We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

Certificate of Excellence
Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Neighborhoods
Neighborhoods
Get directions
Address: Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2ND, Scotland
Phone Number: +44 131 226 3709
Website
Today
9:30 am - 8:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Mon - Thu 9:30 am - 7:00 pm
Fri - Sun 9:30 am - 8:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Fee: Yes
Description:

Enjoy unique 360 degree panoramic views over Edinburgh from the fascinating...

Enjoy unique 360 degree panoramic views over Edinburgh from the fascinating Camera Obscura and rooftop terrace. In World of Illusions, experience five floors of interactive hands-on optical illusions, tricks and fun things to do including vortex tunnel, mirror maze and shrinking room. Get involved, play, touch everything. Great fun for all ages and nationalities, whatever the weather. Scotland’s oldest purpose-built attraction, established in 1835. Tickets are valid all day, just get your hand stamped and come and go as you please all day long. If you don't see everything we give you a free pass to come back the next day. Unique money back guarantee if not fully satisfied. Free Wifi. 'Best family attraction in Britain’, The Telegraph. 'Five Stars, outstanding, world class', VisitScotland. Bring your camera - lots of photo opportunities throughout. Allow about 2 hours. Please note the attraction is located in a listed 17th Century building over 5 floors without a lift. Open every day, open late on holidays. Latest news: Autowed has arrived - get married, renew vows or become 'best friends forever', with our friendly robotic wedding machine.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 8,190 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 4710
    Excellent
  • 1925
    Very good
  • 387
    Average
  • 82
    Poor
  • 41
    Terrible
Family (mum and daughter who is 23)

Was really reluctant to go in here- we have done the castle before and had the afternoon to spare in Edinburgh. I thought it was just going to be the typical sort of practical... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
naomi a
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

8,190 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Showing 7,145: English reviews
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Was really reluctant to go in here- we have done the castle before and had the afternoon to spare in Edinburgh. I thought it was just going to be the typical sort of practical stuff you get at the Science museum for children however it was so so informative- lots of interesting information about Edinburgh and its history (made fun... More 

Helpful?
Thank naomi a
Bridlington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

i went here with my 2 children and my mother, it was great family fun, but not the best place for somebody who cant climb alot of stairs(there are loads) but the view from the top is fantastic.

Helpful?
Thank katemG9357KK
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Had a great trip to Edinburgh and a friend recommended we visit camera obscura. We did on the first day of our trip. There was so much to see and the illusions were amazing. The tunnel in particular was real fun for the whole family. It felt like you were tipping to one side when actually you didn't move!

Helpful?
Thank Shazebra
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
83 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The kids will really enjoy this - the different mirror tricks and the camera view from the top really is worth the cost of entry. This is just outside the castle and you can visit when you are near the castle.

Helpful?
Thank Indkan
Northwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Visited here with my two children. Far too expensive for what it was. The only best bits were the spinning tunnel, the view from the top of the roof terrace and that the toilets were very clean. Half of the exhibits were broken - left feeling very disappointed and waste of money.

Helpful?
Thank lianne b
Paris, France
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

I thought at first it was too expensive for some paintings showing optical illusions but there are some very nice activities, and the last show on top of the building is worth the wait.

Helpful?
Thank travellingsgreat2
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

While my friend quite enjoyed the "cheese factor," and I'm sure kid's love it, it was a little too much like Ripley's to me. Just not my thing.

Helpful?
Thank teresagreer2016
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This is fun for kids and adults as well (though really I am a kid at heart). I love science and optical stuff and this was something we saw from the outside as we staying at the hotel opposite it and thought it might be fun and it really it was.

Helpful?
Thank Eleanor W
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

So worth the money - although the obscura is fascinating, it's the floors of illusions which are brilliant. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. So many things to do and great to see people really enjoying themselves.

Helpful?
Thank Jacqui I
Paisley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Outstanding fun, really surprised how much i enjoyed this. My teenage kids were not that interested at the start but by the end were having more fun than me!

Helpful?
Thank Andrew C

Travelers who viewed Camera Obscura and World of Illusions also viewed

 

Been to Camera Obscura and World of Illusions? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Camera Obscura and World of Illusions and other visitors
25 questions
Ask a question

See all questions (25)

Questions? Get answers from Camera Obscura and World of Illusions staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?

Staying in Old Town

Neighborhood Profile
Old Town
Few Edinburghers live in the Old Town, but its labyrinth of dank alleys and steep streets suggests this was not always the case. Today, it’s mostly visitors, tartan-flavored souvenir shops, and pipers that you’ll find on its cobbled streets. This is the place to get a feel for Auld Reekie (Old Smelly), as the town was once nicknamed, and stroll the Royal Mile, the thoroughfare that links the castle with the royal palace – two of Edinburgh’s great set-piece attractions. But there’s lots more exploring to do here down dozens of little alleys, or wynds, while at night the city’s busiest clubs erupt along the Cowgate which is closed to traffic for this purpose.
Explore this neighborhood