The Scottish Parliament
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The Scottish Parliament is the law-making body in Scotland for devolved matters (such as health and education). It also scrutinises the work of the Scottish Government. It is made up of 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs).
You can visit the Scottish Parliament Holyrood building at the foot of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.
Gallery, Heritage site
The Scottish Parliament is open to visitors Monday to Saturday.
Opening hours are subject to alteration according to the demands of parliamentary business and events.
Recess dates as agreed by the Parliament are as follows:
22 December 2012 - 6 January 2013
9 - 17 February 2013
30 March - 14 April 2013
29 June - 1 September 2013
12 - 27 October 2013
21 December 2013 – 5 January 2014
(All dates are inclusive. Recess is a period when the Parliament doesn't normally meet.)
The parliament building will be closed to the public from 23 December 2012 to 2 January 2013 (inclusive.)
Monday, Friday, Saturday and public holidays
10.00 to 17.00 (last entry 16.30)
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
09.00 to 18.30 (last entry 18.00) during business periods
10.00 to 17.00 (last entry 16.30) during recess periods
The Scottish Parliament is free of charge to visit. You are welcome to enter the building without the need to book in advance and explore the public areas at your leisure. This includes the Debating Chamber (free ticket required when the Parliament is in session), the shop, café and exhibition. There are maps and information leaflets available to assist with your visit. Please note that all visiting arrangements are subject to change due to parliamentary business and events.
Free guided tours provide a greater insight into the workings of the Parliament. To experience the work of Parliament you can arrange free tickets for a seat to attend committee meetings or debates in the Debating Chamber.
2013 World Press Photo Exhibition
The exhibition will include the 2013 World Press Photo of the year by photographer Paul Hansen. The winning image, Gaza Burial, shows a group of men carrying the bodies of two dead children through a street in Gaza City. They are being taken to a mosque for the burial ceremony while their father’s body is carried behind on a stretcher. Two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and her three-year-old brother Muhammad were killed when their house was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike. The picture was taken on 20 November 2012 in Gaza City, Palestinian Territories.
Please note that some visitors may find some images distressing.
- Any age
Andy Warhol: Pop, Power and Politics
The Andy Warhol exhibition will include Andy Warhol's 'Flash - November 22, 1963' screen prints about the assassination of John F. Kennedy and his portrait of Scots-American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Not only will this exhibition be a first for any Parliament, it will also include many works that are being shown in Scotland for the first time.
This exhibition will run to coincide with the Andrew Carnegie International Legacy: Shaping the Future exhibition and activities also taking place at the Scottish Parliament.
- Any age
Andrew Carnegie: The legacy that changed the world
In partnership with the Scottish Parliament, the Carnegie Trusts of the UK will offer a programme of events, exhibitions, seminars and activities taking place at Holyrood from October 2013 to January 2014. These activities will showcase the intellectual and social impact of work made possible by Scots-American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie’s endowments and provide an opportunity to discuss the emerging challenges of the 21st century and the role of philanthropy.
- Any age