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Scottish Parliament

As Scotland’s political center, this striking modern building hosts the nation's government and welcomes visitors to its events and exhibitions.

Admire the unique design of the Scottish Parliament building, a must-see sight in Edinburgh. The front of the building is a mixture of steel, oak and granite, designed to look as if it is growing from the ground. Inside is equally interesting and is open for the public to explore, with special events and tours for curious visitors. A selection of artwork completes the picture of the building as a modern representation of a welcoming and cultural Scotland.

When Scotland voted in favor of a devolved parliament in 1997, it was clear that a new building was needed to host this chamber of politicians. A competition was launched for architects to design it and in 2004 the Scottish Parliament met here for the first time. Note the modern, abstract design elements, some of which attracted controversy initially, but now the building is an iconic part of Edinburgh's architecture.

Take one of four different guided tours, such as the Parliament Tour, which explores the history of Scottish politics and the design of the building. The History Tour tells stories from Scotland's past while the Literature Tour looks at how the building is linked to Edinburgh's writers. Browse the permanent collections of paintings and sculptures on the Art Tour. Book these free tours in advance to guarantee your spot.

Sit in on the debates that shape a nation when the parliament is in session. Visitors can attend First Minister's Questions, when Scotland's leader is grilled on government choices, or listen to a debate in the debating chamber.

Attend one of the Scotland-themed events hosted in the award-winning building. The Scottish Parliament building has been used for musical competitions, multimedia art presentations and public lectures, as well as conferences on culture and politics.

Make the 15-minute walk from Edinburgh Waverley train station to reach the Scottish Parliament building. Alternatively, buses run to the Canongate and Horse Wynd stops, both of which are nearby. Visit during the day from Monday to Saturday.


Guide to Exploring around Scottish Parliament


Best Lodging Options Near Scottish Parliament

See all 3,597 Properties near Scottish Parliament
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton ¥6,880
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.

    Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile ¥6,408
    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.

      Eden Locke ¥7,307
      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.

        The Balmoral Hotel ¥35,975
        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.

          The Scotsman Hotel ¥17,312
          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.

            Motel One Edinburgh-Royal ¥12,816
            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.

              YOTEL Edinburgh ¥6,171
              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.

                Cairn Hotel ¥24,732
                Cairn Hotel

                Cairn Hotel

                10-18 Windsor Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Leith, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Princes Street and Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre. George Street and Palace of Holyroodhouse are also within 15 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is 13 minutes by foot.