How To Find Us

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is five minutes’ walk from Princes Street on Queen Street (round the corner from Harvey Nichols).

Opening hours

Open daily 10am-5pm (6pm for August only). Thursdays until 7pm.

Closed 25 and 26 December. Open on 1 January from 12 noon. Open on 2 January until 5pm.

Admission is free. A charge may be made for special exhibitions.

Access

Disabled Access

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery has excellent facilities for disabled visitors. There is wheelchair access to all parts of the Gallery. The main entrance is fully accessible and there is a specially adapted toilet and lift.

Disabled drop-off/pick-up and parking:

  • Drop off/pick-up is permitted for blue-badge holders at the inset in North St David Street on the West side of the gallery between 0930h and 1600h.
  • Cars (but not larger vehicles) with blue badges are permitted to park in the back lane as long as they avoid access points and fire exits (which are marked with double yellow lines).
  • The nearest designated bays for blue badge holders are on West Register Street and St James Place. These are a 5-8 min walk to the Portrait Gallery.

Artlink runs a service enabling people with disabilities resident in Edinburgh and the Lothians to visit arts venues in the city. To register, telephone 0131 229 3555. Please note that there is a waiting list for this service.

Getting here

By Bus

Bus numbers 4, 8, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 26 and 44 all go past the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Alternatively, take any Princes Street or Town Centre bus, alight at the end of Princes Street, opposite Waverley Steps and walk through St Andrew Square, turning left onto Queen Street. For more information visit www.lothianbuses.com

By Train

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is a few minutes’ walk from Waverley Station. Take the Princes Street exit, cross the road and walk the short distance through St Andrew Square, turning left onto Queen Street.

By Car

Follow routes for City Centre and City Centre Attractions. There is no car park at the gallery, and very limited on-street parking near the venue. We recommend that you park your car in one of the many City Centre car parks instead.

York Place closed due to tram works

From 14 July 2012 until the end of 2013, York Place is closed to traffic between North St Andrew Street and Broughton Street.  This may affect your journey to the Gallery if you are travelling from Leith or the North east of the city.  Queen Street is still accessible via Dundas Street and Howe Street.

Visitor Safety - Bag Searches

The safety of the National Galleries of Scotland’s visitors, volunteers, staff,  collections and buildings is of paramount importance and is integral to the mission of the National Galleries of Scotland which is to care for, develop, research and display the national collection of Scottish and international art.

From time to time, in order to maximise safety precautions, and in line with changing circumstances and/or government instructions, the National Galleries of Scotland may introduce additional security measures as appropriate, including the search of bags which are brought into the Galleries by visitors.  You may be greeted upon entry by one of our security personnel who will conduct a thorough but speedy hand-check of all bags, briefcases, purses, and containers. This search will be conducted in your presence and with your consent (although refusal to consent may result in exclusion of the bag concerned and/or refused entry to the Galleries). The purpose of this search is to ensure that nothing that could be harmful, noxious, dangerous or deleterious to people, collections or buildings is brought into the Galleries.

The methodology to be applied to bag searches will ensure that:

  • the search is lawful
  • the search is consensual
  • the visitor is fully aware of the situation
  • the search is appropriate and thorough
  • staff are protected against allegations of wrongdoing

Download the full bag search policy.