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

Event times

There are 6 events at this location

Sorted by title / date & time

Free Fringe Music

National Museum of Scotland Experience the joy of live music at the museum. From bold brass to fabulous fiddlers, our daily performances showcase the best contemporary talents from Scotland and further afield. See www.nms.ac.uk/fringe for details. In partnership with Live Music Now.

Fri 28 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sat 29 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sun 30 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Museum After Hours

National Museum of Scotland Enjoy a unique flavour of the Fringe and explore our galleries after hours across three exhilarating nights, each with hand-picked performers, music, comedy, bars and entry to our fascinating exhibition, Photography: A Victorian Sensation. Guest-programmed by the festival gurus at the List…

Fri 28 Aug

Grand Gallery

£16 (£14) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Museum Lates: Victorian Sensation

The legendary Museum Lates returns with a Victorian theme. Guest-programmed by The List and hosted by Vic Galloway, Museum Lates offers a stellar line up of live music and entry to the brilliant exhibition Photography: A Victorian Sensation. Ages 18+.

Fri 13 Nov

£12 Late only; £18–£20 Late plus exhibition entry (£10) / 0300 123 6789

Photography: A Victorian Sensation

Learn all about the Victorian craze for photography.

Fri 28 Aug

£10 (£8; Children £6.50; under 12s free) / 0300 123 6789

Exhibition Gallery 1

£10 (£8) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sat 29 Aug

£10 (£8; Children £6.50; under 12s free) / 0300 123 6789

Exhibition Gallery 1

£10 (£8) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sun 30 Aug

£10 (£8; Children £6.50; under 12s free) / 0300 123 6789

Exhibition Gallery 1

£10 (£8) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 84 more dates until 22 Nov

The Silversmith’s Art: Made in Britain Today

Exhibition celebrating the country's longstanding creativity and skill with silver.

Fri 18 Sep

Sat 19 Sep

Sun 20 Sep

…and 106 more dates until 4 Jan 2016

Waterloo: After the Battle

Learn about the impact of the Battle of Waterloo in its bicentennial year.

Fri 28 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Sat 29 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Sun 30 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

…and 21 more dates until 20 Sep

Reviews & features

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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