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Plan your visit

Everything you need to know about visiting the museum.

We are open

You no longer need to pre-book a ticket to visit to visit the National Museum of Scotland. Find out how to get to the Museum and make the most of your visit.

National Museum of Scotland

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

Admission

Free entry

Opening times

Museum open
Open daily, 10:00 - 17:00

Closed 25 Dec
Open 26 Dec and 1 Jan, 12:00 - 17:00

Museum map

Plan your visit to the National Museum of Scotland with our map to view online or print at home.

View the museum map

Visiting safely

A range of safety measures are in place in line with Scottish Government guidelines.

This includes the requirement for all staff and visitors aged 12 and over to wear face coverings, enhanced cleaning, sneeze screens and hand sanitising stations.

We want you to have a safe and enjoyable visit. During your visit, we ask you to:

Social distance icon Please keep your distance from others. Face coverings must be worn by visitors aged 12 and over.
Use the hand sanitiser provided. Card payments are the preferred method of payment.
Wash your hands often.    

We recommend that you use the Check In Scotland QR codes which will be located throughout the building for Test and Protect purposes.

Please do not visit the museum if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Coronavirus.

Information for your visit

Opening hours

The National Museum of Scotland has opening hours of 10:00–17:00 each day. 

Face coverings

In line with Scottish Government guidelines, all visitors aged 12 and over must wear a face covering.

Entrances, lifts and cloakroom

Lifts are in operation.

The cloakroom is temporarily closed, so please do not bring any items to the museum that you are unable to carry with you.

What’s open?

The reopening of galleries will be phased. Level 0 (Entrance Hall level) and parts of Level 1 (Grand Gallery level), Level 3 and Level 5 are now open.

A new visitor map shows which galleries and facilities are open, and new trails have been developed for use in the museum. These include a Family Puzzle trail, a Staff Top Picks trail, and an audio-led Reset trail to help you find moments of calm and mindfulness. 

Exhibitions are currently being staged at the National Museum of Scotland. These are all free to enter.

Spaces with a high number of interactive displays and high-touch areas, such as the Imagine, Explore and Adventure Planet galleries, are temporarily closed for your safety. 

Food and drink

The Balcony Café (Level 3) is open daily from 10:00–17:00 for tea, coffee, home baking, snacks and freshly prepared soup, sandwiches, salads and children's lunch boxes. Please note we are accepting card payments only. Last orders are at 16:30.

The Museum Brasserie on Level 0 is open daily from 10:00–17:00 (last orders 16:45) for tea and coffee, home baking, cold snacks, freshly prepared sandwiches, salads, homemade soup and children's boxes.

The Group Space for eating your own food has now reopened and is available to use. Please clean the tables after use with the sanitising wipes provided. Our friendly visitor experience staff can answer any questions you have upon arrival.

Shops

The Museum Shops on Level 0 and Level 3 are open to pre-booked museum visitors. Card payment is the preferred method of payment.

Please note that in line with Scottish Government guidelines, all visitors over the age of 12 must wear a face covering in our shops.

National Museums Scotland Members receive a 10% discount on all shop purchases.

Visiting with children

Families and children of all ages are welcome at the National Museum of Scotland.

  • Trained first aiders are always on duty and a policy is in place if children become separated from their party.
  • Baby changing facilities are available and our galleries are accessible via lifts and ramps.
  • The Balcony Café (Level 3) is open daily from 10:00–17:00 for home baking, snacks and freshly prepared soup, sandwiches, salads and children's lunch boxes. Card payment is the preferred method of payment. Last orders are at 16:30.

Please note the Museum Brasserie and cloakroom are temporarily closed. As our lunch space is also closed, and eating is not permitted in the galleries, please don’t bring your own food to eat in the museum at this time.

School and group visits

We offer self-guided educational group visits, which must be booked in advance. 

Find out more about schools visits or request a visit.

Photography

We are happy for you to take photographs including flash photography in the museum.No prior permission is needed for photography intended for personal use. However, anyone wishing to use additional photography equipment (eg a tripod) should contact the information desk to obtain a photo pass.

All photographers wishing to take photographs for commercial use are asked to contact Maggie Wilson at the Picture Library on 0131 247 4026 or at 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.

Accessibility

We want everyone who comes to the National Museum of Scotland to enjoy their time with us and make the most of their visit. We've compiled all our accessibility information in one place.

Find out more

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 Balcony Café (Level 3) is open, accepting card payments only.

  • Information

    Our information desk is situated in the Entrance Hall (Level 0).

  • Changing Places toilet

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

  • Contactless payment

    Please note we are accepting card payments only.

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. 

 

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. 

NCP Parking Discount Available
A 24-hour parking ticket for the NCP Castle Terrace car park is available for £10.50 if you are visiting our special exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland.

To receive the discount, please present your parking ticket along with your National Museum Scotland Membership card or special 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). You will be given a validated parking ticket with the discount applied to use when you pay for your parking at NCP Castle Terrace.

 

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Thank you.

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