National Galleries of Scotland: National

National Galleries of Scotland: National

National Galleries of Scotland: National
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
Open to all seekers of art, culture, and relaxation. Here is a collection of art for you to immerse yourself in. Experience artworks from some of the greatest artists in history such as Botticelli, Raphael, and Titian. In the new Scottish galleries you can dive into dramatic landscapes, encounter iconic images and be wowed by very best of Scottish art from 1800 to 1945. Marvel at spectacular views over Edinburgh and discover the work of pioneering Scottish artists such as William McTaggart, Anne Redpath, Phoebe Anna Traquair, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Boys. Discover a contemporary cultural icon, with the largest-ever exhibition of work by Sir Grayson Perry, Grayson Perry: Smash Hits. Enjoy food and drink at the gallery café and restaurant and pick up a stylish memento from the shop. Whether you're new to the gallery, doing research or just passing by, the National welcomes everyone to explore artworks, discover new things or just simply take time to unwind.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Old Town
Few Edinburghers live in the Old Town, but its labyrinth of dank alleys and steep streets suggests this was not always the case. Today, it’s mostly visitors, tartan-flavored souvenir shops, and pipers that you’ll find on its cobbled streets. This is the place to get a feel for Auld Reekie (Old Smelly), as the town was once nicknamed, and stroll the Royal Mile, the thoroughfare that links the castle with the royal palace – two of Edinburgh’s great set-piece attractions. But there’s lots more exploring to do here down dozens of little alleys, or wynds, while at night the city’s busiest clubs erupt along the Cowgate which is closed to traffic for this purpose.
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See what travelers are saying
  • ajm549
    Aberdeen, United Kingdom215 contributions
    Hello Old Friend
    It's wonderful that the gallery is back up and running. Pre-booking has to be made and only some galleries are open. Nevertheless, the iconic Scottish pictures - the Monarch of the Glen and the Reverend Walker are still proudly on view alongside the Rembrandt self portrait. Drink it all in in the peace and quiet of restricted viewing and you will do wonders for your wellbeing. Visitors please leave a donation to help the Gallery in this difficult time - it's worth it.
    Visited September 2020
    Written September 15, 2020
  • 73darren
    Nottingham, United Kingdom38 contributions
    Very good gallery
    Visited the gallery during October. Very well organised entry and management of numbers. Be aware that currently (Oct 2020) you have to book online a day in advance and you get an hour slot. We really enjoyed our visit here. Peaceful and relaxing walk around the various rooms. Excellent range of traditional paintings on display from a wide range of artists. There are places to sit inside and plenty of space to stand back and look. Below the gallery is an excellent shop selling a range of affordable and more expensive gifts and books. There is also a cafe/restaurant that was very popular and served a great range of tasty treats, coffee or larger meals. Easy to find, mid-way down Princes’ Street. Would definitely visit again.
    Visited October 2020
    Written October 23, 2020
  • Sann Rene
    Brussels, Belgium135 contributions
    Relatively small collection but worth a visit - there will be lots more to come in 2021
    Lovely collection albeit quite small. We were lucky to be here in January as the museum has an excellent collection of Turner watercolours that can only go on public display in the month of January. The museum is undergoing an expansion so keep it on your list for 2021. We went to the building just across from the main budding and stumbled upon a marvellous exhibition from the Royal Scottish Society of painters in watercolour. Really wonderful works - and they are for sale.
    Hi Sann, thank you for the great review! We hope to welcome you back again soon, and when the new gallery spaces open in 2021. All the best, National Galleries of Scotland
    Written January 27, 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited January 2020
    Traveled with friends
    Written January 20, 2020
  • itchyfeet2014
    Glasgow, United Kingdom2,291 contributions
    Turner exhibition of Turner Watercolours
    This is a splendid gallery off Princess Street. During January there is a Turner exhibition of very fine watercolours. These works are wonderful and part of a rivals collection. These paintings are only ever shown in the month of January. Do visit, they are beautiful.
    Thank you for the lovely review! They are indeed stunning works which, though only exhibited in January, are available to view by appointment all year round in the Prints and Drawings Study Room at The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Two). See nationalgalleries.org to find out more. All the best, National Galleries of Scotland
    Written January 27, 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited January 2020
    Traveled solo
    Written January 20, 2020
  • melvyngilbert
    Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom360 contributions
    Do this.
    If you like art then this gallery is obviously a must. However, if you are unsure about art, I would still definitely recommend this gallery. It is bang in the centre of the city so you will almost certainly walk past it at some point and it is free so you have nothing to lose. It is small, so if you hate it, you can walk around it in 5 minutes, so no harm done. If you love it you will spend at least a wonderful hour here. I really enjoyed it, especially "monarch of the glen" which is an iconic scottish scene of a majestic deer in the highlands.
