Discover Edinburgh Things to Do in Edinburgh Art Galleries


Art is an integral and significant part of Edinburgh's cutural past and present and Scotland's capital is proud of its impressive array of art galleries dotted around the city, welcoming approximately four million visitors every year.

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Edinburgh's art galleries and studios house breathtaking displays and exhibiitons, both permanant and temporary. Each venue encapsulates the whole artistic spectrum, allowing visitors to indulge in a visual feast of classical paintings from Europe, sculptures and contemporary visual art.

The National Gallery of Scotland is always a good starting point to soak up Edinburgh's spectacular collections of fine art. Sandwiched between Edinburgh's Old and New Towns, the gallery is home to Scotland's finest collections of European paintings dating from the Renaissance period to post-impressionism. The venue also showcases masterpieces by Jacopo Bassano, Van Dyck and Tiepolo and an exquisite collection of sculptures, including Bernini's 'Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo', Botticelli's Virgin adroning the sleeping Christ Child and Antonio Canaova's 'Three Graces'.

The city of Edinburgh is home to an exuberant array of modern art incorporaring a variety of media. The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art houses more than 5,000 works of art dating the 19th Century to the present. The showpieces and highlights of its stunning collection includes paintings by France's great artists, Bonnard, Matisse and Vuillard, 20th Century oils by Russian artists, Larionov and Gonacharnova and a spectacular array of Experssionis art by Barlach, Nolde and Kirchner.

Edinburgh's City Art Centre is also one of the city's foremost venues to showcase an oustanding array of contemporary and fine art. Described as 'Scotland's leading Emporium of visual art', the Art Centre is home to six exhibition spaces that display Edinburgh's finest collections of Scottish Art in its host of temporary exhibitions that have included Star Trek memorabilia, tapestries, modern sculptures and sketches from Michelangelo.

Art is omnipresent in Scotland's historic capital and housed within Edinburgh's stunning mediaval buildings and castles, victorian galleries and the labyrinth of lanes and mews in Edinburgh's Old Town. Edinburgh is home to some of the finest collections of art in the world and contributes significantly to the arena of contemporary visual art.

  • The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

    75 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3DR

    The National Gallery lies to the west of Edinburgh's City Centre, on Belford Road and is set in extensive parkland. The Gallery was first opened in 1960 at Inverleith House in the Royal Botanic Garden and moved to its present site in 1984.
  • North Edinburgh Arts Centre

    15a Pennywell Court, Edinburgh EH4 4TZ

    Jointly funded by the Scottish Arts Council National Lottery Fund and The City of Edinburgh Council, North Edinburgh Arts Centre opened in 2002 as a new build arts centre in Edinburgh's Muirhouse district. The £3 million arts features a 96 - 150 capacity studio theatre that stages a diverse array of small scale productions, dance, film and live music performances.
  • Scottish National Portrait Gallery

    1 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JD

    Situated in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town, The Scottish National Portrait Gallery depicts a visual feast of Scottish history. This is unveiled through an outstanding collection of portraits of some of Scotland's most celebrated and influential figures from royal statesmen to poets and rebels.

  • Royal Scottish Academy

    The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL

    The Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh is home to some of the best contemporary art in Scotland. The Academy is located on The Mound at the very heart of Edinburgh; it was re-opened by Prince Charles in 2003 after refurbishment.