Free Exhibition

Jacobites by Name Exhibition

Artwork of Bonnie Prince Charlie

The ‘Jacobites by Name’ exhibition is on display with us until 7 October. The exhibition, by Scottish artist Calum Colvin, explores the legacy and secret symbolism of the Jacobite Risings of 1715 and 1745 through photographic artworks and objects.

Find out how to visit

Free Exhibition

World Press Photo 2017

4 – 26 August 2017

The World Press Photo exhibition returns to the Scottish Parliament this year between Friday 4 August and Saturday 26 August (closed Sundays). Open between 10am and 5pm, entry is free.

One of the World Press Photo winning images of activist Iesha Evans standing her ground against police officers at a rally police violence against black men.

© Jonathan Bachman, Reuters. Title: Taking A Stand In Baton Rouge

The World Press Photo exhibition showcases some of the most moving, challenging and thought provoking images taken over the course of 2016, including Usain Bolt crossing the finish line at the 2016 Rio Olympics; a woman standing her ground at a rally against police violence against black men, outside the Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana, USA; and a carpet of monarch butterflies covering the forest floor of El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary in Michoacán, Mexico, after a snowstorm.

The photo contest attracted entries from 5,034 photographers from 125 countries, telling contemporary stories from categories including Spot News, General News, Contemporary Issues, Daily Life, People, Sports, Nature and Long Term Projects.

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Free talk by Scottish artist Calum Colvin (Fully Booked)

Wednesday 16 August, 6pm – 7pm

'Jenny Cameron' by artist Colin Colvin
Calum will take us through some of the ideas behind his exhibition ‘Jacobites by Name’, which is currently on display with us until 7 October.  The exhibition explores the legacy and secret symbolism of the Jacobite Risings of 1715 and 1745 through photographic artworks and objects.

The talk takes place on 16 August between 6pm and 7pm and you’ll get a chance to put your questions to the artist!


Festival of Politics 2017

19 – 21 October 2017

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh MSP and Craig Robertson at the launch of FoP 2017The Festival will take on all-comers this year. From marking the Russian Revolution’s centenary with an appraisal of Lenin and Karl Marx’s ideals to the global rebellion of the Reformation and from the Euro-supporting Conservatism of Kenneth Clarke MP to the campaigning gender equality put forward by Harriet Harman MP.

Our Festival Café Bar moves into the Main Hall of the Parliament with exhibitions of Teenage Instamatics: Punk Rock in Edinburgh 1977 and the Scottish Press Photography Awards amongst a diverse programme of music, choirs, poetry and dance to challenge all expectations.

Buy tickets for the festival

Free Exhibition

A Parliament for the People

Open year round

Ceud mìle fàilte. A hundred thousand welcomes.

The Scottish Parliament welcomes visitors from Scotland and across the globe who want to learn about one of the youngest parliaments in the world.

A Parliament for the People is a new exhibition which will introduce you to the role of the Scottish Parliament and the ways in which you can get involved, and give you the opportunity to explore Scotland’s fascinating parliamentary history.

Getting Involved with Your Scottish Parliament

Do you know what powers are devolved to the Scottish Parliament? Discover more about how Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) pass laws on matters which affect the lives of everyone in Scotland. The exhibition will also give you the chance to explore campaigns, petitions and the impact of changing laws on people’s lives through featuring campaign stories of people who have been actively involved with the Scottish Parliament.

The History of the Scottish Parliament

The earliest recorded Parliament took place in 1235, and Scotland continued to have its own Parliament until political union with England in 1707. Use our digital interactive timeline to learn about the Scottish Parliament’s history, from its original development and abolition through to devolution and the creation of the Scottish Parliament we know today.

Learn about the design and architecture of the Scottish Parliament building, including how Scotland’s natural landscape and political values inspired the building’s unusual architecture. You can discover more by booking onto one of our free tours.


The Scottish Parliament recently held #SeeingScotland; an Instagram competition, inspired by the Harry Benson : Seeing America exhibition. The competition looked for the best photos of people and life in modern Scotland and was judged by Harry Benson himself. You can see the winning photo exhibited in the Scottish Parliament Café, and many of the entries showcased in the exhibition.

You can find the exhibition in the Scottish Parliament main hall. It is free to visit: view the Scottish Parliament opening times.

Find out how to visit