Scottish National Portrait Gallery visit

Open daily, 10am-5pm
(Thu-Sat from 1 July)

Admission free | Advance booking required


From 1 July the Gallery will be open three days a week (Thursdays-Saturdays) 10am-5pm.

Come face to face with the people who shaped Scotland’s past, present and future at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

We've instituted a free, timed ticketing system.

  • Admission is free, but tickets must be booked here in advance. Everyone, except babes in arms, is required to have a ticket.
  • Bookings can be for six people from three households for an indoor space such as our gallery buildings or cafés. Booking for outdoor spaces like our cafe terraces can be for eight people from eight households.
  • If you have already booked a ticket but cannot make, or need to exchange it for another time slot, get in touch with us at [email protected]

We have signed up to the Good to Go scheme to show we are committed to meeting current Scottish Government health and safety standards for our buildings and staff.

Find out what displays are included in this visit

Event accessibility

Exhibition accessibility

  • Wheelchair access


Gallery facilities

A full accessibility guide is available at www.accessibilityguides.org.

We provide a sensory map of the building to help visitors identify areas with changes in light, smells and noise. It locates seating areas and less crowded, quieter spaces. Printed copies are available from the front desk at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

  • Information desk
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair access
  • Wheelchairs available
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Buggy park
  • Seating throughout
  • Bike rack
  • Accessible toilets for gallery visitors
  • No lockers
  • Toilets for gallery visitors

Getting here

Located in the city centre on Queen Street, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery is easy to access.

In addition to the transport options below there are bike racks at each site and Just Eat Cycle Hire stations nearby.

  • Open daily, 10am-5pm<br> (Thu-Sat from 1 July)
1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD

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Scottish National Portrait Gallery visit


Donations may be administered by the National Galleries of Scotland Foundation (No. SCO43024). This has been set-up to support five key areas for the National Galleries of Scotland: Acquisitions, Exhibitions, Education, Conservation, and Access and Audiences.

National Galleries of Scotland is a charity registered in Scotland (No. SCO03728).

Included in this visit

Included in this visit

A small number of rooms are temporarily closed so we can conform with safe physical distancing measures. These include the Library and Photography Gallery on the first floor and galleries one to four on the second floor.

The closed galleries include Imagining Power | The Visual Culture of the Jacobite CauseThe King’s Last Day | The Execution of Charles IArt and Analysis | Two Netherlandish painters working in Jacobean Scotland and Reformation to Revolution.

The Modern Portrait

This display collates some of the most recognisable modern and contemporary portraits from the national collection.

The Remaking of Scotland

Subtitled Nation, Migration, Globalisation 1760-1860 this display explores the lives and careers of the Scots behind this period of dramatic change.

Scots in ltaly

This display explores the Scottish experience of Italy in the eighteenth-century, the period when fascination with the country reached its height.

Heroes and Heroines

This exhibition re-examines some major Scottish figures, from Thomas Carlyle to Andrew Carnegie, raises questions about the nature of hero-worship and the values that were upheld by our Victorian forebears. Women artists, scientists, writers and suffragists provide a strong female presence.

Keeping you safe on your visit

Keeping you safe on your visit

We have signed up to Check In Scotland, a voluntary service which enables visitors to quickly and securely provide their contact details to asssist with COVID-19 contact tracing.

Book online

Admission is via a ticketed entry system which must be booked in advance online only. 

Additional cleaning

We have instituted a programme of deep cleaning of the Galleries and will have staff onsite cleaning all touch points throughout the day.

One-way system

To keep you safe, one-way routes are in place throughout the Galleries.

Maintain a safe distance

We are asking all visitors to adhere to current physical distancing rules.

Face coverings

In line with Government guidelines, we are asking all visitors over the age of 5 to bring and wear a face covering. Our staff will be wearing face coverings.

Hand sanitiser

Hand sanitiser is available in key areas, along with increased cleaning regimes in toilets and other high use areas.

Timed visitor slots

We are limiting the number of visitors coming into our galleries via timed visitor slots. We hope that this will make you feel safe when re-engaging with much-loved artworks.

Feeling unwell?

If you or anyone you live with displays symptoms associated with COVID-19, please delay your visit until it is safe to do so.


Download Smartify to access our highlights tour, large print labels and get more information about the artworks during your visit.

Our Friends

Our Friends

Friends of the Galleries get free unlimited entry to all exhibitions, and enjoy a wide range of exclusive benefits including early exhibition access, special events and 10% discount in our cafes.

What's on

Browse what's on at the galleries below, or filter results to narrow your search.

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