National Museum of Scotland

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.

Fire your imagination at the National Museum of Scotland, one of the UK’s top 10 visitor attractions. Our diverse collections take you on a journey of discovery through the history of Scotland, the wonders of nature and world cultures – all under one roof.

From meteorites to monsters from the deep, our Natural World galleries tell the story of our planet, while our World Cultures galleries link people and possessions across the globe. Follow the story of Scotland from prehistory to the present day in our Scottish galleries, marvel at a spectacular array of over 800 objects in our Window on the World and meet the Scots whose ideas, innovations and leadership took them across the world in our Discoveries gallery.

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  • Provides: Free wi-fi

Events at this venue

There are 8 events at this location

Sorted by title / date & time

Age of Oil

Exploring the people and places of Scotland’s offshore energy industry, this contemporary art exhibition will showcase the work of visual artist Sue Jane Taylor who has worked in some of the most remote and challenging environments in Scotland. The multi-media exhibition brings a unique perspective to the relationship…

Wed 18 Oct

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Art Festival.

  • 10:00 – 17:00

Thu 19 Oct

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Art Festival.

  • 10:00 – 17:00

Fri 20 Oct

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Art Festival.

  • 10:00 – 17:00
…and 16 more dates until 5 Nov

Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites

  • 4 stars

Major exhibition telling the real story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the rise and fall of the Jacobites, drawing on a rich wealth of material to tell the story of the doomed rebellion.

Wed 18 Oct

£9 (£7.20; Children £0–£7) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Art Festival.

  • 10:00

Thu 19 Oct

£9 (£7.20; Children £0–£7) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Art Festival.

Fri 20 Oct

£9 (£7.20; Children £0–£7) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Art Festival.

…and 23 more dates until 12 Nov

Burns Unbound

A mini-festival in honour of Burns Night and the Bard himself, with performances and workshops for all ages centred around his life and work.

Sun 21 Jan 2018

Free / 0300 123 6789

  • 11:00 – 16:00

Edinburgh Eco-Artists

"Those of us for whom the most extravagant promises of this land have become a reality are, I think, required to seek appropriate expressions of their gratitude." - Sol Linowitz

Sat 4 Nov

Prices to be confirmed / 0300 123 6789

Draw and study Sculpture.

  • 12:00 – 15:00

A History of Edinburgh's Old Town and its Characters

Walking tour around Edinburgh's Old Town, where you can learn about its history and its characters. Please email to confirm your place. Meet on steps of National Museum of Scotland, the guide has an orange bag. Note: not an official museum event.

Sat 21 Oct

Free / 0300 123 6789

Meet outside

  • 10:30 – 12:30

Sat 28 Oct

Free / 0300 123 6789

Meet outside

  • 10:30 – 12:30

Sat 4 Nov

Free / 0300 123 6789

Meet outside

  • 10:30 – 12:30

Museum Late: Jacobites

The legendary Museum Lates returns with a focus on the Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites exhibition. Expect costume capers, a silent disco, live music, gallery ceilidhs and face painting. R&B / hip hop duo Bossy Love are headlining in the Grand Gallery, with more acts to be announced. There is a selection of…

Fri 10 Nov

£20 for Museum Lates plus exhibition entry (Concession and members £18; Lates Only £10–£12) / 0300 123 6789

Scotland's Early Silver

Discover the story of Scotland’s early silver and how this precious metal helped to shape the first kingdoms of Scotland.

Wed 18 Oct

Times to be confirmed / Free / 0300 123 6789

Thu 19 Oct

Times to be confirmed / Free / 0300 123 6789

Fri 20 Oct

Times to be confirmed / Free / 0300 123 6789

…and 128 more dates until 25 Feb 2018

St Andrew's Charity Ball

A champagne reception, three-course dinner, an auction and a ceilidh with the Super Grouse Band, all to raise funds for the Jo Walters Trust and the Teapot Trust.

Sat 18 Nov

£90 per person or £800 for a table of ten / 0300 123 6789

  • 19:00 – 00:00

Reviews & features

Win tickets to Museum Late: Jacobites at the National Museum of Scotland

Win a pair of tickets to Museum Late: Jacobites at the National Museum of Scotland

Ten new galleries open at the National Museum of Scotland

6 Jul 2016

Major redevelopment of the Edinburgh attraction dedicated to science, technology, art, design and fashion

Following a £14.1 million redevelopment the National Museum of Scotland is set to open ten new galleries on Friday 8 July. The latest phase in a planned £80 redevelopment of the iconic museum in the heart of Edinburgh.

The Best Activities for Kids and Families in Edinburgh

3 Mar 2015

Places to go and things to do in Auld Reekie

Visitors have been climbing to the top of Camera Obscura’s rooftop chamber for over 150 years, so they must be doing something right. Up there, you can view Edinburgh through a giant periscope, ‘pick up’ a bus or person on a piece of paper, and learn…

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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