Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Overview

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

Gallery Closed due to Covid-19

Free admission | Charge for some exhibitions

1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD

[email protected]

In order to help protect the health of our staff and visitors during this difficult time, we have closed all of our Galleries.

Gallery & grounds

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is one of Edinburgh’s most remarkable buildings – a great red sandstone neo-gothic palace which sits proudly on the city’s skyline. The Gallery was designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson as a shrine for Scotland’s heroes and heroines. It opened to the public in 1889 as the world’s first purpose-built portrait gallery.

An elaborate decorative scheme, both inside and out, with its glittering friezes, evocative murals and extensive sculptural embellishment, make it a very special experience.

Learn more about the history and architecture of the building

Displays at the Gallery explore different aspects of the story of Scotland and her people, told through a wealth of imagery including portraits of famous historical figures such as Mary Queen of Scots, Prince Charles Edward Stuart and Robert Burns, through to more recent pioneers in science, sport and the arts. See these fantastic displays in beautifully refurbished spaces, from the suite of grand top-lit galleries to smaller intimate rooms, and discover the Photography Gallery, and the atmospheric Victorian Library. The displays change on a regular basis, so there is always something new to see.

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.

  • <strong>Gallery Closed due to Covid-19</strong>
1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD

Accessibility & 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
  • Accessible toilets
  • Wheelchairs available
  • Public toilets
  • Lockers (£1/£2)
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Buggy park
  • Seating throughout
  • Bike rack
Admissions

Admissions

Cost

Free admission | Charge for some exhibitions

Opening times

Open daily 10am–5pm

Contact

For general enquiries regarding your visit or gallery services:
+44 (0)131 624 6200
[email protected]

Your safety

For safety reasons we kindly ask all visitors to carry rucksacks or backpacks by hand or use one of the lockers.

Featured exhibitions and displays

Featured exhibitions and displays

Exhibition Coming Soon

You are here | 2020: Stories, Portraits, Visions

Portrait

Opening soon

Gallery Closed due to Covid-19

Display

The Modern Portrait

Portrait

Until Sun 28 Mar 2021

Gallery Closed due to Covid-19

Display

Reformation to Revolution

Portrait

Gallery Closed due to Covid-19

Display

Heroes and Heroines | The Victorian Age

Portrait

Gallery Closed due to Covid-19

Café & shops

Café Portrait

In order to help protect the health of our staff and visitors during this difficult time, we have closed all of our Galleries +44 (0)131 558 7031

After visiting the galleries head to Café Portrait, where you can relax and enjoy a delicious lunch or coffee and cake in impressive surroundings.

All our food is prepared from scratch in our kitchen, which is why it tastes so good. You can choose from a wide variety of gluten and dairy free dishes.

Sample menu

Book a table

Shop

In order to help protect the health of our staff and visitors during this difficult time, we have closed all of our Galleries

Our shop sells ranges of handmade jewellery, crafts, ceramics and limited editions from Scottish artists and makers. So whether you’re looking for prints or posters, books or bags, we have everything from the traditional to the alternative.

Shop online
Research facilities

Research facilities

Photography Collection

The photography collection contains over 40,000 works including the largest collection of Hill and Adamson anywhere in the world.

Portraiture prints & drawings

The portraiture prints and drawings collection consists of 20,000 prints and around 2,000 drawings and watercolours dating from the 16th century to the present.

Scottish biographical and portraiture library

The library has over 50,000 holdings largely including biographies of Scots and Scottish portraiture.

Venue Hire

Venue Hire

This beautiful neo-gothic gallery is one of Edinburgh’s most striking city centre event venues.

About us

About us

The National Galleries of Scotland cares for, develops, researches and displays the national collection of Scottish and international art and, with a lively and innovative programme of activities, exhibitions, education and publications, aims to engage, inform and inspire the broadest possible public.