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Plan your visit

Everything you need to know about visiting the National Museum of Scotland.

We are open every day

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

E-gift vouchers: Purchase an e-gift voucher, which can be used for tickets to paid exhibitions and events at the National Museum of Scotland, in addition to the National Museum of Flight and the National Museum of Rural Life. Our e-gift vouchers can also be used to buy National Museums Scotland Membership to allow free, unlimited entry to all of our museums and exhibitions.

Opening times

Museum open
Open daily, 10:00 - 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
Five young people stand around a craft table covered in colourful textiles, supported by three adults.

Family hub

All you need to know for a great family visit at the museum.

Explore our family hub

Information for your visit

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

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.

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.

No eating or drinking is permitted in the galleries, but the Lunch Space for eating your own food 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 there are currently no high chairs 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.

Buggies need to be kept with families at all times.

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

Find out more about schools visits or request a visit.

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 m.wilson@nms.ac.uk.

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 friendly Visitor Experience team who are present throughout the site and happy to assist you. Our Visitor Experience team is supported by our on-site security team who also monitor our CCTV system. You can also help us keep the museum safe by reporting anything that looks out of place or suspicious to our Visitor Experience team.

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.

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.

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 1015 minute walk away.

 

Head of a gold sarcophagus from the side

Support us

Our museums need your support to protect the objects in our care and bring their stories to life. Please donate today.

Thank you.

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