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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

Read all 1,879 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1059
    Excellent
  • 508
    Very good
  • 93
    Average
  • 11
    Poor
  • 6
    Terrible
Worth a visit

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit here during a short break to Edinburgh. Before coming I wasn't sure how interesting I would find paintings of historic Scots, not being very... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Piccalilli75
,
Newport, United Kingdom
via mobile
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1,879 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,677: English reviews
Newport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit here during a short break to Edinburgh. Before coming I wasn't sure how interesting I would find paintings of historic Scots, not being very familiar with Scottish history, but I learnt lots about the Jacobite rising and the Act of Settlement and got to see some great paintings too. We were fortunate to see the... More 

Helpful?
Thank Piccalilli75
sunderland
Level Contributor
115 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Very interesting and popular place to visit. Loved the character of the building and the various rooms had clearly been well thought out. Friendly staff.

Helpful?
Thank hayley1980
Nethy Bridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Some may think a portrait gallery might be dull and boring. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is neither. The building itself is a beautiful red sandstone structure with statues of various people on the outside. The square central hall is stunning, with balconies on each floor above. The history of Scotland and major characters are depicted around the hall. Leading... More 

Helpful?
Thank nethycurl
torino
Level Contributor
45 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Just enter and look up: the interior is magic! Permanent collection is worth looking at, and frequent exhibitions make one's visits varied. Annual BP portrait competition is an institution in itself: a lot of talent is around!

Helpful?
Thank Euronomads
Dunfermline, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
749 reviews
311 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 300 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Not to be missed finishes the end of March the exhibition is well laid out and extremely busy . The way the camera has caught the portraits of the great and the good with a good range through a broad spectrum of industry and society. Worth going early to miss the crowds and take your time without being jostled The... More 

Helpful?
Thank craigluscar
N Ireland
Level Contributor
66 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Ideal place to relax in..such a soothing and dreamy atmosphere. Very helpful staff and a fabulous shop!

Helpful?
Thank blue047
Darlington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

We visited over two afternoons because there was so much to see. Impressive hallway, the frieze was amazing. First floors are pretty modern very interesting pictures. However the second afternoon we went up to the top floor to see the old paintings which we thoroughly enjoyed. Well worth a visit. (or two!)

Helpful?
Thank merrycon
Frome, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
86 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

A truly marvellous art gallery, well thought out, restrained, with trained and knowledgable staff; an absolute pleasure to visit. The building itself is elegant, noble even, with interesting and eye catching artefacts and decoration. The portrait exhibition is stylishly laid out, minimalistic (you don't get eye cacophony) and skilfully lit. There are enough benches for you to occasionally sit as... More 

Helpful?
Thank John H
Craigavon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

A really worthwhile visitor attraction. You could spend many enjoyable hours here. Also a great place to eat.

Helpful?
Thank James T
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

It's taken me a while to get here. It closes early and as I've been day tripping I've gone for other attractions e.g. national gallery, royal mile and food Well worth the wait. Wonderful exhibitions, particularly the competition entries and winners. How could I have missed this as a delightful eating venue. Amazing salads, good main courses and the bread... More 

Helpful?
Thank Elizabeth J

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Questions & Answers

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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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