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 4 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 as the best young contemporary music talents perform an exciting blend of Scottish pop, traditional Scottish songs and instrumental sets; all inspired by the museum's Scottish pop music exhibition. See different performers every day and keep…

Sat 4 Aug

Grand Gallery

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Sun 5 Aug

Grand Gallery

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Mon 6 Aug

Grand Gallery

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 19 more dates until 26 Aug

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, hand-picked performers will showcase highlights from their acts across three exhilarating party nights. From the Grand Gallery’s main stage to more intimate spaces across the…

Fri 10 Aug

£18 (£16) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Fri 17 Aug

£18 (£16) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Fri 24 Aug

£18 (£16) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

POP-UP Duets (fragments of love)

Janis Claxton Dance Janis Claxton Dance returns with this award-winning 2016 Fringe hit. Janis Claxton and composer Pippa Murphy have joined forces with a team of world-class dancers for a series of short, site-specific performances choreographed specifically for public spaces. Based around the theme of love, the duets…

Wed 15 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Thu 16 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Fri 17 Aug

Free / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 7 more dates until 26 Aug

Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop

National Museums Scotland and BBC Scotland are coming together to tell the story of Scottish pop music in a major collaborative project that explores the musical culture of a nation over more than half a century.

Wed 1 Aug

Exhibition Gallery 1

£9 (£7) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Thu 2 Aug

Exhibition Gallery 1

£9 (£7) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Fri 3 Aug

Exhibition Gallery 1

£9 (£7) / 0300 123 6789

Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

…and 30 more dates until 2 Sep

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 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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