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

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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

Event times

There are 11 events at this location

Sorted by title / date & time

African Cinema in the Digital Age

A discussion on mobile phone usage in Africa and its impact on filmmaking. Booking is essential.

Families: Make it at the Museum

A new series of workshops encouraging families to make something together while learning new practical skills and creative techniques.

Sun 13 Nov

£10 (£8; Members £8) / 0300 123 6789

Older children and their families are invited to experiment with relief printing, inspired by the patterns in the collections.

Grown ups: Make it at the Museum

Get hands-on with arts, science and technology in adults workshops inspired by the museum's collections.

Sun 13 Nov

£20 (£15; Members £15) / 0300 123 6789

Experiment with relief printing techniques inspired by patterns in the collections.

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 £8; Children £7) / 0300 123 6789

Sat 10 Dec

£10 (£8; Members £8; Children £7) / 0300 123 6789

Sun 11 Dec

£10 (£8; Members £8; Children £7) / 0300 123 6789

…and 133 more dates until 23 Apr 2017 back to top

National Museum of Scotland: Annual Open Evening

An evening of talk about the collections and work at the museum. Booking is essential.

Wed 16 Nov

Party with the Past

A party at the museum for ages 14–18, with fun including dancing, dressing up, music and more.

Fri 18 Nov

£8 / 0300 123 6789

Spotlight On: Stone Age Jade from the Alps

Dr Alison Sheridan talks about how Neolitihic axeheads ended up in Scotland, a long way away from their origin in North Italy.

Spotlight On: Umbrian Madonna

Join Rachel King and conservator Diana de Bellaigue, as they discuss the exciting findings being made on the museum’s rare, 14th-century Umbrian Madonna and Child.

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

Free / 0300 123 6789

Sun 13 Nov

Free / 0300 123 6789

Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2016

Award-winning images of wildlife.

Sun 23 Oct

Mon 24 Oct

Tue 25 Oct

…and 116 more dates until 19 Feb 2017

Reviews & features

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

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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