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

Jump to times, articles, videos or comments (1)

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 14 events at this location

Sorted by title / date & time

Antiquaries, Archaeologists and the Invention of the Historic Town

A series of lectures about research, conservation, preservation and presentation of historic urban fabric.

Fri 6 May

Sat 7 May

Sun 8 May

Architects' Conversations: Hoskins Architects in conversation with Neil Porter

A talk about the creation of a 'Gesamtkunstwerk' - a work of art composed of a synthesis of different art forms.

Architects' Conversations: Neil Gillespie in Conversation with Tony Fretton

Design Director of Reiach and Hall Architects Neil Gillespie talks to Tony Fretton, Principal of Tony Fretton Architects and Emeritus Professor TU Delft about 'abstraction and familiarity'.

Tue 10 May

£5–£6 / 0300 123 6789

Part of Festival of Architecture.


A major exhibition reviewing what we know about the different people who, over the centuries, have been identified as 'Celts', with artefacts, manuscripts, weapons and stunning art objects. A special exhibition organised between the National Museum of Scotland and the British Museum in London.

Wed 4 May

£10 (£8; ages 12–15 £6.50; under 12s free; Members free) / 0300 123 6789

Thu 5 May

£10 (£8; ages 12–15 £6.50; under 12s free; Members free) / 0300 123 6789

Fri 6 May

£10 (£8; ages 12–15 £6.50; under 12s free; Members free) / 0300 123 6789

…and 142 more dates until 25 Sep

Family Fringe Weekend

Imaginate Festival opens with a weekend of performances and free activities for ages 0–12. There's storytelling, art, live music and performers trying out ideas.

Sat 28 May

Times to be confirmed / Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Imaginate Festival.

Sun 29 May

Times to be confirmed / Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Imaginate Festival.

Fossil Hunters: Unearthing the Mystery of Life on Land

Exhibition exploring fossils recently discovered, which help tell the story of the transition of life from water to land 360–340 million years ago.

…and 101 more dates until 14 Aug

Free Fringe Music

Free folk and classical music concert.

Sat 6 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Sun 7 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Mon 8 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

…and 20 more dates until 28 Aug

Museum After Hours: Friday Fringe Takeover

Late night Fringe fun at the museum, curated by The List.

Fri 12 Aug

£18 (£16; Members £16) / 0300 123 6789

Fri 19 Aug

£18 (£16; Members £16) / 0300 123 6789

Fri 26 Aug

£18 (£16; Members £16) / 0300 123 6789

Museum Late: Celts

A night of Celtic entertainment at the museum after hours, featuring an acoustic performance from Idlewild, indie folk duo Hannah Fisher & Sorren Maclean and a themed DJ set by Lates favourite Vic Galloway. The Beltane Fire Society is bringing its fiery performance style to the museum with drumming and dancing, plus…

Fri 13 May

£10–£12 for Late event only; £18–£20 for Celts exhibition entry / 0300 123 6789

The Story of the Little Gentleman

Barbro Lindgren's book about the friendship between a man and a dog, adapted for the stage by Catherine Wheels.

Sun 29 May

£12 (£8) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Imaginate Festival.

Styling the Nation

Workshops, demonstrations, fashion shows, talks, performance and music led by a wide range of high profile artists and experts feature across the weekend.

Sat 12 Nov

Times & prices vary / 0300 123 6789

Sun 13 Nov

Times & prices vary / 0300 123 6789

Tales of a Grandson

Storyteller Andy Cannon shares and listens to stories in an interactive performance for kids, parents, carers and grandparents. The story is presented in three parts – The Dig, The Feast, and The Hooly. Stay for the day, join in the feast and the hooly and help Andy in his quest to tell Scotland’s great story.

Sat 28 May

£12 (£8) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Imaginate Festival.

Sun 29 May

£12 (£8) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Imaginate Festival.

Thu 9 Jun

£12 (£8) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Imaginate Festival.

Reviews & features

Win tickets to Celts at the National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland’s summer blockbuster, Celts, is now on in Edinburgh. Organised in partnership with the British Museum, the exhibition received rave reviews during its London showing. Now is your chance to see this collection of more than…

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

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

Post a comment
RSS feed of these comments