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Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

Categories: Art Museums, Museums
Inspirock Rating:
4.3/5 based on 3,200+ reviews on the web
Discover one of the world’s finest collections of art at Scottish National Gallery, situated on the Mound, an artificial hill in the middle of the city. Designed by architect William Henry Playfair in the Neoclassical style, the gallery opened in 1859. Today, it houses Scottish and international art from the beginning of the Renaissance to the start of the 20th century. At the heart of the collection is a group of paintings transferred from the Royal Scottish Academy, including masterpieces by Jacopo Bassano, Anthony van Dyck, and Giambattista Tiepolo. The collection also includes notable works by Cézanne, Botticelli, Degas, El Greco, Monet, Goya, Gauguin, Raphael, Rembrandt, Velazquez, and Vermeer, to name just a few. Check online for special events and temporary exhibits. Use our Edinburgh vacation generator to visit Scottish National Gallery on your trip to Edinburgh, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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  • I never tire of visiting this gallery which is packed with old masters. Unfortunately the Scottish collection is unavailable at the moment due to refurbishment but it's still well worth a visit. 
  • Very interesting and well organized gallery. Although there is no admisson the gallery is comparable or even better than other galleries we had visited before and which had quite expensive admissons. ...  read more »
  • Small but rich selection of art. It best: free. You can come and go as many times as you please. To enjoy!
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  • Bad service, we went to see an exibition but we were told it was going to start the day after, so we went again the next day and we were told that in that day the exibition was not ready yet and that it was going to start in the evening, so we went again the next moring and again we were told it was only for private members and it was going to open to the public at 2 o' clock PM, so we went back again at 4 o clock and 30 minutes later they started to announce they were closing (closing time should be at 5 PM) The cashier of the shop doesn't even know what they sell.
  • Hard to believe this place is free to visit. Lots of fantastic paintings from the last few hundred years originating from all over Europe, and many from Scotland itself. A great place to go if the weather is keeping you from seeing many of the other sites in Edinburgh, but I'd make a point to visit even if that isn't the case.
  • If you have backpacks or large bags use one of the lockers before exploring the gallery. You will need a pound coin and you won't get it back, so make sure everything is in before locking it. I saw a few bewildered people lose their money with these. My favourite part of the gallery was the Scottish section downstairs which contained some beautiful paintings and embroidery. I was particularly taken with Master baby by Sir William Orchardson, The progress of the Soul by Phoebe Traquair and the Quarrel of Titania and Oberon by Sir Joseph Paton. If nothing else look at the last painting...there is so many little details and things to discover in this painting alone.
  • What's not to love about this place? If nothing else spend some time sitting on a bench and admiring the beautiful collection. Don't miss the Scottish art in the basement which is easy to overlook
  • Was really excited to go here and was a little anxious that when we showed up, there was a crowd of people trying to walk into the gallery. It's hard to appreciate art when you're standing elbow to elbow with a crowd. I came with my fiancée and we had been wandering Edinburgh for part of the morning and he had a small backpack with him to carry some books that we had been reading earlier at a cafe. Well, apparently there is a sign out front by the gallery entry asking people to remove their packs which we didn't see due to the crowd of people trying to get through the doors and somehow, the attendant at the door didn't see he had a bag on. We had barely gotten a few feet into the gallery and were admiring the large painting in room 12-13 when this attendant came rushing at us from across the room and shouted at my fiancée for having his bag on. He had been admiring a painting and is hard of hearing in one of his ears and wasn't even aware she was barking at him till she got right up in his face and shouted at him. It was very unpleasant and off putting and we tried to enjoy the gallery afterwards but ended up leaving after only exploring two of the rooms. This is a very beautiful building but it cannot make up for rude employees. They're half the experience and if half the experience is sour then the experience itself will be sour. We won't ever be coming back. I'd rather look at the paintings online than deal with another angry employee.
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