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.

Text supplied by third party.

  • Provides: Free wi-fi

Event times

There are 7 events at this location

Sorted by title / date & time

Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites

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

Fri 23 Jun 2017

Times vary / £10 (£8; Children £7; under 12s free) / 0300 123 6789

Sat 24 Jun 2017

Times vary / £10 (£8; Children £7; under 12s free) / 0300 123 6789

Sun 25 Jun 2017

Times vary / £10 (£8; Children £7; under 12s free) / 0300 123 6789

…and 145 more dates until 17 Nov 2017

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 22 Jan 2017

Free / 0300 123 6789

Edinburgh Eco-Artists

This is a group for creative individuals and those who value the importance of environmental awareness and sustainability. Suggested activities include casual meet-ups to create your own artwork, delivery of collaborative projects to enthuse the public into thinking more about climate change and fundraising events for…

Sun 11 Dec

Prices to be confirmed / 0300 123 6789

Sun 18 Dec

Prices to be confirmed / 0300 123 6789

Sun 25 Dec

Prices to be confirmed / 0300 123 6789

…and 4 more dates until 22 Jan 2017

The Final Fling

A New Year's Day ceilidh in the Grand Gallery with the Portobello Ceilidh Band.

Sun 1 Jan 2017

Free / 0300 123 6789

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 10 Dec

Free / 0300 123 6789

Meet outside

Sat 17 Dec

Free / 0300 123 6789

Meet outside

Sat 24 Dec

Free / 0300 123 6789

Meet outside

…and 45 more dates until 4 Nov 2017

Monkey Business

An exhibition featuring more than 60 taxidermied primates including orangutans, gorillas and chimpanzees. Learn how they adapted to their surroundings and how they communicated with each other in this interactive exhibition for all ages.

Fri 9 Dec

£10 (£8; Members and Under 5s free) / 0300 123 6789

Sat 10 Dec

£10 (£8; Members and Under 5s free) / 0300 123 6789

Sun 11 Dec

£10 (£8; Members and Under 5s free) / 0300 123 6789

…and 133 more dates until 23 Apr 2017

Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2016

Award-winning images of wildlife.

Wed 7 Dec

Thu 8 Dec

Fri 9 Dec

…and 71 more dates until 19 Feb 2017

Reviews & features

Win tickets to Museum Late: Monkey Business at the National Museum of Scotland

The legendary Museum Lates events have been entertaining the city of Edinburgh for years, providing top-class late night entertainment in the glorious setting of 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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