Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Overview

There's more to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery than meets the eye. Come face to face with Scotland, experience our audio guide, and enjoy our legendary café! Discover more below...

Open daily, 10am-5pm

Admission free

1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD

[email protected]

The gallery

Discover the stories within...

 

The Gallery

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 its people, told through a wealth of imagery including portraits of famous historical figures such as Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Prince Charles Edward Stuart, through to more recent pioneers in science, sport and the arts including Emeli Sandé, Billy Connolly and Tilda Swinton.

See all exhibitions and displays at the Portrait Gallery

See all artworks on display at the Portrait Gallery

Getting here

Getting here

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

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

Accessibility

Accessibility & facilities

  • 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
About your visit

About your visit

Opening times

Gallery Open daily, 10am-5pm.
Café Portrait Open daily, 10am-5pm (last orders 4.30pm). No advance booking required.
Gallery shop Closed. Our online shop is open and ships worldwide.

Contact

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

Your safety

Everything you need to know about your visit can be found in our Frequently Asked Questions.

Families

Enhance your visit with wee ones with our Art Spot guide. You can pick up copies in the gallery or use our online resource. Who will you meet - and what will you spot?

Group visits

Schools and community groups of 10 or more can book free self-led visits to all our galleries.

Safety information

  • In line with Scottish Government advice we strongly recommend our visitors and staff wear face coverings in our galleries.

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

  • 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.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery BSL introduction

Presented by Trudi Collier, this short welcome film in British Sign Language (BSL) introduces the building and collections of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Tour of The Great Hall at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Liz Louis, Curator of Portraiture introduces the Great Hall of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Liz gives us a tour of the elaborate decorative interior and examines the glittering frieze and mural decorations by William Brassey Hole. The Great Hall is a work of art in itself, and Liz explains how the decorative scheme relates to both the outside of the building, and the contents that it was purpose built to house.

Tour of The Visual Culture of the Jacobite Cause

Lucinda Lax, Curator of Portraiture (1700-1800) gives us a tour of the Jacobite display at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, home to the most extensive and significant collection of Jacobite visual material in the world. Lucinda gives us in insight into this fascinating display, focussing on the way Jacobites presented themselves in portraiture.

Featured exhibitions and displays

Featured exhibitions and displays

Exhibition

You are Here 2022

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Until Sun 8 Jan 2023

Open daily, 10am-5pm

Admission free

Display

James's People

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Open daily, 10am-5pm

Admission free

Display

The Modern Portrait

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Open daily, 10am-5pm

Admission free

Display

The Remaking of Scotland | Nation, Migration, Globalisation 1760-1860

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Open daily, 10am-5pm

Admission free

Featured events

Featured events

Tour

BYOB (Bring Your Own Baby/Bump)

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Mon 7 Nov 2022
10:15am, 11am & 11:30am

Free

Our Friends
Special event SOLD OUT

Artists at Work

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Wed 9 Nov 2022

6 - 7:30pm

Free

Course or workshop

Visually Impaired Programme Live (in gallery) | Discovering the Library

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Wed 16 Nov 2022

10:15am - 3:30pm

Free

Booking essential

Course or workshop

British Sign Language (BSL) tour | You are Here

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Sat 26 Nov 2022

11am - 12 noon

Free

Booking essential

Restaurants

Café & shops

Café Portrait

Open daily, 10am-5pm (last orders 4.30pm). +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

Gallery Shop

Closed +44 (0)131 624 6494

Our shop at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery is currenlty closed. We look forward to welcoming you back soon. In the meantime, you can visit our shops located at the garden's entrance of the Scottish National Gallery and at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Our online shop is open. We also offer click and collect and ship worldwide.

Shop online
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.