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National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland: Our most recommended tours and activities

Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

1. Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

Enjoy a Harry Potter-themed walking tour across Edinburgh. See the city where JK Rowling found inspiration for Hogwarts, her famous characters, and discover the place where she wrote the books. Have your Harry Potter trivia tested with an audio-visual quiz, and earn points for your house. Find out which Hogwarts House you’re in, and whether you’re a pure-blood, a muggle, or a squib. Visit the Grave of Tom Riddle in Greyfriars Kirkyard, and pass JK Rowling’s golden handprints outside City Chambers. See all this and more on a magical guided tour.

Edinburgh: 24-Hour or 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

2. Edinburgh: 24-Hour or 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

Explore Scotland’s capital city across one or two days on a hop-on hop-off bus tour. See famous landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, the iconic Royal Mile, and the Palace of Holyrood House and learn about their historic significance from the onboard audio commentary. Hop on the bus at the first stop at St Andrew's Square. From either the top deck or the interior of the bus, you can explore the city in a convenient way, catching a glimpse of some iconic buildings and sights. With your ticket, you will also receive additional perks and discounts such as discounted entry to the Holyrood Distillery, a bus ride to Edinburgh Zoo, and many more benefits. Choose between a 24-hour or 48-hour pass with stops at a variety of locations along several routes including: • The Royal Mile• Edinburgh Castle• Dynamic Earth• Edinburgh Dungeons• Real Mary Kings Close• Greyfriars’s Bobby • Lothian Road• Grassmarket• Lauriston Place• Johnston Terrace• National Museum of Scotland• John Knox House• Museum of Edinburgh• Scottish Parliament• Palace of Holyrood House• Burns Monument

Edinburgh: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Panoramic Bus Ticket

3. Edinburgh: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Panoramic Bus Ticket

Explore Edinburgh at your own pace with a hop-on and hop-off open-top bus tour. Enjoy the onboard commentary that describes the history behind the city. Stop at locations like St Andrew Square, Johnstone Terrace, the Royal Mile. See sights like Edinburgh Castle and Grassmarket. Board the bus and begin your city adventure. Compare Edinburgh's Old Town, where families lived in cramped conditions and rubbish was thrown out of the windows, to the elegant Georgian New Town, with its 3 main streets and square at either end. Hear about the hangings that took place in the Grassmarket as you marvel at the impenetrable Castle Rock above you, and hear about historic attempts to capture Edinburgh Castle. Drive along the Royal Mile, which joins Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Use the 24-hour ticket to hop on and off as you please. With great visitor attractions, museums, galleries, and restaurants to suit every taste and budget, Edinburgh's got it all! Buses run every 30 minutes, making the following loop: Tour Stops: 1. St Andrew Square - Northside 2. Lothian Road - Waldorf Astoria 3. Grassmarket 4. Lauriston Place 5. Johnstone Terrace - Edinburgh Castle, The Scottish Whiskey Experience 6. Lawnmarket - Gladstone's End, The Real Mary King's Close 7. Chambers Street - National Museum of Scotland 8. St Mary's Street West 9. Canongate - John Knox House 10. Royal Mile - Scottish Parliament, Palace of Holyrood House 11. Dynamic Earth 12. Regent Road - Burns Monument

Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass with 3 City Tours

4. Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass with 3 City Tours

Save money and explore Edinburgh at your own pace with a 3-route hop-on hop-off bus tour ticket. Pick from a ticket that lasts for 24 or 48 hours. Explore the city with stop options like Grassmarket, Edinburgh Castle, National Museum of Scotland, and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Hop aboard and embark on your city adventure. Contrast the Old and New Towns, see the royal attractions of Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Yacht Britannia (entrances not included). Live guides provide English commentary on the Edinburgh Tour, while audio guides are available in up to 9 languages on the City Sightseeing Tour and the Majestic Tour. Hop on and off as often as you like at dozens of attractions, and enjoy unique, scenic views from the open-top upper decks. City Sightseeing Tour: Hear about the people and events that shaped Edinburgh, from the cramped conditions of the Old Town to spacious Holyrood Park, on a classic sightseeing tour in 9 languages. Enjoy Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories with the on board Horrible Histories Children’s Channel - history with all the gory bits left in! • Hanover Street • Princes Street Gardens • St. John’s Church • Grassmarket • Johnston Terrace • Edinburgh Castle • National Museum of Scotland • Museum of Childhood • Scottish Parliament • Our Dynamic Earth • Palace of Holyrood House • Burns Monument Edinburgh Tour: Enjoy the best views aboard an open-top bus, as live commentary in English brings Edinburgh’s history to life. Explore the Old Town and Georgian New Town, hopping off at 9 strategic stops. • Hanover Street • George Street • Charlotte Square • The Mound • Lawnmarket • Grassmarket • Our Dynamic Earth • Scottish Parliament • Canongate Kirk Majestic Tour: Leave the city center and head to the coast at Newhaven, with stops for the Royal Botanic Garden and Royal Yacht Britannia. This multi-language tour offers commentary through headphones in English, Gaelic, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Russian. Return via the Palace of Holyrood House and the Canongate section of the Royal Mile. • Hanover Street • George Street • Royal Botanic Gardens • Ferry Road • Newhaven Harbour • Cruise Terminal • Ocean Terminal (Royal Yacht Britannia) • Leith Mills • Elm Row • Queen Mary’s Bath House • Queensberry House • Canongate Kirk

