National Gallery of Scotland

Price guide: Free

National Galleries Complex, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL

Price guide: Free

View from The Mound other side of National Gallery
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By Alison Craig, your Edinburgh expert

I write for BBC radio, The Scotsman, .... Read more
#12 of 22
expert-rated things to do in Edinburgh
Expert overall rating:4.7 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Couples, Culture vultures, Mature travellers, Seasoned travellers, Singles, Art, Design and architecture, History, People watching, Sightseeing

Best for Culture - Expert review of National Gallery of Scotland

The National Gallery houses priceless masterpieces by all the world's great artists.

A stunning structure designed by William Playfair, The National Gallery Complex sits in the middle of Princes Street at the foot of The Mound and houses Scotland's immense and historical collection of art in three interconnecting buildings. It's one of Europe’s premier venues for international exhibitions.

The national collection of art is regarded as one of the best and most important in the world and it's free to get in.

The National Galleries of Scotland comprise of five galleries spread across the city; I have listed the The Modern Art Gallery and The Portrait Gallery separately as they are major attractions in their own right. (though the Portrait Gallery is undergoing refurbishment and will reopen in 2011)

The National Gallery and The Royal Scottish Academy are joined by  the Weston Link, which offers shopping, eating and drinking. An added bonus is that you also get a great uninterrupted view of Princes Street Gardens from the Weston Link.

There's a 120-seater restaurant in here too and a brilliant shop full of irresistible cards, books, knick-knacks and copies of the masterpieces on show.

Price advice: 

Free. Though there is a charge for the major exhibitions.

Expert tips: 
There are car parks at The Modern Art Gallery so you can park there and get the bus that runs to The National Gallery to save hassle.
Grab a map: it is big, even bigger than it looks. There are different levels, buildings and unexpected areas you don't want to miss.
There are lots of workshops for children aged 5 -15; always worth checking to see if there's something on that coincides with your visit.
You can take home a masterpiece! Find the shop, pick the one you want and they will print it on paper or canvas!

More information on National Gallery of Scotland:

Price guide:
Art gallery, Historic site, Landmark / monument
National Galleries Complex, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
0131 624 6336
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Mon-Sun 10am-5pm, Thursdays open until 7pm; closed December 25/26; open Jan 1 from noon-5pm

Have you been to National Gallery of Scotland? Would you recommended it?