Surgeons' Hall Museums
Surgeons' Hall Museums
4.5
Speciality MuseumsScience MuseumsHistory Museums
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Surgeons' Hall Museums is an award winning Museum that is home to one of the largest and most historic pathology collections in the United Kingdom. Surgeons’ Hall Museums reopened in 2015 after a major £4.4 million Heritage Lottery Funded redevelopment project. As one of the oldest Museums in Scotland, the collections grew from 1699 after 'natural and artificial curiosities' were publically sought. In the 1800s, the Museums expanded to include the remarkable collections of Sir Charles Bell and John Barclay, with the Playfair Building opening in 1832 to house these. Whilst the Museums were initially established as a medical teaching resource, all are now welcome to visit. The Museums are currently home to an extensive collection of pathology, anatomy and medical ephemera.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Southside & Holyrood
Many of Edinburgh’s student hangouts gather around university buildings in Southside, the sort of neighbourhood that supports a long string of second-hand shops and eateries serving ethnic food for just a few pounds. In August the student population is replaced by vast numbers of boisterous visitors here for the Fringe, Edinburgh’s world-class comedy and arts festival which headquarters itself here. Flanking Southside are two great parks. The Meadows is a vast flat and sporty space where football, rugby, tennis, cricket, croquet, and golf often all take place side by side. Kids in its big playgrounds add to the joyful noise. Far bigger and much wilder, Holyrood Park extends to the east and provides a real hike up Arthur’s Seat, but the district is best known as the site of Scotland’s Parliament and its premier Royal Palace—and their steady stream of sightseers.
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See what travellers are saying
  • DantesDame
    Basel, Switzerland232 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    An excellent collection
    This is an incredibly interesting and comprehensive museum. The displays are well laid out and there is a LOT of things to see. If this is your thing, then this is your place. The only reason I didn't give 5 "dots" was that some of the descriptions were a bit lacking in detail and depth. But you should still go, as the displays really are amazing.
    Hello! We're pleased to hear you enjoyed your visit. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!
    Written 18 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 28 July 2023
  • Jason E
    204 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic
    First of all it’s great value, very cheap for 3 adults and 1 child. There is soo much to see and do, you would need to give yourself 2 hours. There is a great workshop where you assemble a full adult real skeleton. Plenty of interactive attractions. Thousands of body parts and organs stored in jars as well as hundreds of modern and old surgical instruments and devices. This is not for the faint hearted or squeamish. Highly recommended.
    Hello! It's wonderful to hear how much you enjoyed your visit. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!
    Written 18 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 3 August 2023
  • Rooombiter
    Isle of Wight, United Kingdom823 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Allow plenty of time, so much to see
    We spent far too long in this wonderful museum, so many interesting exhibits beautifully displayed. We allowed a couple of hours and spent over three. I read a review that said “ we thought we weren’t squeamish but it turns out we were” and that’s exactly what happened with us, by the time we were at the end of the pathological specimens we were a paler shade than we started! It’s not all body bits in jars though, so much to see here from early dental instruments to the latest robotic controlled surgical wonders and you could get the chance to operate a rib spreader… who wants to miss out on that:)
    Hello! It's fantastic to hear you enjoyed your time at the museum. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
    Written 25 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 August 2023
  • Kim W
    Gippsland, Australia270 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Most unusual but good.
    I would have scored this higher except for the fact that the Museum does not take into consideration the needs of infirm visitors. There are NO seats anywhere, except the AV theatre, where one can sit down to rest. Not even a few small stools. This is NOT good. But the exhibits themselves were excellent and informative.
    Hi Kim. We're glad you enjoyed the museum. We do have small folding stools available from our ticket desk for those who require it. There is also seating available in our pathology gallery and our Body Voyager gallery. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review.
    Written 11 September 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 10 September 2023
  • John Doe
    31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A truly fascinating experience
