Opened in 1998, this impressive museum housed in an effective, modern, sandstone building not far from the Royal Mile follows the story of Scotland with exhibits on archaeology, technology, science, the decorative arts, royalty, and geology. On different floors, hundreds of millions of years of Scottish history are distilled. The museum has a total of some 12,000 items, which range from 2.9-billion-year-old rocks found on the island of South Uist to a cute Hillman Imp, one of the last 500 automobiles manufactured in Scotland. One gallery is devoted to Scotland's centuries as an independent nation. Another gallery, devoted to industry and empire from 1707 to 1914, includes exhibits on shipbuilding, whisky distilling, and the railways. The roof garden has excellent views, the Tower Restaurant (tel. 0131/225-3003) offers superb lunches and fine dinners, and the adjacent Royal Museum includes a well-preserved and airy Victorian-era Main Hall and some 36 more galleries.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Highly Recommended 2010