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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. 

Best for: Ages 3 and up

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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.

 

When

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.

How

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

Eat

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 to eta in the Group Room.

Cost

Admission is free.

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