Let’s start with our flagship museum, the National Museum of Scotland a 5 star visitor attraction in the heart of Edinburgh. The museum offers free admission to our outstanding collections, as well as special exhibitions, shops and cafes, plus a roof terrace with a spectacular view of the Edinburgh skyline and Edinburgh Castle.
A visit to the National Museum of Scotland is an unmissable experience for any visitor to Scotland either as an FIT or with a group. Stepping into the magnificent Victorian architecture including the famous Grand Gallery, visitors begin a journey which reveals the story of Scotland and its place in the world. With over 20,000 objects bringing together the history of Scotland, the wonders of nature and diverse cultures, game-changing scientific breakthroughs and exquisite art, design and fashion from across the centuries, there’s plenty to discover at Scotland’s most visited attraction.
Find out more about the National Museum of Scotland here.
Watch our short video to get an overview of our museum.
Find out more about our exhibitions here.
We have teamed up with Mercat Tours to develop special tours of the Scottish collections to tell the story of Scotland, including:
Mile to the Museum: This FIT history walk starts on the Royal Mile and brings visitors into the museum for a Scottish highlights tour and includes coffee and cake in the Museum Brasserie. Find out more here.
Group tours: there are five differently themed tours to suit all itineraries and a variety of client interests. Find out more here.
Free daily tours: There are tours every day given by our knowledgeable volunteer guides at 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00. Please note these are available to individuals, not groups as spaces are limited. These free tours are a great tip for any clients doing their own thing in the city. Find out more here.
Since the doors opened to the public in 1866, the museum has seen many changes in its architecture and identity.
In 1998, the Museum of Scotland, adjacent to the Royal Museum, opened in a new modern building, designed by architects Benson & Forsyth, dedicated to the history and culture of Scotland. In 2006, the Chambers Street site, incorporating the Victorian Royal Museum building and the Museum of Scotland, was renamed the National Museum of Scotland. In February 2019 the museum completed an extensive 15-year, £80 million transformation, returning one of the finest Victorian buildings in Britain to its former glory, creating vibrant new public spaces and revealing its spectacular national collections, many of which had not previously been on display.
The National Museum of Scotland is one of the few places in the world to house such significant and diverse collections in one building.
One of the highlights of the redevelopment is the Window on the World (above). Measuring eighteen metres in height, the spectacular display rises to the full four-storey height of the Grand Gallery in the Victorian building and houses nearly 1,000 items from the diverse national collections. One of the largest single museum installations in the UK, the Window on the World displays items ranging in size and scope from a girder from the Tay Bridge to a rock sample from the slopes of Mount Vesuvius.
The Museum reveals its collections in new and dynamic ways. Hands-on-discovery areas, up-to-date learning experiences and family-focused activities make the National Museum of Scotland a museum for the 21st century.
National Museums Scotland collections are so diverse that we have four museums throughout Scotland. Discover the history behind Scotland at war, aviation from the First World War to the present day – including Scotland’s Concorde – and experience life on a 1950s working farm.
All our museums offer group booking and special tours and discounts. Click the links below for more information: