Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh: Hours, Address, Scottish National Portrait Gallery Reviews: 4.5/5

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Scottish National Portrait Gallery
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Come face to face with the people who shaped Scotland’s past, present and future at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. One of Edinburgh’s most remarkable buildings, the Gallery opened to the public in 1889 as the world’s first purpose-built portrait gallery. Displays at the Gallery explore different aspects of the story of Scotland and her people, told through a wealth of imagery including portraits of famous historical figures such as Mary Sommeville, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns, through to more recent pioneers in science, sport and the arts including Emeli Sandé, Billy Connolly and Tilda Swinton. Round off your trip with a visit to Café Portrait for a delicious lunch or coffee. Admission is free, but tickets must be booked in advance. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is part of the National Galleries of Scotland, which also includes the Scottish National Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: 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.
Popular mentions

4.5
2,670 reviews
Excellent
1,712
Very good
790
Average
139
Poor
21
Terrible
8

Taylor R
St. Andrews, UK76 contributions
Great variety!
Jun 2021
Beautiful building with a mix of both traditional and modern portraits. A beautiful collection with proper wall text and variety. However, several of the images were removed due to social distancing, so I felt like I only got a partial experience. However, a lot of social distancing guidelines were in place and very appreciated!
Written June 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AHHospitality
Prestonpans, UK141 contributions
Excellent Venue with a poor quality restaurant
Apr 2021 • Couples
Fabulous exhibition.
The portrait gallery is a great venue for a couple of hours. I love the new app to see the information about the art.
The staff were great.
The restaurant was not so special. The smoked chicken salad with broccoli and booger wheat was (No chicken)
Written May 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

holidaysinbeirut
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK85 contributions
A delight to be back.
Apr 2021 • Couples
Our first gallery visit post lockdown and we were delighted to be back after such an absence. The staff were so happy to see everyone and the ticketing system works so well. It took a little to get used to the idea of following a set path and some of the rooms are currently closed but we recognise these are all the steps that need to be taken to ensure success. The permanent collection always delivers and my absolute favourite and most humbling of paintings, Three Oncologists by Ken Currie was there to warm my heart. Also showing is a new large canvas by Currie, Unknown Man , a work that speaks loudly of so much, executed with courage and insight. A most wonderful hour of so in a sympathetically controlled environment. We look forward to many more visits.
Written May 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

NorthEastnostromo
Stockton-on-Tees, UK125 contributions
Many good points but...
Dec 2020 • Couples
Great building and many find features and exhibitions inside - completely ruined by being lectured about race every 10 minutes and reminded of how guilty we should be about the colonial past .
Written December 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Michelle H
1 contribution
disappointing
Sep 2020
This museum is closed at the moment but there are no warnings on their website nor on the main door. They are obviously not bothered about their visitors. thoughtless.
Written September 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Nhung Nguyen
Leeds, UK103 contributions
Wonderful experience
Oct 2019
A good place to see famous people of Scotland. Educational and pleasant experience! The building is in good condition, nice and clean!
Would definitely recommend to friends!
Written August 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Nicola D
Kingston-upon-Hull, UK2,744 contributions
Fantastic Building!
Mar 2020
We visited the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in March, just before lockdown.

It is a spectacular red sandstone gothic-style building which is really imposing. It is just as magnificent inside too; the galleried inner hall is decorated with a frieze of famous Scottish figures. There are (very nice) toilets, a cafe and gift shop. There are several staircases with beautiful stained glass windows and several sculptures of famous Scots. There is a magnificent library and lots of different galleries and exhibitions full of paintings and prints spread over 3 floors.

Best of all it is completely free to visit. I found it very interesting.
Written May 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Polisgirl
Polis, Cyprus499 contributions
Excellent
Feb 2020
This is a spectacular building, with a great collection of art - and it's free! I visited late in the afternoon and the gallery was closing at 5pm so I didn't really have enough time to do it full justice. Go earlier to make sure you get a chance to see all the exhibits. There were lovely portraits, in many different styles, each with a story about the subject and the artist. I would definitely visit again.
Written April 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Shaunakabaldie
Bristol, UK6 contributions
Lovely visit
Mar 2020
Great Gallery, enjoyed browsing all the pictures, some were absoloutely amazing and some if could not figure out...
Written March 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sevda
7 contributions
Beautiful display!
Mar 2020
The portraits were really well disposed and the different colored rooms were interesting to see. I really liked the first room with actual old books and the descriptions of every portrait were perfectly short and interesting.
Would recommend, plus, it's totally free and the staff was nice!

The only thing needed is a more interactive side of the museum experience. The museum offers a very traditional customer journey.
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Scottish National Portrait Gallery is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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