Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh (must see)

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. It holds the most important collection of portraits of Scottish personalities in the UK, and is also home to the Scottish National Photo Collection.

The gallery is housed in a Gothic Revival edifice, commissioned by the owner of The Scotsman newspaper, John Ritchie Findlay, and was built in 1890 from red sandstone, being the first building in the world constructed especially for the purpose of being a portrait gallery. It was renovated in 2009 and reopened in 2011.

Here, you will find over 3,000 paintings and sculptures, 25,000 drawings and prints, and over 38,000 photos. The collection begins in the Renaissance period and features the clergy, notable nobles and royalty. The oldest portrait on display is that of James IV of Scotland, painted in 1507.

There are two portraits of Mary, Queen of Scots, but they were painted from memory after her death in 1587. Several other paintings, representing scenes from her life, were executed in the 19th century.

The collection continues to the present day and contains portraits of Billy Connelly, the famous Scottish stand-up comedian, and Robbie Coltrane, the actor best known for his role of Hagrid in the Harry Potter films.

Why You Should Visit:
This baroque building's interior is just lovely and special.
Free admission, good café with a wide range of food, free wifi and toilets.
The well-curated portraits/photography collections give an excellent history of Scotland.

Tip:
Don't miss the lovely pebble mosaic in the charming adjacent courtyard (on the right when facing the gallery entrance).
The entrance hall is also very detailed – make sure you take a look at the ceiling.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sun: 10am–5pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Edinburgh, Scotland within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Scottish National Portrait Gallery on Map

Sight Name: Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Sight Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Edinburgh, Scotland

Create Your Own Walk in Edinburgh

Create Your Own Walk in Edinburgh

Creating your own self-guided walk in Edinburgh is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Religious Buildings Walking Tour

Historical Religious Buildings Walking Tour

Amid the variety of other attractions, the historic city of Edinburgh abounds in numerous religious sites. The oldest of them, magnificent Christian churches, represent great interest from both historical and architectural standpoints. To visit some of the most notable and beautiful places of worship of Edinburgh, follow this self-guided walk!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Literary Landmarks Tour

Literary Landmarks Tour

For centuries, Edinburgh has prided itself on being a home to many great writers – Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, J.K. Rowling, just to name a few. Fortunately, the tradition doesn't seem to die out any time soon, and keeps producing more and more authors and literary heroes in whose footsteps people still wish to tread. To explore some of the memorable places of Edinburgh that have...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Famous Squares and Streets Walking Tour

Famous Squares and Streets Walking Tour

While in Edinburgh, discover the popular avenues, boulevards and streets that lead to its most famous squares. While exploring these streets, you can find a copious amount of historic and religious edifices, fashion boutiques, classy restaurants, famous market areas, and hidden gems. Check out a few popular Edinburgh squares and streets in this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Royal Mile Walking Tour

Royal Mile Walking Tour

A succession of streets forming the steep thoroughfare at the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town, The Royal Mile is one of the city's busiest tourist destinations, lined with numerous shops, pubs and casual eateries, souvenir shops and small museums. It runs on a downwards slope for almost exactly a mile (hence the name, coined in 1920), from the famed Edinburgh Castle to the Scottish...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Harry Potter Trail

Harry Potter Trail

Years after the release of the last Harry Potter book and movie, the cultural phenomenon of Harry Potter doesn't seem to fade away and the fandom continues as strong as ever. For a true Harry Potter fan, adding Edinburgh – the city in which the author J.K. Rowling lived while writing the books and still lives today! – to their travel bucket list is a must. On this self-guided Harry Potter...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Old Town Walking Tour

Old Town Walking Tour

Popularly known as the Old Town, the oldest part of the Scottish capital has preserved much of its medieval street plan and many Reformation-era buildings. Together with the 18th/19th-century New Town, it forms part of a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. The abundance of museums, art galleries, theaters, ancient churches, countless historic landmarks, shopping and recreational...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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