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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 $132
Reviewed on Jun 12, 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

    This hotel is in an amazing location. There are all sorts of pubs and shops nearby, plus an awesome view of the castle. The hotel itself was wonderful, also. Staff were extremely friendly, they even helped us check in early when our flight had arrived early in the morning after many hours of travel. ...

    Principal Edinburgh George Street $164
    Reviewed on Jun 12, 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

      Perfectly located in the city, easy to walk to everything. Staff was overly accommodating, always friendly, room was small but absolutely amazing view of Leith and the water. Would definitely stay again.

      Jurys Inn Edinburgh $103
      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.

        Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel $104
        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!

          Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre $170
          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.

            Hilton Edinburgh Carlton $142
            Reviewed on Jun 9, 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

              Excellent location and facilities.Service was great. We enjoyed our stay very much.

              ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge - Royal Mile $111
              Reviewed on Jun 14, 2019
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              ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge - Royal Mile

              ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge - Royal Mile

              77 South Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
                 
                4.2 of 5
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                This hotel doesn't have in room telephones, making it difficult to connect with fellow travelers who didn't have roaming data plans. Staff was fine, room as a whole was fine.

                Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel $168
                Reviewed on Jun 9, 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

                  Had quite a quirky vibe about it an individual style staff were friendly and helpful