Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
4.5
Science MuseumsObservation Decks & Towers
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
About
Winner of VisitScotland's Best Visitor Attraction Experience 2022/23! We are Scotland’s oldest purpose-built attraction, established in 1835. Interact with over 100 illusions and get a breath of fresh air on our magnificent Rooftop Terrace, which offers the most spectacular 360 degree views of Edinburgh. At Camera Obscura & World of Illusions, experience five floors of interactive hands-on optical illusions, tricks and fun things to do including our head-spinning Vortex Tunnel, bewildering Mirror Maze and mind-blowing Shrinking Room. Not to mention our 170 year old Camera Obscura! Get involved, play, touch, listen, and see. Great fun for all ages and nationalities, whatever the weather. 'Best family attraction in Britain’, The Telegraph. 'Five Stars, outstanding, world class', VisitScotland. Free Wi-Fi. 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.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: 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-flavoured 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.
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See what travellers are saying
  • Ramona
    Bournemouth, United Kingdom7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fun
    This was a fun experience, and though some of the images can be found online, it did not take away from the overall experience. The installations and experiments were fun, the layout was simple and creative. The view on the top, of Edinburgh was breathtaking.
    Hi Ramona, thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We're delighted you had a fun experience at Camera Obscura and enjoyed our mind-boggling illusions and interactive exhibits! Our spectacular rooftop views of Edinburgh are a highlight for lots of our visitors so it's great to hear you loved them too. We hope you visit again soon.
    Written 4 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 May 2023
  • anna c
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    unforgettable experience and fun
    What a great experience we had when we visited Camera Obscure last Saturday . We have been really looking forward to see it and we left extremely happy . My 2 girls age 6 and 9 were delighter when staff member approached us on the 3rd blue floor and show girls some tricks with the electricity , It was amazing and we unforgettable experience . Definitely recommend to everyone .
    Hi Anna, thanks for taking the time to leave a review. We're delighted you had an unforgettable experience at Camera Obscura with your family! Our staff work hard to make everyone's visit special, they'll be so pleased you enjoyed their explanation of our electric exhibits. Thank you for recommending us, we hope you visit again soon.
    Written 4 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 4 May 2023
  • Jill64K
    Morpeth, United Kingdom118 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unexpected gem
    Wasn’t really sure what what to expect from our trip. However, very positive visit, the girl on reception was friendly as were all staff we came across. Some really amazing things to try out and a brilliant way to get as many photos as you wish from your discovery. The roof top does have a great view, unfortunately our day was not the best for visibility. The vortex was just brilliant not what I expected and the musical steps. Fun couple of hours for all ages.
    Hello Jill, thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We're delighted you had such a wonderful visit to Camera Obscura and got lots of memorable photos! Our rooftop view is certainly stunning but the Scottish weather is not always as beautiful, we hope you enjoyed our terrace anyway. We hope you visit again soon.
    Written 8 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 6 May 2023
  • Ben B
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good attraction
    Make sure you book as gets busy but was really worth a visit. Staff knowledgable and friendly. Takes a good couple hours and just the right amount of people inside so u can see everything.
    Hi Ben, thanks for taking the time to leave a review. We're so pleased you enjoyed your visit with us and spent a couple of hours exploring our 5 floors of mind-boggling illusions and interactive exhibits! We do recommend pre-booking to guarantee entry, especially during weekends and school holidays. Thanks again, we hope to welcome you back soon.
    Written 8 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 May 2023
  • Saikou J
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Family Fun Day - Say Cheese!
    Came to the camera obscura with the family yesterday (06MAY2023) and had a wonderful time! Lots of fun for all the family! My almost 3 year old had a great time. Lots of interactivity for children and he was very entertained. Also plenty for the adults to enjoy! We will be back when the weather is a bit less cloudy so we can get the full experience. (Was a bit foggy yesterday) 5/5
    Hello Saikou and thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We're thrilled you had so much fun exploring Camera Obscura with your family! With 5 floors and over 100 exhibits we feel we've got lots to entertain visitors of all ages so it's great to hear your feedback on this. We hope you all visit again soon.
    Written 8 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 7 May 2023
  • Rishikesh R
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic experience
    Really enjoyed the visit. Exhibits are fantastic.The team was so pleasant and welcoming. We had lost our wallet in the premises, and the team was so kind to jump into action and help us out. Special shout out to Becky and Eleanor.
    Hi Rishikesh, thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We're delighted you had a fantastic experience visiting Camera Obscura and enjoyed our mind-boggling exhibits! Our staff work hard to ensure everyone is welcomed in to our attraction, we're so pleased you felt they were friendly and helped you find our lost wallet. We will pass on your thanks to Becky and Eleanor, and hope to welcome you back again soon.
    Written 8 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 May 2023
  • Samantha
    Suffolk, United Kingdom56 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fun
    We came here straight from the airport on our first day in Edinburgh. We got there earlier than the time we had booked but the staff were really friendly and said we could go in and didn’t need to wait. We found it loads of fun and we are both in our 30s. We didn’t really enjoy the show at the top but maybe younger people might. Otherwise I would thoroughly recommend this place
    Hello Samantha and thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We're so glad you both enjoyed your visit and had lots of fun exploring our world of surprises! Our fascinating Camera Obscura demonstration is a highlight for lots of our visitors, if you have any feedback please do get in touch via our website. We will pass on your compliments to our friendly staff, and hope you visit again soon.
    Written 12 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 11 May 2023
  • H F
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fun and enganging!
    We are two adults (late 30s) and really enjoyed this. Friendly and helpful guides, and a great show-host on the camera obscura show. Along with this show, the revolving tunnel and the size-deception photo-op alone were worth the visit to this place.
    Hello and thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We're so pleased you both had a fun and engaging visit to Camera Obscura! Our head-spinning Vortex Tunnel and bewildering Ames Room are both highlights for lots of our visitors so it's great to hear you loved them too. We will pass on your kind compliments to our brilliant guides and hope to welcome you back again soon!
    Written 15 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 13 May 2023
  • Rachael C
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Go. Just go!!!
    Absolutely amazing. Staff were so friendly and it was a brilliant first day of my trip. They had a system in place to improve crowd control so I didn’t feel like I was a sardine going round each of the exhibitions which was lovely. Next time I’ll bring someone with me
    Hi Rachael, thanks for taking the time to leave a review. We're over the moon you had such a wonderful visit to Camera Obscura! We do our best to ensure everyone has enough space and time to enjoy their visit so it's great to hear your feedback on this. We will pass your kind compliments on to our friendly staff, and hope the rest of your trip to Edinburgh was amazing. Visit again soon!
    Written 17 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 17 May 2023
  • mic j
    8 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great day out
    Went on Friday schools were off, we used the Scot rail kid for a quid deal so my 2 kids got in for free with 2 paying adults but had to be in before 11am to get the deal. So for us a massive saving the price is high but it’s a city centre attraction and it seems to be the going rate. My kids were 10 and 13 so very hard to please them. They did enjoy it but you have to slow them down so they see every little attraction or you could do it in 30mins easy. We were in for 1hr 45mins and we did the wee show which was great. So overall a great day out.
    Hi Mic, thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We're so pleased you had a great day out with your family and felt it was entertaining for all ages, even hard to please teenagers! We do recommend spending time exploring all 5 floors of our attraction to discover the 100+ exhibits we have to offer, so we're pleased you had time to enjoy it all. We hope you all come back for another visit soon.
    Written 31 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 29 May 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles16,340 reviews
Excellent
10,970
Very good
3,959
Average
1,000
Poor
283
Terrible
130

