Museums

“Nobody ever flunked a science museum.” – Frank Oppenheimer

From history to children’s toys and even anatomy, Edinburgh certainly has its fair share of special museums.  Here are some of our favourites. Which will you visit?

National Museum of Scotland – 10:00 – 17:00, Admittance is free

The National Museum of Scotland is one of the Top 10 UK visitor attractions. It is also in the Top 20 of the most visited museums and galleries in the world.  The museum is laid out in two distinct halves.  You have the grand Victorian section. In this space you will find natural history, global history and the sciences. You then have the modern section of the building. In this space you have six floors dedicated to the history of Scotland as well as a great rooftop terrace. With over 20,000 artefacts on display there is a lot to take in. This is why we run tours of the National Museum.  You can also find many touring exhibitions at the museum however they normally have a charge.

The Museum of Edinburgh – 10:00 – 17:00, Admittance is free

The Museum of Edinburgh is on the Royal Mile. You will find it inside Huntly House. Huntly House is a beautiful 16th Century Town House. Because of this it was used as a filming location in Outlander. The Museum houses a large collection of Edinburgh related artefacts. Besides the regular collection there is often a touring exhibition as well. Some noteworthy items include the National Covenant. The Covenant dates from 1638. You can also find the collar and bowl of Edinburgh beloved dog Bobby. You can learn about Bobby on our walking tour.

The Peoples Story - 10:00 – 17:00, Admittance is free

The Peoples Story is a quirky little museum on the Royal Mile.  It is opposite the Museum of Edinburgh therefore people often visit both.  The museum tells the story of the working-class people of Edinburgh.  In particular between the 1800s until today.  What makes this museum stand out is all the displays are based around the words of Edinburgh’s people.  Recorded from oral histories as well as written documents these words really tell the story of the people.

The Museum of Childhood - 10:00 – 17:00, Admittance is free

The Museum of Childhood has a place in the hearts of millions frequently visited by the young and not so young. The first museum in the world dedicated to the history of childhood. Inside you will find toys and games from across the generations. The Museum also explores other aspects of growing up, from schooldays and clubs to clothing, health and holidays.

The Writers Museum - 10:00 – 17:00, Admittance is free

The Writers’ Museum celebrates the lives of three giants of Scottish Literature. They are Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and finally Robert Louis Stevenson. The museum is easy to find. It is just off Royal Mile in Lady Stair’s Close. With a wide range of stories and objects this museum has something for everyone to enjoy, whether young or old, local resident or visitor. You don’t need to have read these writers’ works to enjoy the fascinating life stories told in the Writers’ Museum.

Surgeons Hall – 10:00 – 17:00, Admittance Adult £7.50, Under 16 and over 60 £4, Students and NHS Staff £4, Under 5s are free

Surgeons Hall is three Museums in one. Because of this it is great value for money. There is the Wohl Pathology Museum. There is also the History of Surgery Museum. Finally there is the Dental Collection. The museum was originally a teaching museum. The collection was first opened to the public back in 1832. Therefore it's among Scotland's oldest museums. They have a wide collection of medical curiosities. A most noteworthy item in their collection is a book bound in the flesh of William Burke. William Burke was a serial killer. Turning him into a book is a novel way of dealing with a murderer! You can hear more about his story on our Whisky and Folklore Tour.

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Reviews

Old Town, History and Tales

Amusing stroll in Edinburgh. Lovely tour, Ben being a hilarious guide, telling things you don't find in a tourist book, interesting stories, showing hidden gems. Perfect, thanks.

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