National Museum of Scotland

#3 in Best Things To Do in Edinburgh
National Museum of Scotland picture
morebyless/Flickr

Key Info

Chambers Street

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Museums, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.5scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

If Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Yacht Britannia and Holyroodhouse Palace don't quench your thirst for some Scottish history, take a trip to the National Museum of Scotland. The museum houses a whopping 20,000 historical artifacts spread out through its numerous, diverse galleries. Here, visitors will find exhibits dedicated to art and design, the natural world (which features a giant T. rex skeleton), history, archaeology and world cultures. And don't leave without visiting the Dolly the sheep display (named after Dolly Parton), the first mammal to ever be cloned from an adult cell. 

Recent visitors said this is a great place for a family outing, and can easily be enjoyed by all ages. Children especially enjoyed the taxidermied animals in the Natural World galleries and adults appreciated the free admittance. Keep in mind this museum is big, so if you're on a time crunch (visitors reported spending a few hours here), map out what you'd like to see before your visit. 

Admission to this museum is free. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with abbreviated hours on holidays. The National Museum of Scotland can be easily reached on foot if you're in Old Town. The attraction less than a half-mile south from Camera Obscura & World of Illusions and Edinburgh Castle. For more information on the National Museum of Scotland, visit its website

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More Best Things To Do in Edinburgh

Arthur's Seat
Calton Hill
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 9
#1 Arthur's Seat

Arthur's Seat, located in the verdant Holyrood Park, affords one of the best views of the city. Standing 800 feet above sea level, Arthur's Seat is the highest point in the park, providing panoramic views of the sea and nearby sites, including attractions like Edinburgh Castle and the Scott Monument. If you're wondering how Arthur's Seat got its name, chances are you may never get a clear answer. Legend has it that it was the site for Camelot while others claim William Maitland, a Scottish politician, believed the name was derived from Ard-na-Said, a Gallic phrase meaning "height of narrows." The attraction was also a former volcano. Trails are accessible off of Queen's Drive near Holyroodhouse Palace, which is located at the base of Arthur's Seat. 

Some recent travelers mention the hike was a bit more strenuous than they thought it would be. Visitors not prone to regular walking might find it difficult. Keep in mind that the journey to Arthur's Seat is all uphill, so make sure to wear comfortable walking or hiking shoes and bring water. Once you reach the top, many travelers say you'll find the 360-degree views worth any sweat you might've worked up. Arthur's Seat is free to access.

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