Scottish Parliament welcomes 5 million visitors


The Scottish Parliament has today welcomed five million visitors since it opened at Holyrood in 2004. The significant milestone comes during the year of its 20th anniversary celebrations.

To  mark the occasion, the five millionth visitor, Gilly Semple, visiting from Stirling with her son and brother, was greeted by Deputy Presiding Officer Christine Grahame MSP, who presented her with a hamper from the Scottish Parliament gift shop.

Gilly Semple, said:

“This is a real surprise. I’ve seen the Parliament on TV, and knew about the World Press Photo display, so I thought we would come to visit. We had hoped to get in to the Chamber and see the exhibition, but I never imagined I would be the 5 millionth visitor, and get such a welcome!”

Entry into the Parliament is free and it is rated as a ‘five star’ visitor attraction by VisitScotland. Members of the public can go on a free tour, watch and engage with Parliament in action, see the exhibition, use the café or the creche, and buy Scottish products in the gift shop.

Deputy Presiding Officer, Christine Grahame MSP, said:

“The Scottish Parliament has always prided itself on being an open and accessible place, where the public should be welcomed and feel at ease. That is why we are so pleased our efforts to be an interesting and informative place to visit have been acknowledged by Visit Scotland awarding us five stars.

“Getting to 5 million visitors coming through our doors is a real landmark moment. As well as the thousands of school pupils and community groups who come each year, we have a range of activities for the general public to come in and enjoy, including a new exhibition and a regular range of events, displays and tours.

“I sincerely hope that Gilly and her family enjoy their visit today, and that many more follow in their footsteps in the next 20 years. Our doors are open.”


The Scottish Parliament gift shop sells products including books, the Scottish Parliament’s official tartan products, locally made cosmetics and food, as well as wine, spirits and much more.

The Parliament is open and free to visit for the public between 10am – 5pm Monday – Saturday throughout the year.

The World Press Photo exhibition runs until Saturday 24 August. Find out more at



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