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
2,044 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • 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 »
  • Thematic portrait Museum featuring an exhibition avant-garde. Nice theme exhibitions. All free. Not to be missed.
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  • 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
  • As much as the portrait gallery is wonderful and it's an impressive building architecturally speaking. Outstanding to view from outside! I do visit here fairly regularly and it's actually to use the cafe facility. There's a lovely open seating area, however, if you wanted more privacy there's a smaller area in a separate room. Still with artwork on display. The cafe is excellent . Ample seating, great selection on the menu. However, I'd recommend it for catching up with a friend over coffee and a cake perhaps! :-)
  • I LOVE this venue. The building itself is utterly gorgeous and inside is just as lavish. The cafe is on the pricey side but very much worth it as the food and drink options are on the plush side. Not to mention that the coffee and scones are amazing! The exhibition space is well laid out with plenty of room to view works. If you're in Edinburgh and into thr arts this is a must on places to visit.
  • Beautiful building with free entry to a range of exhibits. Sometimes there are charges to see some of the exhibitions but even so, there's plenty to see in the free galleries. There's a real mix of modern portraiture, photography, sculpture and old masters here. We recently saw a series of self portraits featuring an artist who documented his recovery from addiction, which was very moving. A good gift shop and busy cafe too.
  • Every visitor to Edinburgh should consider taking some time to stop by the NPG. Why? It's a gorgeous building inside and out. It has informative portraits and exhibitions about Scotland, clearly presented. It's free apart from certain exhibitions which are always worth the price. And there's a handy shop and cafe to spend money on souvenirs, good books, and sustenance. Go go go.
  • Absolutely gorgeous building, the art was really incredible and I was amazed at the are of a majority of the paintings. That being said, I am much more interested in contemporary portraiture and while their gallery was very interesting and diverse the quantity of modern portraits was a bit disappointing. That last bit is obviously just my preference so I still give 5 stars.

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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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