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Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Certificate of Excellence
Neighbourhood:
New Town
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Address: 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JD, Scotland
Phone Number:
+44 131 624 6200
Website
Today
10:00 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Thu 10:00 - 19:00
Fri - Wed 10:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Fee: No
Description:

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 1,942 reviews
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Excellent place for a visit and for a light lunch as well

I have been there on few occasions and I think the food served there deserved a little reward. Original and mainly for vegetarian food lovers, the soups are great, excellent... read more

Reviewed yesterday
jaynice1
,
Geneva, Switzerland
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1,942 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,734: English reviews
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
383 reviews
129 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
Reviewed yesterday NEW

I have been there on few occasions and I think the food served there deserved a little reward. Original and mainly for vegetarian food lovers, the soups are great, excellent scones sweet and savoury, I have the goat cheese sandwich with pear chutney....Amazing!!

Helpful?
Thank jaynice1
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
139 reviews
122 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Housed in a Neo-Gothic building that has recently been renovated, and has a very spectacular entrance hall with murals of historical Scots who's likenesss is probably artistic licence rather than accurate representations. It houses the portrait collection from early 16th century to the present day. There is an impressive amount of portraits from the start of the 1500's; Kings James... More 

Helpful?
Thank Gerard_S77
Edinburgh uk
Level Contributor
149 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

If you are into Art,Scottish people ,interesting things go here It is a Fund of information from Architecture ,portraiture to ordinary folk Takes a while to go round but you can skip bits and end up or take a half way break at the Cafe ...yummy food and also browse in shop where there are quite a number of "different... More 

Helpful?
Thank MorningEdinburghuk
Marburg, Germany
Level Contributor
55 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

The exhibits never disappoint. See the Landscape photography exhibit. Not only does it provide a brief history of photography through landscape but it also offers some interesting insight into its aesthetics. The architecture of the museum is already worth a visit. Super friendly staff.

Helpful?
Thank Chickaree
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
246 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

The current exhibition were the photographer takes photos of himself while he has a heroin addiction is so interesting. Some of the photos are a little shocking but I really enjoyed the exhibition. Fantastic and the video that goes with it explains the photos and photographer well. Well done to the gallery for keeping art current and edgy.

Helpful?
1 Thank Kitty8704
Dundee, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

Caught the last day of the BP awards - well worth viewing. We love to visit the gallery about once a year just to experience the atmosphere. The café is also worth a visit.

Helpful?
Thank Dave R
Staveley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
98 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

The gallery is arranged in a well organised chronological layout grouping different eras and genres effectively. The descriptions and information made the visit easy to follow and informative. The journey through the portraits really helped us to gain a greater understanding of Scotland's history. Portraits apart, the building itself is simply stunning with its Arts and Crafts murals and impressive... More 

Helpful?
Thank Kuffy
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

Decided to pop in and see what it was like, 2 1/2 hours later I came out wishing I had more time to spend in it. There is so much to see staff are very helpful and friendly. I will definitely go back

Helpful?
Thank Ann G
Kirkcaldy, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
114 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

Having see Sky Arts programm on 'fakes' I was interested to see the original they featured in the programme. Not my cup of tea to be honest but well worth a look. Very dark paintings, some pretty, some gruesome! The building itself is stunning, the centre hall is amazing.

Helpful?
Thank 69mags56
Wimborne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
73 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

Excellent collection of portraits of famous Scots throughout history. Very comprehensive, and arranged on several different floors. Includes some other paintings and not just portraits. Free admission and well worth a visit for an idiosyncratic view of famous Scots.

Helpful?
Thank Charles G

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Staying in New Town

Neighbourhood 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 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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