Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

4.6
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
2,204 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • This is a very short walk from Princes street and well worth a visit, especially as it is free. The building itself is beautiful and very easy to navigate around. As you would expect it centres around...  more »
  • Not in the centre, but only a 10 minute walk. Lovely old building and very striking lobby. Lots of portraits old and new. Free.  more »
  • The Museum is located in a very nice building, I especially loved the portraits and pictures
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  • Beautiful building, and stunning collection of portraits, including paintings and busts, and plaster molds, some of the living, and some of the dead. Make sure to go into the library, they have an early lenticular portrait of Mary Queen of Scots that turn from her portrait into a skeleton as you move from side to side. I was struck by the plaster molds as well, because the left side of all of the faces that were taken after death were drooping. Still need to investigate why that is. This is a stunning museum, no charge, but recommended donation of 5 pound. They have what looks like a nice restaurant, but we did not eat there.
  • Another wonderful gallery with full of portraits and paintings in the heart of Edinburgh. There is a library inside which is cool. Don't miss to see the optical illusions in a picture inside the library. I really liked the balcony section which has pretty paintings and lightings. Free entry and lots of information to be harvested. A must go place if you are in to galleries. Thank you.
  • Superb collection, and well worth a visit. Not just for boring adults, but teens and any child interested in art should go and have a look. The building itself is also great and worth a look if you are interested in architecture.
  • Wonderful experience. Best taken in small focussed chunks or can be overwhelming. The cafe and gift shop offer wide choice and good value
  • Excellent. Free entry too! Has a lovely cafe serving tasty lunches and afternoon teas. Lockers available (£1) to leave coats and big bags while you browse the impressive and varied collection.
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