Free Art Galleries in Edinburgh City Centre

Looking for a place to explore some great art? Edinburgh is a city steeped in history and culture, making it the perfect place to explore some of the world’s best art galleries for free. 

Check out some of the city’s free art galleries! From contemporary pieces to historical paintings, these galleries are a great way to spend a rainy day 😉 in Edinburgh city centre.

  1. Scottish National Gallery
  2. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
  3. Scottish National Portrait Gallery
  4. City Art Centre
  5. Fruitmarket
  6. Talbot Rice Gallery

Click on each of the above to scroll to more information below.

1. Scottish National Gallery

The Scottish National Gallery is the national art gallery of Scotland, located in central Edinburgh. It has a rich collection of fine art from the beginning of the Renaissance up to the start of the 20th century.

Where: The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL

Prominent works at the Scottish National Gallery

“Lady Agnew of Lochnaw” by John Singer Sargent

“Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch” by Sir Henry Raeburn


2. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

The National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, Scotland, is home to a vast collection of art dating from the early 1900s to the present. The National Gallery has two buildings – Modern One and Modern Two – that face each other on Belford Road to the west of the city centre. The gallery stages major exhibitions and has a collection of over 6000 paintings, sculptures, installations, video work, prints and drawings.

Where: 75 Belford Rd, Edinburgh EH4 3DR


3. Scottish National Portrait Gallery

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is an art museum on Queen Street, Edinburgh. The gallery holds the national collections of portraits, all of which are of, but not necessarily by, Scots. It also holds the Scottish National Photography Collection. The collection has been amassed over the years through donations and purchases, and includes works by some of the most renowned Scottish painters and photographers.

Where: 1 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JD


4. City Art Centre

The City Art Centre is home to the City of Edinburgh’s Recognised collection of Scottish Art. This collection includes historic and modern Scottish painting and photography, as well as contemporary art and craft. It is an exhibition based venue with no permanent displays.

Where: 2 Market St, Edinburgh EH1 1DE


5. Fruitmarket

The Fruitmarket Gallery is a renowned contemporary art gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland. The gallery has been open since 1974 and is known for its innovative exhibitions and its contribution to the Scottish contemporary art scene.

Where: 45 Market St, Edinburgh EH1 1DF


6. Talbot Rice Gallery

Talbot Rice Gallery is the public art gallery of the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland. With a 19th-century former natural history museum and a contemporary white cube gallery, it has a broad range of exhibitions, from painting and sculpture to video and photography.

Where: University of Edinburgh, The University of, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL


Further reading:

https://theculturetrip.com/europe/united-kingdom/scotland/articles/edinburgh-s-best-art-galleries-and-museums-celebrating-scottish-art/

https://edinburgh.org/things-to-do/activities/edinburghs-art-galleries/

Photo by Serg Bataev on Unsplash

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