Permanent national collections and consistently excellent temporary exhibitions at the National Gallery of Scotland (don’t miss the Impressionists on the first floor towards the rear) and the National Museum of Scotland (if the artefacts get too much, chill out in the roof garden).
The City Art Centre hosts exhibitions from around the world or drawn from the city’s collections. There are also the Writers’ Museum, Lady Stair’s Close, off the Lawnmarket (displays about Robert Burns, Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson); the Museum of Childhood, High Street (nostalgia for adults); the Museum of Edinburgh, Canongate (development of the city), The People’s Story, Canongate (social history of Edinburgh) and exhibitions at the National Library of Scotland. The Queen’s Gallery at Holyrood has exhibitions featuring the treasures of the royal collection. The Dovecote Tapestry Studios in Infirmary Street has exhibitions of crafts and design as well as being a fascinating example of the reuse of a Victorian swimming baths.