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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

See all 654 Hotels near National Gallery of Scotland
$78
Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel

Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel

61 Grassmarket, Edinburgh
4.4
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4.0 out of 5.0

Two blocks from towering Edinburgh Castle, this hotel is in Old Town's bustling Grassmarket district, with the Waverley railway station and four major theaters within a half-mile.

$111
Apex Waterloo Place Hotel

Apex Waterloo Place Hotel

23-27 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh
4.5
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This handsomely updated landmark building stands at the east end of Edinburgh's famous Princes Street. The Waverley train station is a two-minute walk. Edinburgh Castle is just 0.9 km (0.6 mi) away.

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Apex Grassmarket Hotel

Apex Grassmarket Hotel

31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh
4.2
of 5, from 941 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Set on the cobbled Grassmarket, this contemporary hotel is overlooked by Edinburgh Castle, and is within 500 metres of The Royal Mile and Princes Street gardens.

Royal Mile Residence

Royal Mile Residence

217 Royal Mile, Edinburgh
4.7
of 5, from 3 reviews
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These apartments are located throughout the area in Edinburgh.

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The Principal Edinburgh George Street

The Principal Edinburgh George Street

19-21 George Street, Edinburgh
4.4
of 5, from 210 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located amid the shops and restaurants of Edinburgh's fashionable George Street, this hotel is a block from Princes Street and a quarter-mile from the National Gallery.

$76
Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

18-21 Market Street, Edinburgh
4.2
of 5, from 494 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps from Edinburgh Dungeon, St. Giles' Cathedral, and Real Mary King's Close. National Gallery of Scotland and Scott Monument are also within 5 minutes.

Young Street Apartments

Young Street Apartments

19 Young Street, Edinburgh
3.5
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0.0 out of 5.0

Located in New Town, this apartment is within a 15-minute walk of Charlotte Square, Princes Street Gardens, and Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Royal Lyceum Theatre and Usher Hall are also within 15 minutes.

$154
The Scotsman Hotel

The Scotsman Hotel

20 North Bridge, Edinburgh
4.3
of 5, from 548 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

On North Bridge, and one block from both Princes Street and the Royal Mile, this hotel is a half-mile from Edinburgh Castle, and directly opposite Waverley railway station.