Top 10 things to see and do

Your journey of discovery starts here...

1. Visit the Grand Gallery

Grand Gallery

Above: The Grand Gallery © Anna Henly.

The Grand Gallery is one of Scotland’s most beautiful spaces, and provides a spectacular start to your museum visit. Take a photo with the noble Giant Deer skeleton, say hello to the massive skull of Moby the whale and marvel at machinery used to smash atoms.

2. Watch the Millennium clock chime the hour

Millennium Clock © Ruth Armstrong

Above: The Millennium Clock © Ruth Armstrong.

Every hour the mighty Millennium clock swings into action. Don't miss its unique musical display, which represents the best – and worst – of the 20th century.

3. Travel back in time through Scottish history

Our Scottish galleries guide you from prehistoric times to the present day. Discover a treasure trove of Celtic, Roman and Viking artefacts, including the famous Lewis chess pieces – as seen in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone!

The famous Lewis chess pieces.

4. Mingle with royalty

Mary, Queen of Scots pendant

Above: Gold enamelled, heart-shaped locket set with an onyx cameo portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Mary, Queen of Scots is Scotland's most controversial monarch. Discover her tumultuous story and see belongings associated with her, including exquisite jewellery like this pendant.

5. Take a walk on the wild side

Next, explore the wonders of nature in the Natural World galleries. Walk in the shadow of a giant T.rex skeleton cast, and meet our much-loved panda Ching Ching, a gift from China.

T.rex in the Animal World gallery.

6. Try out the human hamster wheel

Running in the hamster wheel

Above: Trying out the hamster wheel.

There are hundreds of games throughout the museum. Generate energy walking in our giant hamster wheel, drive an F1 car, design your own fashion creations and much, much more! You can try out some of our games on the website here.

7. Take a selfie with a celebrity

Dolly the sheep

Above: Dolly the Sheep © Ruth Armstrong Photography.

Did you know our Science and Technology galleries are home to a celebrity? As the first cloned mammal ever to be created from an adult cell, Dolly is the most famous sheep in the world.

8. Strike a pose in the Fashion and Style gallery

Explore centuries of creativity and innovation in the Fashion and Style gallery. Spot gems by Alexander McQueen, Zandra Rhodes, Jean Muir and Pringle of Scotland, and see unusual twists on classic tartan by Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier.

The catwalk in the Fashion and Style gallery.

9. Journey to the dark side

Arthur's Seat coffins

Above: Who made the Arthur's Seat coffins and why did the bury them?

Uncover the darker side of Scottish history with tales of the infamous 'body snatchers' Burke and Hare and Deacon Brodie, the original Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Don't miss the mysterious Arthur's Seat coffins, one of the museum's most intriguing objects.

10. See Edinburgh from the skies!

Finally, don't forget to climb up to our roof terrace, for spectacular panoramic views on Edinburgh. The perfect place for a selfie!

View looking to Edinburgh Castle from the Roof Terrace.

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