We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Certificate of Excellence
New Town
Sponsored by:
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
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.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,691 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 959
  • 457
    Very good
  • 81
  • 11
  • 6
A world-class collection

This building has been recently converted in an award-winning design whose main attribute is its seamlessness - the original sculpture and decoration have not been overwhelmed by... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
Duncan W
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Add Photo Write a Review

1,691 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 1,514: English reviews
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
100 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

This building has been recently converted in an award-winning design whose main attribute is its seamlessness - the original sculpture and decoration have not been overwhelmed by new invention and intervention. The range of portraiture is staggering, one it confronted with familiar faces, looking as fresh and relevant as though from a current newspaper. The show and cafe are brilliant... More 

Thank Duncan W
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
154 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Great place to re use your history of Scotland to nearly the present day May not be everyone's cup of tea but great for those who like it As it's down the hill from George St and off the tourist run it is not too busy. Good if the weather poor which is often 😎

Thank Andy X
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
121 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We nearly did, and consequently we only had an hour to see this gorgeous building and its fascinating collection of Scottish art before closing time - and with our flight time looming. When we go back, which we certainly will, this will be one of the first places we visit again, and not just because admission is free! A gem... More 

Thank Belstar
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
79 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

The gallery has a good selection of historical portraits and more modern works. If you are interested in Scottish history you should definitely visit. The interior architectural decoration of the building, especially the Great Hall, is also very interesting. Do pop in to the Library for the death masks.

Thank wfhoscar
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

We loved this gallery and its portrait exhibits of historical Scots! So many other gallery exhibits to explore as well. Rainy day wonder!

Thank Ken G
Matlock, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The building was amazing. I loved the central hall. The galleries were very manageable and the labelling was legible. Entry was free and it was an unexpected gem. Photography was allowed, except in a special photography exhibition.

Thank macclesfieldgourmand
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
151 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

Just up from our hotel Indigo we found htis outstanding gallery. A place where you can look at all the old Kings, Queens, Royals, Persons of national impotance and much, much more. Sections on the Jacobite period and every other significant era are represented here. And there's a cafe for a cuppa if you need one. May as well have... More 

Thank Simonsays3042
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
473 reviews
252 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

This is a beautiful gallery in the new City area of Edinburgh. There are quite a portraits of different Scottish prominent family with some history of purposes of why they were painted. Newly exhibits also include architectures of buildings designed by great Scottish. In addition to the art works, the library looks so rich and the building itself has great... More 

Thank Prawet J
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
205 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

A very attractive building housing an interesting selection of paintings. Well worth a visit. Nice café but today the coffee was watery so not at all reviving! Also the lift is still out of order so if stairs are not your thing, call ahead.

Thank FliesM20P
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
204 reviews
86 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This is as much a history museum as a gallery of portraits as the interpretations help make sense of why notable Scots had their portraits painted. Learn as much about the Pretenders (Kings of England at this museum) as you will at Culloden.

Thank cmdevlin64

Travelers who viewed Scottish National Portrait Gallery also viewed


Been to Scottish National Portrait Gallery? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Scottish National Portrait Gallery and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question

See all questions (1)

Questions? Get answers from Scottish National Portrait Gallery staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?

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.
Explore this neighborhood