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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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926 reviews from our community

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English first
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
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 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
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014 NEW

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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Hampshire
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
19 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014 NEW

Decor and history within the building. Excellent description of portraits with information on historical context. Make sure you have time for lunch in their excellent restaurant.

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Reigate, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014 NEW

The quality varies from the sublime to the hackneyed but is worth an hour of anybody's time. The gallery is organised chronologically and is in essence circular.The staff were friendly and quite knowledgeable. For us there are some wonderful early 20th century pictures toward the end. If you are in need of a café there is one "underneath the gallery... More

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Hudson River Valley, New York
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014 NEW

Excellent Experience. This surprising museum, housed in a marvelously restored Vicotiran building, is worth a visit. Great collection and very helpful wall text. The cafe is quite good. Bravo Scotland!

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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2014 NEW via mobile

Beautiful portraits. Set up in a way to understand the history of Scotland. The murals in the entry depict historical scenes. The entry is just beautiful, accented with gold.

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Mill Valley, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014 NEW

Recently remodeled and well worth the visit. Saw a wonderful John Byrne exhibition – fabulous spot. You don't need to allocate a lot of time to visit, and the gallery is located in a nice quiet part of town.

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Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014

If you need an hour out of the bustle of princes street then where better to spend it looking at the work of masters.

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