The Camera Obscura is located on the Royal Mile, just a short walk from Edinburgh Castle. To get there, you’ll first need to get a train to Edinburgh Waverley. You can get here from many cities in the UK.
How to get to the Camera Obscura in Edinburgh by train
Once you arrive at Waverley Station, exit the station and turn right onto Princes Street. Then you need to walk down Princes Street for about 10 minutes until you reach the Royal Mile. The Camera Obscura building is on the left-hand side.
What to do at the Camera Obscura in Edinburgh
The first thing you can do is visit the Camera Obscura itself. It’s a large, darkened room with a lens on the ceiling that projects an image of the outside world onto the floor. It really is a fascinating optical illusion.
As well as the Obscura, the site is home to the Worlds of Illusion. This is a collection of optical illusions and mind-bending exhibits. You can see yourself walking on the ceiling, shrinking and growing, and even disappearing into thin air.
There are over 100 exhibits here, including the likes of Time Machine, Vortex Tunnel, and Infinity Room. There’s also the Pictopedia Tour, which is a fun and interactive tour that takes you through the history of the Obscura.
For more information on each exhibit, visit the Camera Obscura website.
About the Camera Obscura in Edinburgh
The Camera Obscura is the oldest working camera obscura in the world and has been taking in visitors since 1853. The building itself was built in a 17th Century building (which means it doesn’t have a lift, so worth considering that before you come).
If you’re not sure what a camera obscura is, it’s a dark room with a small hole in one wall. When it's bright outside, light enters through the hole and projects an upside-down image of the outside world onto the wall opposite the hole.
Essentially, it’s a darkened room with a lens on the ceiling that projects an image of the outside world onto the floor.
The venue is open every day from 9 am to 8 pm and until 9 pm at weekends. During holidays they're open from 8 am to 10 pm.
Ways to save on your train ticket to the Camera Obscura in Edinburgh
If you’re looking to save some extra money on your train ticket to Edinburgh, there are a few ways you can do so.
If you’re able to be flexible with your journey time, you can travel off-peak. This involves travelling between 10:30 and 14:30 or after 20:00 in the midweek, or any time on Friday or the weekend.
For those of you looking to book tickets as a family, you need to check out our Family Tickets page. There are also child tickets for those aged under five and a Family & Friends Railcard, which gives discounts of between a third and 60%.
Get the Avanti app
If you want the freedom to pick your own seat, keep in tune with train times and generally make your life easier when travelling with us, download the Avanti West Coast app.
Get special benefits such as making changes to your route, tracking your train, and buying tickets with your payment method of choice. The app also allows you to store all your tickets in one place, all with zero booking fees.