Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

4.3
#5 of 55 in Museums in Edinburgh
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
4,056 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • August 20, 2017
    Absolutely fantastic. Lots of great paintings by famous artists that you can get close to without any fuss. Make sure you find Midsummer Nights Dream by Paton. See Constables Van Goughs Gauguin Landse...  more »
  • August 20, 2017
    We wanted to see paintings by Scottish artists and weren't disappointed. As well, housed in this excellent museum, European paintings, arranged by era. Good variety. As a Canadian I was particularly i...  more »
  • August 20, 2017
    We spent 1-2 hours exploring this free museum and its galleries. Some great pieces of art by the masters. If Renaissance religious art if not your favorite, you can always breeze through these rooms.  more »
Google
  • Such a beautiful place with amazing sunlight pouring in that helps appreciate the art. There are a few Raphael, Degas and Monet pieces that are a must see! Oh best to spend at least an hour or 2 in there if u really want to see everything.
  • I first came here as a Sunday treat when I was a wee laddie in the 1950s. I was at Heriot Watt Uni on Chambers Street in the 1970s and often dropped in. Several rebuilds later the Museum is better than ever and I still recognize some of the exhibits from way back. A great visit yet again.
  • Wonderful collection of selected artworks articulately placed. Very neat and clean gallery. Proudly upheld its 'national gallery' status!
  • A very well curated collection, beautiful building, and some exceptional pieces: the Rembrandt self portrait, for example. Will leave you uplifted and thoughtful. Oh, and it's free!
  • The exhibits had information telling you about the art work, which was great in understanding and appreciating the art work and also there were seating for people with mobility difficulties and the great names of art were all there. It also helped me with my mental health

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Where to stay in Edinburgh

Edinburgh hides a maze of cobbled streets dotted with boutique hotels offering inexpensive rooms and outstanding restaurants. Many of the city's Gothic buildings house chic hotels with easy access to most of the city’s main tourist sites. For a uniquely Scottish experience, consider staying in the famous old town. Despite being in this historical district, many hotels here feature contemporary decor with lots of glass walls and muted color schemes. They’re also known for offering spacious rooms, comfortable beds, and restaurants serving classic European cuisine, with a modern Scottish twist.
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