The Scottish Parliament is open to visitors Monday to Saturday and 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 parliament is in session), the shop, café and exhibition.
There are free 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.
When the Parliament is in recess there will be no Committee meetings or debates in the Debating Chamber.
Recess Dates as agreed by the Parliament are as follows:
- 7 February – 15 February 2015
- 4 April – 19 April 2015
- 27 June – 30 August 2015
- 10 October – 25 October 2015
- 19 December 2015 – 4 January 2016
(All dates are inclusive)
Days when the Office of the
Clerk is open
When the Office of the Clerk is open,
these days are defined as ‘counting days’ for example, in determining
timeframes for answers to be given to written parliamentary questions, the
minimum time between stages of Bills, the lodging of amendments to Bills and in
relation to the management of Members’ and Committee Bills. Motions, amendments and questions may be lodged and
Bills introduced on days when the Office of the Clerk is open.
Dates when the Office of
the Clerk is closed, as agreed by the Parliament, are as follows:
Between 5 January 2015 and 5 January
2016, the Office of the Clerk will be open on all days except—
Saturdays and Sundays, 3 and 6 April
2015, 4 May 2015, 22 May and 25 May 2015, 27 November 2015, 24 December (pm),
25 and 28 December 2015, 1 and 4 January 2016.
What day would you like to visit?
Please be aware that as we are a working Parliament there are some differences in what you can do depending on which day you visit. If you are not sure what you would like to do or are planning to visit on a particular day you can find out what you can do each day below.
Monday, Friday, Saturday and Public Holidays
Parliament does not normally sit on Monday and Friday so it is not possible to attend a debate or committee meeting on these days. If the Monday or Friday that you are visiting is a public holiday then visiting arrangments are the same as a Saturday. On Monday and Friday you can:
Opening hours for Monday, Friday, Saturday and on Public Holidays
10.00am to 5.00pm (last entry 4.30pm)
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
This applies when Parliament is sitting. For Tuesday to Thursday when Parliament is in recess (see dates above) available activities and opening hours are the same as Monday and Friday. Public guided tours do not operate when Parliament is sitting. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday you can:
Opening hours for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
9.00am to 6.30pm (last entry 6.00pm)
Opening hours for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the same as Monday and Friday when Parliament is in recess. Please check nearer the time for the December and February recess dates as opening hours could be altered at this time.
- No booking is necessary to visit the building, however you should adhere to the Parliament's Code of Conduct
- Open Monday to Saturday
- Free entry
- Visit all the public areas without a guided tour
- Visit the public gallery of the Debating Chamber
- Shop, café and exhibition
- Guided tour booking not necessary to visit the public areas. If you do wish to join a guided tour it is advisable to book in advance. The guided tour pages have further information.
- To book tickets for Parliamentary business, there is further information on the Parliament Debates and Committee Meetings pages
What would you like to do?
Access to building subject to demands of Parliamentary business
Opening hours, guided tours, availability of exhibitions and access to certain parts of the building may be altered at short notice due to Parliamentary business
All visitors are required to proceed through security screening on entering the building. This may add time to your visit, depending on the volume of visitors