Visit Edinburgh's free art galleries
the National Portrait Gallery
Scottish Gallery of Modern Art © Kenny Lam
National Galleries of Scotland © Kenny Lam
City Art Centre
The largest art spaces in Edinburgh are the National Galleries of Scotland which showcase a collection of Scottish and international art among the best in the world. The collection is housed in three distinct galleries, all located in impressive buildings that are well worth a visit in their own right.
Scottish National Gallery
For lovers of fine art, the place to head is the Scottish National Gallery which is located in grand interconnected buildings on the Mound, between Princes Street and the Royal Mile. They house a superb collection drawn from the early Renaissance to the late 19th century.
Look out for masterpieces from Raphael, Titian, El Greco, and Rembrandt to Van Gogh, Monet and Cézanne. The Royal Scottish Academy, also part of the complex, features a changing programme of temporary exhibitions which have included work by Andy Warhol and Elizabeth Blackadder.
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Modern art lovers should visit the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, a short and pleasant walk from the city centre. Displays in the gallerie's two buildings include Cubist, Expressionist, and Surrealist art, with highlights including works by Matisse, Picasso and Dalí. Explore the delightful grounds which include a vast grass and water landform sculpture as well as other artwork.
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
The third national gallery, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, re-opens in December. Following a major refurbishment, magnificent Victorian details have been uncovered in this impressive late 19th century building, designed by renowned architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, and now restored to its former glory. More photography will be on show and the galleries will show portraits within the context of various historical and thematic exhibitions, bringing to the foreground the fascinating stories behind the sitters and the artists.
More free galleries in Edinburgh
Other galleries which hold free exhibitions include the City Art Centre, a temporary exhibition space which is also home to the City of Edinburgh’s outstanding collection of Scottish art and the Fruitmarket Gallery, which exhibits contemporary art.
SearchSkip search forms
Search for accommodation
Search for attractions
Search for events
Search for activities
Book online or call us:
0845 859 1006
Monday to Friday: 0900 - 1700
Closed Saturday and Sunday
* Calls may be recorded.
Sign up now to receive regular e-newsletters and be the first to hear about the latest news, exciting events and festivals.
Edinburgh and the Lothians sits on the eastern side of Scotland's central belt, in the heart of the country.