Royal Scottish Academy
Royal Scottish Academy
4
Points of Interest & LandmarksArchitectural BuildingsArt Museums
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
Formed in 1826, The Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture has a proud tradition of promoting excellence in contemporary art in Scotland. Led by eminent artists and architects the Academy has re-established itself as a leading organisation for the visual arts in Scotland, and has successfully garnered a reputation for the strength of its engaging and diverse exhibitions and the fantastic opportunities it offers both established and emerging artists.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Old Town
Few Edinburghers live in the Old Town, but its labyrinth of dank alleys and steep streets suggests this was not always the case. Today, it’s mostly visitors, tartan-flavoured souvenir shops, and pipers that you’ll find on its cobbled streets. This is the place to get a feel for Auld Reekie (Old Smelly), as the town was once nicknamed, and stroll the Royal Mile, the thoroughfare that links the castle with the royal palace – two of Edinburgh’s great set-piece attractions. But there’s lots more exploring to do here down dozens of little alleys, or wynds, while at night the city’s busiest clubs erupt along the Cowgate which is closed to traffic for this purpose.
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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles82 reviews
Excellent
40
Very good
23
Average
12
Poor
3
Terrible
4

Bel016
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK22 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
The building is lovely and it's worth having a look at the architecture. If you aren't paying for the main exhibition there isn't a lot to see. The thing that annoyed me most was that none of the paintings were labelled - they're just numbered. If you want to know the artists names and the titles of the artworks you have to buy a programme. So it's only "free" in the loosest sense of the word - you can go in and look for free but you can't know anything about the artworks unless you pay!
Written 22 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Summerasalifestyle
Malibu, CA3,559 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Solo
Just fantastic. The genius of Grayson Perry.
The other exhibits are just as impressive. It’s good to grow and support new generations of artist. Simple walk of ten minutes from old towne and you’ve arrived. Also only ten. Inures or so from museums of moder art 1 and 2
Written 26 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DunelmArts
Aberdeen, UK1,158 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2023 • Solo
Grayson Perry exhibition was fantastic. It wasn't too crowded, which allowed the visitors get close to the exhibits. Staff were efficient and friendly. Worth a look.
Written 10 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gordon B
Gateshead, UK38 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2023
Visited this building on the Opening day of the Grayson Perry exhibition. To be confronted by utter confusion.
Firstly the entrance is at the rear if you have someone in a wheelchair, and you are presented with a circular glass lift and a guide/security of sorts who tried to explain things to us, with utter confusion. in amonst an area that looks like a tool dumping ground of a building site.
It appears that ticket sales for the exhibition which you have to pay for in this free entry building, are available at the front of the building if you want to pay cash on the day, but there is no disabled access. Or you can use the automated card machines on the third floor. Technology I struggle with due to my own disabilities.
Were told there is no access through the building, so I would have had to leave my Wife there, exit the building and go around to purchase tickets, and come back.
But you can use the lift to gain access to the basement where the shop is, what a supprise, and the toilets on the next level up.
Apparently there is an underground link to the National Galleries of Scotland, but this was closed our security/guide informed us, due to major expansion works. I guess they are digging a bigger tunnel.
So whilst we were not alone in the confusion stakes, other people were looking for a way through the building as well, we never ventured further than the shop.
This is the second time we have tried to access this building, the last time in 2022 was via Princes' Street Gardens and the lift was out of order awaiting parts. We only found that out when we trailed trough the basement to get to it.
I guess one day we may get in, but by experience so far I guess the Purple Pound, is not welcome, or at least not worth of the bother.
Written 2 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheMargeaux
Reno, NV62 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2022
The building is interesting, and the art is worth looking at. It amazes me that the museum doesn't charge an entrance fee but it's nice for those who may not otherwise be able to see the art.
Written 12 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheShis
Tel Aviv, Israel41,102 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
This is a lovely and central building, and we were supposed to visit the gallery, but were surprised to find it close when we arrived.
Written 18 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nicola D
Hessle, UK3,077 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
We visited the Royal Scottish Academy in March, just before lockdown. It faces directly on to Princes Street and is quite an imposing building with huge pillars. We did not find much here to interest us as we did not want to pay an entrance fee for the main exhibition. We much preferred the Scottish National Gallery which is the building just behind the RSA.
Written 27 May 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KodoDrummer
Buenos Aires, Argentina70,534 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
Nice modern and contemporary art exhibition. Spectacular architecture of the Greek-style building. Beautiful historical pieces.
Written 13 May 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ian C
London, UK23,740 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
The building, built by the architect William Henry Playfair in 1822-6 and extended in 1831-6 for the Board of Manufactures and Fisheries, is one of those classical buildings which contributed to the reputation of Edinburgh as the 'Athens of the North'. The Academy supports contemporary arts in Scotland and today the buiding is connected into the National Galleries of Scotland Building at the rear which gives it flexibilty in the way that it shows exhibitions

I visited in late February when the Academy was housing the 2020 edition of 'New Contemporaries' - showing a selection of the best new talent in Scotland from the 2019 degree shows at universities and art schools in a wide range of media including painting, sculpture, film-making, photography, printmaking, installation, performance and architecture. The art was varied - reflecting the world outside - with some comfortable, some challenging. For me, the architectural projects - rooted in reality - were the best.
Written 29 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sandy
Kincardine, Canada2,098 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Very disappointing. I don’t think I would bother. Seems very empty, unless you want to pay to visit the exhibition. The cafe has a nice view of the Princes street garden.
Don’t recommend
Written 16 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your comment. As an art gallery we would hope that all visitors would come and experience and enjoy the exhibitions. Almost all of the Academy's exhibitions are free and there are thirteen rooms of art to explore. we show works by Scottish artists - from emerging art to established careers. The Academicians Gallery within the Academy is free all year round. Perhaps you visited when we were changing exhibitions and, if so, that's a shame that you missed seeing the terrific Victorian gallery spaces. Next time you are in Edinburgh do drop by and see if you change your mind.
Written 19 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Royal Scottish Academy - All You MUST Know Before You Go (2024)

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