Surgeons' Hall Museums

Surgeons' Hall Museums, Edinburgh: Hours, Address, Surgeons' Hall Museums Reviews: 4.5/5

Surgeons' Hall Museums
4.5
Speciality Museums • Science Museums • History 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.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Tours & experiences
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: 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.
Popular mentions

4.5
1,616 reviews
Excellent
1,066
Very good
447
Average
82
Poor
15
Terrible
6

lifeinthetopbunk
Philadelphia, PA419 contributions
Not for the squeamish!
Jun 2021
... and I am NOT, which means I absolutely loved this place. I spent almost four hours devouring (ha) every word on the fascinating signs accompanying extremities, organs, and surgical instruments. If you are of the morbid persuasion or just have an interest in how the human body works and all the things that can go wrong with it, this is the place for you. Even if you just have an interest in the history of surgery and don't want to walk the Hall of Pathology, this museum is definitely worth a visit. Also - the senior research fellows at the institute run a blog called Anatomy Lab in case you want to learn more after you leave! The only bummer is the no photography rule; I understand that it protects the privacy and dignity of the people whose parts are on display, but it would be great to be able to take pictures of the signs (or be able to buy a book at the museum containing information from the displays).
Written June 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hello! It's fantastic to hear you spent 4 hours exploring the galleries. We're thrilled to hear you enjoy our blog posts too! Thanks for your feedback about the book and for taking the time to leave a review.
Written June 7, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Brem
Ryton, UK53 contributions
Awesome, must see!
Jun 2021
Whether you simply like seeing gory stuff or if you're more interested in the history of Surgery, then this is for you. Something for everyone. I was pleased I visited and I would recommend it to anyone. It has a lot more on show than you might expect :-)
Written June 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hello. It's great to hear you enjoyed exploring our galleries. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review.
Written June 7, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sylvia M
2 contributions
Amazing experience
Dec 2020 • Solo
This is something that shouldn’t be missed by anyone who loves medicine. It is an amazing experience.

Tip: Don’t forget to pay visit at the gift shop!
Written May 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hello! It's fantastic to hear how much you enjoyed your visit to the museum. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review.
Written May 26, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Petunia Landside
34 contributions
Museum is great
May 2021 • Couples
The museum is really really good, very informative and gory. Definitely must see if in Edinburgh.
The tour however with Chris was a slight disappointment, not allowing masks off OUTSIDE when we were doing a 1m distancing. He rudely asked if I know my mouth AND nose were attached to my lungs when I was putting it back on and pulling it out to cover my whole face. With a mask on himself I struggled to hear but otherwise the tour was informative and I would recommend with a different guide. To add Chris was 10 minutes late and we were not told, just aimlessly standing waiting and we were thinking about leaving.
Ignore that and the tour was great, informative and the museum is really unique and fascinating.
Written May 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hello. We’re sorry to hear you were disappointed with our Blood and Guts walking tour. The safety of our guides and visitors is our main priority therefore we do require both guides and visitors to wear face coverings (unless medically exempt) while on the tour. We do publicise this policy on both our Eventbrite booking page and our website and this policy is in line with other walking tours in the city. We have spoken to Chris and the comment about the nose and mouth being attached to the lungs is a joke he makes at the start of each of his tours and is not directed at anyone in particular. We apologise for the time keeping. This is not our usual standard and we will be looking into this further. We’re glad you enjoyed your visit to the museum. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review.
Written May 18, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ioanna T
Athens, Greece17 contributions
Don't miss the tour
May 2021
We did the amazing Blood and Guts tour in Edinburgh and then also visited the very interesting museum.
Written May 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi Ioanna. It's fantastic to hear you enjoyed our Blood and Guts walking tour and your time in the museum. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review.
Written May 7, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Snoozyxx
Warrington, UK21 contributions
Wow!
Apr 2021
Wow, not wanting to sound weird, but this place is amazing! We spent 4 hours here looking at every single exhibit! It was just so fascinating, very educational and great for those interested in anatomy!

Not for the faint hearted though, there are some specimens that I will never forget, lol!!
Written April 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hello! It's great to hear you spent 4 hours exploring our collections. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!
Written April 29, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

FatemahQ
Calgary, Canada327 contributions
Medicine back in time
Apr 2020 • Solo
Surgeons hall in Edinburgh was a bucket list wish I really wanted to see my whole life. This was before the craziness of the pandemic broke loose on February 2020. The history of anesthesia and surgery, tools used at the early 1700-1800s, and famous physicians and their contributions to modern medicine. The pathology hall was magnificent and full and extraordinary cases throughout the years. Amazing and fascinating place to visit.
Written March 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hello! It's great to hear you ticked us off your bucket list and enjoyed your visit. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review.
Written April 26, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Stacey
Liverpool, UK72 contributions
Very very very cool!
Oct 2020 • Friends
I loved it here! Being a surgeon is a dream job and if I could go back in time I would have studied medicine. So this for me was a treat!

I am morbidly fascinated by the body so 100s of body parts and organs on display alongside plenty to read I was in my element.

Will definitely return when I am back as i did not have time to take it all in! You need hours here, seriously!
Written October 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi Stacey. It's great to hear how much you enjoyed your visit to the museum. We look forward to welcoming you back in the future. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review.
Written November 4, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Rachel M
Halifax, UK17 contributions
Call me morbid but.....Wow
Oct 2020 • Couples
Now I love a good museum but this is by far the best one I've been in. I studied Medical Biology at University which included anatomy and disease modules so there was no way I could not pay it a visit. Reading/learning about it is not the same as seeing it in person. Very interesting and frankly, I could not believe how much was in here. We spent a good 3 hours wandering the museum and its just a great reminder of how far we have come in thenqorld of medicine
Written October 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi Rachel. It's quite the compliment to hear you we are the best museum you have been to. We're really pleased to hear you thoroughly enjoyed your visit. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review.
Written November 4, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

lilylaurel
United Kingdom11 contributions
Absolutely amazing place - you will not believe what is in here!
Nov 2019
There are so many things to look at - jars with all soetd of bones and human pieces - the stories that go with the exhibits are really interesting.
It is situated in a tenement building so you would never suspect the secrets that it holds ....
Written October 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi Lily. It's fantastic to hear you enjoyed your visit. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review.
Written November 4, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Surgeons' Hall Museums

Surgeons' Hall Museums is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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