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.

Open daily, 10am-5pm

Free admission | Charge for some exhibitions

1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD

enquiries@nationalgalleries.org

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

Level 2 of the Portrait Gallery

The Library and Print Room

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.

  • Open daily, 10am-5pm
1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD

Gallery Bus

Our Gallery Bus takes visitors to all three galleries. Starting at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art the bus runs a circular route to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery. A voluntary donation of £1 is required. The bus drops off, but does not pick up at the Portrait Gallery.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Scottish National Portrait Gallery (drop off only) Scottish National Gallery
11am 11:15am 11:30am
12 noon 12:15pm 12:30pm
2pm 2:15pm 2:30pm
3pm 3:15pm 3:30pm
4pm 4:15pm 4:30pm

Accessibility & facilities

In order to protect our vulnerable works of art from any kind of accidental damage we kindly ask all visitors to either carry their rucksack/backpack by hand or place it in a locker.

  • Information desk
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair access
  • Hearing loop
  • 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
enquiries@nationalgalleries.org

Groups of 10 or more

Groups of 10 or more are encouraged to book two weeks in advance in order to make the most of your visit and take advantage of discounts on paid exhibitions. Our team can help you plan your visit.

Schools, college and university visits

We offer an exciting range of tours and workshops for students of all ages.

Other languages

Other languages

We have information to help plan a visit available in a number of languages other than English. You can access these from the links below:

Featured exhibitions and displays

Featured exhibitions and displays

Exhibition

Planes, Trains and Automobiles | Transportation Photographs from the National Galleries of Scotland

Portrait

Until Sun 13 Jan 2019

Open daily, 10am-5pm

Free

Display

Reformation to Revolution

Portrait

Until Mon 1 Apr 2019

Open daily, 10am-5pm

Free

Display

Heroes and Heroines | The Victorian Age

Portrait

Until Fri 31 May 2019

Open daily, 10am-5pm

Free

Display Coming Soon

Beings

Portrait

Sat 2 Feb 2019 - Sun 28 Apr 2019

Open daily, 10am-5pm

Admision free

Featured events

Featured events

Drop-in event

Wee Treasures (Ages 2-5)

Portrait

Sat 5 Jan 2019
10:30 & 11:30am

Free

+1 other sessions

Tour

Portrait Gallery Thematic Tours: Public Transport/ Private Lives

Portrait

Sat 5 Jan
2 - 2:45pm & 3 - 3:45pm

Free

+1 other sessions

Drop-in event

Easel Sketching in the Gallery

Portrait

Thu 10 Jan 2019

2 - 4pm

Free

+3 other sessions

Course SOLD OUT

Wound Up, Ground Down or Stressed Out with Everyday Life?

Portrait

Fri 11 Jan 2019

1:30 - 4pm

£120.00

+4 other sessions

Café & shop

Café Portrait

Open daily from 10am-4.30pm +44 (0)131 624 6421

Round off your trip to the Portrait Gallery with a visit to Café Portrait, where you can take a break from sightseeing and enjoy a delicious lunch or coffee and cake in impressive surroundings.

Serving a delicious menu of flavourful soups, hot and cold main dishes, classic recipes with a contemporary twist, tasty & colourful salads, heavenly home-baking and a decadent afternoon tea for two priced at only £30. Our team are self-confessed foodies and use their passion for food to source the very best of local, organic ingredients and fresh seasonal produce.

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

Book a table

Shop

Open daily 10am–5pm

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
While you're here

While you're here

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.