April H
Sheffield, UK150 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
We had a nice time but not sure if it’s worth the price to be honest.

We did go with a three year old so whether that’s the reason but I don’t think I’d go again.

The floors are great, lots to see and do inside, the rooftop is what gave it the 4 stars as the views are unbelievable. The guy that gave the tall on the rooftop was brilliant, gave us loads of interesting facts and well worth going to.

It would be brilliant with an older child but I think if you have younger 3 and under then it’s hard to appreciate.
Written 23 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carl W
Orkney Islands, UK2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
We were really looking forward to this. Winner of numerous awards, top rated attraction, thousands of 5-star reviews. What we got were a few rooms with some random 3D pictures, magic eye pictures, those electric tubes, and the most painful ‘show’ I’ve sat through. We we’re told 90-120 minutes to do it justice, it took us 40 minutes, and that was dragging it out. Felt a bit ripped off at £45. Unless you’ve got small children, I wouldn’t recommend visiting.
Written 22 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Carl, thank you for sharing your feedback with us. We hope that you were able to experience everything during your visit, as we offer a much wider variety of hands-on, interactive exhibits than you mention, including walk-through experiences such as our Vortex Tunnel and Mirror Maze. With over 100 exhibits in total, many fun photo opportunities, a guided show in the Victorian Camera Obscura and outdoor Rooftop Terrace, offering panoramic views of the city, there is something for all ages to enjoy. As you’ve mentioned, the majority of our visitors love the experience which you’ll see from our over 10,000 five star reviews. We hope that you enjoyed the rest of your time in Edinburgh.
Written 23 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

