National Gallery of Scotland

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The Mound, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

National Gallery of Scotland Edinburgh Reviews

sarahelaine sarahela…
648 reviews
National Gallery of Scotland Aug 09, 2012
The National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Society of Arts share a site in the middle of Princes Street, just off the mound. They focus on paintings, mostly old master era and 18th and 19th century, although there are some lovely Van Goghs, Degases and late 19th and very early 20th century things in a tiny room in the top of one floor, and some medieval things at the top at the other end of the gallery. The basement of the National Gallery houses some Scottish works, especially the colourists and Glasgow School, and some really lovely beach scenes.



The buildings themselves are impressive. The two galleries themselves are very historical neoclassical, and an iconic part of this part of Edinburgh.. The buildings linking them underground and the basement extention for the Scottish art collection, by contrast, are reasonably new and were a major project because they had to build them without in any way damaging the original galleries. The art is nice, especially the nineteenth century stuff in the little room at the top. This is a very traditional gallery – no interactive displays, no audio tours (except sometimes if they have something special on) – hushed rooms and velvet rope. So it wouldn’t be top of my list of places to take small children. There is lift access to most of the gallery, although I didn’t see one going to the nineteenth century rooms so it might be worth checking with the gallery.



As a small, irrelevant anecdote, I used to waitress here for posh receptions. It amazes me the art survives – you’d be amazed how unruly very rich people get on their third glass of champagne (unless you are very rich, of course, in which case you probably know and don’t care) and I have personally dropped at least two trays of champagne glasses on the floor here when elderly toffs decided they needed to hug me whilst I was carrying stuff. The cleaners must be saints.



All in all, this is a nice place to while away a little while between shows in the festival or before catching a train, but I don’t think it’s a major draw on its own unless there’s a special exhibition you want to catch there. Admission is free, except to special exhibitions which carry a charge. There is a gift shop and a restaurant opening out onto the Princes Street Gardens.
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sarahelaine sarahela…
648 reviews
The National Gallery of Scotland Jun 28, 2008
Admission to any of the National Galleries is free, but special exhibitions may cost extra.

There are several National Galleries in Edinburgh, including the national portrait gallery on Queen Street, the National Gallery of Modern Art near Dean Village, and the one that everyone knows about it in the neoClassical Building on Princes Street. I think that's probably the one that htis title refers to, so it's the one that I'll talk about here, but all of them are worth a quick trip.

Stunningly located just under the Castle, with a recent refurbishment that added under ground links to the Royal Scottish Academy Building in front of it adn a new shiny cafe, the National Gallery is well worth a look. As well as the obvious names (there is a room up some stairs, pretty well hidden, with some top notch Impressionists and a couple of pretty good Van Goghs of trees which I love) there are some lesser known Scottish artists, including some of the Colourists and the Glasgow School.

There is a free cloackroom, so it's also quite handy if you have an hour til your train and need to do something with your bag.
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For our trip, we decided to make a survey to decide where we wanted to go.  We listed countries that interested us, as well as cities in them, and things to see/do in the cities.    …Edinburgh Castle - Royal Botanic Garden - Scottish Parliament - National Museum of Scotland - National Galleries of Scotland ♦ Glasgow - 13 free museums and galleries

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