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

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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.

Text supplied by third party.

Event times

There are 8 events at this location

Sorted by title / date & time

Danie Mellor: Primordial – SuperNaturalBayiMinyjirral

Work by the acclaimed contemporary Australian artist, whose work is informed by a deep knowledge of art history and a willingness to engage with issue related to his own indigenous and European heritage.

…and 60 more dates until 23 Nov

The First World War – 100 Years On

Academic and broadcaster Professor Sir Hew Strachan gives this NMS evening lecture exploring how conflicts and their commemoration have changed over the last century.

Flamenco Ad Libitum Flashmob

Artists and members of the Edinburgh Flamenco Community, together with five participants with physical disabilities and their carers, take part in a flashmob live music and dance performance.

Fri 10 Oct

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Hispanic Festival.

Game Masters

Exhibition celebrating the varied history of computer gaming. Featuring over 100 playable games, rare original game artwork, 2D objects and interviews with game designers.

Fri 5 Dec

Exhibition Gallery 1

£10 (£8; Children £6.30; under 5s free; Family £23–£28; Students £5 on Tue) / 0300 123 6789

Sat 6 Dec

Exhibition Gallery 1

£10 (£8; Children £6.30; under 5s free; Family £23–£28; Students £5 on Tue) / 0300 123 6789

Sun 7 Dec

Exhibition Gallery 1

£10 (£8; Children £6.30; under 5s free; Family £23–£28; Students £5 on Tue) / 0300 123 6789

…and 134 more dates until 20 Apr 2015

Introduction to Chinese Calligraphy

Learn the art of lettering with calligraphy artist Chi Zhang.

Meet the Experts

Meet scientists and have a go at some family-friendly activities at this series of talks around the city.

Fri 26 Sep

Free / 0300 123 6789

Kids can have a go at making objects levitate and try the Turing test whilst adults can join philosopher of science Michela Massimi and museum curator Peter Davidson in asking the big questions about the universe.

Ming: The Golden Empire

  • 3 stars

An overview of the legacy of the Ming Dynasty, which ruled China from 1368 to 1644 and which presided over an era of unprecedented national stability. During the Ming period, Beijing was established as China's capital city; the Great Wall took its present form; there were huge advances in printing and ceramics technology…

Mon 22 Sep

£10; under 12s free (£8; Children £6.50; Members free) / 0300 123 6789

Tue 23 Sep

£10; under 12s free (£8; Children £6.50; Members free) / 0300 123 6789

Wed 24 Sep

£10; under 12s free (£8; Children £6.50; Members free) / 0300 123 6789

…and 25 more dates until 19 Oct

Saturday Showcase: Ming, The Golden Empire

Panel discussion on the Ming exhibition, with Principal Curator Dr Kevin McLoughlin; Dr Yupin Chung of Glasgow Museums; and Dr Julian Ward of the University of Edinburgh.

Reviews & features

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

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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