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Everything you need to know about visiting the museum.
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.
Plan your visit to the National Museum of Scotland with our map to view online or print at home.View the museum map
All you need to know for a great family visit at the museum.Explore our family hub
There is no longer a legal requirement to wear face coverings but we still strongly recommend that visitors wear them in our indoor spaces to help protect themselves and our staff.
We want you to have a safe and enjoyable visit. During your visit, we ask you to:
|Please keep your distance from others.||We recommend wearing face coverings in our indoor spaces.|
|Use the hand sanitiser provided.||Card payments are the preferred method of payment.|
|Wash your hands often.|
Please do not visit the museum if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Coronavirus.
The National Museum of Scotland has opening hours of 10:00–17:00 each day.
The legal requirement to wear face coverings in our museums has lifted. However, we still strongly recommend that all visitors over the age of 12 wear them in our indoor spaces to help protect themselves and our staff.
Lifts are in operation. We recommend entering via the Tower entrance if using buggies or wheelchairs, as the lifts up from the Chambers Street entrance can be busy.
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.
Imagine, Explore and Adventure Planet galleries, are now open.
The Balcony Café (Level 3) and Brasserie (level 0) are 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.
The Museum Kitchen 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 cloakroom is now open.
No eating or drinking is permitted in the galleries, but the Lunch Space for eating your own food has now reopened and is available to use - please note that priority is given to school groups during term time. Please clean the tables after use with the sanitising wipes provided. Unfortunately currently no high chairs are available in the group space. Our friendly visitor experience staff can answer any questions you have upon arrival.
At busy times (during school holidays, for example) there may be designated picnic spots in various places throughout the museum for visitors to eat their own packed lunches. Please ask our visitor experience staff if picnic spots are open and to direct you to the nearest one.
Our shops are a treasure trove of unique souvenirs and thoughtful gifts, with an extensive range of Scottish crafts, jewellery and collections-themed products as well as cards, toys and books.
You'll find the shops on Level 0 (Entrance Hall), Level 1 (Tower Entrance) and Level 3 (Exhibition Gallery foyer).
National Museums Scotland Members receive a 10% discount on all shop purchases.
Families and children of all ages are welcome at the National Museum of Scotland. Please see our Family Hub page for lots more information to help you enjoy your visit.
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. We recommend entering via the Tower entrance if using buggies or wheelchairs, as the lifts up from the Chambers Street entrance can be busy.
You are welcome to breastfeed anywhere in the museum. There is seating on every level – please do ask our staff to show you the nearest comfortable seating or to point you in the direction of quieter spaces if you would prefer more privacy.
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. High chairs are available at both the Balcony Café and Museum Kitchen.
Please note the cloakroom is temporarily closed. Buggies need to be kept with families at all times.
We offer self-guided educational group visits, which must be booked in advance.
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.
We also ask visitors to please not take photographs of any children outside your own group.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Our free public guided tours are for adult individuals and small groups (up to six people only). Find out more about our Scotland Galleries highlights tour.
New self-service lockers are located in the entrance hall. The lockers come in three sizes which accommodate coats and small bags right up to small flight cases. You will need a smart phone and mobile payment or credit card to access the lockers. Or if you’d rather pay cash, just visit our shop to purchase a voucher. Charges for all day storage range from £2 - £7 and all profits made go towards the work of National Museums Scotland.
There is no buggy park or storage in the museum. You can leave your buggy at the side of our children’s galleries while playing in the space, but please take your buggy with you when you leave the gallery.
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
Free wifi is available throughout the museum.
There are toilets on all levels of the museum.
Baby changing facilities are available on most floors.
Our exhibitions and galleries are accessible to all via lifts and ramps. There are accessible toilets on all floors.
Large print labels are available in our exhibitions for visually impaired visitors.
Induction loops are in place at the information desks and in the Auditorium.
Assistance dogs are welcome in the museum.
The Balcony Café (Level 3) is open, accepting card payments only.
Our information desk is situated in the Entrance Hall (Level 0).
Accessible toilets are available on all floors and there is a Changing Places (U) toilet in the Entrance Hall (Level 0).
Please note we are accepting card payments only.
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.
The nearest train station is Edinburgh Waverley and the museum is a 10–15 minute walk away.
Plan your journey with the Traveline website or get directions from Google Maps.
The nearest tram stop is on Princes Street and the museum is a 10–15 minute walk up The Mound.
Plan your journey with the Traveline website or get directions from Google Maps.
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.
Follow signs to the city centre. Off-street parking is available at nearby at NCP sites.
There are also limited on-street Pay & Display spaces on streets surrounding the museum - these are Zone 3 spaces, please see Edinburgh Council's Parking page for more information. Please note that parking can be very busy, and we recommend using public transport where possible.
There are four designated public parking spaces available for disabled visitors in Chambers Street. There is no charge for these spaces and they cannot be booked in advance.
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 10–15 minute walk away.
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