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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
Open 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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Outstanding works by Scottish painters !

Many impressive collection of portraits. There is one from Henry Raeburn of Sir Walter Scott who is considered of the greatest writers in Scotland because of his book Ivanhoe... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
travelerd2011
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Los Angeles, California
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1,916 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,713: English reviews
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
63 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Many impressive collection of portraits. There is one from Henry Raeburn of Sir Walter Scott who is considered of the greatest writers in Scotland because of his book Ivanhoe. There is also a painting of the famous Scottish philosopher David Hume by Allan Ramsay.

Helpful?
Thank travelerd2011
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

The architecture of the museum itself is beautiful. The old portrait is a very good starting point to get to know about Scottish history. They also show modern portraits.

Helpful?
Thank Asta F
Wokingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Really enjoyed our visit to the Portrait Gallery. The current Modern Portrait exhibition was absorbing. Each portrait tells a person's story. Busy cafe with a quieter room to one side. Delicious lunch.

Helpful?
Thank flyingduck1981
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

Happened upon this beautiful building and was pleasantly surprised it was open until 7 on Thursday (the day we visited) and free. The exhibits provided an interesting perspective on the art and culture of Scotland. From paintings of curling, historical figures, and sculptures all held in a gorgeous building. Worth a walk through :)

Helpful?
Thank Sarah P
Milngavie, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
321 reviews
107 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

Went to see the painting in the BP portrait exhibition before it closed. Several really good portraits showing that portraiture is alive and well.

Helpful?
Thank JanandDavid
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Went to see the 'BP portrait exhibition', 'The modern portrait' and also the 'View from here' photography exhibition. You can easily spend hours here. The cafe and shop is also very nice if you want to have a break. Highly recommend.

Helpful?
Thank Sonic27
Northumberland
Level Contributor
279 reviews
150 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

A beautiful exterior and interior to this building, it was stunning. The three floors had a huge variety of portraits on display but we concentrated on the top floor which were the Jacobites, Tweedales and revolution exhibits. It was easy to get around, not at all crowded and it meant you could read the explanations in detail without being rushed.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Tallis
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Excellent art gallery. Good historical part, good newer area. Could do with more seats so that you relax and spend longer looking.

Helpful?
Thank rogert5595
Level Contributor
248 reviews
89 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is a mere short 3 minute walk from my Airbnb flat in new town. The taxi driver used it as our landmark to help us orientate ourselves, and highly recommended a visit upon our arrival into Scotland. Each day I would tell myself to pop in, but the gallery closes at 5 pm. It was rare that I returned... More 

Helpful?
Thank brenda p
Greater London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The building is located on a corner of Queen St just up and down the hill from Princes St so right in the middle of town. It's free entry and worth more than a single visit. The building itself is stunning, inside and out.The works displyed range from the historically obscure to contemporary.The information posters along side the portraits were... More 

Helpful?
Thank pacobhoy1

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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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