11 Mar 2021

Edinburgh for FREE: Best Museums & Galleries in Edinburgh

Planning to visit Edinburgh, but on a tight budget? Not a problem! Edinburgh has a host of awesome free museums and galleries for you to enjoy and wander around. So, whether you are looking for a few free places to pop on your itinerary, a family searching for some low-cost activities or even if you are just here for some good recommendations while you are in town, get to experience Edinburgh for free by exploring some of its best museums and galleries.

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National Museum of Scotland

A photograph of the Grand Gallery in the National Museum of Scotland. One of Edinburgh's free museums to visit.
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

Listed as one of our ‘Must-See Places to Visit in Edinburgh’ the National Museum of Scotland is a treasure trove of discovery. Go and enter into the Kingdom of Scots and unearth centuries of Scottish history or have some wild close encounters in Animal World. This family-friendly attraction is a great all-rounder and has plenty of things to see and do.

For opening times and the latest information on booking FREE tickets for the National Museum of Scotland click here.

Scottish National Gallery

Roadside image of the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh. 

A free entry gallery in Edinburgh.
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

Want to see some classic artwork? Looking for a place to visit near the city centre? Then this is a great option. Pretty much smack bang in the middle of Prince’s Street and around a 5-minute walk from Edinburgh Waverley Station, the Scottish National Gallery is home to masterpieces from world-renowned artists such as Rembrandt, van Dyck and Gainsborough, to name only a few!

Whether you are hopping in for something to do on a rainy day or because you could spend endless hours there with your sketch pad in hand, the Scottish National Gallery is an awesome free gallery to visit in Edinburgh.

To find up-to-date information on opening times and FREE ticket bookings for the Scottish National Gallery click here.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

A photograph of a jar filled with paint brushes.

Regardless of your art background, this is really a great gallery for everyone. Even the building itself with its fantastic ‘neo-gothic structure and the stunning interior is worth a visit.

From capturing history to incredible hyper-realistic artwork, there is an abundance of artwork on display for you to have a look at. And if you are feeling a little peckish after your tour around then head down to their lovely café on the ground floor. It really is a super place to stop for a bite to eat with its freshly made salads, soups and lots of other baked delights. Yum!

Top tip: Are you are willing to spend a little extra? Looking for a fun birthday/present idea? How’s about a classic afternoon tea? Scones and cake galore! You’ll need to book first, so click here for more information on afternoon teas at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

To find up-to-date information on opening times and FREE ticket bookings at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery click here.

The Writer’s Museum

A typography image with the letters and punctuation used for printing.

A budding writer, ay? Or perhaps a big fan of some Scottish writers like Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson? Then this free museum in Edinburgh will definitely take your fancy.

If you are already on The Royal Mile why not stop here for a little while? They even have cool quotes engraved on the stones outside the building which in and of itself is interesting!

For up-to-date information and opening times for the Writer’s Museum click here.

The People’s Story Museum

Photograph of the hanging museum sign The People's Story. 

The People's Story Museum is a free museum in Edinburgh.
The People’s Story Museum, Edinburgh

If you love to hear unheard-of stories, then this will be a fun visit for you. The People’s Story Museum captures the history of the Scottish capital from the perspective of everyday working-class people across time. This is a super place to stop off around The Royal Mile and Canongate area and is not far away from the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

To find out the latest information about opening times for The People’s Story Museum click here.

This list shows how a limited budget is no barrier to experiencing all the city has to offer. Because there are lots of truly fantastic free museums and galleries in Edinburgh to explore.

Still, looking for more free things to do? Love walking? Then go grab your walking boots and stroll on over to one of our recent blog post 5 Scenic Walks in Edinburgh, You Will Love! Or you could even join our walking tours. Treasures of the Old Town with The Palace of Holyroodhouse.


Thank You From easyGuide

We hope you found our guide to Edinburgh for FREE: Best Museums & Galleries in Edinburgh useful. Don’t forget you can find tickets to the top attractions, activities, experiences and tours in Edinburgh here.

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