    Hi Melvyn, thank you for the review! We definitely agree on giving the Galleries a go - you never know what you'll find. Like Sir Edwin Landseer's 'The Monarch of the Glen', a work that catches a lot of people's eye! We have more information as well as features exploring this piece on our website, nationalgalleries.org, if you'd like to find out more. All the best, National Galleries of Scotland
    Written January 13, 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited January 2020
    Written January 12, 2020
  • AlanDF76
    Northumberland, United Kingdom14 contributions
    Great gallery, strange cafe prices.
    We had a lovely morning strolling round the gallery with some fantastic pieces on display. It was an ideal way to pass time ahead of catching our train and the use of lockers was a bonus. Only strange thing was their decision to charge and extra 50p for decaffeinated coffee, normally its the same prices in other cafes. Not sure why us non caffeine drinkers are penalised but the cakes were fantastic.
    Hi Alan, thank you for the lovely review, we’re glad you enjoyed your visit. Apologies for the lack of clarity around the price difference, the reason for this is the quality of ingredients. The café uses decaffeinated coffee made by water method extraction - the cleanest method that doesn’t use chemicals. Every decaffeinated portion is individually ground and it costs per kilo over 50% more per portion as this is not a bulk item. This is reflected in an extra 50p charge, but overall means better quality decaffeinated coffee, which fits with the café's overall aim to provide high quality food. We hope this answers your question, but if not please get in touch with us on feedback@nationalgalleries.org. Best wishes, National Galleries of Scotland
    Written February 5, 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited January 2020
    Traveled with friends
    Written January 27, 2020
  • reoYorkshire
    33 contributions
    Scottish National Gallery
    An excellent gallery with a wide variety of Scottish art. The Turner exhibition on at present is a delight. We had lunch in the cafe/ restaurant and the food was delicious, if a little pricey. Our waitress, Lisa was a delight- helpful and friendly. Thoroughly recommend the whole experience.
    We're glad you enjoyed your visit, and hope to welcome you back again soon! All the best, National Galleries of Scotland
    Written January 9, 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited January 2020
    Traveled with friends
    Written January 4, 2020
  • SRO1983
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom28 contributions
    Profit over environment, avoid
    The outside of this gallery and the surroundings are beautiful. That is until you realise that the gallery themselves just requested that 52 trees be cut down in the gardens beside it to give better views and make way for their expansion. These trees had been there for decades, it now looks like a wasteland, as usual money gets you what you want. If you value the area around this gallery avoid supporting this gallery in any way, it obviously thinks nature should give way and has no place in modern society. Good luck with your multi million pound extension. Oh and they say they will replace these trees with 22 saplings, I’ll let you do the maths.
    Thank you for your review. The work in East Princes Street Gardens is part of a wider redevelopment project by NGS. The trees were removed in order to be able to construct an accessible path, and to create clearer vantage points across the gardens. 22 trees were replanted along the path, and 30 trees were also donated by the National Galleries of Scotland, and planted in other locations in the city by the City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust. The creation of the path and the landscaping has been a complex engineering feat. The path will greatly help those with mobility impairments, wheelchairs and prams. Without this new path, the east gardens would remain accessible only via steep gradients or the flight of stairs. You can find out more information on the redevelopment project here: https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/features/scottish-national-gallery-project
    Written September 1, 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited November 2019
    Traveled solo
    Written August 9, 2020
  • Monica N
    Birmingham, United Kingdom26 contributions
    Great art colllection
    Our visit was lovely. Staff was very friendly and they have a very nice collection or art. I give 4 stars not 5 because we wished we could have visited the full collection including The Monet pairings they have. The rooms were closed due to Covid19 regulations but still one household at a time would have been safe and they already kept visitor numbers very low at one time (that was good). So I feel it would have been Ok to. Visit maybe just controlling entrance to the smaller rooms (we visited edinburg castle which had smaller spaces with just 1 or 2 households at the one time). I anyway recommend visiting to anyone in Edinburgh!!
    Visited September 2020
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 6, 2020
  • N.F
    Glasgow, United Kingdom98 contributions
    Stunning
    Family of four with 11 and 13 year old boys. We had paid to see the Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema exhibition at Modern Two in the morning and we had come into the city centre for a wonder around. Popped into the gallery because my older son wanted to see Monarch of the Glen and wow - I can't believe I've never been here before. It is a spectacular gallery and it's all FREE! Had a lovely conversation with a staff member (lady wearing glasses, English accent) and she gave me some interesting information about some of the paintings. Loved it.
    So pleased that you managed not just one but TWO galleries! Thanks for your lovely review - we hope you'll be back for another visit soon.
    Written October 20, 2021
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2021
    Traveled with family
    Written October 8, 2021
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
5,552 reviews
Excellent
3,317
Very good
1,762
Average
391
Poor
58
Terrible
24

