Five Reasons to visit the National Museum of Scotland

Explore Scotland’s past, present and future

Scotland is teeming with history and heritage. So, there’s no better place to dig into its past and present than the National Museum of Scotland. At our central Parliament House Hotel, you’re just a 15-minute walk from this famous Edinburgh museum. Here, under one roof, you can explore the country’s rich history, art, fashion, the natural world, science and technology. So, here are five reasons why this fascinating Scottish museum is a must-see during your city break in Edinburgh:

Front entrance to the National Museum Of Scotland on Chambers Street

1. Scottish History and Archaeology Galleries

Where better to start exploring Scottish history than in the heart of Edinburgh, the country’s capital? Take a journey through the nation’s past at the museum’s Scottish History and Archaeology Galleries. Get ready to be transported from the Palaeolithic times to the present day. Here, you’ll discover how Early People lived and survived from 8000 BC to AD 1100. Next, discover how Scotland first became a nation, and learn about the people who changed its future. From William Wallace to Mary Queen of Scots, explore the nation’s political and religious times. Then, be transported to the modern day. Here, you’ll see how war, industry, daily life, emigration and politics have shaped Scotland into the country it is today.

2. The Grand Gallery

Boasting tall pillars and huge windows with natural light streaming in, the Grand Gallery is a beautiful airy space. Here, you’ll find fascinating displays, from the 12-foot long South Pacific feast bowl to a 19th-century lighthouse lens. Then, there’s the Window of the World Display. Stretching up four floors, it’s the UK’s largest single museum installation. Here, you’ll see a collection of 800 artefacts that represent the variety of displays that are found at the Edinburgh museum. Continue walking through the Grand Gallery, and you’ll reach the Millennium Clock. This fascinating clock tower is 10 metres high and has four sections: The Crypt, The Nave, The Belfry and The Spire. Then, watch this magnificent clock come to life on the hour, with dancing figures, music and lights, before heading off to explore.

Interior of the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh

3. Art and Fashion, to Technology and Science

At the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, there are so many galleries where you can explore Scotland’s culture and heritage. Each gallery is dedicated to a huge piece of Scotland’s past and present. Walk the catwalk at the Fashion and Style Gallery, where couture pieces are displayed from designers including Vivienne Westwood, Zandra Rhodes and Jean Muir. Next, head to the Making and Creating gallery and learn about the techniques that inspired these designers. Then, visit Design for Living and Art of Living galleries and see how interior design has changed over the centuries.

If you love science and technology, there’s plenty to see and do at the family-friendly Explore gallery. Here, you’ll find interactive games and displays that showcase Scotland’s science history, and you’ll even see Dolly the sheep! Then, on the Communications floor, marvel at ancient and new technology including the first Apple 1 computer from 1976.

4. Edinburgh Museum Exhibitions and Events

Like many Edinburgh museums and galleries, the National Museum of Scotland holds regular events and exhibitions that will fascinate all ages. You can take a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum and learn about the huge collections. Events at the museum range from music performances and talks, to storytelling and fun interactive activities for children. The museum’s exhibitions in Edinburgh showcase fascinating displays of artefacts, artwork and photography. This year’s exciting exhibitions include Japanese Contemporary Design and Mary, Queen of Scots and the Book of Hours. Find a full list here.

5. Eating and Shopping

There’s no better way to end a trip to this fascinating Edinburgh museum than a pit stop at the café. Here, you have three dining venues to choose from – Museum Brasserie, Balcony Café and the Tower Restaurant. Why not grab a coffee at the Balcony Café, which overlooks the bustling galleries below? Next, after some more exploration, head to the Museum Brasserie for lunch or a home-baked treat. Or, for a special occasion, the rooftop Tower Restaurant boasts delicious Scottish food and Edinburgh views from its terrace. There are also three shops at the museum. Here, you can pick up a themed gift or souvenir to remember your visit.

Take a journey through Scottish time at the most popular Edinburgh museum. Delve into the delights of the past and present. So, why not book a special offer at our centrally located hotel and enjoy a fascinating city break in the heart of Scotland’s capital city?