Edinburgh is a centre for arts and culture in Scotland, and there are many wonderful and varied art galleries to explore.
With a calm and serene atmosphere, they are the perfect escape from the outside hustle and bustle of the city. So, here are a few of our favourite Edinburgh galleries to get you started.
The famous architect William Henry Playfair designed these two beautiful neoclassical galleries in the 1800s. They are located side by side at the bottom of The Mound, just off Princes Street. The Scottish National Gallery houses one of the best fine art collections in the world. While the Royal Scottish Academy hosts a programme of special exhibitions throughout the year. See work up-close from the masters, including Botticelli, Rembrandt, Turner, Monet and Van Gogh. You'll also find the Scottish Cafe and Restaurant here, and a lovely art and gift shop.
You can't miss this stunning red neo-gothic building, home to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street. The recently refurbished gallery has 17 displays, each exploring people of the past and present who have shaped Scotland. Along with the fascinating artworks, the building's interior itself has real beauty, with glittering friezes, detailed murals and many sculptural elements. Even without such a vast collection of portraits, the gallery is a popular attraction for those who just want to admire the building. There is also a lovely cafe and restaurant, with plenty of delicious food on offer.
The City Art Centre is a large, accessible gallery with six floors housing a mix of traditional and contemporary art. The displays rotate through the City of Edinburgh's Art Collection, which includes over 4,500 drawings, paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures. And they offer a wonderful and varied exhibition programme too. So there's always something new for art lovers to discover here. On the ground floor, there's a great cafe and shop.
The list doesn't stop there! You can also visit the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Fruitmarket Gallery, Stills, Collective, the Queen's Gallery and many, many more. And if you're looking for holiday accommodation near the Edinburgh galleries, we have plenty of beautiful city flats and apartments to let at Lets Get Local. We are Edinburgh experts, so please contact us if you need any help planning your city art trip.