Museums in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Museums

Edinburgh museums house a rich collection of valuable artifacts and spectacular treasures, making them the finest way to fully understand this lovely city. Whether you are enthusiastic about science, medicine, global culture, history, money, or even well-known local authors, there is a museum in Edinburgh that will pique your interest and hold your attention.

The National Museum of Scotland celebrates history, science, fashion, and cultures; artworks by Picasso and many other notable artists are on display at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. At the Museum of Edinburgh, you may discover Edinburgh's past, while the John Knox House Museum depicts the dramatic tale of Scotland's Reformation and Civil War.

Edinburgh is also home to many unusual museums that honor Scotland's illustrious individuals and discoveries, including Our Dynamic Earth, Surgeons' Hall Museums, Museum of Childhood, and Writer's Museum. Boasting over 36 top-notch museums in Edinburgh, this medieval old town entices visitors interested in the amazing realms of monarchs, poets, scientists, surgeons, artists, and children.
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Edinburgh Museums FAQs

Which are the best museums in Edinburgh?

1. National Museum of Scotland: Located on Chambers Street in Old Town, the National Museum of Scotland is one of the best museums in Edinburgh that exhibits Scotland's story via intriguing artifacts and displays. It is also the largest Scottish museum with collections distinguished as Art, The Natural World, Design & Fashion, Scottish History & Archaeology, Science & Technology, and World Cultures.The National Museum of Scotland is free to enter, excluding a few special exhibitions. Here, you will find exhibits displaying artifacts related to Scotland’s past, present, and future.

Location: Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF
Timings: Monday to Friday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

2. Museum of Edinburgh: The Museum of Edinburgh, housed in the iconic brilliant yellow Huntly House, is a must-see for anybody interested in learning about the fascinating history of the city. learn about the rich past of the city. It portrays the narrative of the city through its rich permanent collections and temporary special exhibits.

This Edinburgh museum is also a kids' favorite for offering exciting storytelling corners and detective trails. The Greyfriar's Bobby's collar, James Craig's initial sketches of the New Town, and the National Covenant are a few of the museum's highlights.

Location: 142 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DD
Timings: Monday to Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

3. National War Museum: Within the walls of Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of War informs visitors of the impact of war on Scotland's history, culture, and international reputation. This Edinburgh museum houses a collection of uniforms, medals, insignia, and weapons from the last 400 years of Scottish conflict.Galleries depict the daily lives of Scots troops and explain why so many of them volunteered to enlist. You will be able to see battle developments and face the horrors of World Wars here.

Location: Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh EH1 2NG
Timings: Monday to Sunday: 9:45 am to 5:45 pm
Entry Fees: £15.50 for castle entry

4. Surgeons' Hall Museums: Managed by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Surgeons' Hall Museums include four distinct museums: The History of Surgery Museum, The Wohl Pathology Museum, Body Voyager, and The Dental Collection. The Wohl Pathology Museum houses specimens of the world's pathological anatomy and The History of Surgery Museum depicts Edinburgh's great contribution to the world's surgical practices. The evolution of dentistry from its earliest periods to the present is on display at The Dental Collection. These Edinburgh museums are a must-see for all interested in the wonders of the human body.

Location: Royal College Of Surgeons Of Edinburgh, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DW
Timings: Monday to Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Entry Fees: £8.50

5. The People's Story Museum: Visitors can get a fascinating and realistic glimpse into the life of an Edinburgh resident in the past at the People's Story Museum. The exhibits here show crime and punishment, a night out at the movies, suffragettes visiting Leith Docks, job adverts for breweries, punk rock characters, and much more. This Edinburgh museum is the perfect place to learn about the history, culture, trades, and inhabitants of the city from the 18th century to the present.

Location: 163 Canongate, Royal Mile, City Of Edinburgh EH8 8BN
Timings: Monday to Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

6. The Writers' Museum: This Edinburgh museum celebrates the lives of Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Sir Walter Scott, three of Scotland's greatest authors. Housed in the 1622s Lady Stair's House, the museum features a great collection of portraits, rare literature, and unique items.

Some of the most notable pieces in the collection are Burns’ writing desk, the printing machine used to create Scott’s first Waverley Novels, Robert Louis Stevenson’s riding boots, and one of only three plaster casts of Robert Burns' skull.

Location: Lady Stairs Close, Edinburgh EH1 2PA
Timings: Monday to Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

7. Museum on the Mound: This intriguing Edinburgh museum in the former Bank of Scotland headquarters lets you know how money has changed over the past 4,000 years and the changing face of the city through its various exhibits. It displays the story of money using various elements such as art and design, trade, technology, crime, and security.

Here, you would be able to see a million pounds, Scotland's oldest banknote, and discover Edinburgh's evolving appearance. You may try to unlock a safe and many other exciting activities at the Museum on the Mound.

Location: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ
Tuesday to Friday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

8. St Cecilia’s Hall: Concert Room and Music Museum: St. Cecilia's Concert Room and Music Museum house one of the most significant musical instrument collections in the world, including 400 pieces spread across four breathtaking galleries. Here you will get to know about the history of musical instruments from the 16th century and the people who inspired their creation.This Edinburgh museum also features the oldest Scottish purpose-built concert hall that hosts interesting events all year long, including concerts, talk shows, workshops, and tours.

Location: 50 Niddry Street, Edinburgh EH1 1LG
Timings: Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 am to 4:30 pm

9. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art: Scottish National National Gallery is a modern art gallery having an extensive collection of works by well-known artists like Warhol, Piccaso, Emin, and many more. This Edinburgh museum's most significant collection focuses on the history of Scottish painting.

