In 2011, the National Museum of Scotland reopened after a three-year, £50 million refurbishment. Explore the diversity of the natural world, world cultures, art and design, science and technology, and Scottish history, all in one stunning building in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town area.
The Museum is now Scotland’s busiest visitor attraction, displaying 20,000 objects across 36 galleries, and it offers a host of new and improved facilities for visitors. We have an extended learning centre, a gallery for international touring exhibitions and new shops and restaurants. Even getting around is easier with new entrances, glass lifts and escalators, and a whole new floor at street-level.
A visit to the revitalised National Museum of Scotland is an unmissable experience: a journey which reveals the story of Scotland and its place in the world through eye-catching displays from our remarkable collections from science and art to nature and outer space – all under one roof!
Find out more about the National Museum of Scotland here.
Find out about our new galleries project here.
Find out more about our exhibitions here.
Booked tours are available for the highlight tours of our galleries, Discover the National Museum and Scotland Highlights plus special interest themes. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 247 4041 for more information about prices and how to book. All tours are subject to guide availability. Find out more about group tours available here.
Since the doors opened to the public in 1866, the museum has seen many changes in its architecture and identity.
In 1998, the Museum of Scotland, adjacent to the Royal Museum, opened in a new modern building, designed by architects Benson & Forsyth, dedicated to the history and culture of Scotland. In 2006, the Chambers Street site, incorporating the Victorian Royal Museum building and the Museum of Scotland, was re-named the National Museum of Scotland.
The National Museum of Scotland is one of the few places in the world to house such significant and diverse collections in one building. Many of the treasures in our new galleries have never been on display before.
One of the highlights of the redevelopment is the newly installed Window on the World (above). Measuring eighteen metres in height, the spectacular display rises to the full four-storey height of the Grand Gallery in the Victorian building and houses nearly 1,000 items from the diverse national collections. One of the largest single museum installations in the UK, the Window on the World displays items ranging in size and scope from a girder from the Tay Bridge to a rock sample from the slopes of Mount Vesuvius.
The Museum reveals its collections in new and dynamic ways. Hands-on-discovery areas, up-to-date learning experiences and family-focused activities make the National Museum of Scotland a museum for the 21st century.
National Museums Scotland collections are so diverse that we have four museums throughout Scotland. Discover the history behind Scotland at war, aviation from the First World War to the present day – including Scotland’s Concorde – experience life on the farm and view a century of style.
All our museums offer group booking and special tours and discounts. Click the links below for more information: