Scottish museums and galleries are a veritable treasure trove of inspiration, home to some of the most coveted art and artifacts in the world. From works by Salvador Dali, Damien Hirst, David Shrigley and Botticelli, there is something to satisfy every artistic palate. No trip to Scotland would be complete without a visit to one of these thought-provoking spaces. They are the perfect place to gain an understanding of Scottish art, science, history, engineering and culture. And best of all, admission to many of Scotland's galleries and museums is completely free!
Edinburgh's National Gallery Complex covers three major galleries across the city including The National Gallery for Scotland, The Scottish National Gallery for Modern Art and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Here you can see works from artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and Henry Raeburn.
The National Museum of Scotland is of great international importance - outside London, it is the largest museum in the UK and the most visited attraction. Displaying 20,000 items across 36 galleries, visitors can experience the natural world, art and design, science and technology and Scottish history and archaeology.
For those looking for something a bit more specialist, there's also the Museum on the Mound in Edinburgh's city centre. Opened in 2006, this museum takes a fresh look at the technology, crime, trade and security behind money.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of Scotland's most popular free visitor attractions. It has 22 themed, state-of-the-art galleries, displaying an astonishing 8,000 objects. Some of the highlights include a real RAF spitfire aircraft built in 1944, and Sir Roger the stuffed Asian elephant, one of Kelvingrove's oldest and best-loved exhibits.
The Glasgow School of Art is Charles Rennie Mackintosh's living legacy which is still in use by students today. Visitors can take tours around the artist and architect's former school and become enchanted by the unique avant-garde style of this Scottish icon.
The Riverside Museum is Scotland's Museum of Transport and Travel and one of the newest additions to Glasgow's museum scene. Here you can see over 3,000 exhibits and take a stroll down a recreated Glasgow street from 1895 to 1930.
The Burrell Collection in Glasgow's Pollok Park displays a staggering range of exhibits from work by major artists such as Rodin, Degas and Cézanne, to important examples of late medieval, Chinese and Islamic art, as well as artefacts from ancient civilizations and much more.
Finally, The Mitchell is one of the largest public reference libraries in Europe, home to over one and a half million titles, including works by and about the Scots poet and author Robert Burns. The Burns Collection is still being added to and now contains over 5,000 items. It is believed to be one of the largest in the world.
Perth Museum and Art Gallery is one of the oldest museums in the UK and is home to over half a million exhibits of national interest and houses work ranging from Warhol to Beatrix Potter.
Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums covers five main attractions throughout the city, including Aberdeen Art Gallery, Aberdeen Maritime Museum, The Tollbooth Museum, Cowdray Hall and Provost Skene's House. Across these superb venues you can immerse yourself in fine art, archaeology, maritime history, science, technology and industry.
Dundee has the honour of being the UK's first UNESCO City of Design, and it was only right that it recently became the home of the first V&A Museum of Design outside of London. Scotland’s first design museum is the global home of our country’s design heritage. The museum gives an insight into over 500 years of brilliance, ingenuity and achievement in Scottish creativity as well as the best examples of design from around the world.
The McManus houses Dundee's impressive collection of art. Voted Dundee's best loved building in 2000, The McManus has been at the heart of art and culture in the city since its opening in 1867. The display includes an impressive collection of fine art, history, natural sciences and archaeology exhibits.