Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

4.6
#7 of 55 in Museums in Edinburgh
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.
Create an itinerary including Scottish National Portrait Gallery
map
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
2,044 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • August 20, 2017
    This us a remarkable place with something to offer everyone. A great way to improve your knowledge of Scottish history if needed (it was, in my case!) and to explore current issues.  more »
  • August 19, 2017
    Thematic portrait Museum featuring an exhibition avant-garde. Nice theme exhibitions. All free. Not to be missed.
    View original
  • August 16, 2017
    This is an interesting gallery in a very interesting building. Free entry (as many museums and galleries in Edinburgh) a very good café for snacks and light meals. The exhibitions are split into moder...  more »
Google
  • Must see if you like art Lots of steps Some really interesting facts about the local people.afew hundred years ago. Can be warm!
  • Nice museum, portraits from 16th to now illustrating the Scottish history. Free access, gift shop and canteen/restaurant on the ground floor.
  • Entrance Hall is great venue for reception for the launch of Edinburgh Colleges Glow Festival. Great catering from Heritage Portfolio
  • The beautiful red sandstone building (unusual for Edinburgh) and timeless permanent collection a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Not only that the gallery has one of the best cafes of any gallery in Edinburgh.
  • Such a great place to visit. Surprise choir appeared in the main hall. Brilliant. Great display on phrenology with Burke and Hares masks.

Plan your trip to Edinburgh

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

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.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Edinburgh by other users

31 days in Europe BY A USER FROM CANADA August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in Europe BY A USER FROM CANADA August, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in London, Scotland & Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Ireland & Scotland BY A USER FROM CANADA April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 18 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 16 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Western Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, teens, popular PREFERENCES: November, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans