Skip Navigation or Skip to Content

Art and Design themed tours

Immerse yourself in our sumptuous galleries, which showcase the best of decorative art, design, fashion and style.

Tour Cancellation: 

Please note - Volunteer Guide led tours at the National Museum of Scotland have been cancelled until further notice. Please contact if you have any questions.

Discover a treasure trove of beautiful works, explore the influence of design on everyday life and see how contemporary makers continue to innovate.

Art and Design tours

2000 Years of Textiles

Discover various textile making techniques used through the ages of thousands of years ago to modern times.

Galleries: Early People, Kingdom of the Scots, Fashion and Style, Art of Living, Scotland Transformed, Design for Living, Hawthornden Court

4000 Years of Jewellery

Discover the history and development of jewellery through the ages, from Scotland's first people to the present day.

Galleries: Early People, Kingdom of the Scots, Scotland Transformed, Industry and Empire

Art on the Top Floor

Explore the art objects on the top floor of the original museum building, aiming to enthral the visitor with the splendour of the museum’s art collection.

Galleries: Art of Living, Design for Living, Traditions in Sculpture

Art, Design and Fashion galleries

Discover some of the highlights of our Art, Design and Fashion galleries, including works by Phoebe Traquair, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Eduardo Paolozzi and Pablo Picasso.

Galleries: Fashion and Style, Making and Creating, Art of Living, Design for Living, Window on the World

Birds in nature, mythology and art

Explore the evolution of birds and learn how they have adapted to many environments, and encounter birds as supernatural figures in mythology and religion and in decorative art.

Galleries: Animal World, Living Lands

Buttons to Zips: The Technology of Fashion

Investigate the influence of technology on fashion, synthetic fabrics and dyes. Explore the impact of traditional and modern methods of textile production, including computer design, 3D printing and what impact the industrial revolution had.

Galleries: Fashion and Style, Grand Gallery, Science and Technology, Making it

A Century of Decorative Arts

Examine objects from the Great Exhibition of 1851 to the Festival of Britain, including works by William Morris, William de Morgan and Phoebe Traquair.

Gallery: Design for Living


Explore the history and development of ceramics from Ancient Egypt to the 21st century, from Chinese porcelain to works by Picasso and Paolozzi.

Galleries: Window on the World, Artistic Legacies, Art of Living, Design for Living, Making and Creating

Gods and Godesses

This tour celebrates the museum's wide range of religious art of gods and goddesses from the ancient worlds and newer divinely inspired masterpieces.

Galleries: Inspired by Nature, Traditions in Sculpture, Art of Living, Design for Living

Treasures of European Palaces

Explore possessions from the Duke of Hamilton's collection, along with artefacts owned by other individuals of power and influence, and discover how their collections reflected the people they admired. 

Gallery: Art of Living

The Victorian Artist Phoebe Traquair

Learn more about at the Arts and Crafts movement and the different media Phoebe Traquair worked with, and find out about her contemporaries Robert Lorimer, Charles Rennie Macintosh and Jessie King.

Gallery: Design for Living

Book a tour

Private booked tours for individuals and groups

All our tours are available as private, booked tours.

The cost of a private, booked tour is £5.00 per person (we make a minimum charge of £50.00 per guided group). One guide is allocated to every 15 people.

Tours are subject to guide availability and a minimum of three weeks’ notice is requested. Please contact for further information and tour request form.

Daily themed tour

Times: 15:00 (1 hr)
Cost: Free

Join us for our exciting programme of tours with a different theme each day. Meet at the Tour Meeting Point, Entrance Hall, Level 0.

Back to top