Dolly the Sheep in the Science and Technology galleries at the National Museum of Scotland
Image: National Museums Scotland

National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland

Address: Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
Admission: free entry, may charge for some exhibitions, see opening times

The National Museum of Scotland is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK. In fact, about one in three tourists in Edinburgh now visit the museum. It displays over 8000 world treasures in its packed galleries. The collections cover the natural world, world cultures, science and technology, art and design, and the story of Scotland past and present. There’s also a programme of exhibitions, events, talks and daily guided tours.

The museum on Chambers Street dates back to 1866. It was extended several times and in 1998, an adjacent building was added, but it wasn’t until 2006 that it became the National Museum of Scotland. Most recently, in 2011, the museum underwent a major redevelopment, which modernised the older building, opened up the public spaces and provided new facilities and galleries. The museum continues to evolve, making it a vibrant attraction for the 21st century.

5 things to do at the National Museum of Scotland

  1. See and hear the Millennium Clock strike on the hour. Representing the best and worst of the twentieth century, this intricate clock tells many stories.
  2. View a life-size T-Rex. This 12 metre long dinosaur skeleton, cast from a 65 million year old T-Rex specimen, is one of the most complete in the world.
  3. See Dolly, the world’s most famous sheep. She was the first mammal in the world to be cloned from an adult cell. After her death, she was preserved and put on show at the museum.
  4. Enjoy the latest special exhibition. Previous topics have ranged from the mummies of Ancient Egypt to the modern day works of Pixar Animations.
  5. Go up to the museum’s roof terrace, for spectacular panoramic views of the city.