National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland
Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
  • Box office 0300 123 6789
  • Opening times Daily 10am–5pm.
  • Seasonal times Closed 25 Dec. Open noon–5pm on 26 Dec, 1 & 2 Jan.
  • Admission Free.
  • Website www.nms.ac.uk

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In its landmark building, occupying more than half of Chambers Street, the National Museum of Scotland was formerly two different museums – the Royal Museum, built in 1861, and the more modern Museum of Scotland, completed in 1998. The facilities were unified in April 2008, although there is still a definite thematic separation: the former Royal Museum (complete with its grand Victorian Hall) has a worldwide and natural history focus, while the newer building maintains a distinctly Scottish viewpoint. Between the two is an interactive technology zone, filled with exhibits that form an easy connection between education and fun for children. They can race in a Formula 1 simulation, operate robotic arms and moon buggies, and discover the science behind solar and rock power. Dolly the Sheep also inhabits this space, as does the full-size Wylam Dilly locomotive. At the top of the spherical sandstone tower at the George IV Bridge end of the building is the Tower Restaurant, which has made a name for itself as a fantastic example of fine dining in the capital.

All our collections have tales to tell. See treasures from the edges of history and trace Scotland’s story from fascinating fossils to popular culture. For generations we’ve collected key exhibits from all over Scotland and beyond.

The fully redeveloped National Museum of Scotland opened on Fri 29 Jul 2011, following a major £46.4 million transformation. The museum is Scotland’s treasure house, where you can experience the whole world under one roof. There's brand new entrance hall with information desk, café, shop and cloakroom facilities and 16 new galleries, in which thousands of objects will be displayed for the first time.

Visit the new museum and discover the wonders of life, the universe and everything in it – from science and art to nature and outer space.

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Event times

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Wednesday 23 April

National Museum of Scotland
Free 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh International Science Festival.

National Museum of Scotland
Free 0844 557 2686

Part of Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Reviews & features

Win tickets to Museum Lates: Retro-Future

Step back and forward in time on 16 May as Museum Lates: Retro-future takes you on a steam-powered journey through the National Museum’s collections, from iconic designs of the past to cutting edge technology of the future. Hosted by Vic Galloway…

Preview: the National Museum of Scotland

22 Jul 2011

A peek inside the museum, plus reminiscences from notable Edinburghers and a guide to coming events

The National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street is due to reopen this month after a three-year, £46.4 million redevelopment. David Pollock takes an exclusive peak behind closed doors to find out about the new exhibits

The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh

16 Feb 2011

Newly renovated NMS showcases Scottish achievements

A country with as many scientists, inventors and explorers as Scotland needs a place to show off all its achievements – and nowhere does the job better than the newly renovated National Museum

National Museum of Scotland to celebrate start of renovations

24 Apr 2008

The National Museum of Scotland will celebrate the start of the £46.4m Royal Museum Project renovations with a weekend of entertainment. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers will headline the event, which runs from Sat 26–Sun 27 Apr. See www.nms.ac.uk/celebration

National Museum of Scotland on Flickr

Comments & ratings

1. Emmerson7 Aug 2009, 9:01pm Report

Please advise test results on polar bear remains from cave inchnadamph

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