The Scottish Parliament

Situated at the foot of the Canongate opposite the Palace of Holyrood, the new Scottish Parliament building was the cause of much controversy during its construction due to the radical nature of its ultra-modern design, the cost which soared to ten times more than its original budget and constant delays before it could finally open for business – three years later than scheduled– in October 2004.

Despite these early setbacks, it has now been accepted as part of the Edinburgh Old Town landscape and has become a popular visitor attraction.  In a true spirit of democracy, anyone can visit the Scottish Parliament building between Monday and Saturday free of charge to explore the public areas containing shops, restaurants and exhibition areas. 

There are also free guided tours providing a greater insight into the intricate workings of the Parliament, and visitors who book their free tickets in advance can also attend Committee Meetings or witness the affairs of state unfolding in the main Debating Chamber.