National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh

Welcome to the National Museum of Scotland, a treasure trove of ancient artifacts, innovative exhibits, and fascinating stories located in the heart of Edinburgh. This guide aims to provide visitors with an insightful overview of what makes this museum a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring the rich tapestry of Scotland’s history, culture, and contributions to the world. From prehistoric bones to cutting-edge technology, the National Museum of Scotland offers something for everyone.

Discovering the past

The museum’s extensive collections take you on a journey through time, starting from the very beginnings of Scottish history. Among its most celebrated exhibits are those that delve into Scotland’s prehistoric past, including meticulously preserved fossils and tools that shed light on early human life in the region. The museum doesn’t just stop at ancient history; it also features displays on Roman influence in Scotland, medieval life, and pivotal moments that have shaped modern Scottish identity.

What was Dolly?

Dolly was the first mammal cloned from an adult somatic cell.

Exploring Scottish innovation

Scotland has been a hotbed of innovation for centuries, and the National Museum of Scotland proudly showcases this legacy. Visitors can marvel at groundbreaking scientific instruments and inventions that have had a global impact. Highlights include Alexander Graham Bell’s early telephone models and Dolly the sheep – the first mammal cloned from an adult somatic cell. These exhibits not only celebrate Scottish ingenuity but also encourage visitors to think about how these innovations continue to affect our lives today.

Art and design

The museum is also home to an impressive collection of art and design objects that highlight Scotland’s creative spirit. From traditional Celtic jewelry to contemporary fashion by leading Scottish designers, these exhibits offer a glimpse into the aesthetic sensibilities that have defined Scottish artistry over centuries. Additionally, temporary exhibitions often feature works by international artists, providing a global context to Scotland’s artistic contributions.

Cultural connections

Beyond its focus on Scottish history and innovation, the National Museum of Scotland seeks to connect cultures from around the globe. Its World Cultures galleries present artifacts from every continent, exploring themes such as ritual, religion, and daily life across diverse societies. These collections emphasize commonalities among people worldwide while celebrating unique cultural expressions.

A family-friendly destination

The museum is not just for adults; it offers numerous interactive exhibits designed to engage younger visitors. Children can learn about natural history through hands-on activities in the Discoveries gallery or explore science in action at the Science and Technology galleries. With educational programs and special events throughout the year, there’s always something new for families to discover together.


  • Extensive collections spanning from prehistoric times to modern day
  • Exhibits showcasing Scottish innovation including Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone models
  • Art and design displays featuring traditional Celtic jewelry and contemporary fashion
  • World Cultures galleries connecting global cultures through diverse artifacts
  • Interactive exhibits designed specifically for children

Check out things to do nearby...