    This was, by far, the most interesting museum I've ever been to. Absolutely loads of exhibits, with excellent explanation and background, spread over several floors. It's worth bearing in mind that the exhibits may be difficult for some, given each represents a life, however they're tastefully presented and justified by context. One can spend hours here.
    Hello! It's fantastic to hear how much you enjoyed the museum. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review.
    Written 11 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 8 October 2023
  • rebecca c
    91 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The best museum in Edinburgh - interesting, thought provoking & so many exhibits.
    I visited with my 14 year old daughter who has aspirations to go into medicine or veterinary practice. We hadn't planned a visit here in our jam packed Edinburgh itinerary, but as we were walking past we decided to pay a visit and so glad we did - what a truly amazing museum. Some great interactive exhibits and many thought prevoking ones. Really opened up conversations - eg the blackened lungs - my daughters response was that she "didnt realise they went black for real" and she would "never ever pick up a cigarette or vape ever" having seen that. Equally the embryo skeletons opened conversations about pregnancy, terminations and how she hadnt realised how developed they were at various stages. I loved seeing organs such as an apendix with gangrene & gall bladder full of actual gall stones. It brings medicine and the body inro perspective being able to actually see it! The war wounds and Burke and hair exhibits were gruesome but fascinating. We could have spent days here and not seen it all. I'd recommend this museum whole heartedly & if you just visit 1 museum in edinburgh I'd choose this one.
    Hi Rebecca. It's brilliant to hear how much both you and your daughter enjoyed the museum. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review.
    Written 11 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 9 October 2023
  • Freedom20936636000
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Blood and Guts Tour is a Must!
    Our tour guide Gerry made this the best tour I have ever taken. He had done a ton of his own research and he made the subject matter spring to life. My kids, ages 14 to 13 loved it as well. We took the tour in June and I finally got around to writing a review, but it was that good and I wanted others to know. Believe me, if you have a remote…
    Hello! It's fantastic to hear you enjoyed the Blood and Guts tour with Gerry! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review.
    Written 20 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 16 October 2023
  • 2kirstyg
    London, United Kingdom6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    What a gem of a museum!
    My first visit despite bring a resident most of my adult life, and will be back with others to show off this brilliant museum. Spend a good couple of hours going through the galleries, learning about the history and future of surgery and dentistry, including enough pickled body parts to keep anyone happy. Or disgusted. Trying out the keyhole surgery machine was a highlight.
    Hi Kirsty! It's fantastic to hear you enjoyed your visit. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review! We look forward to seeing you again in the future.
    Written 31 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 October 2023
  • E R
    12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fascinating and informative
    I loved this experience. It’s great value for money as you get to access a huge amount of exhibits and they’re all fascinating! There is so much to see that I actually had to take a little break because it was a bit overwhelming and making me feel a bit queasy. Not necessarily for the squeamish 😂
    Hello! It's wonderful to hear you enjoyed your visit. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review.
    Written 11 December 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 8 December 2023
  • Olive Wanderer
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Phenomenal museum with a fantastic Blood and Guts tour!
    This is such a fantastic museum to explore either by yourself or with friends and family. There is so much history to unpack and so much to take away. I also attended the Blood and Guts tour that is optional with the museum entry. I am so glad I did because our tour guide Caroline/Carolina was phenomenal! She spoke with so much passion and animation, I was utterly captivated by her storytelling. She drew you in with her tales of the past and was incredibly polite and sweet and so full of information! I highly recommend the tour if you do decide to visit the museum. Thank you for such a fabulous experience!
    Hi Olive. It's fantastic to hear you enjoyed the Blood and Guts tour with Caroline! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review.
    Written 11 December 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 9 December 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,863 reviews
Excellent
1,261
Very good
490
Average
87
Poor
16
Terrible
9