RachaelShaw
66 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
What a superb way to spend your time in Edinburgh! Situated not far from Edinburgh Castle, this place is an absolute must-see/must-do! 6 floors of fantastic things to do and interact with, including some amazing walk-through places. Then, to top it all off, the amazing camera obscures itself, plus some stunning roof-top views of Edinburgh. The staff were superb - friendly and knowledgeable. The cost was really not too much, for what can be got out of the whole event.
Written 20 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Rachael, thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We're delighted you had a fun visit with us and enjoyed all of our mind-boggling illusions and interactive exhibits! Our Camera Obscura show and Rooftop Terrace views are both highlights for lots of our visitors so it's great to hear you loved them too. We will pass on your compliments to our friendly staff, and hope you visit again soon.
Written 22 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

airgone747
Liverpool, UK33 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Amazing effects! it's good fun and suitable for children and adults alike. I would certainly go back if I return to Edinburgh Well worth a visit!
Written 20 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi there, thanks for taking the time to leave a review. We're delighted you had an amazing visit to Camera Obscura! With 5 floors and over 100 exhibits we feel we have lots to entertain all ages so it's great to hear your feedback on this. We hope you visit us again soon.
Written 22 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Alakbar
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
I visited Camera Obscura when I was a child and recently, about 15 years since, went again. The stars were aligned on this second visit and I had a wonderful, memorable experience.

The highlight of the experience was seeing the camera obscura and the incredible tour that one of the staff members, Isaac, gave. His genuine passion and knowledge about the apparatus is what made the experience so memorable. Thank you Isaac <3

Even as an adult, the rooms have interesting and educational experiences, especially if you are into physics and photography. Unlike a museum, the experiences are often interactive and appeal to those who are curious.

The vortex is another highlight that will make your head spin, literally :)

I can imagine it would still be interesting solo, but I'd recommend going with at least one person as there are dedicated two-player experiences which you'll want to get the most out of.
Written 20 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello and thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We're thrilled you had such a wonderful visit that was both fun and educational! Our Camera Obscura show is a highlight for lots of our visitors so it's great to hear you loved it too, and we will pass on your compliments to our brilliant guide Isaac. We would love to welcome you back for your third visit in the future!
Written 22 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Stanislas G
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
We had a great family time even though my kids don't speak English.
The experiences are very interesting and funny.
Thanks to the staff who is very friendly.
Written 18 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Stanislas, thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We're delighted you had a fun visit with your family and felt our exhibits were interesting and fun! Our staff work hard to make everyone feel welcome so it's great to hear your feedback and we will pass it on to the team. We hope you all come back for another visit next time you're in Edinburgh.
Written 19 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Christopher O
Luton, UK19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
We went to camera obscura after arriving in Edinburgh. It was realy an enjoyable experience. Abby was a great guide with plenty of knowledge of the history. It's really worth a visit to.
Written 18 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello Christopher, thanks for taking the time to leave a review. We're so pleased you had a fun visit and felt it was a highlight of your trip to Edinburgh! It's great to hear that you enjoyed our fascinating Camera Obscura show with Abbie, we will pass on your kind compliments to her. We hope you visit again soon.
Written 19 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Matthew S
Bangor, UK19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
A great day out and experience. Mae done the talk at the top and was very knowledgeable and funny, keeping everyone engaged.

Well recommended.
Written 18 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Matthew, thanks for taking the time to leave a review. We're delighted you had a great day out exploring our 5 floors of exhibits! Our Camera Obscura show is a highlight for lots of our visitors so it's great to hear you loved it too, and we will pass on your compliments to our brilliant guide Mae. We hope you visit again soon.
Written 19 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Thilo B
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Camera Obscura is great, especially for children.
My six-year old son wanted to go straight back inside after our visit.
But the attraction has very interesting aspects for all ages.
The members staff are very friendly and helpful!
Written 18 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Thilo, thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We're so pleased you felt our staff were friendly and we will pass on your compliments to them! It's great to hear that your family was entertained by all of our interactive exhibits and mind-boggling illusions. We hope you all visit again soon.
Written 19 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Allyn O
Bluffton, SC9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
We had a great time at Camera Obscura! I was a little worried that it might be geared towards younger kids but my 12 and 14 year old boys loved it! It was a great way to break up a day of historical tours. You’ll also get some incredible views of the city from the top. Be sure to check out the show when you get to the rooftop- Abby was our guide and she was great! Fun and interesting stop while in Edinburgh- highly recommend!
Written 17 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Allyn, thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We're so pleased you enjoyed your visit and especially loved our stunning rooftop views! Our Camera Obscura show is a highlight for lots of our visitors so it's great to hear you loved it too, and we will pass on your compliments to Abbie. We hope you and your family visit again soon.
Written 19 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Camera Obscura and World of Illusions - All You MUST Know Before You Go (2024)

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