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World Cultures themed tours

Encounter diverse peoples, cultures and objects, and discover how we differ and what we all share.

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.

Explore objects on display drawn from the museum’s oldest and most important historical collections and find out how they demonstrate Scotland's international links.

World Cultures tours

Ancient Egyptian Gallery Highlights

Delve into our new Ancient Egypt Rediscovered gallery, this tour will highlight key figures in archaeology, including Alexander Henry Rhind and Sir Flinders Petrie. 

Gallery: Ancient Egypt Rediscovered

Ancient Egypt's Life and the Afterlife

Our guide will explore the lives and beliefs of ancient Egyptian society, including a look at how the body was preserved for everlasting life. 


Galleries: Ancient Egypt Rediscovered


Accessibility: We will be using the lift to move from the ground level meeting point up to the Level 5 gallery. 

Animals, People and the Arctic

How have Arctic animals, native peoples and European colonists adapted to the Canadian Arctic? Find out on this tour.  

Galleries: Animal World, World Cultures, Industry and Empire

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

Chess, Chintz and Curry

Explore the exchange of goods and ideas between India and Europe, with a particular focus on Scotland’s involvement.

Galleries: World Cultures galleries, Discoveries, Fashion and Style, Scottish galleries

Fesity Females

Discover stories of women travellers and explorers, women who ruled and women who fought for their art.

Galleries: Artistic Legacies, Facing the Sea, Living Lands, Discoveries

French Connections

Explore artefacts associated with France, including objects linked to Mary, Queen of Scots and Napoleon, and find out why and when they came into the National Museums Scotland collection.

Galleries: Kingdom of the Scots, Scotland Transformed, Making and Creating, Art of Living, Traditions in Sculpture

Scotland's Pacific Connections

Explore the links between Scotland and the Pacific Ocean region, travel to the region and artistic cross-fertilization.

Galleries: World Cultures, Discoveries, Grand Gallery, Scottish Galleries

Writing and Communication through the Ages

Starting with ancient scripts, the tour includes those used in Scotland and finishes with message transcription in the 19th and 20th centuries with telegraphs and Enigma encoding machines.

Galleries: Discoveries, East Asia, Egypt, Early People, Kingdom of the Scots and Explore.

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.

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