The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

#12 of 74 in Historic Sites in Edinburgh
Government Building · Architectural Building
The legislature of Scotland is housed in the modern structure of The Scottish Parliament, which convenes three times each week. Visit the parliamentary hall to view the minister's seats arranged in a semicircle around the speaker's podium. There you'll also see the mace Queen Elizabeth II presented to the parliament on its official opening in July 1999. The mace is suspended from the lid of its glass case, and the lid is rotated so the mace turns at the beginning of every parliamentary sitting to symbolize that the meeting has taken place. You can book a free ticket for a debate in advance as some days on the calendar are blocked off for visitors, or take a free one-hour guided tour through the parliamentary building, debate chambers, and committee chambers. There is a shop and cafe on-site where you can relax after viewing a debate. Arrange to visit The Scottish Parliament and other attractions in Edinburgh using our Edinburgh trip planner.
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1,782 reviews
  • OK - let’s deal with the Marmite issue first. Some people love the design of this building, whereas others loathe it. I’m in the “like” camp and whereas I accept that others have a different view, I.....  more »
  • The Parliament is currently closed to visitors. However, the outside can still be visited. I realise that the architecture divides opinion, but I’ve always liked it. The last thing they should have....  more »
  • Free guided tour with Chris. Informative and interesting. We understand how the building was designed to both reflect and shape a vibrant Scottish democracy. Wood, metal, polished concrete and glass are harmoniously blended.
  • An excellent experience for visitors. I was impressed with the friendly and accommodating attitude of every single member of staff we encountered, which made the visit feel comfortable and relaxed. The architecture is very interesting and successfully reflects Scotland’s craggy landscape through its jagged edges and use of natural materials, but also neatly fits into the style of modern European legislatures. Definitely worth a visit, if only to buy a box of Parly-mints from the gift shop!
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