Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  Scotland  /  Edinburgh  /  Museums  /  Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh
(4.5/5 based on 1,800+ reviews on the web)
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. To visit Scottish National Portrait Gallery on your trip to Edinburgh, use our Edinburgh tourist route planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Better than the other gallery but is hard to find and the exhibitions were full of school kids and rude tourists. 
  • That you have probably studied a bit about, though nice to see it all come together. Plenty of steps (though there is also an elevator) and the library was really interesting to see. No admission fee ...  more »
  • A beautiful building housing yet another free entry museum/gallery on Edinburgh. Has some paintings of the Scottish nobles and Royals going back about 370 years and some great works by Sir Henry Raebu...  more »
Google
  • This is one of my favorite places to go in Edinburgh. The portrait gallery is a tranquil gallery with a good selection of portraits from around Scotland through the ages. There is usually a good modern portraiture exhibit on which you may have to pay for but is usually worth while. If you go here don't be in a rush, enjoy it at a leisurely pace, you can easily spend 3 hours here. Fantastic cafe, pretty reasonable for a gallery but great quality. Good coffee too.
  • 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 decent selection including some gluten free cakes. Portraits of contemporary and recent Scottish celebrities (writers, actors, and so on) on the cafe walls.
  • A great range of portraits presented well in an informative timeline/story-telling style. Full of history and art. The building is a beautiful place.
  • Any kind of portraits. From painting portrait to sculpture. The permanent collection is free, however, the best of the portrait are in the paid exhibition. Worth a visit!
  • What an experience. Such an abundance of astounding work. Presented and maintained flawlessly.