Visitor Guidelines

The National Galleries of Scotland is committed to creating a safe experience both for our visitors and our team, and our staff are here to help you.

  • We have a zero-tolerance policy for individuals who endanger our colleagues, art, or property, or who engage in verbal or physical harassment, discriminatory or threatening behaviour, or otherwise interfere with the experience of others. Those who violate this policy will be refused admission or asked to leave.
  • Even clean hands damage surfaces, so please do not touch the art unless we have indicated that you may do so.
  • Food and drink should not be consumed in the galleries; instead, we invite you to visit one of our cafes.
  • Lockers are provided for you to leave your personal belongings. You may bring small backpacks (55cm x 40cm x 20cm) into the galleries. Bags above this size are not permitted.
  • Visitors with assistance dogs are welcome, however other animals are not allowed within our buildings.
  • Sketching and drawing is encouraged, though we do not permit the use of charcoal, pastels, permanent markers, watercolour or oil paint.
  • Please take photographs in our galleries and share them on social media. We welcome non-flash photography or video for personal use, however if you want to take photographs or film for a commercial purpose, we require you to gain permission in advance. Some exhibitions and artworks may have copyright or lender restrictions attached and we ask you not to photograph these.

Why can't I touch art?

If you’ve ever seen a painting behind glass, or a barrier in front of a sculpture, you might have wondered, ‘why can’t I touch that?’ So why can’t you touch art? And as the world of art constantly evolves, is this changing?



Everyone is welcome at the National Galleries of Scotland. 

Find out how we make our buildings, services and programmes as accessible and inclusive as possible.