National War Museum of Scotland

Old Town

At the western end of Edinburgh Castle, to the left of the castle tearooms, a road leads down to the National War Museum of Scotland, which brings Scotland's military history vividly to life. The exhibits have been personalised by telling the stories of the original owners of the objects on display, making it easier to empathise with the experiences of war than any dry display of dusty weaponry ever could.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Old Town attractions

1. Edinburgh Castle

0.04 MILES

Edinburgh Castle has played a pivotal role in Scottish history, both as a royal residence – King Malcolm Canmore (r 1058–93) and Queen Margaret first made…

2. Princes Street Gardens


These beautiful gardens lie in a valley that was once occupied by the Nor’ Loch (North Loch), a boggy depression that was drained in the early 19th…

3. St Cuthbert's Parish Church

0.13 MILES

St Cuthbert's Parish Church was built in the 1890s on a site of great antiquity – there has been a church here since at least the 12th century, and…

4. St John's Church

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The western end of Princes St is dominated by the tower of St John's Church; the church is worth visiting for its fine Gothic Revival interior.

5. Scotch Whisky Experience

0.23 MILES

A former school houses this multimedia centre that takes you through the making of whisky, from barley to bottle, in a series of exhibits, demonstrations…

6. Camera Obscura & World of Illusions

0.24 MILES

Edinburgh's camera obscura is a curious 19th-century device – in constant use since 1853 – that uses lenses and mirrors to throw a live image of the city…

7. Grassmarket

0.25 MILES

The site of a cattle market from the 15th century until the start of the 20th century, the Grassmarket has always been a focal point of the Old Town. It…

8. Scottish National Gallery

0.27 MILES

Designed by William Playfair, this imposing classical building with its Ionic porticoes dates from 1850. Its octagonal rooms, lit by skylights, have been…