Skip to main content

Language: English / Gàidhlig


A Parliament for the People

Learn about one of the youngest parliaments in the world.

About the exhibition

Find out about Scotland’s fascinating parliamentary history in our permanent exhibition. There’s no need to book in advance.

Interactive timelines explore Scotland’s parliamentary history from its first recorded meeting in 1235. The exhibit covers Scotland’s political union with England in 1707 and the 1997 referendum that led to a Scottish Parliament with devolved powers.

Discover how people have campaigned for change over the years, in areas such as health and LGBT+ rights. Watch video interviews with campaigners and hear firsthand how changing the law has positively impacted people in Scotland.

In the exhibition, you can see a copy of the 1998 Scotland Act. This Act established the Scottish Parliament.

The exhibition will also introduce you to the work that our committees and MSPs do to make Scotland a better place to live.

There’s content in British Sign Language (BSL) and Gaelic.

More information

Plan your visit

For opening times, parking information and more, go to our plan your visit page.

Don't forget to stop at our shop and café during your visit!


  • Some display information is low so that wheelchair users can easily read it
  • Videos have subtitles and BSL interpretation
  • Although there is no seating in the exhibition area, there are portable seats available for visitors to use. These seats are available in the main hall, adjacent to the exhibition

More about accessibility

Visitor behaviour policy

Please remember that this is a working parliamentary building and, as such, you are expected to behave as set out in this policy. We reserve the right to remove visitors who breach this policy and apply a period of exclusion from our public galleries and parliamentary business.

For all visits, please:

  • follow all instructions from parliament staff, including any requests to bring ID with you
  • do not leave your bags and personal belongings unattended
  • do not smoke in the building
  • do not eat or drink, except in the restaurants
  • if given one, wear your visitor lanyard and pass at all times. Return it when asked or when leaving
  • collect any items retained by security as you leave
  • note that protests are not allowed inside the building. Banners, flags and political slogans are forbidden

The Parliament’s Standing Orders cover public access to parliamentary business. They allow the Presiding Officer to set reasonable conditions, and exclusions if these are not met.

For visits to see parliamentary business, please:

  • enter, sit in and leave the galleries quietly and as requested by parliamentary staff
  • switch all electronic devices off, and secure them as instructed by parliamentary staff
  • do not cause a distraction or disruption to parliamentary business. If there is a disruption in the Chamber, the Presiding Officer can ask visitors to leave
  • note that people who wilfully disrupt may face a period of exclusion from future visits
  • do not applaud or shout out during meetings
  • do not take photos, videos or recordings during meetings
  • obtain prior permission to paint, sketch or draw
  • follow the instructions of parliamentary staff on when and where to sit and to leave. For First Minister’s Questions, this includes remaining seated for the entire session. If you need to leave before the session ends, please speak to the nearest member of Parliament staff


Edinburgh, EH99 1SP

Days and times

Monday to Saturday

10am to 5pm (last admission 4.30pm)



Monday to Friday

(More information)

You can come in and view our art collection any time the building is open.

9 to 11 August 2023

(More information)

The annual festival brings together academics, writers, policymakers, business people and politicians to debate important issues in society.