Search our site

Take the Family › National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland © Visit BritainNational Museum of Scotland © Visit Britain

The National Museum of Scotland is the place to find out about Scottish history and people, all the way from prehistoric times to today, with exhibits ranging wildly from ancient chessmen and Viking silver to Jackie Stewart’s Formula 1 racing car and Dolly the cloned sheep.

2016 has seen some enormous changes at the museum with the addition of 10 new galleries, offering a mix of art, design and fashion plus science and technology. A plethora of interactive displays, hands-on activities and areas that showcase the best of innovation over the years. 

Best for: Ages 3 and up

Email a friend Print this page Share this

What to Expect:

  • Educational
  • Free to enter
  • Great for kids 4-12
  • Great for toddlers
  • Open year-round
  • Special events
  • Public transport

What to do

Seek out the Art Cart, offering free creative fun for kids of all ages every day.

Hunt down the Discovery Zones dotted about on every level of the museum, where kids can find out if they’re strong enough to wear a Roman mail shirt or fire a medieval catapult, of if they have the dexterity to fit a broken pot back together.

Visit the interactive Science & Technology Gallery, where you can get creative and learn about Space travel and robotics. Children can step into a Gemini spacesuit to find out how astronauts survive on a Space walk, see a real NASA Gemini space capsule up-close, and fire a model rocket.

Experience being a Formula 1 driver with the full-size racing car simulator. Admire one of the world’s oldest steam locomotives and learn about the environmental impact of our travel choices.

See the What’s On page for other activities and events, all free, including Meet the Author events, science workshops and guided tours.

Where to stay

See our destination guide to Edinburgh for family-friendly hotels and other places to stay in the Scottish capital.



The National Museum of Scotland is open daily 10am–5pm, apart from limited opening times on selected bank holidays and is closed on Christmas Day.


The museum is in the heart of the Old Town, a few minutes’ walk from the Royal Mile and approximately 10-mins walk from Edinburgh Waverley train station. 


The museum is home to the swanky Tower Restaurant, the Museum Brasserie and the more child-friendly Balcony Café. You are welcome to take your own packed lunches which can be eaten in the Group Room.


Admission is free.

Related features

Editors favourite
Kids Club
By Take The Family

Offer of the Week

Relaxing on the beach at Martinhal.
From £3199 per family (2 adults + 2 children) in a Deluxe Garden House for 7 nights inc. return flights and private transfers. Price based on 21 October 2018 departure (Half Term week)
Skip to Navigation
Skip to Navigation