Find out how to make the most of your visit to National Museum of Scotland.

How to get here

By bike

Edinburgh is a cycle-friendly city. At peak times, cyclists can share the buses' green lanes and many junctions have advance cycle stop lines. Racks are available on Chambers Street to park your bike.

By bus

A number of buses go via the city centre and stop outside the museum on Chambers Street, or nearby on George IV Bridge and South Bridge. Single and day tickets are available. Lothian Buses’ family DAYticket allows two adults and up to three children unlimited travel together on day services. During the summer there is a special weekend bus, Service 9, which runs between the National Museum of Scotland and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Visit the Lothian Buses website for further information. 

Edinburgh Bus Tours open-top buses also stop at the museum. Visit www.edinburghtour.com for details.

By train

The nearest train station is Edinburgh Waverley. The Museum is a 10-15 minute walk away.

Visit www.travelinescotland.com for further details and to plan your journey.

By car or coach

Follow signs to the city centre. Pay and display parking is available on Chambers Street and off-street parking nearby at NCP sites.

Save on parking at NCP Castle Terrace

We’ve teamed up with car park operator NCP to offer National Museums Scotland Members and National Museum of Scotland special exhibition ticket holders discounted parking at NCP Castle Terrace. Receive up to 12 hours of parking for £8*, which is a saving of up to 65% on standard rates.

To receive the discount, present your parking token along with your Membership card or exhibition ticket to National Museum of Scotland staff at either the Exhibition Gallery 1 ticket desk (Level 3), or at the Entrance Hall ticket desk (Level 0). Your parking ticket will be validated, with the discount applied when you pay for your parking at NCP Castle Terrace.

This offer is also available to visitors to the National War Museum at Edinburgh Castle.

* Offer only applies to parking periods of between two and 12 hours.

Further information on parking can be found at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/parking.

Gallery closures

Due to an exciting project to create ten new galleries at the National Museum of Scotland, our Science and Technology, Art and Design, Ancient Egypt and Looking East galleries are currently closed. 

The Museum remains open throughout the redevelopment with plenty to see and do throughout its galleries of Natural ScienceWorld Cultures and Scottish History and Archaeology.

You can find out more about the new galleries here.

Museum maps

You can download a map of the museum [PDF 1MB] here. Maps are available in Chinese, French, Gaelic, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian and Spanish on our maps and trails page.

Eating at the museum

Find out more about the Balcony Café, Museum Brasserie and Tower Restaurant here.

Shopping at the museum

There are three shops in National Museum of Scotland, stocking an extensive selection of gifts, souvenirs, toys and books. The largest shop can be found in the Entrance Hall, Level 0, with further shops next by the Tower Entrance and on Level 3 next to the Exhibitions Gallery. The museum shops are open to non-museum visitors.

Visiting with children

Families and children of all ages are welcome at the National Museum of Scotland. We provide a number of galleries and activities especially for children and an exciting events calendar for all ages. Trained first aiders are always on duty and a policy is in place if children become separated from their party.

Children are welcome in our new Balcony Café and Museum Brasserie and there are special treats for children. There are also areas where packed lunches can be eaten - the page on Eating in the museum has more information.

The National Museum of Scotland has baby changing facilities on most floors and our exhibitions and galleries are accessible to all via lifts and ramps. You can download a map of the museum [PDF 1MB] to see the exact locations of our baby changing facilities and lifts.

School visits

Our multi-disciplinary collection allows you to focus on a wide-range of topics linked to the Curriculum for Excellence. Teacher-led visits to National Museum of Scotland are free of charge, and workshops and other activities and resources are also available. Find out more about school visits here.

Group visits

If you’re planning to visit the National Museum of Scotland as part of a group, please let us know you’re coming! Whether you're a school group, a society or special interest group, we will be delighted to work with you to plan your visit.

Maybe you want to discover more about our collections? Does your group have a special area of interest? We can arrange special guided tours on a wide range of subjects, from Romans to railways. You can find out more about our tours here.

To find out more about group bookings, tour costs and topics available, please contact the Learning and Programmes administrator on 0131 247 4041 or email tours@nms.ac.uk.

To make a group booking (10 of more) to our special exhibitions and benefit from a group discount, please call us on 0300 123 6789.

Access for disabled visitors

There is level access to the Museum via the main doors to the Entrance Hall on Chambers Street and the Tower entrance at the corner of Chambers Street and George IV Bridge.

Getting around the Museum

Wheelchairs are available for loan at no charge. On arrival, ask at the Information Desk. Please note wheelchairs cannot be booked in advance.

Lifts are available to all floors and there is a variety of seating throughout the museum. Accessible toilets are also available on most floors. You can download a map of the museum [PDF 1MB] to see the exact locations of our lifts and accessible toilets.

There is an induction loop at the Museum Information Desk and in the Auditorium and Dunfermline Room lecture theatre.

Guide dogs, hearing dogs and other recognised assistance dogs are admitted.

You can find a full access guide to the Museum on the DisabledGo website.

Parking at the Museum

Four designated public parking spaces are available for disabled visitors in Chambers Street. There is no charge for these spaces. However, please note that they cannot be booked in advance.

Tours for visually impaired and deaf visitors

To arrange a tour with handling opportunities or BSL interpretation, please email tours@nms.ac.uk or call 0131 247 4041, giving at least three weeks’ notice.

Photography policy

We are happy for you to take photographs, including flash photography, in the galleries, but photography is not permitted in special exhibitions or unless otherwise stated. 

No prior permission is needed for photography intended for personal use. However, anyone wishing to use a tripod should contact the Information Desk to obtain a photopass. All photographers wishing to take photographs for publication on other websites, for all printed matter or other commercial use, are asked to contact Maggie Wilson at the Picture Library on 0131 247 4026 or m.wilson@nms.ac.uk

Free Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi is available at the National Museum of Scotland in the Entrance Hall and Brasserie, Grand Gallery and surrounding balconies, Hawthornden Court and the Research Library.

Wi-Fi

BSL users

Deaf BSL (British Sign Language) users can make contact by using the free ContactSCOTLAND-BSL service.

Awards

Museum 5 Star 2

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Museum information

Opening times

Daily: 10:00-17:00
Christmas Day: Closed
Boxing Day: 12:00-17:00
New Year's Day: 12:00-17:00

Please note some areas are currently closed while we prepare our new galleries.

Admission

Free, donations welcome

How to find us

Chambers Street,
Edinburgh,
EH1 1JF
Tel: 0300 123 6789