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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


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Best Lodging Options Near National Gallery of Scotland

See all 3,635 Properties near National Gallery of Scotland
Point A Hotel Edinburgh Haymarket ¥5,119
Point A Hotel Edinburgh Haymarket

Point A Hotel Edinburgh Haymarket

152 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Haymarket, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), Usher Hall, and Royal Lyceum Theatre. Princes Street and George Street are also within 15 minutes. Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 6 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Waverley Station is 22 minutes.

    Edinburgh Grosvenor Hotel ¥6,174
    Edinburgh Grosvenor Hotel

    Edinburgh Grosvenor Hotel

    Grosvenor Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Haymarket, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) and Princes Street. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and Usher Hall are also within 15 minutes. Edinburgh Haymarket Station is only a 2-minute walk and Edinburgh Waverley Station is 26 minutes.

      Jurys Inn Edinburgh ¥7,282
      Jurys Inn Edinburgh

      Jurys Inn Edinburgh

      43 Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Old Town, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Museum of Childhood, Princes Street, and Royal Mile. Real Mary King's Close and St. Giles' Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 2-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 29 minutes.

        YOTEL Edinburgh ¥7,036
        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 Assembly Rooms, Princes Street, and George Street. Princes Street Gardens and Scott Monument are also within 10 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is 12 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 23 minutes.

          Apex Grassmarket Hotel ¥9,498
          Apex Grassmarket Hotel

          Apex Grassmarket Hotel

          31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Grassmarket, Royal Mile, and Greyfriars Kirk. Scotch Whisky Experience and The Hub are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is 11 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 17 minutes.

            Hilton Edinburgh Carlton ¥9,778
            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. Real Mary King's Close and St. Giles' Cathedral are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 2-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 27 minutes.

              Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel ¥8,971
              Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel

              Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel

              61 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps from Grassmarket, Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, and Scotch Whisky Experience. Greyfriars Kirk and Royal Mile are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is 10 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 18 minutes.

                ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge - Royal Mile ¥7,036
                ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge - Royal Mile

                ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge - Royal Mile

                77 South Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps from Edinburgh Vaults and Princes Street. Royal Mile and Festival Theatre are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 4-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 25 minutes.