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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
Website
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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Not just men in kilts

As might be expected the Scottish national portrait gallery devotes a lot of space to Scottish paintings and painters from the sixteenth century to the present day with a special... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed April 19, 2015
mikeinwarrington
,
Warrington, United Kingdom
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1,155 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Warrington, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2015 NEW

As might be expected the Scottish national portrait gallery devotes a lot of space to Scottish paintings and painters from the sixteenth century to the present day with a special exhibition of First World War art. The gallery is well worth a visit. My only regret was that it's cafe was packed by the time I got there and I... More 

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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2015 NEW

we stopped here en route to the station, viewing will have to wait until the next time, because we were so stunned by the magnificence of the entrance hall, its frescos and murals. We were also waylaid in the cafe, salted caramel brownie and cherry bakewell meant we lingered too long, delicious

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Barcelona, Spain
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
9 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015 NEW

The gallery has been modernised which means many of its more unusual items are probably hidden away from the public in some big warehouse or the new Museum of Scotland. Progress... The exhibition of the BP portrait Award is worth a visit in itself. Nice looking coffee shop and a museum shop means less space for art. Excellent - but... More 

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Stirling, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015 NEW

A beautiful place to spend a few hours. The cafe is the perfect place to have coffee or lunch. Had coffee on this visit but next time, im definitely going back for lunch. Lovely range of freshly made salads that i will be sure to try on my next visit. Very busy place even at 12noon on a weekday. Go... More 

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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2015 NEW

My favourite thing about the gallery is the building and its internal spaces. If you're interested in history, you'll enjoy the paintings too, I'm sure. I like that sort of thing, so I had a whale of a time. If you're not that interested in history and if you've been to similar galleries in other cities, you'd be forgiven for... More 

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Bristol
Top Contributor
342 reviews 342 reviews
114 attraction reviews
188 helpful votes 188 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2015 NEW

Another world class art museum. Certainly not as large as some of the museums in London, Paris and New York, but there is still a splendid range of stunning paintings.

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London
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
10 attraction reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2015 NEW

The refurbished galleries make the most of this buildng's wonderful arcitecture. The entrance hall and library are particular highlights worth seeing. There is a carefully curated collection of historical and modern portraiture which deserves two or three hours to absorb. One word of warning - when they say 'closing at 5' they really mean it, with visitors being ushered out... More 

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Chicago, IL
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2015 NEW

I really enjoyed reading the well-written labels and learning more about Scottish history. There is much on Mary, Queen of Scots, as is to be expected, but so much more. When I was there in March 2015, there was a special exhibition on the history of tartans that took advantage of the wonderful portraits of clansmen, lairds, royalty, statesmen and,... More 

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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
30 attraction reviews
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2015

The Portrait Gallery is the place to go if you have a few hours to spare on your visit to the city. You can incorporate a tram journey to York Place (End of the line) and walk a short distance to the gallery. The many exhibits give a range of Scottish History in an attractive venue. The restaurant, shop and... More 

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Durham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
20 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2015

The pictures are big and very imposing. Too much for me but I am a philistine when it comes to art. Not for me.

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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.