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Visiting FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

We've put together answers to some common questions to help you plan your visit to the National Museum of Scotland. If you have any questions which aren’t answered here, please email or call 0300 123 6789.

Arrival at the museum

When is the National Museum of Scotland open?

The museum is open 10:00–17:00 each day.

Which entrance do I use?

The main museum entrances are located on Chambers Street. The Tower entrance is an accessible entrance for groups with visitors who have additional mobility requirements or buggies.

What's open?

What's open during my visit?

Our visitor map shows the galleries and spaces you can explore, and our trails have been developed for use in the museum. These include a Family Puzzle trail, a Staff Top Picks trail and an audio-led Reset trail to help you find moments of calm and mindfulness. 

Exhibitions take place throughout the year, and some are ticketed.

What special exhibitions are on?

All of our special exhibition spaces are open. Find out what's on during your visit.

Do you have guided tours?

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.

Toilets, facilities and access

Do you have toilets?

Our toilets are available, including accessible toilets, a Changing Places (U) toilet and baby changing facilities. Please speak to the team should you have any questions during your visit.

Do you have a cloakroom or lockers?

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 bugy with you when you leave the gallery.

Is there an accessible entrance?

The Tower entrance is an accessible entrance for visitors who have additional mobility requirements or buggies.

Can I use the lifts?

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.

Can I borrow a wheelchair?

Wheelchairs are available for loan whilst visiting the museum and are cleaned thoroughly between uses. Wheelchairs cannot be booked in advance, so please speak with our staff about availability on arrival.

Food and drink

Do you have a café?

The Balcony Café (Level 3) is open daily from 10:00–17:00 for tea, coffee, 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.

Can I bring my own food?

Yes. The Group Space for eating your own food is open and available to use. Please clean the tables after use with the sanitising wipes provided. Our friendly visitor experience staff can answer any questions you have upon arrival.


Where are the museum shops?

The Museum Shops on Level 0 and Level 3 are open. Card payment is the preferred method of payment.

A child looks as a woman points at something out of focus in a glass case.

Families Ask Questions

Bringing your family along? We've got answers to questions about everything from packed lunches to nappy changing.

Find out about visiting with family
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