Spread in both the National Gallery Building and the Royal Scottish Academy Building, it also exhibits Scotland's past and presents through a variety of artworks, including paintings, photographs, sculptures, and films.

Location: 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3DR
Timings: Monday to Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

10. John Knox House Museum: Housed in a 15th-century building, John Knox House Museum emphasizes the dramatic tale of the Scottish Reformation, the Civil War, and Mary, Queen of Scots' abdication. The building of this museum Edinburgh features a maze of tricks and traps meant to trick would-be intruders while its stunning architecture tells the tale of life 400 years ago. John Knox House is amongst the most well-known Edinburgh museums, described as breathtakingly picturesque.

Location: 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR
Timings: Monday to Saturday: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Entry Fees: £6

Also Checkout:Things To Do In Edinburgh

Which are the best museums in Edinburgh to go to with Kids?

1. Museum of Childhood: This Edinburgh museum is the world's first museum dedicated to the history of childhood and takes you down memory lane. The Museum of Childhood exhibits a rich collection of unique and rare objects related to childhood past in five halls.

 The collection includes toys, games, books, dolls, and clothes dating back from the 1800s to the present. The Stanbrig Eorls, Queen Anne Doll, Shoe Doll, Raleigh Chopper bicycle, and Peter Rabbit soft toy are some of the main attractions of the museum.

Location: 42 High Street, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1TG
Timings: Monday to Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

2. Dynamic Earth: Dynamic Earth is one of the most entertaining and educational Edinburgh museums to visit with kids for its exciting and interactive displays, 4D show, and planetarium.The 4D films and interactive exhibits tell the narrative of Earth, bringing from the big bang to some of the most breathtaking natural wonders on the globe, such as the ice caps and the northern lights.

Holyrood Rd, Edinburgh EH8 8AS
Monday to Friday: 10:00 am to last entry 3:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 am to last entry 4:00 pm
Entry Fees: £17.50

3. Dovecot Studios: Dovecot is a renowned tapestry workshop and one of the great museums in Edinburgh to explore with kids. Established in 1912, it is a significant hub for modern art, craft, and design.Dovecot is carrying on a century-long work with foreign artists to create exquisite gun-tufted rugs and hand-woven tapestries. Dovecot also runs an interesting schedule of exhibitions and activities where you can see artists at work and admire their works of art.

Location: 10 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh EH1 1LT
Monday to Friday: 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Entry Fees: £8

4. The City Art Center: One of the fantastic museums in Edinburgh to visit for its permanent collection and interactive workshops that aim to educate children about the historical and present Scottish visual and applied arts. While the permanent collection of over 4,500 paintings, sculptures, and photographs tell the story of Scottish art. Other highlights for youngsters include a variety of temporary exhibitions and activities on topics such as current photography, Star Wars items, and Egyptian and Roman history.

Location: Market Street, Edinburgh EH1 1DE
Timings: Monday to Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Know More: Places To Visit In Edinburgh

Why is the Writers Museum so Famous?

The Writers' Museum is famous for honoring three iconic Scottish writers: Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Sir Walter Scott. The museum is housed in an early 17th-century Lady Stair’s House, an architectural marvel in itself. The personal belongings of these well-known Scottish authors are among the things on show, drawing tourists from all over the world and ranking it among the most popular museums in Edinburgh.

 Among the museum's highlights are first editions of Scott’s popular 19th-century Waverley novels and Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses, Burns’ writing desk, and one of the three plaster casts of Burns’ skull. There are also Stevenson’s riding boots and the printing machine that created Waverly.

What is so special about the National Museum of Scotland?

The National Museum of Scotland's beautiful architecture is the first thing that strikes you, ranking it among the most impressive Edinburgh museums. Its extensive collection of Scottish antiques, history, and culture, as well as natural history, world cultures, and science and technology, makes it special.

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Which is the best museum in Edinburgh?

The National Museum of Scotland with more than 8,000 artifacts depicting Scottish heritage, culture, and antiquities is considered one of the best museums in Edinburgh. It also houses the Grand Gallery, Britain's largest art exhibition, and exhibits from the world's technological, scientific, archaeological, and geological fields.

How many museums are there in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh boasts over 36 museums, making it a great site for historians to study Scottish history no matter where they are in the city. Edinburgh museums, art galleries, and castles have a substantial collection of ancient furniture, crown jewels, and exquisite artwork.

What is the best time to visit Edinburgh?

The ideal time to visit Edinburgh is around May for long and pleasant days, with temperatures averaging between 10°C and 15°C. Additionally, as it is the driest month, there is no chance of rain, making it a good time for outdoor excursions, sightseeing, and exploring museums in Edinburgh.

How to reach Edinburgh?

1. By Air: The Edinburgh International Airport serves both international and domestic traffic. The airport is 10 miles from the city center and is accessible through trams, the Airlink Express bus service, and metered taxis.

2. By Road: Edinburgh is well accessible by road to major Scottish and surrounding European cities such as London, Perth, Glasgow, and Dundee. The smooth roads and the scenery along the way make the road journey fantastic.

3. By Train: Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station is the hub for trains arriving from throughout Scotland and England. The Scottish Railways runs shuttles from Edinburgh to Glasgow and Virgin Trains East Coast connects London and Edinburgh

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What is special about Edinburgh?

Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, is the crowning beauty of the country. With striking architecture and a dynamic cityscape, It is regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With numerous historic attractions, UNESCO World Heritage sites, annual festivals, and world-class Edinburgh Museums, the city is a draw for tourists.

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