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Surgeons' Hall Museums

Certificate of Excellence
Neighborhood:
Southside & Holyrood
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Address: Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DW, Scotland
Phone Number:
+44 131 527 1711
Website
Today
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes
Description:

Surgeons’ Hall Museums (SHM), part of the Royal College of Surgeons of...

Surgeons’ Hall Museums (SHM), part of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, houses one of the largest and most historic collections of artefacts charting the history and development of surgery. The collections include surgical instruments and artworks and one of the largest collections of anatomical specimens in the world.

These specimens are displayed in the Wohl Pathology Museum, which is located within the iconic building designed by William Playfair in 1832.

All of the exhibits which have made SHM world-famous will be back on display: including a pocket book made from the skin of the infamous murderer, William Burke; and exhibits relating to Dr Joseph Bell, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s teacher and main inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, the highlight of which is a letter from the author crediting his mentor as such.

The reopened SHM, whose transformation has been supported by a £2.7m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, will also feature even more interactive and display exhibits, which will help visitors from all around the world discover the stories and breakthroughs that have shaped modern surgical practice.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 702 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 400
    Excellent
  • 196
    Very good
  • 27
    Average
  • 7
    Poor
  • 4
    Terrible
Weird and wonderful.

A very strange museum. However interesting with a lot of information, and a lot to look at. I found part of it a little hard to stomach but still enjoyed the visit overall.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Leanne N
via mobile
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702 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 634: English reviews
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

A very strange museum. However interesting with a lot of information, and a lot to look at. I found part of it a little hard to stomach but still enjoyed the visit overall.

Helpful?
Thank Leanne N
Cambridge, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

A well set out museum with many interactive exhibits. This is more a museum for the medics rather than your average tourist (as the name suggests)

Helpful?
Thank suzannethomas2016
Helensburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Popped in here with a friend. Amazed to see how much there was on show. Very interesting with plenty of information around.

Helpful?
Thank scouseanna
Inverness, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

A very impressive range of exhibits and interactive displays, but not all of us could stomach room after room of organs in jars!

Helpful?
Thank mw889900
Vassar, Michigan
Level Contributor
25 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

This museum is a little hard to find, but full of interesting facts. They have a large collection of artifacts and unknown stories about history. Enjoyable, larger than you might anticipate. This is handicap accessible.

Helpful?
1 Thank _mdecoe
ATLANTIC BEACH
Level Contributor
155 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Just visited this and I am not in the medical field. Truly amazing museum. Such history. Stories of gravediggers and body snatchers. Specimen jars not for the faint hearted. If you are in medicine then this is a must. Twill return. The negatives are no cloak room available even though the anatomy museum has locking cabinets with hooks. Also no... More 

Helpful?
Thank Nigel B
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I attended this attraction with a group of veterans and was highly impressed with the museum, we were lucky enough to have a guided tour and the curator had a fantastic knowledge

Helpful?
Thank donald s
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We really enjoyed our visit and well worth the £4 entrance fee as we were in for hours. Some of the exhibits are not for the faint hearted as they display a lot of body organs and surgery over the years, if your into this sort of thing its a must.

Helpful?
Thank Neville S
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
91 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is one of the most fascinating museums I've ever visited, and well worth the £6! I loved learning about the history of surgery, and how Edinburgh has had a large influence on medicine and surgery. I've got my cochlear implant surgery coming up in a couple of weeks, and considering it will be my first ever surgery, I was... More 

Helpful?
Thank shexbeaver
Limerick, Ireland
Level Contributor
21 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We went to kill a few hours and didn't realise how fascinating it would be. The exhibits show all about the anatomy and how surgery has progressed through the years. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is squeamish in any way as there are thousands of varying body parts on show. There is also hallways of every body part... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank clodagh g

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Biggar, United Kingdom
27 days ago
over a year ago

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Staying in Southside & Holyrood

Neighborhood Profile
Southside & Holyrood
Many of Edinburgh’s student hangouts gather around university buildings in Southside, the sort of neighborhood 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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