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.

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