itchyfeet2014
Glasgow, UK2,291 contributions
Jan 2020 • Solo
This is a splendid gallery off Princess Street. During January there is a Turner exhibition of very fine watercolours. These works are wonderful and part of a rivals collection. These paintings are only ever shown in the month of January.
Do visit, they are beautiful.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for the lovely review! They are indeed stunning works which, though only exhibited in January, are available to view by appointment all year round in the Prints and Drawings Study Room at The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Two). See nationalgalleries.org to find out more. All the best, National Galleries of Scotland
Written January 27, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

melvyngilbert
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK360 contributions
Jan 2020
If you like art then this gallery is obviously a must. However, if you are unsure about art, I would still definitely recommend this gallery. It is bang in the centre of the city so you will almost certainly walk past it at some point and it is free so you have nothing to lose. It is small, so if you hate it, you can walk around it in 5 minutes, so no harm done. If you love it you will spend at least a wonderful hour here. I really enjoyed it, especially "monarch of the glen" which is an iconic scottish scene of a majestic deer in the highlands.
Written January 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Melvyn, thank you for the review! We definitely agree on giving the Galleries a go - you never know what you'll find. Like Sir Edwin Landseer's 'The Monarch of the Glen', a work that catches a lot of people's eye! We have more information as well as features exploring this piece on our website, nationalgalleries.org, if you'd like to find out more. All the best, National Galleries of Scotland
Written January 13, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AlanDF76
Northumberland, UK14 contributions
Jan 2020 • Friends
We had a lovely morning strolling round the gallery with some fantastic pieces on display.

It was an ideal way to pass time ahead of catching our train and the use of lockers was a bonus.

Only strange thing was their decision to charge and extra 50p for decaffeinated coffee, normally its the same prices in other cafes. Not sure why us non caffeine drinkers are penalised but the cakes were fantastic.
Written January 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Alan, thank you for the lovely review, we’re glad you enjoyed your visit. Apologies for the lack of clarity around the price difference, the reason for this is the quality of ingredients. The café uses decaffeinated coffee made by water method extraction - the cleanest method that doesn’t use chemicals. Every decaffeinated portion is individually ground and it costs per kilo over 50% more per portion as this is not a bulk item. This is reflected in an extra 50p charge, but overall means better quality decaffeinated coffee, which fits with the café's overall aim to provide high quality food. We hope this answers your question, but if not please get in touch with us on feedback@nationalgalleries.org. Best wishes, National Galleries of Scotland
Written February 5, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

reoYorkshire
Yorkshire33 contributions
Jan 2020 • Friends
An excellent gallery with a wide variety of Scottish art. The Turner exhibition on at present is a delight.
We had lunch in the cafe/ restaurant and the food was delicious, if a little pricey. Our waitress, Lisa was a delight- helpful and friendly. Thoroughly recommend the whole experience.
Written January 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We're glad you enjoyed your visit, and hope to welcome you back again soon! All the best, National Galleries of Scotland
Written January 9, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SRO1983
Edinburgh, UK28 contributions
Nov 2019 • Solo
The outside of this gallery and the surroundings are beautiful. That is until you realise that the gallery themselves just requested that 52 trees be cut down in the gardens beside it to give better views and make way for their expansion. These trees had been there for decades, it now looks like a wasteland, as usual money gets you what you want.

