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Surgeons' Hall Museums, Edinburgh

#8 of 60 in Museums in Edinburgh
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Specialty Museum
Not for the squeamish, Surgeons' Hall Museums houses one of the largest and most historic collections of surgical pathology in the world. Originally developed as a teaching museum for medical students, its collections have been open to the public since 1832, making it one of Scotland’s oldest museums. These collections include bone and tissue specimens, surgical artifacts, and works of art. Gawk at the displays, learn about the history of surgery from the 16th century to today, and even test your own surgical skills with interactive displays. As you would expect, it is quite gruesome in some areas, and the faint-hearted might want to pass on the pickled fetus and skin-covered pocketbook. Make Surgeons' Hall Museums a centerpiece of your Edinburgh vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Edinburgh vacation tool.
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Surgeons' Hall Museums reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,655 reviews
  • What a great experience! It was fascinating to see, hear and read about surgery through the the centuries. Seeing the instruments and equipment used, from the early days, up to virtually presnt day...  more »
  • BITS IN JARS! My goodness the human body a strange and wonderful thing! I had never imagined (much less seen) the various repulsive diseases that can erupt from our body parts. Please make sure...  more »
  • Excellent experience if you enjoy a mix of History and Medicine. Plan to spend a couple hours (more if you really love pathology samples in jars, there are some very interesting samples). The first two rooms are a little anticlimactic, but the main rooms of the museum are diverse and definitely hold your attention - be prepared for some reading though. There is elevator access to everything, but anyone needing assistance getting around might find it a little tight if it's busy when you go. I don't think it's air conditioned either, so if you go on a particularly warm day bring some water.
  • Not quite what I expected. Not as much history on surgery/medicine but very neat. Lots of specimens showing how diseases eat away at our organs and bones. Not for the weak stomached or faint of heart. You will see real organs preserved in jars.

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