National Museum of Scotland | Attraction Guides | History Hit

National Museum of Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Lily Johnson

18 Jun 2021

About National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland in Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, has a diverse collection of artefacts and pieces relating to the history and culture of Scotland as well as Scotland’s relationships with the wider world.

National Museum of Scotland history

The National Museum of Scotland was formed in 2006 through the merger of two existing museums – the new Museum of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Museum. The Museum of Scotland had collections largely relating to Scottish antiquities, culture, and history, while the Royal Scottish Museum focused more on science and technology, natural history, and world cultures, and was first opened in 1866.

The two buildings sit side-by-side on Chambers Street in Edinburgh, with the Museum of Scotland housed in a modern building built in 1998, and the former Royal Scottish Museum residing in its original Victorian building complete with a Venetian Renaissance facade.

The fully redeveloped National Museum of Scotland was reopened in 2011 following a major £46.4 million transformation, and is today Scotland’s treasure house where you can experience the whole world under one roof.

National Museum of Scotland today

From prehistoric and ancient pieces to Viking invasions and the story of Robert the Bruce, the National Museum of Scotland covers a wide range of themes and periods. It even comes up to date, with modern scientific exhibits such as the stuffed body of Dolly the Sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell.

Other highlights include the harp of Mary, Queen of Scots, Viking jewellery, and the medieval Lewis Chessmen, while the eerie Scottish Maiden is reportedly a hit with school parties as an early beheading machine predating the guillotine!

Visit the museum and discover the wonders of Scotland’s history as well as astounding collections from the wider world – from science and art to nature and outer space.

Getting to the National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland is located in the centre of Edinburgh, and is well-linked to a number of public transport options. Edinburgh Waverley train station is a 10-minute walk away, while the nearest tram stop is on Princes Street, a 10-minute walk up The Mound. A number of bus services also stop on Bristo Street, a 2-minute walk away.

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