If you value the area around this gallery avoid supporting this gallery in any way, it obviously thinks nature should give way and has no place in modern society. Good luck with your multi million pound extension. Oh and they say they will replace these trees with 22 saplings, I’ll let you do the maths.
Written August 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review. The work in East Princes Street Gardens is part of a wider redevelopment project by NGS. The trees were removed in order to be able to construct an accessible path, and to create clearer vantage points across the gardens. 22 trees were replanted along the path, and 30 trees were also donated by the National Galleries of Scotland, and planted in other locations in the city by the City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust. The creation of the path and the landscaping has been a complex engineering feat. The path will greatly help those with mobility impairments, wheelchairs and prams. Without this new path, the east gardens would remain accessible only via steep gradients or the flight of stairs. You can find out more information on the redevelopment project here: https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/features/scottish-national-gallery-project
Written September 1, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Monica N
Birmingham, UK26 contributions
Sep 2020 • Couples
Our visit was lovely. Staff was very friendly and they have a very nice collection or art. I give 4 stars not 5 because we wished we could have visited the full collection including The Monet pairings they have. The rooms were closed due to Covid19 regulations but still one household at a time would have been safe and they already kept visitor numbers very low at one time (that was good). So I feel it would have been Ok to. Visit maybe just controlling entrance to the smaller rooms (we visited edinburg castle which had smaller spaces with just 1 or 2 households at the one time). I anyway recommend visiting to anyone in Edinburgh!!
Written September 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

N.F
Glasgow, UK98 contributions
Oct 2021 • Family
Family of four with 11 and 13 year old boys. We had paid to see the Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema exhibition at Modern Two in the morning and we had come into the city centre for a wonder around. Popped into the gallery because my older son wanted to see Monarch of the Glen and wow - I can't believe I've never been here before. It is a spectacular gallery and it's all FREE! Had a lovely conversation with a staff member (lady wearing glasses, English accent) and she gave me some interesting information about some of the paintings. Loved it.
Written October 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
So pleased that you managed not just one but TWO galleries! Thanks for your lovely review - we hope you'll be back for another visit soon.
Written October 20, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

JoandKeith
London, UK72 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
This gallery was packed with beautiful paintings, it was brilliantly curated so the journey through the rooms was well done. The space available and the red walls really made the paintings stand out. Particularly loved the Scottish sections.
Written February 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for the lovely review! All the best, National Galleries of Scotland
Written February 17, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jilly
Worcester, UK9 contributions
Aug 2021 • Friends
As it was a rainy day in the city of Edinburgh, we thought it would be beautiful to visit the Scottish National Gallery on the last day of our city break. Neither of us have much interest in art but thought this would be an exciting and eye opening experience but boy, we were wrong. The only artist we’ve ever heard of is Van Gogh. And even then, we had never heard of the one painting they have of his, when they advertise that they have many more. The Gallery was so quiet, it felt really uncomfortable, I would suggest some background music. I also felt marginally uncomfortable trotting up the spongey carpet stairs, wearing my wet muddy shoes. If you enjoy silent, walks around breezy art galleries, this might be for you. But if you want to have a laugh, elsewhere might be better. Before we even entered the building, the man on the door demanded I removed my rucksack incase I knocked all the paintings off the walls. I will not be returning.
Written August 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your visit. We also other galleries in Edinburgh and a variety of art on display. For instance, Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema is currently on display at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and may be more suited to what you're looking for. Please do come back, and try something else next time you’re in Edinburgh.
Written August 24, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

simon R
1 contribution
Mar 2020 • Solo
Bought tickets for March when the gallery was closed. Still waiting for refund - or any contact whatsoever 4 months later.
I wouldn't risk buying tickets. If the gallery has to shut again you won't be refunded
Written August 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Simon, Apologies that you weren't contacted. Everyone who bought tickets should have been contacted and offered a refund or the opportunity to swap dates. We'd be grateful if you could send us an email with your details to enquiries@nationalgalleries.org and we'll be happy to rectify this.
Written September 1, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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