The best museums in Edinburgh in 2022

These are the top 20 best museums in Edinburgh, Scotland, ranked by their rating and popularity in 2022. Click a museum for more information about the museum, including visitor information, exhibitions and reviews.

For a complete overview of museums in Edinburgh, their exhibitions and discount cards & passes, see our overview page with all museums in Edinburgh.

These are the best museums in Edinburgh:

  1. Online discount!National Museum of Scotland1

    National Museum of Scotland

    Edinburgh
    The National Museum of Scotland is housed in a Romanesque Revival building. The collection of the museum includes a wide variety of objects that are displayed on seven floors, including artifacts from the age of dinosaurs up to current technology and science. It takes visitors on a journey through t
  2. Edinburgh Castle2

    Edinburgh Castle

    Edinburgh
    This most famous of Scottish castles has a complex building history. The oldest part, St Margaret’s Chapel, dates from the 12th century; the Great Hall was erected by James IV around 1510; the Half Moon Battery by the Regent Morton in the late 16th century; and the Scottish National War Memorial aft
  3. The Real Mary King's Close3

    The Real Mary King's Close

    Edinburgh
    Underneath the Royal Mile lies a warren of underground streets and houses that has remained frozen in time since the 17th century. In the company of an expert guide, visitors can explore the site and experience what it was like for people who lived, worked and died here. It is a journey through tim
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  5. The Palace of Holyroodhouse4

    The Palace of Holyroodhouse

    Edinburgh
    The Palace of Holyroodhouse is a museum in Edinburgh. The museum features exhibits related to: fine art, architecture and decorative and applied art. Key themes, people and exhibits in the museum include: the royal collection includes paintings, drawings and watercolours, furniture, ceramics, clocks
  6. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh5

    Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

    Edinburgh
    The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh lets visitors explore and tries to explain the world of plants by its wide collection of plants.
  7. Scottish National Gallery6

    Scottish National Gallery

    Edinburgh
    The National Gallery of Scotland opened in 1859 and is housed in a neoclassical building designed by William Henry Playfair. The gallery houses a collection of both classical and modern art from various countries. The displays are organized according to countries and periods. Highlights of the perma
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  9. Scottish National Portrait Gallery7

    Scottish National Portrait Gallery

    Edinburgh
    The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is an art museum in Edinburgh housed in a red sandstone Gothic revival building that was built between 1885 and 1890, designed by Robert Rowand Anderson. The museum holds the national collections of portraits and the Scottish National Photography Collection. Th
  10. Edinburgh Zoo8

    Edinburgh Zoo

    Edinburgh
    Edinburgh Zoo is an 82-acre zoological park with over 1000 rare and endangered animals. It was the first zoo in the world that housed and bred penguins and is the only zoo in Britain to house koalas and giant pandas. The gardens of the zoo boast a diverse tree collection.
  11. National War Museum Scotland9

    National War Museum Scotland

    Edinburgh
    The National War Museum Scotland is dedicated to the 400 years of wars and battles. Visitors can see military equipment and weapons, but there are also uniforms, kilts, medals and silverware on display. Besides that, the museum features a special exhibition devoted to Highland soldiers who rebelled
  12. Surgeons' Hall Museums10

    Surgeons' Hall Museums

    Edinburgh
    The museums are home to one of the largest and most historic pathology collections in the United Kingdom. As one of the oldest Museums in Scotland, the collections grew from 1699 after 'natural and artificial curiosities' were publically sought, with the Playfair Building opening in 1832 to house th
  13. 11

    Georgian House

    Edinburgh
    The Georgian House is an 18th-century townhouse in Edinburgh. Most of the furnishings and fittings in the townhouse date from the later Georgian period (1760-1830), but some objects are even older. Visitors can walk around the house at their own pace, and a volunteer can answer questions in each of
  14. Museum of Edinburgh12

    Museum of Edinburgh

    Edinburgh
    The Museum of Edinburgh is housed in a historical building from the late 16th century and tells the story of the city's history, guiding visitors through Edinburgh's past to reveal its origins and legends. Among all the objects in its collection is ​a copy of the National Covenant, an artifact from
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  16. Craigmillar Castle13

    Craigmillar Castle

    Edinburgh
    Craigmillar Castle is a museum in Edinburgh. The museum features exhibits related to Social History and Architecture.
  17. 14

    Holyrood Abbey

    Edinburgh
    Holyrood Abbey is a museum in Edinburgh. The museum features exhibits related to: archaeology, architecture and social history.
  18. Museum of Childhood15

    Museum of Childhood

    Edinburgh
    The Museum of Childhood houses a collection that ranges from the 18th to the 21st century, that includes dolls and other toys, spread across four floors. Children will enjoy the toys and adults can learn about what the childhood looked like in the past.
  19. The Museum on the Mound16

    The Museum on the Mound

    Edinburgh
    The Museum on the Mound exhibits treasures from the HBOS collections. Located in the historic Bank of Scotland Head Office, the museum takes a look at the story of money which features art & design, technology, crime, trade and security.
  20. Peoples' Story Museum17

    Peoples' Story Museum

    Edinburgh
    The Peoples' Story Museum is a museum in Edinburgh that aims to cover the ordinary lives of Edinburgh's common folk.
  21. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art18

    Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

    Edinburgh
    The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is a museum in Edinburgh. It houses the collection of modern and contemporary art dating from about 1900 to the present with over 6000 paintings, sculptures, installations, video work, prints and drawings. The museum is situated in two buildings that face
  22. The Royal Yacht Britannia19

    The Royal Yacht Britannia

    Edinburgh
    The Royal Yacht Britannia is the former royal yacht of Queen Elizabeth II. For over forty years, the Royal Yacht Britannia sailed over one million miles on around a thousand visits for the British Royal Family. Now it is permanently berthed at Ocean Terminal. Visitors are taken round five decks to t
  23. Writers' Museum20

    Writers' Museum

    Edinburgh
    The Writers' Museum is a literary museum that is devoted to three Scottish writers. Once collection is dedicated to Robert Burns, a Scottish national poet and lyricist. Another collection focuses on Robert Louis Stevenson, a poet and novelist, the author of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. And

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