Plan your visit

Everything you need to know for visiting the National Museum of Scotland when we reopen on 12 August.

Museum re-opening

Your visit is going to be a bit different. You will need to pre-book your tickets online and new measures have been introduced to ensure all visitors and staff can feel safe.

View our FAQs

Book online in advance

We will be introducing free timed entry to ensure that we can manage numbers and maintain social distancing. All visitors, including National Museums Scotland Members, will need to book a free timed entry ticket online in advance of their visit.

General release tickets will be available from 10:00 on 14 August 2020.

Early priority booking for National Museums Scotland Members will open at 10:00 on 12 August 2020. Become a Member today to receive your pre-release code to secure your tickets.

Find out more about booking online.

Visiting safely

A range of new safety measures have been put in place in line with Scottish Government guidelines to help you have a safe and enjoyable visit.

This includes a new timed entry booking system, enhanced cleaning, sneeze screens, hand sanitiser stations and one-way routes in certain areas of the Museum where physical distancing is not possible.

Please do not visit the museums if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Coronavirus.

Please keep your distance from others (2m).

Use the hand sanitiser provided.

Wash your hands often.

Follow the directional signage.

Please note our Museums are only accepting card payments.

Any questions? Our Visitor Experience team will be delighted to help.

Information for your visit

New opening hours

The National Museum of Scotland will open 10:30–16:30 each day.

Entrances, lifts and cloakroom

Please enter via the East door on Chambers Street.

The Tower entrance is an accessible entrance for use only by visitors with additional mobility requirements or buggies.

Find out more about Accesibility

What's open?

As we begin to welcome visitors back to the museum, the reopening of galleries will be staggered, with parts of Level 0 and Level 1 opening first.


We are developing a new visitor map to show which parts of the museum will be open, and this will be available for to view and download soon.


No special exhibitions, events, activities or free tours will be offered during this period. Some interactive displays and the Imagine and Explore galleries will also be temporarily closed for your safety.

Museum shops and cafe

There are three shops in the National Museum of Scotland, stocking an extensive selection of gifts, souvenirs, toys and books. The largest shop can be found in the Entrance Hall, Level 0, with further shops next by the Tower Entrance and on Level 3 next to the Exhibitions Gallery. You can also shop online here.


National Museums Scotland Members receive a 10% discount and all major credit cards are accepted. 

Visiting with children

Families and children of all ages are welcome at the National Museum of Scotland. We provide a number of galleries and activities especially for children and an exciting events calendar for all ages.


  • Trained first aiders are always on duty and a policy is in place if children become separated from their party.
  • Please note that due to limited space we can only accept buggies in the cloakroom if they are folded.
  • Children are welcome in our new Balcony Café and Museum Brasserie and there are special treats for children.
  • Packed lunches can be eaten in the Group Room in the Entrance Hall, provided it has not been reserved for a group visit.
  • The National Museum of Scotland has baby changing facilities on most floors and our exhibitions and galleries are accessible to all via lifts and ramps. Download a map of the museum to see the exact locations of our baby changing facilities and lifts.
  • We have range of initiatives to support and welcome families with autistic children.

Not sure where to start? Check out our top 10 activities to try with kids.

School and group visits

If you’re planning to visit the National Museum of Scotland as part of a group, please let us know you’re coming! Whether you're a school group, a society or special interest group, we will be delighted to work with you to plan your visit.


School visits

Our multi-disciplinary collection allows you to focus on a wide range of topics linked to the Curriculum for Excellence. Teacher-led visits to the National Museum of Scotland are free of charge, and workshops and other activities and resources are also available. Find out more about school visits here.


Overseas school visits

We welcome overseas school groups to the Museum and can offer a wide range of resources. Find out more about overseas school group visits.


Group visits

Taking photos

We are happy for you to take photographs, including flash photography, in the galleries, but photography is not permitted in special exhibitions or unless otherwise stated. 

No prior permission is needed for photography intended for personal use. However, anyone wishing to use a additional photography equipment (e.g. a tripod) should contact the Information Desk to obtain a photopass.

All photographers wishing to take photographs for commercial use are asked to contact Maggie Wilson at the Picture Library on 0131 247 4026 or


We want all our visitors and staff to be safe in the National Museum of Scotland. We work closely with Police Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council and other security managers to ensure we provide a safe and secure site for our staff and visitors. As part of our security measures, it may sometimes be necessary to introduce bag searches on entry to the museum.


If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to a member of our Visitor Experience team. You can also help us keep the museum safe by reporting anything that looks out of place or suspicious to our Visitor Experience Assistants.


  • Free wifi

    Free wifi is available throughout the museum.

  • Toilets

    There are toilets on all levels of the museum.

  • Baby changing

    Baby changing facilities are available on most floors.

  • Access

    Our exhibitions and galleries are accessible to all via lifts and ramps. There are accessible toilets on all floors.

  • Visual impairment

    Large print labels are available in our exhibitions for visually impaired visitors.

  • Hearing loop

    Induction loops are in place at the information desks and in the Auditorium.

  • Assistance dogs

    Assistance dogs are welcome in the museum.

  • Coffee cup icon Café

    The Museum Brasserie in the Entrance Hall offers a takeaway service. Please use card/contactless methods of payment only.

  • Information

    Our information desk is situated at the entrance on Level 0.

  • Changing Places toilet

    Accessible toilets are available on all floors and there is a Changing Places (U) toilet in the Entrance Hall on Level 0.


We want everyone who comes to the National Museum of Scotland to enjoy their time with us and make the most of their visit. We've compiled all our accessibility information in one place.

Accessibility information

National Museum of Scotland

Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
Tel: 0300 123 6789


Opening times

From 12 August, open daily 10:30–16:30

(Online booking required

Closed for one day on 14 August
Closed on 25 December
Open 12:00–17:00 on 26 December and 1 January

How to get here

By bus

A number of buses go via the city centre and stop outside the museum on Chambers Street, or nearby on George IV Bridge and South Bridge. 


Visit the Lothian Buses website for further information or get directions from Google Maps.


Edinburgh Bus Tours open-top buses also stop at the museum.

By train

The nearest train station is Edinburgh Waverley and the museum is a 1015 minute walk away.


Plan your journey with the Traveline website or get directions from Google Maps.

By tram

The nearest tram stop is on Princes Street and the museum is a 1015 minute walk up The Mound. 


Plan your journey with the Traveline website or get directions from Google Maps.

By bike

Edinburgh is a cycle-friendly city. There are many dedicated cycle lanes and many junctions have advance cycle stop lines.


A number of cycle racks are available on Chambers Street to park your bike.


Get directions from Google Maps.

By car

Follow signs to the city centre. Off-street parking is available at nearby at NCP sites.


Get directions from Google Maps and further information on parking can be found at Edinburgh Council. 


Save on parking at NCP Castle Terrace
National Museums Scotland Members and National Museum of Scotland special exhibition ticket holders receive discounted parking at NCP Castle Terrace


To receive the discount, present your parking ticket along with your Membership card or exhibition ticket to National Museum of Scotland Staff at either the Special Exhibition Gallery 1 ticket desk (Level 3), or at the Entrance Hall ticket desk (Level 0). Your parking ticket will be validated, with the discount applied when you pay for your parking at NCP Castle Terrace. Please note this offer is not valid during the month of August.


Park and Ride
Park and Ride options are available by tram and bus. Leave the tram or bus in the city centre on Princes Street and the museum is a 1015 minute walk away. 

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