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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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Lodging Near National Gallery of Scotland

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Apex Grassmarket Hotel $100
Reviewed on Jun 19, 2019
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Apex Grassmarket Hotel

Apex Grassmarket Hotel

31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
     
    4.3 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    It was good to have a view of the castle. Breakfast was excellent but if we stay again we would ask for a room on a higher floor (we were on the first floor).

    Principal Edinburgh George Street $156
    Reviewed on Jun 17, 2019
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    Principal Edinburgh George Street

    Principal Edinburgh George Street

    19-21 George Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
       
      4.5 of 5
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Our room had a great view of the Firth. The hotel staff was so lovely and helpful.

      Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel $94
      Reviewed on Jun 12, 2019
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      Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel

      Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel

      61 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
         
        4.4 of 5
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        The hotel was extremely convenient to all the sights we wanted to see and to the train station for the day trips we took! The staff was friendly and when we had an issue with the thermostat, they promptly took care of it!

        Jurys Inn Edinburgh $84
        Reviewed on May 21, 2019
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        Jurys Inn Edinburgh

        Jurys Inn Edinburgh

        43 Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
           
          3.9 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Close to transport and shops and many tourist attractions.

          Motel One Edinburgh-Royal $131
          Reviewed on Jun 20, 2019
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          Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

          Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

          18-21 Market Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
             
            4.4 of 5
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            I felt motel one was excellent value for money and had no complaints

            Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre $136
            Reviewed on Jun 8, 2019
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            Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre

            Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre

            80 High Street The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland
               
              4.5 of 5
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Location, room with a fabulous view, very spacious and a comfy bed.

              Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel $169
              Reviewed on Jun 18, 2019
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              Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel

              Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel

              38 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, Scotland
                 
                4.5 of 5
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                This is a beautiful historic property in an excellent location across from Charlotte Square. It has a lovely breakfast/dining room and the staff are most accommodating. The location is not far from Waverly Station from where you can go almost anywhere you want.

                Hilton Edinburgh Carlton $161
                Reviewed on Jun 19, 2019
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                Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

                Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

                19 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
                   
                  4.2 of 5
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  very nice hotel, near everything, it is in the middle of Old town a New Town. Many restauarants and shops.