The Entertainment Guide

The Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Parliament Building, the seat of Scotland’s government since 2004, is an architectural wonder that dominates the Holyrood area. The iconic building, situated at the foot of the Royal Mile, features natural motifs, leaf-shaped annexes and a grass-roofed branch that merges into nearby parkland. The building is open to visitors on every day of the week except Sunday and free tours of the Parliament Building are available. To gain a better insight into the inner workings of the Scottish government, there's no better place to start than Parliament. Politics buffs might want to attend a committee meeting or even see a debate in the debating chamber. While the surrounding Holyrood area has its fair share of shops and cafes, it's simpler to pop by the Parliament Cafe, which offers a wide range of food, from soups and sandwiches to cakes and shortbreads, all prepared on site. The building itself is lined with original artworks, which add an extra level of interest to this unusual edifice. While visually impressive and culturally significant, the Scottish Parliament isn’t just for gawking at – it’s also intended for engaging with. The parliament’s website reveals ways in which citizens can get involved with the decision-making process and seek to improve their community. From commissioning a petition to learning about current consultations and enquiries, there’s a wealth of ways for Scottish residents to make their voices heard. No advance booking is required to view the Scottish Parliament’s public areas, but for visitors keen on taking a guided tour or attending a debate or committee meeting, booking ahead is advised. Whether you’re politically active or are simply interested in experiencing Enric Miralles' postmodern masterpiece, the Scottish Parliament promises an eye-opening day out.

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Latest Reviews & Comments

This was a great find after we could not visit the castle since it was closed due to a visit by the queen. They have and excellent display of how the Scottish legislature system is setup and how it works. The meeting area has some amazing modern architecture. The staff was very friendly and informative.

- Ron R - 16-11-2018

Beautiful and interesting visit. Great FREE activity to do in Edinburgh where everything seems to require tickets. Interesting that you can spectate while sessions are actively occuring. Be prepared to go through airport level security upon arrival.

- Aaron Floyd - 16-02-2017

Really enjoyed it. Amazing looking building. Went to see the exhibition on show. It's well displayed. And I got a ticket for the Debating Chamber, it's free but worth booking in advance just in case it's busy. I did a tour two days later, well worth doing. Guide was a delight, very knowledgeable and I loved the closed to the public sections. I knew very little before and loads after. It's a parliament, security are everywhere but friendly and professional. I would advise just taking as little as you can into the building.

- Christopher Jones - 25-02-2016