1. South Scotland
  2. Edinburgh and Lothian
  3. Edinburgh

Attraction Information

Bend your minds at Camera Obscura World of Illusions! Not only is it Scotland's oldest purpose-built attraction, it's one of its most unique attractions too! For 175 years, amazing visitors have travelled to witness interactive displays, over 100 optical illusions and breathtaking rooftop views!

Are you intrigued? Read on for our ultimate guide to Camera Obscura World of Illusions...

Things to See & Do ...
Visit Camera Obscura and World of Illusions where seeing is not believing! Britain's most fun attraction and fun for all ages. With five floors and over 100 interactive, hands-on exhibits, we have something to entertain all ages.

Tour Edinburgh’s streets without moving. Test your brain against mind-bending illusions. Take spectacular city scape photographs from our Rooftop Terrace. It’s all part of the Camera Obscura & World of Illusions experience. There are so many magnificent views to capture. 

Uncover historical camera obscura experiments in each of the interactive exhibits. See how light travels, enter a dark chamber and play around with an angled mirror. Wrap your heads around mind-shuffling optical images and so much more!

You'll need at least two hours to discover it all! A swirling light vortex; a maze of mirrors; a chance to swap noses with a friend; see yourself grow, shrink and stretch; play eye-spy with our city view cams; and mess with your mind with brilliant visual effects.

Situated just a stone’s throw from Edinburgh Castle, at the top of Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile, come and discover the rst ever purpose built visitor attraction in Edinburgh, in operation since 1853, and see history and modern marvels together under one roof.

Make your way to the second floor of Bewilderworld, where you can step into a vortex tunnel to see if you can stay on your feet while it spins around you!
Take a spin into the Mirror Maze, hallways of mirrors stretching as far as your eyes can tell - will you be able to make it out? With these illusions testing your brain, sending you turning, twisting and more, can you walk without losing your balance...

Food & Drink
Sadly there is no Cafe Obscura however, you can grab a snack from the gift shop at any time. Your entry ticket also gets you money off at several nearby cafes and restaurants. Visit the Discount Partners page to see all the current offers.

Travelling & Parking for Visitors
By Foot
Edinburgh’s a brilliantly compact city. So the easiest way to reach us is to walk. We’re in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, so stroll up the Royal Mile, Ramsay Lane or Johnston Terrace while enjoying some of the city’s most famous sights. We’re at the top on the right-hand side, just before the castle.

By bike
The nearest bike parking is at West Parliament Square, near the National Library of Scotland on George IV Bridge and in the Grassmarket. These and more options can be found on Open Street Map. Bike parking is shown with a small blue square.
To help plan your route to see us visit Edinburgh Cycle Streets. We’re right next to National Cycle Route 1, which runs from George Street to The Mound.

By bus or tram
Buses to and from all directions stop on George IV Bridge, three minutes’ walk away. Hop on bus numbers 23, 27 41, 42 and 67. Bus stops on North Bridge and Nicolson Street are ten minutes' walk away. Visit lothianbuses.com and edinburghtour.com for more information.
If coming by tram, jump off at the Princes Street stop. We are seven minutes’ walk away, via The Mound. Check tram times, prices and routes here.

By train
The nearest station is Edinburgh Waverley, 10 minutes’ walk away. You can get the most up-to-date train times and tickets from The Trainline. By car There’s no parking on the Royal Mile.

Car Park
Nearest car park is Castle Terrace NCP – Camera Obscura visitors can receive a discount parking ticket which gives up to 5 hours parking for £10.00 (regular cost £19.50. If over 5 hours discount does not apply).

Please note, you must download the ParkPass app and add the SaverID to your ParkPass account before entering the car park to get the discount. You can learn how to do this here.

Once you have booked your Camera Obscura ticket, your SaverID code will be in your booking confirmation email. Postcode is EH1 2EW (this car park is roughly 10 minutes’ walk away, please check up to date prices and a location map here).

Please note, on arrival at the car park, do not push for a paper ticket. Parking using the app is ticketless. Instead, scan the QR code at the entry and exit barriers to gain access and pay for parking.

Camera Obscura has an excellent accessibility system in place for those with low mobility, SEN, young children and babies. Here is all the information regarding accessibility you’ll need to know...
  • Pushchair parking (not advisable to take pushchairs up six floors as there’s no lift)
  • Free baby carriers to borrow
  • Walking stick chairs available for those with mobility issues
  • Baby changing facilities in male & female toilets.
  • Camera Obscura honours the Hidden Disabilities Sunower Scheme. Visitors can borrow a lanyard / sticker or wear their own to let our team know they might need support, help or a little extra time.
  • Visitors on the Autistic spectrum or other: Our range of sensory exhibits and freedom to go at your own pace make The World of Illusions a great place to visit. There may be small queues on arrival at the attraction.
  • There are ear defenders which you are welcome to borrow, please ask at the front desk on arrival. These are sanitised after each use.
  • To help familiarise yourself with the types of exhibit ahead of your visit, you can find an interactive building plan and an introduction video on our Attractions page in the Ground Floor gallery / section.
  • For any further queries, call Camera obscura on 0131 226 3709 or check the Accessibility page on our website. If you’re still unsure, come along and see how it goes. We’ll refund your ticket price in full if things don’t go to plan.

Extra information
There are water bowls and biscuits free for dogs.

Children aged 12 and under need to be accompanied by an adult during their visit. An adult qualifies as anyone aged 16 and over.

Camera Obscura proudly supports breastfeeding on our premises as part of the Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland scheme. Whilst there is not a dedicated, discreet feeding area there are benches on every level you are welcome to use. Camera Obscura's helpful staff will be happy to direct you to a seating area and to provide water on request while you feed your infant. If you are finding this unmanageable please approach a staff member who will grant you priority entry. With our one way route you won't miss a thing, but it's easy to skip sections or exhibits if you wish. There is not a dedicated quiet space, but the open air rooftop terrace is half way through your visit, which can provide a welcome break from the enclosed exhibit space.

If you need to change the time or day of your visit at short notice, just let the attraction know and they will do their best to accommodate you. 

  • Giant kaleidoscope & stunning views of the city
  • The Light Fantastic Exhibition
  • Learn the history of Edinburgh City and all the attractions
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Opening Times

April - June
Monday to Sunday 09:30 - 20:00

Monday to Sunday 09:00 - 22:00

Monday to Sunday 09:00 - 21:00

September - October
Sunday to Friday 09:30 - 20:00
Saturday 09:30 - 21:00

November - March
Monday to Sunday 10:00 - 19:00
Closed 25th December

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Pricing & Tickets

General Admission
Adults: from £20.95
Students (with ID): from £18.95
Seniors (65+): from £18.95
Kids (5-15 years): from £15.95
Under 5s: Free

Book in advance for cheapest tickets

Find other attractions similar to Camera Obscura and World of Illusions by visiting our attraction tickets section.

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Yes, there is parking nearby.

The nearest long stay parking is in the 24 hour NCP car park on Castle Terrace at the bottom of Johnston Terrace.

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Contact Details

Castlehill, 549 Royal Mile
Edinburgh and Lothian

Tel: 0131 226 3709

Visit Website

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions Reviews

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