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Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Certificate of Excellence
New Town
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Address: 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JD, Scotland
Phone Number: 44 131 624 6200
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open 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 1,790 reviews
Visitor rating
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  • 479
    Very good
  • 91
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  • 6
History lessons

We enjoyed this free museum as part of Edinburgh day. The exhibit about the Jacobites was a great history lesson that I had not learned about previously.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 days ago
Hanover, Massachusetts
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1,790 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,595: English reviews
Hanover, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
79 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We enjoyed this free museum as part of Edinburgh day. The exhibit about the Jacobites was a great history lesson that I had not learned about previously.

Thank hamgal
Cupar, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
92 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This gallery situated fairly centrally has a large and excellent collection of portraits of famous Scots. In addition it has a really good restaurant.

Thank jon0269
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Great place to visit especially in cold or damp weather in the color months. You can easily pass an enjoyable / informative hour or so and it is very central - not far from Princess Street.

Thank nreid12016
Level Contributor
255 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The paintings are a wonderful view of the history of Scotland. In addition they have a great library that I would have done loved to have more time to explore and learn about. Great price - free!

Thank JudgeT
Fife, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
74 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We visited the gallery to see the celebrity self portrait exhibition and although there was a fee involved, it was worth it as it was a rather unusual and unique exhibition . You should not hesitate in visiting thus gallery as most of the time the exhibits are free ( other than any voluntary donation you care to make)

Thank David C
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Level Contributor
82 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We visited the Gallery on a weekday and were able to see three different age groups of students receive some information as well as a very interactive session of understanding this amazing gallery and help in identifying what was important to each participant. The gallery is a wonderful source of great art work of the history of Scotland from the... More 

Thank surf_seekers
Stuttgart, Germany
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Very beautiful gallery, even if you're not that much into portraits, it is worth paying a visit if only to admire the beauty of the building itself, with its marvelous style and decoration. Everything is chronologically set and the atmosphere was so welcoming. However, I went to this gallery, which was on my bucket list for a while and I... More 

Thank alicia554
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

As with most of the museums in Edinburgh, entry is open with donations accepted, and the main hall as you come in is a beautiful space, opening up to the upper floors, and a frieze of historical figures running around the edge of the overhang above. The Portrait Gallery always has some temporary exhibit on upstairs, which is often my... More 

Thank SurLyle
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
1,214 reviews
790 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 579 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery would have to be one of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildingsgiving an interesting view of Scotland from long ago to the current day. The photos, paintings, sculptures and film are amazing.

Thank Bruce H
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

when you enter this building and walk into the great hall you cant help but say Wow. It is so beautiful and a must to visit. Saw some very interesting work and I am so pleased I found time to visit.

Thank Wendy M

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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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