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“Interesting exhibitions in a fantastic building” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Scottish National Portrait Gallery
1 Queen St., Edinburgh EH2 1JB, Scotland
44 131 624 6200
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Ranked #13 of 156 Attractions in Edinburgh
Type: Art Museums, Cultural
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Attraction details
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 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.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Interesting exhibitions in a fantastic building”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

It is difficult to review galleries because everyone has different expectations and taste.. I can only say that I absolutely enjoy visiting this gallery; the building is a pleasure to walk in, and most of the exhibitions were quite thought provoking for me.

I often walked passed it and whenever I needed a short break from work or studies I enjoyed immensely a short visit there.

It is also right in the city centre (New Town) and with free entrance, so if you don't like it, you can just leave!

Visited February 2012
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Great gallery - and great coffee shop!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

The Portrait gallery has recently re-opened after refurbishment and retains all its original charm but has extended its excellent coffee shop. As a gallery it is both an impressive building and in interesting gallery. The foyer contains a fascinating frieze and a spectacular ceiling, the permanent exhibition is well stocked with Scottish characters and the travelling exhibitions (e.g. BP portrait competition) are always interesting. And the coffee shop, an Edinburgh institution, is very, very good. The scones, cakes and coffee are great for a 'fly cup' and the lunches are well chosen and always (in the times I've been there) feature an interesting vegetarian choice.

Visited December 2012
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Perth, Scotland
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Fantastic building”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Really enjoyed our visit, and the new building and layout. Mix of paintings and also a lot of photography. Cafe is also a highlight (sorry to be a heathen)

Visited February 2012
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scotland
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Most enjoyable”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

There's something here for everyone. The gallery is very well laid out and easy to navigate. Don't forget to eat at the restaurant. It really is worthwhile. The gift shop is adjacent.

Visited January 2013
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Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Interesting gallery in beautiful building”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

The building that houses the gallery almost outshines the paintings with it's broad staircases, stained glass windows and galleried library, however the portraits are well worth viewing too. The collections are themed and there are informative notes which add to the viewing experience e.g. it's more interesting to look at a portrait when you know the young woman in it is getting married against her parents' wishes and is pregnant to boot! I also liked that there was a toilet beside the gallery spaces as well as downstairs, although the tardis-like loo in the turret was the coldest one I've ever been in! Try to catch the BP Portrait competition entries at the gallery if you can as they make an interesting contrast to the historical paintings.

Visited January 2013
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