Set in an old Victorian era exhbition hall, I can't say enough about this museum! It has a great collection of artifacts on Scottish history from prehistoric to modern times. The museum also has large wings on natural history and world cultures. Definitely a must see for museum lovers!
Visiting the Art Gallery was a pleasant thing to do. It's also free and even if it is a rather small Art Museum compared to other National Art Galleries, it's a great place. A fine collection of both national, historical and contemporary art. International exhibtions...Dürer on display when we went there. A nice Museum shop.
I am not a museum-fanatic... I'm not one of those people that *has to* visit every single museum when they travel. But if I stumble across one that is truly interesting, I could spend hours and hours inside... the National Museum of Scotland is such a place.
We came here on a rainy, grey afternoon... what a great way to stay dry and still enjoy the day :-) As with many museums in Scotland, there is no admission fee so it's also a great budget travelling tip!
The entire history of Scotland is displayed and its story told over 5 levels, with the early beginnings and Pictish history on the ground floor, further up the stairs with relics from the time of William Wallace, then onwards to Mary Queen of Scots, and ending up with recent popular culture in Scotland on the top floor (with Jackie Stewart, Sean Connery and many more). There is also an extensive collection of relics from around the world (e.g. Egypt). The displays are not boring, dusty or stagnant: this museum is inviting, interactive and really does captivate your attention!
Children will have fun as many areas are based on a learning by playing: we saw children playing with models of trebuchets, fantastic video documentaries, and best of all: "living" displays, which were actors dressed in the clothes of the time, telling you about life in Scotland during "their day"... fantastic!
We only spent about 2 hours here on our last visit, but I'm already planning an extended visit during our next trip to Edinburgh. Even if you don't usually like museums: if you are interested in Scotland's history and its path from cantankerous and rugged tribes to a modern, industrial and thriving nation, you simply have to spend a few hours here.
Opening Hours: Daily 10:00am-05:00pm.
Admission: FREE (donations are welcome)
--> In the year 2011 (on July 29th to be precise) the museum re-opened after a period of major renovation, rebuilding and expansion.
TIP: From the roof terrace you can get some fantastic panoramic views (and photos )over the city.
TIP: For food & drink, you can either visit the museum's informal Cafe Delos on the ground floor.
For a higher level (excuse the pun) of culinary enjoyment, there's the award-winning and celebrity-favoured Tower Restaurant at the top. Reservations are essential.
This huge museum is a great place to spend a few hours while in Edinburgh. Spread out over 8 floors, you really would struggle to see everything here in one visit, in fact you probably wouldn't want to- it would be too exhausting!
On entering the museum, my advice would be to pick up a leaflet with a map of the museum and plan to visit the things that really interest you. For example, there are galleries on 7 separate floors detailing Scottish history from the early Scots through the industrial era to the present day.
If Scottish history isn't really of interest, the other half of the museum has exhibitions subjects as varied as Science and Nature, Egyptology and European Sculpture. We particularly enjoyed the Animal World section where I weighed myself and discovered that I weigh as much as a chimpanzee! There are lots of other interactive sensory exhibits and the museum is very child-friendly too.
I was really exhausted after trekking around Edinburgh so we left the museum only seeing about half of what we could. I didn't mind though as this gives me an excuse to go back one day and see more.
Admission to the museum is free.
As the name suggests, the country's national museum.
It is located in a modern purpose built building on 7 levels (top one just being a roof terrace). Entry is free. Donations are welcomed (as ever).
I went round with a friend in March 11. First time I'd been in the new building - my only previous incursion had been during schooldays (a while back, now). It is impressive, and being free, you can pop in and out as often as it suits you.
The Tower Restaurant has a good reputation.
My wife and I were very pleasantly surprised by this wonderful little museum in the heart of Edinburgh. It had enough very good artwork as to be entertaining, but not so much as to be overwhelming. It has a fantastic diversity of artwork with some famous artists (i.e. Picasso and Monet's); however, I particularly enjoyed the Scottish Artists section, which is located on the bottom floor of the museum. Perusing this gem of a museum is a great way to spend 45 minutes to an hour on an Edinburgh afternoon.
