National Museum of Scotland
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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Reviews & features
Five of the most unusual objects from the National Museum of Scotland's new galleries6 Mar 2019
Highlights from the Ancient Egypt, East Asia and Ceramics galleries
Three new galleries have recently opened at the National Museum of Scotland, which aim to provide new and engaging displays of internationally significant material. These galleries, dedicated to Ancient Egypt, East Asia and the Art of Ceramics, include…
Enjoy a family fun day out at the Fringe10 Jul 2018
Grab a bite to eat, chill out at the Circus Hub and catch a world-class show
Planning a day out at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe can be a daunting task – with a massive 3,548 shows in 317 venues across an entire city, you may not know where to start. Add kids into that equation and it can feel like mission impossible.
Ten new galleries open at the National Museum of Scotland6 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 Edinburgh3 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 Scotland22 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 Edinburgh16 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 renovations24 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