Here are some things to help you, and your family, get the most from a visit to the gallery. You can also find support for your art-making wherever you are. Our galleries are open daily and admission is free.

What can we see?
Explore one of the greatest art collections in the world, and find new family favourites.

What can we do?
We have a year round programme of free family activity, for all ages and stages.

Discover from home
Art for everyone to enjoy, wherever you are.

At the National

At the National

Home to one of the greatest art collections in the world. The brand new Scottish galleries are ready for you to explore.

Plan your visit to the National

Family Fridays

Fridays are for families! Every Friday during term-time we have new play activities, sensory spaces and, of course, hands-on making with artists.

Art Trolley

Pick up and play! You’ll find drawing materials, story books, cosy cushions, ear defenders, sketchbooks, paper and Sensory Bags – to help you make the most of a visit to the galleries!

Sensory Bags

In each bag you'll find lots of fun things that you can touch, smell and make sounds with –  can you find the artwork that matches the objects?

At the Modern

At the Modern

An outstanding collection of modern and contemporary art. Stomp around the sculpture garden and take a peek in Paolozzi's Studio. Have you ever shared a cup of tea with a giant Vulcan?

Plan your visit to the Modern

Art Space 2

Our drop-in picnic and play space can be found on Level 2 in Modern One. You can help yourself to art books, big blocks and plenty of materials to make your own masterpieces – or just take a moment to chill out and eat your snacks.

Take part!

Join one of our free, monthly workshops. At the Modern, Under 5s can take part in sculpture-hunting, art-stomping and feel-good making - while our older children can explore their own creativity with Your Art World Saturday morning workshops.

Sensory Walks

Take some time out to explore the grounds, find our six creative prompts, scattered around the sculptures, and listen to a few stories - inspired by sculptures at the Modern.

At the Portrait

At the Portrait

Come face to face with the people who shape Scotland’s past, present and future. Find familiar faces and spot some new ones. Spend some time star-gazing, with your family, in the Great Hall. There's over 2000 stars to spot!

Plan your visit to the Portrait

Free family trail

Come face-to-face with the many portraits at the gallery. What... or who will you spot when you visit! 

Take part

Join us at the Portrait for regular, relaxed, sensory-friendly mornings for children with additional support needs. At these sessions you can meet other people, see artworks in our gallery spaces and take part in creative activities.

Art Trolley

Pick up everything that you need to help you explore the galleries; pencils, sketchbooks, cushions, story books and more.

Events for families

Events for families

Join in! We have a year round programme of free family activity for all ages and stages. 

Your Visit


If you need to take a break, there are seats throughout the galleries and portable folding stools that you can take with you – just ask if you’re unsure.

Food and drink

For the safety of the artworks, eating and drinking in the galleries is not allowed. You are welcome to pack a picnic and eat it in Art Space Two, in Modern One. The grounds of Modern One and Two, and Princes Street Gardens next to the National, are also great places for a picnic!

We have children's menus, and high chairs, in all of our gallery cafes.


Access for buggies and wheelchairs is available at the main entrances of the National, the Portrait and Modern One. For the Academy Building and Modern Two, please use the back entrance. All galleries have lifts.


We have lockers available (£1/£2) and buggies are welcomed as are baby carriers.

Car parking

There is pay and display parking at the Modern. Charges apply. The National and the  Portrait are served by city centre parking.



Everyone is welcome at the National Galleries of Scotland. 

Find out how we make our buildings, services and programmes as accessible and inclusive as possible. 


Accessibility and facilities

The following accessibility and building facilities are universally available at all three of our gallery sites. We have partial Changing Places facilities at the National and full facilities at Modern One. We encourage you to check the individual facilities for each of the National, Portrait and Modern galleries to help plan your visit further. 

Accessibility at the National Galleries of Scotland

  • Information desk
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair access
  • Accessible toilets
  • Wheelchairs available
  • Public toilets
  • Lockers (£1/£2)
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Buggy park
  • Seating throughout
  • Bike rack
  • Café
Things to do at home

Things to do at home

Your Art World

Your Art World is an online community by and for 3-18 year olds: a place to think, wonder, create and share your art online. Find resources and open-ended challenges to inspire critical thinking, play and individual voice.

Art around you

Activities to help inspire your art-making, wherever you are. They require absolutely NO ART MATERIALS - just lots of creative thinking and imagination!

Holiday activities

A selection of new activity prompts and videos to help keep your family creative over the holidays, and beyond. They are inspired by the idea 'You Are Here' - let's make art that celebrates our time at home, with the people we care about most.

How can we help

Our friendly gallery attendants are there to help you make the most of your visit; ask if you need anything. A gallery is not somewhere you always have to ‘wheesht’; we welcome conversations, questions and responses (including baby gurgles!) from all of our visitors.

Don’t miss out!

Don’t miss out!

Sign up for our Family newsletter for a seasonal email about what’s coming up.

Learning & Engagement contact details

If you're looking for more information on our learning programmes, please get in touch with our team who will be happy to advise and help plan your group visit.

+44 (0)131 624 6410

[email protected]