Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

4.6
#6 of 61 in Museums in Edinburgh
Art Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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Gaze upon the faces of the aristocracy at Scottish National Portrait Gallery, where visages from Scotland's nobility are preserved in paint. In fact, all the paintings in the gallery depict Scots. Two portraits of Mary Queen of Scots were painted after her death. The Gothic revival building also houses the Scottish National Photography Collection, which stands in stark contrast to the royal portraiture. Seek out photographs of the slums of Glasgow in the 19th century, which depict the deplorable living conditions of the poor. Add Scottish National Portrait Gallery to your Edinburgh travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Edinburgh road trip planning tool.
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Scottish National Portrait Gallery reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
2,706 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This is a really well set out gallery and we’ll worth a visit. Allow plenty of time as there’s a lot to see here and a good amount of information is given for each exhibit so it takes a while to... 
    This is a really well set out gallery and we’ll worth a visit. Allow plenty of time as there’s a lot to see here and a good amount of information is given for each exhibit so it takes a while to...  more »
  • We hadn’t planned to visit the gallery whilst in Edinburgh but were glad we did. We came shortly after opening so it wasn’t crowded and we were able to look around at a leisurely pace. The Great Hall....  more
    We hadn’t planned to visit the gallery whilst in Edinburgh but were glad we did. We came shortly after opening so it wasn’t crowded and we were able to look around at a leisurely pace. The Great Hall....  more »
Google
  • Amazing building is worth a visit in itself. Conveniently located in the city centre. The permanent collection is good and there are always interesting exhibitions on. Some are pay to enter, most are free. If you visit a lot, I recommend looking into becoming a Friend of the National Galleries of Scotland, for free entry to the paid exhibitions, and other benefits. Visit the library and look at curious exhibits relating to the Edinburgh Phrenological Society! Large cafe with impressive selection of salads, soups, sandwiches and called, including gluten free cakes. Portraits of contemporary and recent Scottish celebrities (writers, actors, and so on) are on the cafe walls.
  • Fascinating tour through Scottish history. The top floor has the earlier portraits, including those of David Hume Robert Burns, and James Watt. Unfortunately, the rooms with the earliest portraits were closed for restoration while I was there. The Great Gallery is small but beautiful. The museum provides excellent biographical sketches for the portraits. Admission is free.

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