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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
  • Surprisingly quiet for a Saturday morning so took advantage of cafe to start with. Decent coffee and scones however choc chip scones beside fruit scones resulted in an unfortunate confusion! Exhibitio...  more »
  • A lovely designed building containing a wealth of portraits that will stimulate all tastes. Many galleries containing collections and exhibitions. Well laid out 
  • Museum houses national collections of portraits, most by Scottish artists set in a beautiful Gothic revival building opened in 1896. In addition, this museum holds the Scottish National Photography Co...  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.