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…

Tue 22 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Art Festival.

  • 10:00 – 17:00

Wed 23 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Art Festival.

  • 10:00 – 17:00

Thu 24 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Art Festival.

  • 10:00 – 17:00
…and 73 more dates until 5 Nov

Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites

  • 4 stars

Major new exhibition telling the real story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the rise and fall of the Jacobites.

Tue 22 Aug

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

Part of Edinburgh Art Festival.

Wed 23 Aug

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

Part of Edinburgh Art Festival.

Thu 24 Aug

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

Part of Edinburgh Art Festival.

…and 80 more dates until 12 Nov

Fossil Tales

A small display exploring some of the myths about and uses for fossils.

Tue 22 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Wed 23 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Thu 24 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

…and 17 more dates until 10 Sep

Free Fringe Music

Free folk and classical music concert.

Tue 22 Aug

Grand Gallery

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Wed 23 Aug

Grand Gallery

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Thu 24 Aug

Grand Gallery

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 3 more dates until 27 Aug

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 26 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Meet outside

  • 10:30 – 12:30

Sat 2 Sep

Free / 0300 123 6789

Meet outside

  • 10:30 – 12:30

Sat 9 Sep

Free / 0300 123 6789

Meet outside

  • 10:30 – 12:30
…and 8 more dates until 4 Nov

Murder at the Museum

An afternoon of forensic science: learn about poisons and dig into the stories behind death, past and present.

Fri 29 Sep

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Explorathon.

  • 12:00 – 16:00

Museum After Hours: Friday Fringe Takeover

National Museum of Scotland Enjoy a unique flavour of the Fringe and explore the museum after hours. From music and dance, to comedy and theatre, handpicked performers will showcase highlights from their acts across three exhilarating party nights, alongside bars and entry to our exhibition Bonnie Prince Charlie and…

Fri 25 Aug

£18 (£16) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The Tomb: Ancient Egyptian Burial

Discover how one tomb, excavated in 1857, provides a unique insight into changing burial rituals in ancient Egypt.

Tue 22 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Wed 23 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Thu 24 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

…and 10 more dates until 3 Sep

Reviews & features

Win a Jacobite Journey in Scotland

Explore the fascinating history at some of Scotland’s most famous Jacobite sites and best historic places. This luxury two-night break includes 5-star accommodation, private VIP tours, tickets and one-year family memberships.

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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