Discover Edinburgh Things to Do in Edinburgh Art Galleries Scottish National Portrait Gallery


Contact Us

1 Queen Street,
Edinburgh EH2 1JD

Tel : 0131 624 6200

Opening Times

Open daily, 10am to 5pm,
Thursday until 7pm.


Scottish National Portrait Gallery
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.

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Although each and every portrait in the gallery has a distinctive Scottish theme in terms of subject, not all paintings are produced by Scots. Visitors to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery can marvel at an exuberant collection of masterpieces painted by some of the world's most influencial artists including Rodin, Van Dyke, Copley and Kokoschka amongst others.

Built in the 1880s, The Gallery was largely funded by private enterprises and philanthropists and is one of the most distinguished landmarks in Edinburgh's World Heritage New Town. Housed in a unique red sandstone edifice designed by prolific architect, Sir Robert Rowan Anderson, The Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh displays an intricate façade quintessential of the neo-gothic era.

Since opening its doors to the public in the late Victorian period, the gallery's portrait collection has increased exponentially, forming an unparalleled artistic feast that reflects Scotland's rich cultural diversity and heritage. Among the highlights of the gallery are the awe-inspiring portraits of Mary, Queen of Scots, Sir Walter Scott, David Hume and Robert Burns.

In addition to its remarkable kaleidoscope of portraits and murals, The Scottish National Portrait Gallery exhibits Scotland's National Photographic Collection, showcasing the excellence of photographers from both home and abroad, including portfolios by the internationally renowned. Since the establishment of this extraordinary attraction in 1984, the photographic collection has reached in excess of 27,000, spanning from the 1840s to the present day.

Following a comprehensive tour of the gallery, visitors have the option to purchase an exclusive selection of publications related to portrait art, Scottish produced crafts and textiles and an array of interesting gifts and merchandise. Why not relax in the in-house café and savour a fine selection of beverages and substantial lunches to set you for the day and evening a head.