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Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Certificate of Excellence
New Town
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Address: 1 Queen St., Edinburgh EH2 1JB, Scotland
Phone Number: +44 131 624 6200
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
See all 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

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 1,818 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1025
  • 488
    Very good
  • 92
  • 11
  • 6
Not to be missed on a trip to Edinburgh

This is a fantastic venue - and free admission. The building itself - as others have mentioned - is a Gothic masterpiece on the outside with some great décor on the inside... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
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1,818 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,622: English reviews
Level Contributor
431 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 326 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This is a fantastic venue - and free admission. The building itself - as others have mentioned - is a Gothic masterpiece on the outside with some great décor on the inside. Asides from the portraits of various famous Scottish folks from the past [ and present ! ] it has a reading room/library. Highlight for me were the various... More 

Thank trwilbury
Daphne, Alabama
Level Contributor
121 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This is one of the Scottish National Galleries. Free to Enter. Wonderful portraits and History. Nice gift shop and café. One room devoted to Jacobite history. Take your time and enjoy.

Thank Pissaro
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
234 reviews
199 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

The Portrait Gallery is free to enter and definitely worth a look. The building is very ornate on the outside and equally impressive on the inside. The portraits on display are a mixture of the great and good and in some cases not the great and good. Scotland has a rich history of geniuses and rogues alike. You will find... More 

Thank Richard B
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I enjoyed my visit lots to see. My only dislike was people, who stood around talking into their phone.

Thank dee p
Level Contributor
28 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I really enjoyed my first visit for approx 25 years and it has prompted me to visit more of what Edinburgh has to offer in the same genre.

Thank soopercook
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Our visit was wonderful, a fantastic beautifully presented historic building offering 'floors' of art works, all important for artists, local history or celebrity reasons. Attentive staff in galleries, restaurant and shop added further to our visit.

Thank paulgP5049GX
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Great visit, loads of interesting sections but not time to see them all. Beautiful old building. Good cafe!

Thank Lizzie44186394
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Apart from the portraits and figures in the gallery there is also a shop that sells high end gifts (jewellery, glassware and scarves etc). There is also a cafe that sells ciabatti, croissants, salads etc that were made with fresh fillings and to a high standard. There was a separate counter that had an amazing array of fresh cream gateaux,... More 

Thank Daytripper882015
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Lots to see here. We focussed on Jacobite History, loads on Bonnie Prince Charlie, plus Scots in Italy and 19th Century Scottish Women. This is a pleasing space, free entry with masses to explore. Don't miss the Library on the 1st floor and the portrait of Eric Liddell, legendary athlete and missionary to China, on the stairs.

Thank Nicholas R
Ayrshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

An excellent collection of portraits, well hung and in such an attractive building with its jewel-like frieze of famous Scots and splendid zodiac ceiling. We drop in here for a peaceful couple of hours every time we come to Edinburgh. If you want to know more about the exhibits seek out the wonderful Heather - her knowledge knows no bounds!

Thank E-AdRem

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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.
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