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Visiting FAQs

Learn more about what’s changed to help you plan your visit.

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 info@nms.ac.uk or call 0300 123 6789.

Health and safety

What health and safety measures are in place?

A range of new safety measures have been put in place in line with Scottish Government guidelines. This includes the requirement for all staff and visitors aged 12 and over to wear face coverings, enhanced cleaning, sneeze screens and hand sanitising stations.

 

We want you to have a safe and enjoyable visit. During your visit, we ask you to:

 

  • Please keep your distance from others (1m).
  • Use the hand sanitiser provided.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Card payments are the preferred method of payment.
  • Face coverings must be worn by visitors over 12 years old.

 

Please do not visit the museum if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Coronavirus.

Do I need to wear a face covering?

In line with Scottish Government guidelines, all visitors aged 12 and over must wear a face covering.

What if I’m not able to wear a face covering?

It is now mandatory that all visitors over the age of 12 wear a face covering whilst visiting our museums. However, there are exemptions for those, for example with a health condition, disability, physical or mental impairment, who are unable to do so. Not all exemptions are visible so please be understanding.

Will staff be wearing protective equipment?

Masks and face screens are available to all staff who wish to use them and who are unable to adhere to social distancing measures because of the nature of their role.

Is there a reason I shouldn’t visit the museum?

Please do not visit the museum if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Coronavirus.

Arrival at the museum

Do I need to pre-book a timed entry ticket?

In line with the updated Scottish Government guidelines, you no longer need to pre-book a ticket to visit the National Museum of Scotland.

 

Plan your visit

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?

Which parts of the museum will be open?

The reopening of galleries will be phased. Level 0 (Entrance Hall level) and parts of Level 1 (Grand Gallery level), Level 3 and Level 5 are now open.

 

A new visitor map shows which galleries and facilities are open, and new 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. 

 

Three exhibitions are currently being staged at the National Museum of Scotland. These are all free to enter.

 

Spaces with a high number of interactive displays and high-touch areas, such as the Imagine, Explore and Adventure Planet galleries, are temporarily closed for your safety. While Explore is closed we have moved Dolly the sheep to a new location in the Animal World gallery (Level 1). Look out for her under the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton.

Will special exhibitions be open?

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

Are events, activities and guided tours going ahead?

There are no events, activities or guided tours during this period. However, there are new museum trails to help guide and inspire your visit.

Toilets, facilities and access

Are the toilets open?

Our toilets are open, including accessible toilets, a Changing Places (U) toilet and baby changing facilities. In line with Scottish Government guidelines and our commitment to ensure the safety of our visitors as much as possible, we have increased the frequency and expanded the cleaning regime in these facilities each day. Please speak to the team should you have any questions during your visit.

Is the cloakroom open?

The cloakroom is temporarily closed, so please do not bring any items to the museum that you are unable to carry with you.

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.

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

Are the cafés open?

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 Brasserie is temporarily closed, as is the lunch space.

Shops

Are the museum shops open?

The Museum Shops on Level 0 and Level 3 are open to pre-booked museum visitors. Card payment is the preferred method of payment.

Do I need to wear a face covering in the shop?

In line with Scottish Government guidelines, all visitors aged 12 and over must wear a face covering in our shops.

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