Gallery of Modern Art and Dean Gallery

Address: 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR, Scotland
Telephone: 0131 624 6558

- Free


Modern art to thrill every art lover.

The two national modern galleries are directly opposite each other on Belford Road, a 15-minute walk from Princes Street.

The Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) is the building with the Jencks grassy knoll in front of it. It has work by Matisse and Picasso as well as a post-war collection, with art by Francis Bacon, David Hockney, Andy Warhol and Lucian Freud, More recent works come from the likes of Antony Gormley, Gilbert & George, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.

It has an excellent café downstairs, which gets very busy every day with locals from noon - so time it well as you could be in a queue! The food is homemade and delicious, and the café is licensed too!

The Dean Gallery is a world-class collection of Dada and surrealism, which features important works by Dalí, Miró, Ernst, Magritte and Picasso. My favourite room is Paolizzi's studio, which is a recreation of how his London studio  was - fascinating and comforting for untidy characters like myself.

In the gardens there are sculptures by Ian Hamilton Finlay, Henry Moore, Rachel Whiteread and Barbara Hepworth. The lawn to the front of the Gallery of Modern Art was landscaped in 2002 to a design by Charles Jencks. And if you like sculpure and gardens then you must go to Jupiter Artland, which is only open in the summer months but well worth the trip.

If you go down onto the Water of Leith you can see one of several Antony Gormley sculptures placed in and around Edinburgh. There is another in the entrance to GOMA, which you spot on arrival.

Value for money

Price advice

All permanent exhibitions, such as the ones I mention above, are free to enter. 

Other exhibitions charge accordingly, but check the website as this is a pro-active and busy gallery with lots going on.

Expert tips

You can access GOMA from The Water of Leith, which is a lovely way to meander to and from town if the weather is on your side.

There is lots of parking at the modern art galleries.

A gallery bus runs from The National Gallery Complex on Princes Street to The modern art galleries and back every 15 minutes.

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Couples
  • Culture vultures
  • Mature travellers
  • Seasoned travellers
  • Escaping the crowds
  • Sightseeing
  • Art
  • History
  • Design and architecture