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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 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Thu 10:00 - 19:00
Fri - Wed 10:00 - 17:00
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 1,824 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1030
  • 489
    Very good
  • 92
  • 11
  • 6
A viewing

Dropped in and glad we did. Beautiful building. Informative viewings and galleries. ..really enjoyed. Would highly recommend

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Richard C
Lytham St Anne's, United Kingdom
via mobile
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1,824 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,628: English reviews
Lytham St Anne's, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
195 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Dropped in and glad we did. Beautiful building. Informative viewings and galleries. ..really enjoyed. Would highly recommend

Thank Richard C
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
98 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Excellent selection interestingly presented with an ever-changing focus making repeat visits always worthwhile

Thank richard k
Level Contributor
38 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Love this place - beautiful Xmas tree at the moment. Don't miss the BP exhibition - fabulous work and free!

Thank gutteridge
Peterborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

For a free attraction, this is great. Fabulous building which is kept well and shows the pride of Scotland. Spent an afternoon but needs a day at least to do it justice.

Thank John T
Scotland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Beautiful building, worth visiting for that alone. Portraits are interesting although did not agree with the judges choice of winner in a recent competition.

Thank Patricia K
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

The portraits are OK but the best bit for us was the building it's self. It was decorated for Christmas and has so many lovey details - even the tiles in the toilets are worth a look.

Thank MinsterMan1
Level Contributor
431 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 327 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is a fantastic venue - and free admission. The building itself - as others have mentioned - is a Gothic masterpiece on the outside with some great décor on the inside. Asides from the portraits of various famous Scottish folks from the past [ and present ! ] it has a reading room/library. Highlight for me were the various... More 

Thank trwilbury
Daphne, Alabama
Level Contributor
121 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is one of the Scottish National Galleries. Free to Enter. Wonderful portraits and History. Nice gift shop and café. One room devoted to Jacobite history. Take your time and enjoy.

Thank Pissaro
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
234 reviews
199 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The Portrait Gallery is free to enter and definitely worth a look. The building is very ornate on the outside and equally impressive on the inside. The portraits on display are a mixture of the great and good and in some cases not the great and good. Scotland has a rich history of geniuses and rogues alike. You will find... More 

Thank Richard B
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I enjoyed my visit lots to see. My only dislike was people, who stood around talking into their phone.

Thank dee p

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  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?

Staying in New Town

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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 neighbourhood, 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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