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Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Certificate of Excellence
New Town
Sponsored by:
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Address: 1 Queen St., Edinburgh EH2 1JB, Scotland
Phone Number: 44 131 624 6200
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10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Closed now
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Thu 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri - Wed 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Fee: No

Visit one of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings and explore a...

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 1,494 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 926
  • 460
    Very good
  • 91
  • 12
  • 5
A beautiful museum with a grand collection

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is a beautiful building well worth a visit for the architecture itself. But it also hosts an impressive collection of Scottish history, from... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
Lisbon, Portugal

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English first
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
71 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is a beautiful building well worth a visit for the architecture itself. But it also hosts an impressive collection of Scottish history, from beautiful art of the Late Medieval period to contemporary exhibitions. Admission free.

Thank Miguel_B_1991
Level Contributor
38 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Worth going in just to see the beautifully restored building as well as the collection. The cafe was good.

Thank Willow46UK
Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

My first ever visit, even though i am a pensioner. Found this very interesting. A good place on a very wet afternoon. Lots of different galleries. enjoyed the photographic exhibition, as it featured photos of football grounds, one of which I used to visit frequently. I went in late afternoon and was unable to visit all the galleries as they... More 

Thank 455pamelap
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
31 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

I love the drawings and the portraits. The entry is free but there is so much to see. I spent an hour and a half and only cover a part of it. Very interesting exhibition. Love it

Thank QiaoLingHo
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Obviously it depends on what is on show as to how to rate it each time however just taking the building into account this is a fantastic place to visit.

Thank Rammbo_
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Check out the Rembrants here! Lots of interesting paintings in a warm environment. Quite a large gift shop too.

Thank JmsnMary M
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
164 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

According to the staff it was a purpose built building one of the first. The murals are grand & amazing. Don't going thinking its the London equivalent because its not however it is brimming with picture of Scottish heroes & families. Even found one of my distance relative. He was a bit of a rouge thou. Mc Donald the laird... More 

Thank BeachFamily00
Level Contributor
83 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I loved this gallery, we were tempted in by a poster advertising the photography exhibition near the National Gallery. A lovely building, and it looks like there was a good family programme there. I really enjoyed the photography exhibition and the BP portrait one. I hope everyone who visits puts a decent donation in the donation boxes, imagine how incredible... More 

Thank Gemma A
Portsmouth, England
Level Contributor
89 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I confess we went for the temporary exhibitions namely the BP Portrait but we made the effort to look round the rest of the gallery and weren't disappointed. A good varied catalogue beautifully presented in a variety of spaces and light. The temporary exhibitions were impressive and underpinned this wonderful collection set in an impressive building. The facilities are excellent... More 

1 Thank PompeyTony
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England
Level Contributor
53 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This was my first visit to the Portrait Gallery. What a wonderful place. As well as the permanent collection chronicling the history of Scotland in portraits, there was an exhibition showing the BP Portrait Award winners which was fantastic. We had lunch in the cafe and can recommend that too. Definitely a place to visit if you are a resident... More 

1 Thank Doctore

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Staying in New Town

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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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