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A teacher leads a group of young school children through a large, bright, open gallery.

Schools visits to the National Museum of Scotland

The natural world, world cultures, science, technology, design, art and fashion, archaeology and Scottish history – whatever your topic, come on a visit to find out more.
2016_09_08_RA_043 pupils trail, science galleries

General self-led visit

A general self-led visit is free to book and allows your class to explore a wide range of topics. Click the link below to find out more.

General self-led visit
A member of education staff is surrounded by three pupils looking at roman objects on a table.


Bring your subject to life with a museum workshop led by our Learning Enablers.

Available for Nursery - S6

2014 pupil with magnifying glass 2

Object Handling Sessions

Containing real and replica objects as well as a range of suggested activities, self-led handling boxes can be tailored by teachers to suit the learning intentions of their class. P1 - S6

Object Handling Sessions
A man from Oceania dramatically poses on a beach covered in a shallow layer of water and seaweed. Throwing his head back and striking a 'warrior pose', his long braided hair, traditional dyed cloth wrapping below his waist, and the boat paddle he holds make him seem powerful and heroic.

Special exhibition visit

UK based education groups can visit our special exhibitions for a reduced price if booking in advance. Click below to find out more about our current exhibitions.

Special Exhibitions

National Museum of Scotland

Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
Tel: 0300 123 6789


Free entry

E-gift vouchers: Purchase an e-gift voucher, which can be used for tickets to paid exhibitions and events at the National Museum of Scotland, in addition to the National Museum of Flight and the National Museum of Rural Life. Our e-gift vouchers can also be used to buy National Museums Scotland Membership to allow free, unlimited entry to all of our museums and exhibitions.

Opening times

Museum open
Open daily, 10:00 - 17:00

Top tips for visiting National Museum of Scotland

Before you visit

Plan your visit in class using our visual story PowerPoints, or using Google Streetview. We have maps to help you plan your visit, including a Sensory Map.


Pupils need to be supervised at all times when visiting the museum. We recommend splitting your class into small groups and choosing a visible meeting point, like the Lighthouse Lens in the Grand Gallery.

Don't miss

The Millennium Clock, just off the Grand Gallery, has music and a moving figures display just after the hour – don’t miss seeing it as part of your visit.


A range of different resources are available to use with your pupils to give  focus to your day, on topics such as ancient Egypt, Art and Design, Romans, Careers and Dinosaurs.

Preparing for your visit

Our programme for the 2023 - 2024 school year will be announced soon and bookings will open on 14 August 2023.  

There is so much to see and do - your class can plan to spend a full day visiting the National Museum of Scotland:

Prepare your class for a visit by using our visual story PowerPoints in class:

You can also find out more about the ASN resources available for your visit.

The video below shows a school visit to National Museum of Scotland. We suggest you also read the general visit page for more information. You can also book a pre-visit to help you plan the day.

To ensure your visit runs smoothly, all school visits to the National Museum of Scotland must be booked in advance

Pre-booked general school visits and downloadable resources are free of charge. 

The cost of all other events, activities and workshops is detailed on relevant session pages.

Your school will be invoiced after your visit. 

Please check visit type information pages for our Terms & Conditions and Cancellation policies. 

National Museums Scotland does not currently offer travel subsidies.  Children and young people aged between 5 and 21 years living in Scotland are eligible for free bus travel.  Find out more at

Our programme for the 2023 - 2024 school year will be announced soon and bookings will open on 14 August 2023.  

Please arrive at the time stated on your booking. This is to stagger groups arriving in our Entrance Hall (Level 0, Chambers St entrance) and minimise noise levels.

We have a range of resources available to use in both the classroom and museum. You can find them in the Learning resources section.

We also have topic specific trails to help guide your class through the museum which you can download in advance. 

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During your visit

There is a coach drop-off point outside the museum on Chambers Street.

Pay and display parking is available on Chambers Street and at NCP Quartermile.  More parking info.

  • Booked groups are allocated a storage tub in our school’s cloakroom for coats, and packed lunches. Please encourage pupils to bring with them only what they will need for the day.

  • The tubs have lids, but are not lockable. Please note that the tubs are not located in a secure area. Belongings are left at the owner’s risk.

  • Space is limited and we are unable to store large rucksacks or suitcases.

  • Please note that bags can only be stored in the cloakroom while you are on the premises

Where can we eat?

  • School groups can eat in the Museum lunchroom. This is the only designated space for group lunches in the Museum, and must be pre-booked. Your 30 minutes lunch time slot is included in your booking information.

  • The packed lunch space will be very busy during your visit. Please help us to keep it running smoothly by sticking to your booked 30-minute time slot(s), sharing tables with other schools, and tidying up after your group.


The Learning Centre and galleries are fully accessible via lifts and we have accessible toilets on all levels. There is a Changing Places (U) toilet in the Entrance Hall on Level 0. 

Please read our information for visitors with access needs. 

We are happy for you to take photographs, including flash photography, in the general museum. Photography is not permitted in special exhibitions, unless otherwise stated. If you wish to take a photo of a member of museum staff, please ask their permission before doing so.  

We may also wish to take photographs of you and your group. We will always discuss with you in advance and will supply a photography permission form for you and your class to be completed prior to visiting. 

There is a Museum Shop in the Entrance Hall, Level 0 (please ensure there is a ratio of 1 adult to 10 children when in shop). 

There is a café on the Level 3 balcony, overlooking the Grand Gallery. Take-away tea/coffee/liquids are not permitted in the museum.  

We ask that pupils visiting in school groups are accompanied at all times during their visit at a ratio of: 

1 adult: 5 pupils (under the age of 5) 

1 adult: 10 pupils (primary school pupils) 

1 adult: 15 pupils (secondary school pupils) 

Where pupils require support on a 1:1 ratio, this adult should be included over and above these ratios. 

Ensure everyone attending, including adults, are aware of our Visit Guidelines. These guidelines include details of the COVID safety measures we have in place.  Please be aware that all our bookings will comply with Scottish Government guidelines and NHS Scotland Test and Protect. 

In addition, please read and follow any safety notices and instructions from Visitor Experience staff during your visit.

You can download our guidelines for teachers to help you write your own risk assessment. Teachers can make a free pre-visit to carry out their own risk assessment. 

We have developed an agreement which sets out what we aim to offer during your visit, and in return what we ask from you. We ask that pupils visiting in school groups are accompanied at all times during their visit at a ratio of: 

1 adult: 5 pupils (under the age of 5) 

1 adult: 10 pupils (primary school pupils) 

1 adult: 15 pupils (secondary school pupils) 

Where pupils require support on a 1:1 ratio, this adult should be included over and above these ratios. 

Three primary school pupils are gathered around and are playing a board game.

Visiting with ASN pupils

We're committed to encouraging all pupils to enjoy our museums. We have a range of initiatives to support and welcome pupils with additional support needs to the National Museum of Scotland.

Find out about the resources available

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