One museum, two conjoined buildings. The modern half of this complex on Chambers Street opened in 1998 and tells you everything about Scotland from its geological and prehistoric past to its social and political present. The older half with the soaring Victorian atrium – massively refurbished over several years then reopened in 2011 – is more of a crowd-pleaser with galleries covering the natural world, science and technology, art and design, and more.
We can all agree that it's great having plans in the diary but isn't it even better when those plans don't involve spending cash? There are many ways to empty your wallet in Edinburgh – from Michelin-starred restaurants to world-famous tourist attractions. But it's also possible to have a fun day out while you're on a budget. From museums and art galleries to gardens and educational outings, these are our top recommendations when it comes to spending absolutely nothing in the Scottish capital. Happily, the best free things to do in Edinburgh are also some of the best things to do full stop.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Edinburgh