Plan your visit

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

National Museum of Scotland

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

Admission

Free entry

Opening times

Open daily 10:00–17:00

Closed on 25 December
Open 12:00–17:00 on 26 December and 1 January

How to get here

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. 

 

Visit the Lothian Buses website for further information or get directions from Google Maps.

 

Edinburgh Bus Tours open-top buses also stop at the museum.

By train

The nearest train station is Edinburgh Waverley and the museum is a 1015 minute walk away.

 

Plan your journey with the Traveline website or get directions from Google Maps.

By tram

The nearest tram stop is on Princes Street and the museum is a 1015 minute walk up The Mound. 

 

Plan your journey with the Traveline website or get directions from Google Maps.

By bike

Edinburgh is a cycle-friendly city. There are many dedicated cycle lanes and many junctions have advance cycle stop lines.

 

A number of cycle racks are available on Chambers Street to park your bike.

 

Get directions from Google Maps.

By car

Follow signs to the city centre. Off-street parking is available at nearby at NCP sites.

 

Get directions from Google Maps and further information on parking can be found at Edinburgh Council. 

 

Save on parking at NCP Castle Terrace
National Museums Scotland Members and National Museum of Scotland special exhibition ticket holders receive discounted parking at NCP Castle Terrace

 

To receive the discount, present your parking ticket along with your Membership card or exhibition ticket to National Museum of Scotland Staff at either the Special 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. Please note this offer is not valid during the month of August.

 

Park and Ride
Park and Ride options are available by tram and bus. Leave the tram or bus in the city centre on Princes Street and the museum is a 1015 minute walk away. 

Facilities

  • Free wifi

    Free wifi is available throughout the museum.

  • Toilets

    There are toilets on all levels of the museum.

  • Baby changing

    Baby changing facilities are available on most floors.

  • Access

    Our exhibitions and galleries are accessible to all via lifts and ramps. There are accessible toilets on all floors.

  • Visual impairment

    Large print labels are available in our exhibitions for visually impaired visitors.

  • Hearing loop

    Induction loops are in place at the information desks and in the Auditorium.

  • Assistance dogs

    Assistance dogs are welcome in the museum.

  • Coffee cup icon Café

    The Museum Brasserie in the Entrance Hall and Balcony Café on Level 3 are open daily from 10:00.

  • Restaurant

    The Tower Restaurant opens at 10:00 for brunch. Lunch is served from 12:00, afternoon tea from 14:30 and dinner from 17:00.

  • Cloakroom Cloakroom

    You'll find our cloakroom in the Entrance Hall, on Level 0. There is a charge of £1.50 per item.

  • Information

    Our information desk is situated at the entrance on Level 0.

  • Changing Places toilet

    Accessible toilets are available on all floors and there is a Changing Places (U) toilet in the Entrance Hall on Level 0.

Information for your visit

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.
  • Please note that due to limited space we can only accept buggies in the cloakroom if they are folded.
  • Children are welcome in our new Balcony Café and Museum Brasserie and there are special treats for children.
  • Packed lunches can be eaten in the Group Room in the Entrance Hall, provided it has not been reserved for a group visit.
  • 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. Download a map of the museum to see the exact locations of our baby changing facilities and lifts.
  • We have range of initiatives to support and welcome families with autistic children.

Not sure where to start? Check out our top 10 activities to try with kids.

School and 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.

 

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 the 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.

 

Overseas school visits

We welcome overseas school groups to the Museum and can offer a wide range of resources. Find out more about overseas school group visits.

 

Group visits

Museum shops

There are three shops in the 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. You can also shop online here.

 

National Museums Scotland Members receive a 10% discount and all major credit cards are accepted. 

Cloakroom

  • Our cloakroom facility is located in the Entrance Hall, on Level 0. There is a charge of £1.50 per item for this service.
  • We will only accept bags, cases or rucksacks if they weigh less than 10kg.
  • Due to limited space we can only accept buggies if they are folded.
  • Please note that you can only leave your bag in the cloakroom while you are on the premises.

 

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 free 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

Security

We want all our visitors and staff to be safe in the National Museum of Scotland. We work closely with Police Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council and other security managers to ensure we provide a safe and secure site for our staff and visitors. As part of our security measures, it may sometimes be necessary to introduce bag searches on entry to the museum.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to a member of our Visitor Experience team. You can also help us keep the museum safe by reporting anything that looks out of place or suspicious to our Visitor Experience Assistants.

Download a map of the National Museum of Scotland

Maps are available in the following languages: Gàidhlig, Deutsch, Español, Français, Italiano, Polski, Pусский, 中国, 日本人

Museum maps

Accessibility

Getting around the museum

We want everyone who comes to our museums to enjoy their time with us and make the most of their visit.

 

  • 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.
  • Wheelchairs are available for loan at no charge whilst visiting the museum. They cannot be booked in advance, please ask about availability at the Information Desk on arrival. 
  • Small mobility scooters are permitted inside the museum.
  • Lifts are available to all floors and there is a variety of seating throughout the museum.
  • Accessible toilets are also available on most floors and there is a Changing Places (U) toilet in the Entrance Hall on Level 0. 
  • 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 welcome in the museum.

Our full access guide can be found on the AccessAble website and you can also find information on Euan's Guide

 

Download a map of the National Museum of Scotland or pick one up at our information desk when you arrive to see exact locations of lifts and accessible toilets.

Accessible parking

There are four designated public parking spaces are available for disabled visitors in Chambers Street. There is no charge for these spaces and they cannot be booked in advance.

Tours for visually impaired and D/deaf visitors

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

 

For audio descriptive tours of exhibitions, check our Exhibitions and Events calendar.

Resources for families with autistic children

We have range of events and initiatives to welcome families with autistic children.

 

Additional Support - Find out more about what we do to assist visitors with additional support needs.

BSL users

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

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Eating and drinking

Enjoy a meal in the Balcony Café and Museum Brasserie. Or why not dine out in style at the award-winning Tower Restaurant?

A packed lunch area is also available.

Eating at the Museum
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School visits

Bring the Curriculum for Excellence to life with the help of our incredible collections: the natural world, world cultures, science, technology, design, art and fashion, archaeology and Scottish history – we cover it all!

Find out more
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