Carol O
Mitchelstown, Ireland74 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Family
Family tickets are £24. Well worth it. We were there for about 2 hours.

Interesting rooms, and exhibitions. Sad to see the only display of female pathology is quite small and in the very BACK corner of the room (Doctors never really studied the female body 😔

It's a good place to visit
Written 10 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Carol. It’s great to hear you enjoyed your visit. The upper level of our Wohl Pathology Museum is themed around the main surgical specialities rather than sex. We explore issues surrounding women’s health throughout all these areas- for example we have some TVT mesh that was recently donated on display in our Urology section. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review.
Written 11 July 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Hayley_8
Peterborough, UK154 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Couples
Really fascinating and a great way to spend an hour or 2. However, not for the faint hearted. It is a little sick and we both got to the point where we felt a little queasy and had seen too many limbs and body parts in jars. The building itself is in contrast, really lovely to look at.
Written 6 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Hayley. We understand the nature of the collection is not for everyone however we're glad to hear you found your visit interesting. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
Written 10 July 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jez T
Woodbridge, UK69 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Couples
This is an incredibly well laid out museum in a wonderful building, mixing modern and older architectural styles nicely. The museum is IMO - great, though hard work. It's very difficult not to feel overwhelmed, flesh sampled out and struck by the impact of the skeletal remains, imagining the impact of the disabilities on display. The anatomical deformities preserved on show must have had a huge corrosive impact circa 18-19th C. Wow. But woah. Amazing, but be prepared. You won't find any photos on TripAdvisor as photography isn't allowed in the museum
Written 4 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello! It's brilliant to hear you enjoyed your time at the museum. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
Written 10 July 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lynne B
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Friends
We did the Blood & Guts walking tour from the museum which was hosted by Gerry. This was incredibly interesting. It felt like we were watching a one man show in a west end theatre. His knowledge and delivery kept us enthralled. I highly recommend this tour and the walking is not arduous and seats are dotted around.

Going to go back for his ghost tour.

Thank you Gerry
Written 29 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Lynne. It's fantastic to hear you enjoyed our Blood and Guts: The Twists and Turns of Edinburgh's Medical History walking tour with Gerry. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
Written 4 July 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

CMC
Herne Bay, United Kingdom1,036 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
Good to come on a rainy day. Every body part that exists seemed to be on display preserved in jars. Also body parts that had received wounds from stabbings and gun shots were there. Some interactive devices were available too where you can practice procedures. Worth a visit.
Written 23 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello! It's great to hear you enjoyed your visit. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
Written 4 July 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Patricia H
23 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
A really fascinating insight into medicine. We were totally blown away by the amount of information and the many exhibits in the museum. We spent two hours there but you could easily spend much more time. You get to the point where you cannot take in any more information.
Written 19 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello! It's brilliant to hear you enjoyed your visit. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
Written 4 July 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

IHoworth
Laurencekirk, UK43 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
I came here as a young child and found it fascinating, was happy to take my children here to show them the wonders medicine. They have a lovely treasure hunt to help keep the kids interested too.
Written 16 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello! It's fantastic to hear the whole family enjoyed their visit. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
Written 4 July 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Curious26722679977
Mangalore, India161 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Evolution of medicine at its best
Cons : No photography allowed inside the Hall
Pros : Get to practice tying surgeons knots , arthroscopy , Virtual Reality
Written 5 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello! It's brilliant to hear you enjoyed the museum. Photography is restricted out of respect for the remains of people on display. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
Written 4 July 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Priscilla M
Croydon, Australia2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Fascinating visit to this well presented collection. Being a nurse I was amazed by many of the specimens on display. Shame about no photos but I get the reverence to those who have passed and have donated their bodies for the betterment of medical science. A book of photos at the shop would have been good.
Written 29 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello! It's fantastic to hear you enjoyed your visit! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
Written 4 July 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

PhilipLeic
Leicester, UK1,671 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
I think you have to have an interest in medicine to appreciate the exhibits otherwise you could say it is just a collection of lots of body parts in containers! I particularly found interesting the upper floor exhibition called 'body voyager gallery' which shows modern medical practices. The dentistry and history exhibition was also interesting. I am not sure why photography is prohibited in the museum, so I took a photo of the sign outside instead!
Written 24 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Phillip! It's great to hear you enjoyed the museum. Photography is restricted out of respect for the remains of people on display. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!
Written 4 July 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Surgeons' Hall Museums - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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