National Museum of Scotland

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The National Museum of Scotland is one of the most renowned attractions in Edinburgh. The exponents of the museum will tell you everything about the history of the country and interesting facts from the lives of the Scots.

Merging of two museums

The National Museum of Scotland was formed in 1985 via the merging of the Museum of Scotland and Royal Museum. Despite everything, both of them managed to save their architectural peculiarities. The former Museum of Scotland occupies the building which dates to 1998, while the Royal Museum is located in the place which was erected in the Victorian style back in 1861. 

In a course of several years, the collections of these museums got blended, received new exponents and were systematized in a themed order. The joint buildings are situated next to each other in the center of Edinburgh, on Chambers Street. 

Exposition of the National Museum of Scotland

Besides the blended collections which include the archeological findings which date back to the ancient and Medieval times, the museum contains exponents from all the corners of the world. The exhibition halls display the geological, natural history, archeological, scientific, technical and art objects.

The first thing that the visitors of the museum see is the stunning Grand Central Hall. It’s decorated with marvelous engravings in a form of various fantastic birds. The hall is filled with the natural light, and everyone who enters it can literally feel the space of a huge room.

16 new galleries were opened in 2011. They contain 8000 exponents! The majority of them were previously displayed only on the demonstrative screens. The most interesting 36 galleries which were initially brought from the various corners of the world are absolutely different in their sizes and character. They occupy the ancient Royal Museum building. 

One of the most remarkable and fascinating exponents is the stuffed body of the famous Dolly the sheep. It was the first successful clone of the animal from the cell. There are also many halls which are devoted to Ancient Egypt.

One of the exhibition halls will definitely delight all the fans of Elton John. Here you’ll have a chance to check out his most extravagant and exquisite suites.

Dinosaur skeletons at the National Museum of Scotland
Exposition of the National Museum of Scotland © IR Stone / Shutterstock

Exciting places nearby

The museum has a wonderful location! 10 minutes walk away from the place, you shall find the Waverley Station, the main railway station in the city. The popular Royal Mile and the Writers’ Museum are also located nearby. Without a doubt, all the attractions of Scotland have their unique features which would delight various travelers. Don’t miss your chance to check them out with your own eyes. Besides, it’s pretty easy to find a hotel in Edinburgh located next to the most significant sites in the city.

Photos National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland on the map

National Museum of Scotland - attractions nearby

Entrance tickets & Tours

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3 hours
Withlocals Highlights & Hidden Gems™: Best of Edinburgh PRIVATE Tour
1 review
Ancient Gothic architecture, history everywhere, and sites that inspired J. K. Rowling to write Harry Potter; Edinburgh is a magical place! On this private tour, get ready to discover the best highlights the city has to offer, as well as its unique hidden gems with your favorite local.Get ready to experience Edinburgh the local way. Walk down the Royal Mile and head over to the Old College, which is the fifth oldest university in the Anglosphere. See and touch Edinburgh’s history at The National Museum of Scotland and enjoy the panorama of the city.Explore the peculiar Greyfriars’ Kirkyard and its landmarks full of stories, from Greyfriars Bobby to the harrowing accounts of body snatching. Stroll through the charming Victoria Street and see how it shaped the creation of Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. And step into The Writers’ Museum to discover the life and works of famous authors who have penned masterpieces in the English literary world.Feeling thirsty? Why not some treats!
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3 hours
3-Hour Edinburgh Secret Food Tour
19 reviews
We are Edinburgers who are wildly passionate about all the delicious food found around our world-famous and historical city. By booking on our Edinburgh tour, you will have the opportunity to experience our passion by eating traditional Scottish food (such as authentic Haggis, award winning Lowland Single Malt Whisky), sample tasty Scottish treats, desserts and sample our flavorful cheeses. Enjoy the enriching combination of tea and Scottish scones. Additionally all our tours, there is our Secret Dish, which you can only find out about on the day.
from 82
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3 hours 30 minutes
Edinburgh J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter Walking Tour
2 reviews
JK Rowling is a moderately influential woman who's sold a few books. On this tour we dive deep into her history. Learn to use failure as a springboard, be inspired, stay committed and conquer the world. Discover the sights that inspired her and the cafes which fueled her. Experience how, through her adopted daughter, Edinburgh once more left footprints upon the world..◘ Over 3½ hours learn the entire genesis of Harry Potter, from lightning striking on a Manchester train to becoming a pillar of British culture & shaping a generation.◘ Reviewers say it's a good introduction to Edinburgh's Hogwartian old town, discover fabulous gothic scenes off the Muggle-track, the brickwork of Rowling's imagination.◘ There's magic, I never got my letter so I'm giving you yours..Jk Rowling is a human just like us. She became a fugitive, spiritually wounded 'penniless single mother' but through perseverance overcame. Come be inspired by her & discover how her story illuminates Harry's world.
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1 hour 30 minutes
90 Minutes Kickstart Private Tour of Edinburgh
2 reviews
First time in Edinburgh? Wondering where to go and what to see in this colorful city? We got you! Kickstart your time in Edinburgh with a 90-minute introduction of the city with the help of your favorite local. See the main highlights of Edinburgh and discover the best the city has to offer. Your local host will answer all of your travel questions and will provide you with local insights and recommendations according to your liking.On this private tour, you’ll visit the must-see historical spots of the city, but also see hidden places that will give an authentic feeling of the city. Go to Parliament Square and find out who John Knox is. Explore Greyfriars’ Kirkyard and hear all about the secrets that lie in the graveyard. Visit the Edinburgh Castle and learn about the precious Stone of Destiny. Wandering about the best places for food and drinks? Get your personal recommendations from your local host plus extra tips and tricks on what to see and do in Edinburgh.
from 26
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Hotels near National Museum of Scotland

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