This is a great place to spend a few hours. It's just off the Royal Mile, there is ample parking outside, it has a nice cafe inside, a wide range of things to see, you can take some great panoramic photos from the roof and it's FREE!
Seriously, this is a great museum with a good mix of Scottish and international exhibits to keep you interested.
The areas of most interest for me were the Formula 1 cars from the now defunct Stewart Racing Team, the Egyptology section and the exhibits known as Arthur's Seat coffins which Ian Rankin also used as a basis for one of the Rebus novels.
The NMS is a massive museum over several floors giving the history of Scotland, land and people.
It's an impressive museum, in terms of its building and the artefacts within. The museum has been undergoing great change and it's recent history probably reflects political changes in Scotland in terms of identity and parliamentary devolution.
The main problem here is one of size and organisation. It's a very difficult place to navigate and you do get the sense of feeling slightly lost and overwhelmed by its vast contents. Secondly it's difficult to know what narrative the place is trying to tell. The phrasing of text is also very significant in terms of the construction of Scottish identity and does lead me to doubt the museum's objectivity in terms of historical interpretation.
This museum has a lot to work with in terms of Scottish social history and the number of available objects on display and is clearly evolving but seems unsure as to what its purpose actually is. Definitely worth a look, but be prepared to feel a bit overwhelmed and confused.
Entry is free. Open 10.00 to 17.00.
Check the website below to see what's on at the various galleries that form the National Galleries of Scotland -- the beautiful main building on The Mound was completed in 1853 -- entrance to the galleries is free.
A gold mine of information about Scotland. You could easily spend hours in this knowledge temple. In fact the museum is divided in two interlinked buildings:
- Museum of Scotland Building: Discover the rich Scottish history from early people, the Kingdom of the Scots to Modern Scotland. The displays are shown on 6 levels in an interesting and brillant architectural way with multiple rooms which let me think a great maze.
- Royal Museum Building: science, culture and natural worlds are displayed.
Children will have fun too as many areas are based on a discovery principe by playing.
Roof terrace will give you also some nice view on the city and surroundings.
Special exhibition gallery, cafe Delos are on ground floor.
Admission is free and donations are welcome ;-)
Daily 10:00 -17:00
The Galleries comples comprises two connected buildings. The first is the National Gallery of Scotland, a quite small but interesting collection of works including Rembrandt, Gainsborough and Cezanne. Entry is free. The other building is the Scottish National Academy which hosts various exhibitions such as Picasso and Andy Warhol.
Edinburgh's art is housed mainly in these two buildings just offset from Princes Street. They have some nice paintings from the 'masters' such as Monet and Van Gogh as well as others including one of Monet's haystack series.
Good museum situated inside the castle which has on display lots of weapons, armoury and artefacts from Scotland's military past. Has an interesting 10min video on Scotland's and Edinburgh's military past and tradition on loop near the entrance.
This museum was vast and interesting but it could have been so much better. I think it must have been newly built or been moved recently as the building it was situated in was really modern looking and nice. The museum is filled with relics and objects from Scotland's past which varied from Andy Murray's tennis racket to samples of rocks that made up Scotland when it was first formed on Earth. It has 7 floors which take you on a journey through time as you go up the floors before arriving at the top which is a nice rooftop garden with great views over the city and of the castle (see photo).
Although the collection is huge and there is a free audio tour to go with it at times it feels more like a collection of objects that happened to be found or used in Scotland rather than being intrinsicately linked to Scottish heritage. There could have been for example details about the different Scottish clans and thier history and perhaps details and information on the politics through history of being ruled by England to modern times.
The National Gallery of Scotland is located on The Mound behind the Royal Scottish Academy and contains a large quantity of paintings from the early Renaissance to the late 19th century. These buildings were designed by Sir William Playfair and have recently undergone a major refurbishment to expand the facilites on the lower level.
Access is free to this and the following galleries but donations are always happily accepted.
The Scottish National Potrait Gallery on Queen Street
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art lies opposite the Dean Gallery on Belford Road to the West of the city