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Scottish National Gallery

Discover the work of some of the greatest Scottish and European painters at this free gallery in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle.

The Scottish National Gallery looks after the country’s fine art collection from the early Renaissance to the end of the 19th century. The collection is spread across three levels of a mid 19th-century neoclassical building.

Familiarize yourself with the history of Scottish painting by starting your visit in the lower level. Many of the rooms on this floor showcase the stars of Scottish art, such as McKay, Ramsay, Raeburn and Wilkie.

Then head up to the ground level and appreciate works by Cézanne, Degas, Monet and Van Gogh, among others. The highlights include Self-Portrait by Rembrandt and Sandro Botticelli’s The Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Christ Child.

To enhance your appreciation of the featured works, download the gallery’s free ArtHunter mobile app for Android and iOS phones. Use it to capture paintings and unlock videos, audios and bonus content. There’s also a gaming aspect to the app which could keep young children occupied on their way around. Check the gallery’s website for details. There, you’ll also find information about free family drop-in activities held regularly throughout the year.

Don’t leave without seeing some of the religious-themed paintings on the upper level, including Bologna’s The Adoration of the Magi. This floor contains many of the gallery’s early pieces, dating from the 16th and 17th centuries.

The Scottish National Gallery is next door to the Royal Scottish Academy and connected to it by the Gardens Entrance which is situated beneath the two buildings. This multipurpose space houses a restaurant, café and the National Gallery’s shop.

Located on the Mound, the road that bisects Princes Street Gardens, the Scottish National Gallery is within walking distance of Princes Street. The nearest train station is Edinburgh Haymarket. If you are driving, there are three paid parking lots nearby.

The gallery is open daily. Check the National Galleries website for specific opening times.


Guide to Exploring around National Gallery of Scotland


Best Lodging Options Near National Gallery of Scotland

See all 3,573 Properties near National Gallery of Scotland
Eden Locke ¥7,760
Eden Locke

Eden Locke

127 George Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in New Town, this aparthotel is steps from Charlotte Square, Princes Street, and George Street. Princes Street Gardens and Usher Hall are also within 10 minutes. Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 15 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Waverley Station is 16 minutes.

    Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
    Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

    Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

    19 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Old Town, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from City Art Centre, Princes Street, and Royal Mile. Edinburgh Dungeon and Real Mary King's Close are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 2-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 27 minutes.

      YOTEL Edinburgh ¥6,185
      YOTEL Edinburgh

      YOTEL Edinburgh

      Erskine House, Queen Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in New Town, this hotel is steps from Georgian House and Princes Street. George Street and Royal Mile are also within 15 minutes. Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 16 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Waverley Station is 18 minutes.

        The Balmoral Hotel ¥30,047
        The Balmoral Hotel

        The Balmoral Hotel

        1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in New Town, this luxury hotel is steps from Multrees Walk and Princes Street. George Street and Edinburgh Dungeon are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 4-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 24 minutes.

          Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile ¥6,419
          Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile

          Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile

          231 Canongate, Edinburgh, Scotland
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Old Town, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Royal Mile, St. Giles' Cathedral, and Palace of Holyroodhouse. Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre and Greyfriars Kirk are also within 15 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is 5 minutes by foot.

            Motel One Edinburgh-Royal ¥12,821
            Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

            Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

            18-21 Market Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps from City Art Centre, Princes Street, and Royal Mile. Edinburgh Dungeon and St. Giles' Cathedral are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 3-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 24 minutes.

              Mode Edinburgh ¥9,153
              Mode Edinburgh

              Mode Edinburgh

              74 - 77 Queen Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in New Town, this apartment building is steps from Georgian House and Princes Street. George Street and Royal Mile are also within 15 minutes. Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 16 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Waverley Station is 18 minutes.

                The Scotsman Hotel ¥18,130
                The Scotsman Hotel

                The Scotsman Hotel

                20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Old Town, this boutique hotel is steps from City Art Centre, Princes Street, and Royal Mile. Edinburgh Dungeon and Real Mary King's Close are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 2-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 28 minutes.