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“Worth going just for the magnificent building!”

Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Ranked #25 of 399 things to do in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: 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.
Level Contributor
239 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Worth going just for the magnificent building!”
Reviewed 1 November 2013

This is a truly magnificent gallery and well worth a visit. We went specifically for the Viviane Sassen exhibition which was very interestingly curated. However, with inclement weather outside we stayed on and looked at several other rooms all of which proved interesting.

Visited October 2013
Thank Greyfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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northern California
Level Contributor
23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“not boring portraits!”
Reviewed 31 October 2013

From the friendly greeters at the door, through the floors of fascinating art, to the lovely tea room for lunch (do try the Ginger Crunch bars for dessert!), this gallery is to be savored. It's a wonderful spot of respite, second only to the Botanic Garden, when a quiet break is needed. Easily reached by foot from Princes Street, don't miss it. While there is no entry fee, a contribution is welcome - and worth it!

Visited October 2013
Thank Hay_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2013

The Gallery was really full the day I went, but I think everyone was trying to stay out of the rain. Otherwise, the Gallery is well put together and the staff is helpful and informative. I'd visit again!

Visited November 2012
Thank BumpyGrizzly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
191 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Peter Doig: must see before it closes!”
Reviewed 31 October 2013

The National Gallery is a real gem in Edinburgh. I always allow an hour in my schedules to visit it. There are typically very few people there so you can enjoy paintings on your own that in London you'd have to fight to get a single good view of. The permanent collection is just the right size to walk around in about an hour and has many superb pictures in it both from Scotland and further afield. The temporary exhibitions are great - Peter Doig is in the last few days and has many excellent pictures that are really worth seeing.

Visited October 2013
Thank Charles L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minehead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Not that great”
Reviewed 30 October 2013

What I liked - the building itself. It was so beautiful. The current exhibition was also worth a look, that was quite interesting. The rest of the portraits were a bit boring. Glad to have gone for the building itself, but wouldn't go back again.

Visited October 2013
Thank loobers101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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