Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

#6 of 60 in Museums in Edinburgh
Art Museum · Hidden Gem · 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. 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
2,670 reviews
  • Great building and many find features and exhibitions inside - completely ruined by being lectured about race every 10 minutes and reminded of how guilty we should be about the colonial past .  more »
  • This museum is closed at the moment but there are no warnings on their website nor on the main door. They are obviously not bothered about their visitors. thoughtless.  more »
  • I really enjoyed my visit to the gallery. The gallery is over a number of floors and highlights various eras of art. Lots of interesting styles to keep the attention going. I particularly liked the contemporary art (although some of the photography was a bit challenging!). Worth a visit and the cafe was a nice place to rest and refuel - cake is good, right?
  • Excellent place to spend a few hours away from the crowds in Edinburgh. It's full of portraits, busts, paintings, sculptures and photos all with a Scottish connection. When I visited in August 2019 there was a beautiful portrait of Her Majesty the Queen in the regalia of the Chief of the Clans. Situated a stones throw from the main bus station, the gallery is highly recommended and best of all, free to visit.

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