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Destinations,  Europe,  Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland- Officially the best museum in the world *according to my kids

Edinburgh with kids

Let me share a secret, well it was a secret but maybe the title gave it away. It is official. The Boston kids have voted the National Museum in Edinburgh the best museum in the world. There is a slight issue with this big revelation…we spent 5 hours in the museum and didn’t manage to leave the first section!

We also have NO PICTURES from our time inside the museum as we were way to bust enjoying the exhibitions.

The National Museum of Scotland is a one-stop-shop for all your curiosity cravings. If you’re the kind of person who gets excited about meteorites, prehistoric creatures, and ancient artifacts, this place will be right up your alley. But even if you’re not a full-blown nerd like us, there’s something for everyone – including some pretty epic Instagram photo ops.

The Natural World Gallery

And this is where we spent our day. All day! Our adventure began in the natural world exhibit, where we got to marvel at everything from critters to space rocks, sea monsters to geological mayhem. 

From first stepping into our Animal World gallery our kids were spellbound. The huge array of animal models on display entranced them immediately. From the frigid Arctic to the scorching Australian outback, we were transported to different corners of the world to explore the lives of some of the most interesting creatures out there.

If you’re feeling a bit competitive, why not see how you measure up to some of our primate friends? That’s right, in this gallery, you can finally answer the burning question of whether you weigh more than a chimpanzee. The guess was Jak was most Chimp like, but that had nothing to do with weight!

For those of you who are curious about how animals communicate, head on up to our Animal Senses gallery. From scent marking to vocalizations, the kids learnt all about the various ways our animal friends interact with each other.

And finally, for the ultimate survival enthusiasts, make your way up again to discover how animals have evolved to thrive – or face extinction. From cunning camouflage to impressive adaptations, you’ll gain a newfound respect for the animal kingdom and their impressive ability to survive in their respective environments. Each level brought a new perspective to the animals on display.

National Museum of Scotland – Grand Gallery

Ah, the Grand Gallery in the National Museum of Scotland – it’s an absolute must-see for anyone visiting Edinburgh!

This magnificent space is located on the first floor of the museum and is hard to miss, with its high ceilings and stunning Victorian architecture. It’s the perfect place to start your journey through the museum, as it provides a glimpse into the vast array of collections that the museum has to offer.

As you walk through the gallery, you’ll be greeted by a wide range of artifacts and displays that cover everything from the natural world to Scotland’s history and culture. The natural history section includes a fascinating array of skeletons and taxidermy, from towering giraffes to tiny beetles.

But that’s not all – you’ll also find interactive displays that allow you to explore and learn about Scottish inventions and innovations, as well as art and design exhibits that showcase the country’s creativity and talent.

One of the highlights of the Grand Gallery is the Millennium Clock, a mesmerizing clock that features a procession of characters and animals that move to music every hour. It’s a sight to behold and never fails to delight visitors of all ages.

And the best part? The Grand Gallery is completely free to visit! So, whether you’re a tourist or a local, it’s a fantastic way to spend a few hours immersing yourself in the history and culture of Scotland.

So, the next time you’re in Edinburgh, be sure to make a stop at the National Museum of Scotland and check out the Grand Gallery – it’s an experience you won’t forget!

National Museum of Scotland – Rooftop Garden

Who doesn’t love a good rooftop garden? Not only can you take in stunning views of the Edinburgh skyline, but you can also learn about the importance of green spaces in urban environments. It’s like a little oasis in the middle of the bustling city.

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Explore and Imagine at The National Museum of Scotland

Full confession, our time in the museum was pretty limited, our 6 hours were spent in pretty much two areas of the whole museum, after a whistle stop journey through some of the other exhibitions on our way to the exit, here are some of the areas pinned for our next visit.

  • Discovering Scotland: This exhibition takes you on a journey through Scotland’s rich history, culture, and natural environment. It features artifacts, objects, and displays that tell the story of Scotland’s past, present, and future.
  • Ancient Egypt Rediscovered: This exhibition explores the wonders of Ancient Egypt, showcasing over 150 objects, including mummies, jewelry, and sculptures. Visitors can learn about the fascinating culture and beliefs of the Egyptians, and discover the stories behind these artifacts.
  • Explore: This gallery is designed to be interactive and fun for visitors of all ages. It features hands-on activities, digital displays, and immersive experiences that allow you to explore and learn about science, technology, and the natural world.
  • Art of Ceramics: This exhibition features an incredible collection of ceramic objects from around the world, from ancient Chinese pottery to contemporary designs. Visitors can learn about the techniques and processes used to create these beautiful objects, and explore the different styles and traditions of ceramics.
  • Dolly the Sheep: This exhibition tells the story of Dolly, the world’s first cloned mammal, who was created right here in Scotland. Visitors can learn about the science behind cloning and the impact that Dolly had on the scientific community and the world at large.

So what are you waiting for, go and visit the world’s best museum (*awarded by my kids)!

Check out our other blog posts here for more Scottish Adventures