I will let you into a little secret…I find museums boring. Yes I know I really shouldn’t but for some reason I do. Saying that I really liked the National Museum of Scotland. The place is absolutely huge! The last time I went was over 20 years ago so a lot has changed in the 20 years but it is still a very beautiful old building. The museum reopened in 2011 after 3 years of being renovated.

Front of the Museum

National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

About the National Museum of Scotland

There are two buildings that you can visit. At the time we visited we only went into the Royal Museum which has 5 levels full of interesting things for you to see and learn about. My eldest son wanted to see the dinosaurs so we headed there first before we had lunch. There is so much to see so you may need more than one day if you want to take on both buildings. Find below a quoted section about the museum.

The National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland, was formed in 2006 with the merger of the new Museum of Scotland, with collections relating to Scottish antiquities, culture and history, and the adjacent Royal Museum (so renamed in 1995), with collections covering science and technology, natural history, and world cultures. The two connected buildings stand beside each other on Chambers Street, by the intersection with the George IV Bridge, in central Edinburgh. The museum is part of National Museums Scotland.

T-Rex at the Museum
Amazed at the Museum
Lion family

Opening Times

It is open all year excluding Christmas and New Year public holidays. Normal hours is Monday to Sunday 10am to 5pm but you can double check the website to see if there have been any changes. Admission is free…yes totally free, although you can make a donation if you wish.

Polar bear
Hanging animal display


Parking is available on Chambers Street (Pay and Display) but there is also a couple of NCP car parks in and around Edinburgh. If you check out the National Museum website you can find some more information out about the special discounts for using an NCP car park at Castle Terrace.

Food & Drinks

Onsite there is are a few options for eating. There is a restaurant on Level 0, a cafe on level 3 and also a restaurant on level 5. We headed to the cafe on Level 3 as we only wanted a snack. It sells various items like soup, cakes, and sandwiches. It was pretty expensive with a baguette at £4.95, but with admission being free then you can expect the food to be expensive. I asked for a sandwich without butter for my youngest and they were happy to go away and make one up for him.

Museum cafe
Having lunch at the Museum


A great day out with the kids. There is so much to see and we didn’t even see all of the levels in the Royal museum. The museum is child friendly as there are baby changing facilities on most levels and also lifts so you don’t have to carry your pram up and down the stairs. If you are in Edinburgh then you must check out this museum.

Edinburgh at Christmas

* Reviews are my own opinion. I haven’t been paid in any way for writing this.

About Author

I have always had an interest in travel and now I have My two boys I want them to see more than just the UK. I hope to give advice and tips to other parents who are anxious about travelling with their children.

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