Edinburgh: The Witches Tour

5. Edinburgh: The Witches Tour

Learn all about the witches of Edinburgh on an immersive tour that explores how witchcraft was used in the city from 1590 until 1690. Follow your guide to some of Edinburgh's most mysterious sites and learn more about the city's most famous witches. Hear how and why they become witches and how they were treated by others. Journey through the supernatural and discover how they practiced their craft. Visit the site where most of them met their fate, see the city's oldest wicca shop and encounter some of the spooky wynds (alleys) off the Royal Mile.

Edinburgh: Private Harry Potter Tour in French & English

6. Edinburgh: Private Harry Potter Tour in French & English

Take a Harry Potter guided walking tour through Edinburgh. Discover the places and stories behind the magic. Experience the parts of Edinburgh which gave JK Rowling the inspiration to write the popular Harry Potter series. Meet your guide and start your wizarding adventure. Follow in Rowling's footsteps. Learn anecdotes about the Harry Potter series and the life of the author. Let your guide reveal the hidden spots in the city that are strikingly similar to the world built in the books.

Edinburgh: Heart Of Old Town Walking Tour

7. Edinburgh: Heart Of Old Town Walking Tour

See the magical side of Edinburgh with a guided walking tour of the city's historical Old Town. Explore the National Museum of Scotland, Greyfriars Kirkyard, and the Grassmarket. Say a special hello to a city legend, and head down the Royal Mile to discover hidden gems. Meet your guide in front of the National Museum of Scotland and get introduced to the tour route. Explore the museum's history and then move on to the fascinating Greyfiars Kirkyard. Here, discover Edinburgh's truly amazing story and feel the spirit of the city radiate from this place. Make a special visit to the lovely Bobby, a small-sized dog and city legend, that makes for a perfect selfie spot. Venture next to the Grassmarket, which recalls a certain Harry Potter alleyway, and browse the themed shops that lead up to the castle. Take in panoramic views and learn interesting historical facts before strolling down the Royal Mile to discover a hidden gem, The Writers Museum. Afterward, take some time to admire the David Hume statue before finishing the tour at St. Giles Cathedral.

Tales of Edinburgh

8. Tales of Edinburgh

Let the guide take you back in time to when Scotland and Edinburgh were much different to what you see today. A time of war, witches and the supernatural. Dare you stand where witches once did, and you might hear their tales of torture and death. Listen as the guide tells you about battles fought right where you're standing, in honor of the freedom of Scotland.  The guide will take you into the museum to show you some of the equipment used in Scotland not just to hunt down witches, but also for people who may have disagreed with you. Hear the tale of Scotland's church and the battles fought to gain what stands today.

Other Sightseeing Options in National Museum of Scotland

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What people are saying about National Museum of Scotland

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 5,287 reviews

Claire was very easy to listen to and very knowledgeable and made the tour very interesting. she was especially patient with my very talkative 4 year old which was very much appreciated! Highly recommend

It was a really enjoyable experience with many fun and interesting facts. Our guide Sophia was especially excellent and made the experience all the more enjoyable.

Sophia told it in a really nice way that made it fun not only for Harry Potter fans, but also if you are not. Highly recommended!

Excellent presentation, enthusiastic guide, you really feel like a little witch for 2 hours!

It was a very complete tour and very well explained, enjoyable. Our guide, Sophie, great.