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Must see Museums in Edinburgh

A city steeped in history and culture, Edinburgh has no shortage of museums to muse at. Boasting the National Museum as well as many smaller offerings, there's tons to explore in the way of museums in the capital.

Here are some of Edinburgh's must see museums:

The National Museum of Scotland

Perhaps the most famous of Edinburgh's museums, the National Museum of Scotland is a treasure trove containing thousands of world class collections housed over 7 galleries. From Ancient Egypt, Scottish History, Science and Technology to Art, Design and Fashion, you could easily spend several days soaking up the delights of the National Museum.

The Museum also hold constantly revolving temporary exhibitions, which have covered everything from the Jacobites to Monkeys. The current exhibition is Tyrannosaurs, a cutting edge exhibition looking deep into the lives and histories of these infamous dinosaurs.

There's always something fun on the agenda at the National Museum, with events for kids during holiday times, a look at the museum and exhibitions after dark in the well-regarded Museum Lates and a packed programme for the International Science Festival in April.

Free tours take place at the museum daily which are super handy for getting to grips with the galleries:

  • 11:00pm Discover the National Museum: this is an introductory tour that takes visitors around the museum, helping them discover stories about selected objects.

  • 13:00pm Scotland Galleries Highlights Tour: this tour helps visitors discover some of the museum's highlights in the Scottish Galleries.

  • 15:00pm Themed Tour: this touches of a wide range of topics, covering a different theme each day, whether that's Art and Design, Science and Technology or Natural History.

The National Museum of Scotland is free to visit, only temporary exhibitions require tickets, and is open all year round.

Museum on the Mound

Sitting proudly atop of Princes Street, you'll find the Museum on the Mound. Located in the historic Bank of Scotland head office, this museum tells the story of money - from design, crime, trade, security to technology. You can even see what a million pounds in cash looks like.

The museum is completely free to visit and is open year round.

Dynamic Earth

Journey through space, explore the earth, find out what shaped the planet at Dynamic Earth. A trip to Dynamic Earth guarantees an afternoon full of fun for all ages. Experience time machines, big bangs, rockets to polar ice caps in the museums' amazing interactive exhibitions.

The Writer's Museum

Located just off the historic Royal Mile, you'll find the particularly picturesque Writer's Museum. Located over several floors, The Writer's Museum celebrates the lives of three of Scotland's most famous figures of literature - Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Within the Museum's collections you'll find rare books, portraits and personal objects belonging to the authors. The museum is completely free to enjoy and is open 7 days a week throughout the year.

Surgeon's Hall

The award-winning Surgeon's Hall evolved from the Royal College of Surgeons, with the aim to sharing the history of surgery and its developments and advancements. Boasting the biggest collection of surgical pathology anywhere in the world, the museum tells the story of the changing nature of medicine and science. Amongst the enviable selection of fascinating objects, expect to find a latter from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle citing The Royal College of Surgeon's Fellow Dr Joseph Bell as his inspiration for Sherlock Holmes.

National War Museum

Among the many delights of Edinburgh Castle, you'll find the National War Museum, telling the story of Scotland at war throughout the years. Explore the galleries, discovering stories and objects from throughout Scotland's military history, from the everyday life of Scottish servicemen to events that changes the course of history.

The museum is free to visit yet there is a fee to enter the Castle.

The People's Story Museum

Found on the Royal Mile, the People's Story Museum offers a unique look at the working class people of the city from the 18th century to the late 20th century. Get an insight into the culture, crafts, history and trade of Edinburgh's old occupants through original objects, images and personal stories.

Entry to the museum is free, open 7 days a week all year round.

Museum of Edinburgh

Just across the road from the People's Story Museum is the Museum of Edinburgh. Here, visitors can learn about the history of the city through the Museum's vast and varied collections. Pick up a new fact, learn a gruesome tale or two and explore some of Edinburgh's most iconic object.

The Museum of Edinburgh is free to visit, open 7 days a week throughout the year.

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