Best Museums in Edinburgh

10 Best Museums in Edinburgh – You can’t miss

Looking for the Best Museums in Edinburgh? Well, Edinburgh is home to a variety of museums, covering a range of subjects and interests. Whether you’re interested in local legends or tales of innovation, you’re sure to find something to pique your interest.

Some institutions offer educational experiences on topics such as science, nature, and geography, while other museums in the city are dedicated to specific subjects such as harpsichords, childhood toys, optical illusions, or medical artifacts. Maybe you can visit them in a rainy day in Edinburgh or in Winter. If you’re eager to learn, here are our top 10 picks for the best museums to visit in Edinburgh.

1. National Museum of Scotland

The main museum of natural and anthropological history in Scotland is a captivating blend of the old and the new. The grand and spacious main hall, which features balconies across three storeys, was built in 1866, while the more modern sandstone section was unveiled in 1998. Its exhibits are equally diverse, ranging from dinosaur skeletons, Egyptian sarcophagi, and Tibetan prayer wheels in the original galleries to Scottish historical artifacts in the newer wing. This museum is undoubtedly Edinburgh’s most prestigious.

2. Museum of Childhood

Edinburgh Museum of Childhood

The Museum of Childhood boasts a remarkable assortment of childhood memorabilia from various eras. An extensive showcase of vintage toys and games is already an alluring prospect for certain visitors. However, the museum’s popularity extends beyond older age groups, as children are also fascinated by it. Interactive displays, dress-up sections, and frequent events cater to young minds, allowing adults to marvel at Buzz Lightyear figurines and Andy Pandy puppets. The museum is packed every weekend due to its diverse offerings.

3. National War Museum

Edinburgh National War Museum

A chronicle of Scotland’s conflicts. It can sometimes be easy to overlook the fact that Scotland’s castles – for all their undoubted picturesque charm – are, first and foremost, fortresses designed to withstand attack from enemy forces. The National War Museum, located within the walls of Edinburgh Castle, keeps the concept of conflict fresh in the mind, from old Jacobean battles to the great wars of the twentieth century.

4. Camera Obscura & World of Illusions

Located just below Edinburgh Castle, this museum is filled with interactive displays, optical illusions, and captivating photography. It is the city’s oldest purpose-built attraction and boasts six floors of exhibitions waiting to be discovered. Each floor is packed with optical illusions designed to challenge your perception, along with puzzles, a mirror maze, and a vortex tunnel.

However, the centerpiece of the museum is undoubtedly the Camera Obscura, which offers visitors a “virtual” tour of the city from the rooftop of the building. The museum is a must-visit for those seeking an intriguing and mind-bending experience.

5. Museum of Edinburgh

Edinburgh Museum of edinburgh

Explore the captivating history of Scotland’s capital city. It’s remarkable that we’ve reached this point in the list of Scotland’s historical sites without mentioning Mel Gibson or Diana Gabaldon. So here it is. Huntly House, which houses the Museum of Edinburgh, was featured in the third season of the historical TV series “Outlander”. The museum is also home to a wealth of city plans, historical documents, and the collar and bowl of Greyfriars Bobby. If you have a sincere interest in the city’s past, this museum is a must-visit destination.

6. Museum on the Mound

Located in the historic headquarters of the Bank of Scotland, this museum is dedicated to money. Why visit? Let’s be honest, you’re curious about what a million pounds looks like, aren’t you? Well, that’s just one of the fascinating exhibits on display at the Museum on the Mound. Visitors can also try their hand at safe-cracking and even apply for life assurance from the 1820s. A word of advice: don’t skimp on the cholera cover. The Museum on the Mound is a must-see destination for anyone interested in the history and evolution of money.

7. The Writers’ Museum

The Writers’ Museum is a popular destination in Edinburgh for literature enthusiasts. This museum is dedicated to showcasing the lives and works of three of Scotland’s most famous literary figures: Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Located in the heart of the city’s Old Town, the museum is housed in a historic building that dates back to the 17th century.

People can explore a wide range of exhibits, including manuscripts, letters, and personal belongings of the featured writers. The museum also hosts a variety of literary events, from book readings to poetry recitals, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Scottish literature.

8. St Cecilia’s Hall & Music Museum

Edinburgh St Cecilia’s Hall & Music Museum

A concert hall that is also home to one of the most important historic musical instrument collections in the world. This Georgian venue, which was originally built by the Edinburgh Musical Society in 1762, recently went through a $6.5 million renovation, bringing together the University of Edinburgh’s huge collection of musical instruments.

The Concert Room regularly hosts concerts and other public events, but the real gem is the Music Museum, which has more than 400 instruments from across the globe, from world-famous harpsichords to eighteenth-century guitars. One of the Best Museums in Edinburgh.

9. Queensferry Museum

The Queensferry Museum in Edinburgh is a small but charming museum that focuses on the history of the town of Queensferry, which is located just a short distance from Edinburgh. The museum is housed in a historic building and features a variety of exhibits that highlight the town’s rich maritime history, including models of ships, historic photographs, and artefacts related to shipbuilding and navigation.

Visitors can also learn about the town’s important role in the construction of the iconic Forth Bridge, which spans the Firth of Forth and is considered one of Scotland’s most impressive engineering feats. The Queensferry Museum is a great destination for anyone interested in Scottish history and maritime heritage.

UPDATE: The museum is still closed at this time.

10. The People’s Story Museum

The People’s Story Museum in Edinburgh is a fascinating museum that tells the story of the city from the perspective of its residents. The museum is located in a 16th-century building that was once a public school, and its exhibits include a wide range of artefacts and displays that explore the lives of ordinary people in Edinburgh over the past few centuries.

Tourists can learn about everything from the city’s industrial heritage to its social and political history, with interactive exhibits, photographs, and audio recordings bringing the stories of Edinburgh’s residents to life. The People’s Story Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history and culture of Edinburgh.

Ensana Team
Ensana Team