Talbot Rice Gallery

Talbot Rice Gallery

For art lovers visiting the Scottish capital, the Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh is a necessary addition to your itinerary, standing as the city’s finest contemporary public art gallery. From innovative Scottish creatives to international artists, there’s no better way to spend an afternoon than exploring this institution’s rotating exhibitions.

The Talbot Rice Gallery opened in a 19th-century Gothic revival building on the University of Edinburgh’s Old College campus and was formerly a natural history museum. However, it emerged as the contemporary art gallery you see today through gradual expansions and renovations over the years, establishing itself as a leading showcase for contemporary art production.

If you plan to explore one of the finest collections of contemporary art production today in the ‘Athens of the North’, read our guide! We’ll cover all the details you need, how to get there, and the exciting group and solo exhibitions to look forward to during your visit to Talbot Rice Gallery in Scotland.

Important Details to Know

Here are the important details that anyone visiting the Talbot Rice Gallery at Edinburgh College of Art should keep in mind before visiting:


  • There is one accessible toilet located on the second floor, which also has baby-changing facilities. 
  • Wheelchairs and portable folding chairs are available on request. 
  • Guide dogs, hearing dogs, and registered assistance dogs are welcome at the Talbot Rice Gallery. 
  • Free parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis for Badge holders on Chambers Street.
  • A free PDF guide from the University of Edinburgh highlighting the Talbot Rice Gallery’s layout and facilities is available online.

Opening Times

The Talbot Rice Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00. On the final Thursday of each month, the Gallery has a special late-night opening until 19:00 to allow visitors to enjoy the current exhibitions into the evening.

Outside the regular Talbot Rice Gallery opening hours, they may have special amended opening times for certain special events, conceptual group exhibitions, or the University of Edinburgh closures. Check the official website before visiting to confirm when the Gallery will be open to the public.

Ticket Prices 

Admission to the Talbot Rice Gallery is free! You don’t need to pay to enter this contemporary art gallery at Edinburgh College. However, you are welcome to donate towards their artistic programme, which helps artists bring their most ambitious work to new audiences.

How to Get There

Conveniently located in central Edinburgh, the Talbot Rice Gallery at Edinburgh College of Art is easily accessible by various modes of transportation.


Multiple bus lines stop close to the Gallery along South Bridge and George IV Bridge, including buses 3, 5, 7, 8, 14, 23, 27, 29, 30, 31, 33, 35, 41, 42, 45, 49, 51, 52, 67, N3, N30, N37, X29, X62, and X95. The Talbot Rice Gallery is just a short 2-minute walk from either of these two bus stops.


Cycling to the Talbot Rice Gallery is recommended as a sustainable transportation option. There are bicycle racks and spaces around Old College to securely lock up your bike when visiting the Gallery.


If travelling by car, some paid street parking is available around the Talbot Rice Gallery near Old College. This is limited, so public transportation is advised if possible.


Visitors being dropped off by taxi can get off at the Old College entrance on West College Street. This puts you right at the doorstep of the Talbot Rice Gallery.

Talbot Rice Gallery Attractions 

Now that you know how to reach the Talbot Rice Gallery and the essential details about the Gallery, you can look forward to seeing a celebrated collection of artworks. Here are the best attractions you can expect to see in and around the Talbot Rice Gallery:

Explore Talbot Rice Gallery

Explore the Talbot Rice Gallery

The highlight of the Talbot Rice Gallery is undoubtedly the thought-provoking range of contemporary artworks throughout the historic halls of the building. Visitors are spoiled for choice as they enter this public art gallery through the neoclassical space that was formerly a 19th-century natural history museum and explore the contemporary white cube gallery.

The Talbot Rice Gallery exhibitions spotlight works by both Scottish talent and international artists pushing the boundaries of contemporary art. Previous features at the Talbot Rice Gallery have included works that spearhead university research and creative practice on female self-empowerment, Brexit, debt, and more.

We’ve also seen works by Hong Kong artist and composer Samson Young and “The Green Man” exhibition by Lucy Skaer. Additionally, The Accursed Share at the Talbot Rice Gallery was one of the most ambitious group exhibitions and showcased modern capitalism’s foundations in violence through nine international artists.

In essence, the Talbot Rice Gallery positions diverse art aesthetic styles, from minimalist abstraction to hyperrealist video projections, for you to discover during your visit.

Upcoming Art Exhibitions

Upcoming Art Exhibitions

The Talbot Rice Gallery is renowned for its rotating innovative contemporary art exhibitions. Typically, 4-5 major exhibitions are mounted per year, focused on showcasing Scottish talent alongside acclaimed international artists.

Exhibitions range from solo exhibitions highlighting an individual artist’s work to thematic, ambitious group exhibitions organised around an idea or concept. 

Some upcoming exhibitions at the Talbot Rice Gallery include:

  • El Anatsui: One of the solo exhibitions celebrating Ghanaian artist El Anatsui’s iconic sculptural wall hangings stitched from aluminium liquor bottle tops, as well as new monumental works and carved wooden reliefs. 
  • Guadalupe Maravilla: First UK solo exhibition of Maravilla’s works, which fuse spiritual practices and invented rituals to promote healing. 
  • Talbot Rice Residents: One of the conceptual group exhibitions highlighting 10 emerging Scottish-based artists, including Alaya Ang, Crystal Bennes, and Renèe Helèna Browne, who will be surveying key themes within contemporary art.

Visit the National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland

After taking in the contemporary art production at the Talbot Rice Gallery, pop across the road to dive through centuries of Scottish history at this natural history museum. 

As Scotland’s most visited attraction, the National Museum of Scotland houses an unrivalled collection covering Scottish heritage, world cultures, science and technology, and natural world displays. 

Combining the two attractions makes for a well-rounded day of culture and discovery in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.

Escape to Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

The iconic Edinburgh Castle crowns the city skyline and is a short walk uphill from the Talbot Rice Gallery. As one of Scotland’s most recognisable landmarks, a visit is a must. 

Meander up the Royal Mile, past St Giles’ Cathedral, for scenic views before entering the castle gates. Then, tour the castle battlements, see Scotland’s Crown Jewels, walk through the Great Hall, visit the Prisons of War exhibition, and take in sweeping panoramas of Edinburgh and beyond.

Grab a Bite at Grassmarket


This historic cobblestoned square is nestled just a 10-minute walk southwest of the Talbot Rice Gallery. 

Once the site of medieval horse and cattle markets, today, the Grassmarket area has transformed into a vibrant neighbourhood lined with artisan shops, lively pubs, and restaurants. 

Stop into one of the many eateries for a bite, from delicious Italian to cosy Scottish cuisine, before heading to your next attraction!

More Scottish Galleries to Visit

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