning mezzanine area. Allow a good couple of hours for your visit. The building itself has amazing architecture. The cafe does great lunches, coffees etc.

Helpful?
Thank Pat K
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The Portrait gallery has been renovated in the last few years. The small but quality collection is beautifully displayed. The exhibition of the First World War is particularly moving. The portraits of major Scottish personalities are all in excellent condition . I have on several occasions from up from London just for the day to see exhibitions here. The coffee... More 

Helpful?
Thank 911Michael

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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?

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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