National Museum of Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Off to National Museum of Scotland? See our insider advice for a queue-free visit as well as opening times and phone numbers!

Estimated Attendance

Medium Estimated wait until 15:00
Wed 10 Thu 11 Fri 12 Sat 13 Sun 14 Mon 15 Tue 16
10:00 11:00
11:00 15:00
15:00 17:00
Very high

Useful information

Tips to beat the crowds

Prefer visiting during the week. Wednesday is usually the calmest day, followed by Thursday and Friday.

Saturday is the busiest day of the week, avoid it if possible.

As the entrance to the museum is free, the queues are not common to see. However, when there’s a popular temporary exhibition taking place, the crowds may be present and be bothersome. Prefer visiting either early in the morning or after 3pm, when there are less visitors in the museum.

There are always more visitors during the public holidays and on school holidays.

Summer months are the busiest in the National Museum of Scotland, particularly the month of August. Winter is the calmest time in terms of visitors.

Gallery closures

To make way for the redesign and transformation of the existing spaces, the following galleries are now closed and their objects decanted into storage: Looking East, European Styles, Shaping our World, Ancient Egypt, Connect, Communicate and Art and Industry.

The Museum remains open throughout the redevelopment with plenty to see and do throughout its galleries of Natural Science, World Cultures and Scottish History and Archaeology.

The new galleries are expected to open in summer 2016.

Admission fees

Admission to the permanent museums’s collection is free, donations are welcomed.

For temporary exhibitions entry fees may be applied, check on the official website or ask at Museum’s Information Desk.

Free public tours

Join one of the free guided tours to discover the museum’s highlights:

  • at 11 am: Discover the National Museum tour (1h),
  • at 1 pm: Scotland highlight tour (1h),
  • at 3 pm: Themed tour (1h).

National Museum of Scotland


Photo credits to Magnus Hagdorn via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Contact numbers

National Museum of Scotland 0300 123 6789
Group bookings 0131 247 4041
Did this phone number work? YES NO


National Museum of Scotland
📍 Chambers Street

By bus: National Museum bus stop (lines 35,45, city tour buses). During the summer there is a special weekend bus, Service 9, which runs between the National Museum of Scotland and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. To plan your bus journey, click here.

By bike: racks are available on Chambers Street to park your bike.

By train: the nearest train station is Edinburgh Waverley. The Museum is a 10-15 minute walk away.

By car: pay and display parking is available on Chambers Street and off-street parking nearby at NCP sites. Special discounts for parking at NCP Castle Terrace are available for Membership card or exhibition ticket holders.

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