Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, Edinburgh

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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  • August 21, 2017
    Camera Obscura is definitely one of the best attractions to see in Edinburgh. The whole interactive exhibition is very well designed and planned over six levels/floors. The top floor is the highlight ...  more »
  • August 21, 2017
    I've seen many optical illusions exhibitions and this one is probably the most complete I've seen, so it was great to discover even some stuff that I had never experienced before. The only minus compared to other places is that there was almost never year explanation as to what created the effect (retinal persistence, balance vs motion, brain compensation, electricity laws etc.) which is usually very interesting, so to us it was a bit frustrating. I visited quite a few exhibitions with optical illusions, and it is probably the most comprehensive, so it was great to be able to discover some that I had never experienced before. The only downside compared to other expos is that he had almost never explanations on effects creating these illusions (persistence retienne, balance vs movement, compensation of the brain, laws of electricity etc) then that is very interesting, so for us it was pretty frustrating.
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  • August 20, 2017
    Visit highly recommended to go with children, not take more than 1'30 h or 2 h, they it are great and at the same time you you'll also discovering and playing with effects of light, 3D Holograms... recommended.
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  • July 2, 2017
    My 10yr old said it turned her mind 😊 fantastic family day out and superb value for money. Absolutely loved the vortex tunnel. Staff very friendly. Can't wait to go back again 😊😊
  • June 13, 2017
    This little pearl in the centre of Edinburgh is one of the best attractions around. They have tons of really elaborate illusions. Do not be mistaken, it is not just a bunch of pictures, they have some rather elaborate optical illusions that I will assure you will really surprise you. On top of that, they also have an actually camera obscura, a "camera" without film. There is a room at the top of the building where you can see the city in great detail, projected into a canvas in the middle of the room. It is truly remarkable.
  • July 30, 2017
    Great science / museum and live session viewing Edinburgh through camera obscura. Wide range of interactive activities & viewable artefacts /science exhibits. Teens absolutely loved it, especially vortex tunnel and mirrored labyrinth. Staff friendly & very helpful. Lots of steps but equally, lots of seating/ rest stops available. Would recommend visiting in earlier part of day as can have long waiting times later. Plus, on way in you receive an all day hand stamp which allows you to exit/return as necessary.
  • July 25, 2017
    + If you are landing in Edinburgh this is the best attraction. All ages can enjoy but mostly for children age 8 + Five floors of illusions, so be prepared to claim around 90 + steps (no lift, only stairs) - It's shame that this attraction doesn't have online booking facility. We stood in the queue at street during rain. - Rooftop presentation was utter waste of time.
  • February 27, 2017
    Although it looks mainly for children, it's fun for adults too. The Camera Obscura is a brief but interesting tour of Edinburgh and it was the first commercial attraction in the city. Recommended to go in the morning and on a sunny day if possible. There are 5 interactive floors with different illusions and the stuff is very helpful and friendly. These are best to be explored at night when the museum is emptier. One option is to see the museum at night and come back the next morning for the Camera Obscura show with the same ticket. Recommended to spend a nice time with your friends and family. Some activities require a second person.

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Edinburgh hides a maze of cobbled streets dotted with boutique hotels offering inexpensive rooms and outstanding restaurants. Many of the city's Gothic buildings house chic hotels with easy access to most of the city’s main tourist sites. For a uniquely Scottish experience, consider staying in the famous old town. Despite being in this historical district, many hotels here feature contemporary decor with lots of glass walls and muted color schemes. They’re also known for offering spacious rooms, comfortable beds, and restaurants serving classic European cuisine, with a modern Scottish twist.
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