National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh: 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 Tour

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

Explore Scotland’s capital city across one or two days on two typical hop-on hop-off bus tours. Choose between the City Tour or Britannia Tour, depending on your itinerary of preference. See historical 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 and make sure to embark on the correct bus based on your Tour chosen: the Britannia and City Tour, depending on which attractions you would like to see. The City Tour will give customers the chance to see the Scottish Parliament, Dynamic Earth, and Palace of Holyrood House, whereas Britannia takes in the Royal Botanic Garden, Royal Yacht Britannia, and Haymarket. 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. The City Tour includes: • St Andrews Square • Lothian Road • Grassmarket • Lauriston Place • Johnston Terrace • Edinburgh Castle, Lawnmarket • National Museum of Scotland • Holyrood Distillery • Museum of Edinburgh • Scottish Parliament • Dynamic Earth • Palace of Holyrood House • Burns Monument The Britannia Tour includes the following stops: • St Andrew Square • Royal Botanic Garden • Newhaven Harbour • Royal Yacht Britannia • Water of Leith • Broughton Road • Stockbridge • The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art • Haymarket • Edinburgh International Conference Centre • Bread Street • Johnston Terrace • Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh: 24-Hour Family-Friendly Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

3. Edinburgh: 24-Hour Family-Friendly Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

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: 3-Hour Historical Walking Tour in Italian

5. Edinburgh: 3-Hour Historical Walking Tour in Italian

Meet your guide in central Edinburgh by the City Chambers, then set off on foot to explore Edinburgh Old Town. Walking is one of the best ways to experience the area because of its compact size and narrow passageways, which are known locally as closes. Follow your expert guide around Edinburgh’s most iconic landmarks. As you stroll, listen to your knowledgeable guide recount the history of the city. Learn about the rise of Presbyterianism in Scotland and hear stories relating to St Giles’ Cathedral, whose gray medieval spire towers over the Royal Mile, a famous road at the heart of the city that’s lined with stately buildings. Imagine the Edinburgh of the past as you hear stories about the controversial 15th-century monarch, Mary, Queen of Scots, and about key figures from the Scottish Enlightenment. View the imposing Edinburgh Castle and be intrigued by tales of its rise and fall, and about the fabled Stone of Destiny that’s held inside. Next, make your way to the Mound, an artificial hill that connects Edinburgh Old Town with the New Town. Pause for a snack at the Grassmarket Square, then delve into the city’s dark side at the graveyard of Greyfriars Kirkyard. Soak up the eerie atmosphere as you listen to stories about executions and hauntings that are associated with the site. Find out how the graveyard is connected to the famous Harry Potter books. Then walk back to the Royal Mile, discovering more about the collections of the National Museum of Scotland and uncovering the secrets of Mary King’s Close, a medieval street that lies under the Royal Mile. Your tour then concludes at the beginning of the Royal Mile.

Edinburgh: The Witches Tour

6. Edinburgh: The Witches Tour

Learn all about the witches of Edinburgh and Scotland from around 1590 to around 1735. Visit the site of hangings in Edinburgh. Also hear other Stories from Edinburgh and Scotland deep rich history. Visit an old witches shop (this shop maybe closed on the day of the tour) Book for a Chakra reading or a Yoni sensual massage. when you book the tour. You can also get a rune stone reading. Other parts of history maybe covered on the tour. The visit to the museum of Scotland is to show you real o0bjects used in witchcraft. And Edinburgh's and one of Scotland's greatest mysteries on show in the museum. Please note all readings are just for fun.

Edinburgh: Private Harry Potter Tour in French & English

7. 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: 3-Hour Walking Tour

8. Edinburgh: 3-Hour Walking Tour

On this walking tour of Edinburgh, you will get an in-depth look at the city. Your guide will take you on a journey full of history, literature, gastronomy, and nightlife. You will learn the fascinating history and culture of the capital of Scotland. This is a fun and entertaining tour that will give you insight into this historic city and help you make plans for your stay in Edinburgh. During your walking tour, you will make stops that are off the traditional routes while ensuring that you get to see the forgotten areas of Edinburgh. This tour will take you through Old Town and its intricate alleyways to see some of its most emblematic buildings and characters. You will also get to see the New Town, the picturesque Victoria Street, Grassmarket, and the chilling cemetery of Greyfriars, to finish touring the most representative buildings of the University of Edinburgh, one of the oldest and most prestigious in the world.

Tales of Edinburgh

9. 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.

Edinburgh: Private Harry Potter Themed Day Tour with Lunch

10. Edinburgh: Private Harry Potter Themed Day Tour with Lunch

Experience Edinburgh from a magical perspective with this immersive tour into the world of Harry Potter. Come up close with the places that inspired the famous book series and eat lunch in one of the pubs where JK Rowling wrote them. Dive into a roleplaying adventure and a fun escape game. Spend your whole day as a wizard and brew a secret potion to defeat the Dark Lord. Start your journey by retracing the steps of JK Rowling and discover the places which inspired her to write Harry Potter. Then, warm up with a delicious Scottish meal in one of the pubs she used to visit. Participate in an escape game at the Department of Magic before taking part in a mini alchemy workshop and roleplaying game for the rest of the afternoon. Solve puzzles and discover Edinburgh's secrets with this interactive storytelling experience.

  • Guided tours
  • Hop-on hop-off tours
  • Private tours
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What people are saying about National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 6,207 reviews

As a family of 4 with 2 young children we did the Harry Potter walking tour and it was excellent. I was a little anxious making a 4 and 7 year old walk for 2 hours at 6pm but they absolutely loved it as did us grown ups. Kieran (the guide) was brilliant, really engaging, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. He did a quiz throughout which everyone enjoyed taking part in and had loads of fun and interesting facts. I would highly recommend!

Alex was a fantastic guide. Keen, knowledgeable and entertaining. He was a friendly face and guide for the tour. The tour lasted around a couple hours which is a great length to fit between activities or as a way of seeing more of Edinburgh's old town. A must do tour for any fan of the Harry Potter franchise.

Our guide was Mason and he was absolutely amazing!! Very personable and made the whole experience engaging and fun. We loved his knowledge not only on the Harry Potter material but also of the city itself. We would recommend this to any Potter fan and hopefully they get Mason as their guide.

Definitely worth doing. Very informative and friendly staff. We booked the 48 hour ticket as we were in Edinburgh for 3 days. We actually lost our ticket on day 2 but Alan was very helpful and ensured it didn't stop us using the bus.

Super morning out in Edinburgh with my 8yo daughter. Great guide with a good balance of facts, stories and fun interaction. Suitable for adults and children alike.