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.
$25 Amazon.com Gift Card Get yours when you book a hotel on TripAdvisor and review your stay!

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 Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JD, Scotland
Phone Number: 44 131 624 6200
10:00 am - 7:00 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 1,730 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 980
  • 465
    Very good
  • 87
  • 11
  • 6
Great lunch stop

Great choice of salads,soup and sandwiches. Very busy but generally ok to find a table. Cakes looked good although I didn't try them.

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
sandra C
Crieff, United Kingdom
Add Photo Write a Review

1,730 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 1,549: English reviews
Crieff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Great choice of salads,soup and sandwiches. Very busy but generally ok to find a table. Cakes looked good although I didn't try them.

Thank sandra C
Inverness, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Had a great lunch in hear before going round the gallery. Not the cheapest of cafés but very tasty.. worth going round looking at the portraits highly recommend

Thank Ralfie1957
Level Contributor
87 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Beautiful building with double height entrance gallery and mosaics. We also enjoyed the historical insights which were provided by the introductions and painting notes in the portrait galleries. Some wonderfully lifelike paintings too. The busts were also worth seeing, and a welcome excuse to pause when going up the many stairs (there are lifts too). Cafe and shop on the... More 

Thank Lucky_traveller_8
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

The exhibition: Brilliantly curated. Interactive and fun. The gallery: stunning entrance hall and stairwell. Very well organised - easy to find loos, cloaks. Restaurant/cafe well stocked with tasty and healthy foods

Thank Andrea E
Malaga, Spain
Level Contributor
3,287 reviews
2,941 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,957 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We went to this museum and enjoyed it very much. Near the main entrance there were many busts of famous people, many writers, and Queen Victoria. All of them were very good. There were also portraits of kings, queens, and other aristocrats.

Thank BennyMalaga
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
322 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

It's free, so one can't complain but I'm tempted to recommend you admire the entrance hall and stairs, and then leave. The art isn't bad - there just isn't much of it and I found the galleries a bit hodge-podge (grouped for historical reasons, such as "Here are a bunch of Jacobites").

Thank tripleplay97
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

We really love this gallery. The building itself is worth a visit but the galleries have a wide range of portraiture ( not surprising in a portrait gallery!). In addition there are exhibitions which change regularly and a great café ( which can get very busy).

Thank philrbruce
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Such a wide selection of different genres with examples of portraits spanning seven centuries. It is a grand building exhibiting wonderful paintings and sculptures.

Thank Helen M
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Not a fan of portraits, but I went in there because it was free. And, I really liked it. Portraits were ok, but the building itself is really amazing to see.

Thank Maja H
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
149 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

If you are an art enthusiast why not spend an hour or so here. There are some interesting exhibits and mostly free, well you are requested to make a donation which is fair enough. There are some exhibitions that you have to pay to see, but there is plenty to see anyway. Interesting phrenology exhibit which is worth a look.

Thank Alan P

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
2 questions
Ask a question

See all questions (2)

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