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“sheltering from rain”

Scottish National Gallery
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Ranked #24 of 425 things to do in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed 14 August 2014

Well worth a vist. Great works of art excellent facilities would definitely recommend popping in and of courses free admission.

Thank 21farmwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,265 - 2,269 of 4,395 reviews

Reviewed 13 August 2014

The gallery itself is very well done. They have themed exhibitions of art as well as their "resident" collection which is excellent. The lighting is superb and really shows off the paintings and sculptures well. The staff are ok, but you sometimes have to ask a few of the attendants to get an answer - but they usually sort out their information in the end. Having said that, the written descriptions are pretty good. There are some really fine pieces in this gallery and it is well worth taking your time over your visit here; or visit a few times, admission is free so you can come and go as you please and see the exhibitions over a few days. That's a very pleasant way of seeing this excellent gallery at its best.

The welcome staff at the entrance get a bit assertive during Festival time; there is a rule about having rucksacks on your back (you must carry them) and the zealousness with which the welcome staff enforce that rule can be a bit of a surprise. They generally have two staff standing just inside the entrance glaring at people coming in. One isn't exactly welcomed into this gallery - one is more "allowed in". But once you're in, the policing is much more low key and unobtrusive.

The gift shop is quite good with high quality postcards of many (most) of the paintings in the gallery. The books are the usual range of arty books, surrounded by the unfortunately usual range of "tat" souvenirs. There's work to be done getting what could be an excellent shop themed to the gallery content.

The cafe downstairs is overpriced and not really very good. It's right in the middle of a thoroughfare, more of an afterthought really, and while the quality is ok, it's not worth visiting the gallery just for a coffee. Go for the art and somewhere else for refreshments.

This place is a real asset to this beautiful city and its location makes it one of the handiest anywhere.

2  Thank Ian N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

Wonderful art, something for everyone. My husband and son are NOT art lovers, but this museum pulled them in for a few hours. There is no entry fee, so you can really spend as much or as little time as you'd like here. We spent more time here then we had planned, which is a complement to the diverse and impressive collection they had.

Thank LuvToTravel921
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

Through paintings, anyone can track down the memory lane specially during the 16th century. paintings were huge with very informative captions about it. There are lounges provided to sit down and just watch all the paintings around. It gallery is very clean as well, organize and free of entrance. A must see place for travellers

1  Thank wanderingnoreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2014

Enjoyed a few hours in this gallery, but my enjoyment was curtailed by staff enforcing an illogical rule about holding backpacks in your hand.
Thinking it might be because people sometimes bump others with their backpacks on, I put it on my front, which of course prevented this from happening. Then a grumpy old woman barked at me to take it off, so I held it in my hand again.
I felt awful the few times my pack then rubbed up against the furnishings, because of course I didn't have as much control of it down there.
I think this is a rule made by a committee. A committee of idiots.

Thank trevar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NationalGalleries, Head of Operations at Scottish National Gallery, responded to this reviewResponded 20 August 2014

Thank you for your comment of 9th August and I am delighted that you liked the artworks on show.

The reason why we ask visitors to carry rucksacks by hand is to reduce the likelihood of accidental damage occurring if visitors forget they have a pack or misjudge distances (obviously our first priority is to ensure the artworks are protected for the enjoyment of all visitors); the safest way to carry bags is generally held to be by your side, below waist level. There are also lockers available for use by visitors should you prefer not to carry the bag at all.

I do hope that you will find time to return to our galleries in the future and in the event that you have any further questions about this or any other matter please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

Brian Doneghan
Head of Operations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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