ABOVE: Tourists visit the Scottish Parliament's Debating Chamber during a guided tour. This view is from the public gallery (see inset photo).
Visiting the Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament is open on business days from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. when Parliament is in session and for slightly shorter hours on non-business days and during recesses. You can tour the Visitor Centre in the Main Hall free of charge. (On non-business days, you can also visit the public gallery in the Debating Chamber without a ticket.)
The building also has a shop, a café, and even a crèche for young children that's open on weekdays.
You'll find general information for visitors, including opening times and a link to the session calendar, at the Scottish Parliament's Visiting Holyrood page.
Watching parliamentary debates
When the Scottish Parliament is meeting, you'll need a ticket for the public gallery in the Debating Chamber or to watch committee meetings. Tickets are free, but it's a good idea to book well in advance (though you can stop in on the day of your visit to see if tickets are available for any of the time slots).
If you can't get a ticket, you can watch debate on video screens in the main hall.
For details on gallery visits, or to book tickets, consult the Scottish Parliament's Public Gallery Tickets page.
Scottish Parliament guided tours
The Scottish Parliament offers free guided tours on most non-business days. (I took a tour on a Sunday afternoon and was quite impressed by the guide, an older gentleman was extremely knowledgeable about the building's architecture.) For times and booking information, see the Scottish Parliament's Free Guided Tours page.
Back to: Scottish Parliament - Introduction
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