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Art Lover’s Guide to Edinburgh

Art Lover’s Guide to Edinburgh

Though often overshadowed by artsy Glasgow, Edinburgh plays a starring role in Scotland’s cultural landscape. Art-keen visitors to the Scottish capital will find an array of art-centric attractions, including the national galleries. Here are some of the best spots for art lovers looking to explore Edinburgh’s art scene.

Scottish National Gallery

The Scottish National Gallery showcases classical European art, from Tintoretto and Titian to J.M.W. Turner and Paul Cézanne. Homegrown Scottish talent is also well represented with works from the likes of Allan Ramsay, Sir Henry Raeburn, and William MacTaggart on show.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Art lovers come face-to-face with famous figures from Scotland’s past, from Mary Queen of Scots toJames Bond-actor Sir Sean Connery, at this Venetian Gothic-style gallery on Queen Street.

 

Scottish Gallery of Modern Art

Set across two separate buildings—Modern Art One and Modern Art Two (Dean Gallery)—the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art is a must for contemporary art fans. Pretty much every major art movement from the 20th century is covered in its collection, which includes pieces from the likes of Henri Matisse, Roy Lichtenstein, and Tracey Emin.

National Museum of Scotland

Though much of the modern portion of the National Museum is given over to historical and geological exhibits, the Victorian galleries house displays on art, design, and fashion, and include everything from colorful Bernat Klein textiles to a rare glass sculpture designed by Pablo Picasso. 

The Queen’s Gallery

Get a peek at some of the British Royal family’s art collection, showcased at this gallery in the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Works from the Royal Collection are shown as part of changing exhibits that move between here and the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace.

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6 Tours and Activities | All Edinburgh Tours

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City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

star-4
An Edinburgh bus tour is the perfect way to hear commentary on city sights and get a panoramic overview. This City Sightseeing tour of Edinburgh lets you hop on and off at several strategically placed stops as many times as you like. Board the open-top double-decker bus and travel the entire route, or stop at Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum and many more. Buses depart regularly and tickets are valid for 24 hours from first use.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$21.77
From
$21.77
Taking safety measures

Palace of Holyroodhouse Admission Ticket

Palace of Holyroodhouse Admission Ticket

star-4.5
Skip notoriously long entrance lines when you book an admission ticket in advance to Holyroodhouse, Scotland’s royal residence. Head straight in and start exploring the grounds and historic rooms where Mary Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and the current Queen of England have all lived and conducted business.
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  • 1 hour
  • Taking safety measures
From
$22.45
From
$22.45
Taking safety measures

Private Half-Day Tour of Edinburgh in a Mini

Private Half-Day Tour of Edinburgh in a Mini

star-5
Short on time but still want to experience Edinburgh’s UNESCO-listed gems? No problem! Jump aboard a classic Mini Cooper for a private half-day tour of Edinburgh and zip around the sights in style. Hop out along the way to admire Edinburgh Castle, take in the views from Arthur’s Seat and stroll down the Royal Mile, then explore the lively Grassmarket and visit the waterfront neighbourhood of Leith. Finish your adventure by tucking into a delicious lunch or dinner (depending on option selected) of typical Scottish cuisine.
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  • 4 hours
From
$340.14
per group
From
$340.14
per group

Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh

Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh

star-5
Explore famous landmarks and hidden secrets in Edinburgh on this walking tour. Explore Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile with a guide, and gain insight into famous writers and inventors who have called the city home. Hear tales of Scotland's national bard—Robert Burns—and discover top landmarks such as St. Giles’ Cathedral and the National Galleries of Scotland. Capture Edinburgh through the eye of your camera as you go, and find out what makes this ancient city tick.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$33.10
From
$33.10
Taking safety measures

Edinburgh Royal History Walking Tour with Optional Palace of Holyrood House Admission

Edinburgh Royal History Walking Tour with Optional Palace of Holyrood House Admission

star-5
Follow in the footsteps of Scottish icons like Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie as you unravel the truths and myths of Edinburgh’s royal history. Set out on a 90-minute walking tour of the UNESCO-listed Old Town, spot the royal sites along Canongate and admire the grand Palace of Holyroodhouse, The Queen’s official residence in Scotland. After a comprehensive introduction to Edinburgh’s royal roots, enjoy skip-the-line access (optional) to the Palace of Holyrood and explore the magnificent royal residence independently.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$22.07
From
$22.07
Taking safety measures

Guided Edinburgh Private Walking Tour

Guided Edinburgh Private Walking Tour

star-5
Embark on an enriching 3.5 or 7-hour walking tour of Edinburgh’s cultural and historical highlights with a private guide. While you listen to insightful commentary, you’ll visit iconic landmarks and hidden gems according to an itinerary tailored to your interests. Explore the cobbled streets of the Old Town, gaze at Edinburgh Castle on its rocky perch and ascend to the summit of Calton Hill for panoramic city views. On this private tour, you’ll receive the undivided attention of your guide while gaining unique insight into the Scottish capital.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$360.37
per group
From
$360.37
per group
Taking safety measures