Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, Edinburgh

Observation Deck · Science Museum
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For a weirdly wonderful and unique view of Edinburgh, head to Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. The camera obscura itself sits in the roof and features a set of mirrors and lenses that project moving images of the city onto a screen. You'll be able to pick up projected pedestrians in your hands and redirect traffic over paper bridges. The guide narrates an entertaining history of Edinburgh while you experiment. Throughout the rest of the building, you can observe and play with all sorts of other optical tricks. Your entrance fee enables you to come and go as you want throughout the day, and you can return the next day for free if there more exhibits you want to see. Put Camera Obscura and World of Illusions and other Edinburgh attractions into our Edinburgh trip itinerary planning site, and watch your holiday take shape.
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Camera Obscura and World of Illusions reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
14,990 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Very good experience, lots of fun and very friendly staff always wanting to help. Would definetly recommend to everyone 
    Very good experience, lots of fun and very friendly staff always wanting to help. Would definetly recommend to everyone  more »
  • Just down the road from the castle it is an unexpected experience of old and new photographic quirks and illusions .From the roof there are views around the city and countryside . 
    Just down the road from the castle it is an unexpected experience of old and new photographic quirks and illusions .From the roof there are views around the city and countryside .  more »
  • This was one of our favourite days out. There's are some strange and interesting pieces in that place. A good place for all ages. 
    This was one of our favourite days out. There's are some strange and interesting pieces in that place. A good place for all ages.  more »
Google
  • Best attraction in Edinburgh. Really friendly staff and great exhibits. Kids will love it and can easily spend several hours here. They stamp your hand and you can come and go as you please the whole day. Great when you need a seat or toilets! Superb views of the castle and a great gift shop with lots of quirky stuff. Highly recommend
  • We will be coming back! Had loads of fun with my wee Boy, each level contains a whole new dimension of optical illusions. The staff is helpful, incredibly friendly, especially towards children. (and the guy sitting at the reception is pretty handsome😂) The store downstairs has got so many unique things you couldn't buy in many other places! Definitely recommend checking it out! Thanks guys!😊😇 see yous soon 💙
  • Great find during our trip to Edinburgh. My 9yr old and I both thoroughly enjoyed it! The camera itself was awaiting a repair due to the weather, but that didn't affect the visit as the staff have cleverly filmed a replica and it looks just as good, and they still show you what the camera would look like, and despite is being a recording, it's just as good as the real thing. Lots of other exhibits to see, some favourites of ours were the mirror maze (four times! 😂) The optical illusion head chamber, the severed head illusion, the aging booths, the trumping chair, the kaleidoscope designer, and the CCTV cameras. My daughter LOVED the vortex tunnel, as did I until half way through it, then I wanted off it ASAP 😂😂😂 she would've stayed there all day I think though. Lots of fun and giggles to be had by both of us. Somewhere to store luggage (at your own risk as it's not manned) staff always helpful, clever one way systems to adhere to Covid regulations, a chance to see Edinburgh from the rooftops. Just on the whole a great find. Staff constantly cleaning exhibits, gloves provided for the mirror maze etc to ensure no touching surfaces. A really pleasant experience, one we booked last minute and I'm so very pleased we did. Be aware of walking from Princes Street that it's atop a HUGE steep hill, we weren't expecting it, and had to push suitcases up it, so if you have luggage, I'd suggest a taxi to the royal mile rather than walking up the hill.
  • Huge amount of fun for all the family, we spent 2 hours in there. Reasonably busy, on a Thursday, but still managed to get to all the exhibits. Fabulous views from the top. We were lucky to get a clear day for the camera and viewing platform. Very young children/toddlers may not get the most out of it. Lots of stairs. Not sure if there is a lift, best to check if you need one before booking /going.
  • I came here about ten years ago and we recently went back this week, I had as much fun as I did back then and the place has kept its charm. The one way system really improves the experience as it lets everyone have a chance to look at everything. The staff were really friendly and passionate, especially James, who was showing people around one of the floors and took photos for us. There was another member of staff who I didn’t get her name but she was a trainee and she was brilliant too! Easily one of the best experiences we had in Edinburgh

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