Scottish National Portrait Gallery visit

Open daily, 10am-5pm

Admission free | Advance booking recommended


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 and tickets can be booked here in advance. Everyone, except babes in arms, is required to have a ticket.
  • Rooms 7-10 on the top floor of the gallery will be closed from Friday 12 November to Friday 26 November inclusive. Please take this into consideration when you are booking.
  • 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]
  • If you have not pre-booked, entry may be available on the day. Ask a member of staff onsite for details.
  • 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.
  • A ticket gains you admission into the whole gallery, including our exhibitions Alison Watt | A Portrait Beyond Likeness and Thomas Joshua Cooper | The World's Edge. Some spaces are still temporarily closed, so check here to find out what displays are included in your visit.
  • Everything you need to know can be found below or in our Frequently Asked Questions.
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
  • Lockers (£1/£2)
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Buggy park
  • Seating throughout
  • Bike rack
  • Accessible toilets for gallery visitors
  • 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
1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD

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Scottish National Portrait Gallery visit

Safety information

  • 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.

  • 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, staff and visitors.

  • Admission is via a ticketed entry system. Booking is recommended. If you have not pre-booked, entry may be available on the day. Ask a member of staff onsite for details.

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

  • We ask that you respect physical distancing from others during your visit.

  • We ask all visitors over the age of 12 to bring and wear a face covering. Our staff will be wearing face coverings.

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

  • We are admitting visitors coming into our galleries via hourly visitor slots. We hope that this will make you feel safe when re-engaging with much-loved artworks.

  • 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.


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

The Library is temporarily closed so we can conform with safe physical distancing measures.

Thomas Joshua Cooper | The World's Edge

Photographs of the most extreme points and locations surrounding the Atlantic Ocean from over three decades spent circumnavigating the globe.

Alison Watt | A Portrait Without Likeness

Alison Watt | A Portrait Without Likeness explores the artist’s continuing fascination with Allan Ramsay’s portraits. 

Ruined | Reinventing Scottish History

RUINED was created over the last four years by young Scots re-inventing Scottish history - imaginatively mashing-up works from the National Galleries of Scotland collection.

The Modern Portrait

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

Art and Analysis

Focussing on the two seventeenth-century artists Adrian Vanson and Adam de Colone, this small exhibition presents the findings of a collaborative research project.

The King’s Last Day

At the centre of this display is the intriguing and gory painting of the Execution of Charles I by an unknown Dutch artist. 

Imagining Power

This dramatic exhibition considers the Jacobites - those loyal to the deposed Stuart dynasty at home and abroad.

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.

The Remaking of Scotland

Between 1760 and 1860, Scotland’s place in the world was dramatically remade. This exhibition explores the lives and careers of the Scots behind this period of dramatic change.

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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