What The Dickins: A Tale Of Edinburgh City

7 of the Best Lesser-Known Edinburgh Museums

edinburgh museums

Edinburgh is home to a vast array of fantastic museums, ranging from the ever-popular National Museum of Scotland – where we could easily spend the day getting lost amongst their many exhibitions – to smaller speciality museums which are equally fascinating. To help you discover the city’s hidden treasures in often-overlooked smaller museums, we’ve put together a selection of lesser known Edinburgh museums which are well worth a visit! We’ve also included a few of our gorgeous properties in case you’re looking for a holiday home in the area.

1) Museum of Edinburgh

  • Price: Free
  • Where: 142-146 Canongate

As the name suggests the Museum of Edinburgh is dedicated to the city’s exciting and intriguing past. The maze of historic rooms are crammed full of iconic objects which give you an insight into the history of Edinburgh from the earliest times to the present day. What’s most fun is the museum is situated in the late 16th-century Huntly House, which transports you to another time as you wander around the museum.

Where to stay: Looking for a contemporary and spacious one bedroom apartment on Canongate? 206/(4) Canongate

2) Surgeons’ Hall Museums

  • Price: £4-£7
  • Where: The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Nicolson Street

Located on bustling Nicholson Street, Surgeons’ Hall Museums was founded in 1505 and is one of the oldest Museums in Scotland. It was reopened in 2015 after a major £4.4 million redevelopment project. It was originally developed as a teaching museum for students of medicine, but it has been open to the public since 1832 and features a fascinating collection, including bone and tissue specimens, artifacts and works of art. They also have an interesting page on their website called “Object of the Month“, where they select a piece from their fascinating collection.

Where to stay: 54/(8) St Mary’s Street is a charming and calm one bedroom apartment just off the Royal Mile.

Edinburgh Museums

Photo Credit: Kim Traynor

3) The Museum of Childhood

  • Price: Free
  • Where: 42 High Street

This is perhaps one of the better-known museums on the list but it has recently undergone a five-month refurbishment of the ground floor so we had to include it. The Museum of Childhood is the first museum in the world dedicated to the history of childhood, it’s fun for your little ones and you’ll find yourself reminiscing as you see toys from your childhood! The Museum also explores other aspects of growing up, from schooldays and clubs to clothing, health and holidays.

Where to stay: The Royal Mile is at the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town and where better to stay than this stunning home: 150/(TF) High Street

Edinburgh museums

Photo Credit: Kim Traynor

4) Museum on the Mound

  • Price: Free
  • Where: Lloyds Banking Group, The Mound

Located in the historic Bank of Scotland Head Office, the Museum on the Mound is the only place in Edinburgh where you can see a million pounds and some of Scotland’s oldest banknotes! Discover the hidden history of Scotland’s oldest bank. Find out why Bank of Scotland was founded and discover some of its famous customers. Explore how the Bank has changed and developed over 300 years. After the threat of closure late last year, the museum has remained open due to its popularity so if you haven’t been yet what are you waiting for? 

Where to stay: 89(75) Holyrood Road is wonderful two bedroom apartment situated directly next to the Scottish Parliament and the Royal Palace of Holyrood!

Edinburgh Museums

Photo Credit: Ronnie Macdonald

5) The Writers’ Museum

  • Price: Free
  • Where: Lady Stair’s Close, Lawnmarket

The Writers’ Museum has to be one of our favourite museums in Edinburgh. Not only is it located in one of Edinburgh’s most gorgeous buildings but it celebrates the lives of three giants of Scottish Literature – Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Home to portraits, rare books and personal objects including Burns’ writing desk, the printing press on which Scott’s Waverley Novels were first produced, and the rocking horse he used as a child. There is also a plaster cast of Robert Burns’ skull, one of only three ever made!

Where to stay: The Writers’ Museum is tucked away in one of the Royal Mile’s many quirky closes, why not stay in a close when you visit? 11/(5) Old Fishmarket Close

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6) The People’s Story

  • Price: Free
  • Where: 163 Canongate

The People’s Story gives a unique insight into Edinburgh’s working class people from the 18th century to the late 20th century. What makes the museum stand out is that all of the displays are based on the words of Edinburgh’s people, taken from oral history reminiscences and written sources to tell real stories. The collections reflect this with objects ranging from Friendly Society regalia, banners, and material relating to Edinburgh’s diverse communities.

Where to stay: Another central Old Town apartment is 6(3) Kings Stables Road.

edinburgh museums

Photo Credit: @Dun.can

7) St Cecilia’s Hall & Music Museum

  • Price: Free
  • Where: St Cecilia’s Hall, Niddry Street

Last but certainly not least, St Cecilia’s Hall which was opened in 1763 is the oldest purpose-built concert hall in Scotland. It is the only place in the world where it is possible to hear eighteenth century music in an eighteenth century concert hall played on eighteenth century instruments. The elegant oval concert hall on the first floor of the building has been in continuous use since it opened in the eighteenth century and remains at the heart of the Georgian building, but is now complemented by four galleries on both ground and first floor.

Where to Stay: 12/3 Old Tolbooth Wynd is a bright and well presented contemporary two bedroom apartment located just off Canongate and has the added bonus of a secure parking space.

Edinburgh Museums

Photo Credit: Jim Stephenson

Looking for a fantastic Edinburgh holiday homes? We think you’ll love 12/(1F1) St Mary’s Street.Dickins

Many of the museums we mentioned are in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town and here is a fabulous and charming,  gem of a home! 12 St Mary’s Street is about enjoying the good things in life and there’s a sense of luxury and space. The location just off the Royal Mile is perfect too whether you’re working in the city or here on holiday.

See more of our lovely Edinburgh holiday lets here…

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