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Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

4.5
#7 of 55 in Museums in Edinburgh
Art Museum Museum
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 Traveler Rating
1,986 reviews
Google
4.5
  • We had a lovely visit today- enjoyed the portraits, the murals and the library. However, the cafe is just great- very good food for the money we paid, served nicely and in lovely surroundings with no ...  more »
  • Enjoyed a rainy Sunday afternoon here. Diverse range of paintings alongside interesting stories. Thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition "Coming Clean" by Graham MacIndoe. Definitely worth a visit if you're...  more »
  • What a beautiful building and what a fabulous collection. The modern portraits arevaried and fascinating and the special photographic exhibition was very good. Go!  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.

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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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