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Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Castlehill | The Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 2ND, Scotland
Phone Number:
+44 131 226 3709
Website
Today
09:30 - 19:00
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Fri 09:30 - 19:00
Sat 09:30 - 20:00
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Fee: Yes
Description:

Enjoy unique 360 degree panoramic views over Edinburgh from the fascinating...

Enjoy unique 360 degree panoramic views over Edinburgh from the fascinating Camera Obscura and rooftop terrace. In World of Illusions, experience five floors of interactive hands-on optical illusions, tricks and fun things to do including vortex tunnel, mirror maze and shrinking room. Get involved, play, touch everything. Great fun for all ages and nationalities, whatever the weather. Scotland’s oldest purpose-built attraction, established in 1835. Tickets are valid all day, just get your hand stamped and come and go as you please all day long. If you don't see everything we give you a free pass to come back the next day. Unique money back guarantee if not fully satisfied. Free Wifi. 'Best family attraction in Britain’, The Telegraph. 'Five Stars, outstanding, world class', VisitScotland. Bring your camera - lots of photo opportunities throughout. 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. Latest news: Autowed has arrived - get married, renew vows or become 'best friends forever', with our friendly robotic wedding machine.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 9,077 reviews
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    Very good
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    Terrible
Flippin' Brilliant

So simple and so much fun, Gets better every season. Kids and adults will love this...even on a cloudy dayi

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 18 February 2015
Tortus
,
London, United Kingdom
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9,077 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 7,893: English reviews
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2015

So simple and so much fun, Gets better every season. Kids and adults will love this...even on a cloudy dayi

Helpful?
Thank Tortus
Tony M, Manager at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, responded to this review

Hi there! I’m glad you enjoy your time with us so much you visit us every season- what a compliment! Thanks for your review; we look forward to seeing you again soon. More 

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2015 via mobile

The exhibits are over 5 floors and my nephews 7&9 really enjoyed it. It's in an interesting building and the views from the top are great though the view from the castle esplanade is spectacular and free. The camera obscura itself is a delightful thing. A lot of the exhibits are now rather dated. Hologram floor is very 80s -... More 

Helpful?
Thank stephen p
Tony M, Manager at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, responded to this review

Hi Stephen! I’m pleased to hear your nephews had lots of fun during their visit here. The Camera Obscura certainly is delightful- and it offers you a completely unique view of the city. We have been looking into updating our Holograms, however, the more modern ones are too pixilated at the moment and don’t offer the same quality that the... More 

Level Contributor
22 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2015 via mobile

Decent attraction in the centre of Edinburgh. Probably only an hour to an hour and a half worth of stuff to do which made the price a little steep. Some interesting exhibits and interactive things although it was very warm inside and very busy. The mirror maze and hologram areas were a particular highlight. A word of warning though- if... More 

Helpful?
Thank Chris S
Tony M, Manager at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, responded to this review

Hi Chris, thank you for taking the time to write us a review. I’m pleased to hear that you enjoyed our exhibits – the holograms are some of our oldest exhibits but still some of the best loved! I’m sorry that you struggled with the Vortex Tunnel, it can have an adverse effect on some individuals with motion sickness and... More 

Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2015

What a brilliant attraction, my 8 and 5 year old loved it. The Camera Obscura presentation was well done and the children interacted and got a go at picking up the people! They also loved the maze and tunnel, we spent a long time in there! Highly recommend for children.

Helpful?
Thank CCF01
Tony M, Manager at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, responded to this review

Hi there, I’m so pleased to hear that you and your children enjoyed your time with us so much. Our Camera Obscura was entertaining visitors over 160 years ago, so it’s always great to hear that it still does so! I do hope you enjoyed the rest of your time in Edinburgh as much. More 

Maidstone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2015 via mobile

Just visited with my wife , not a bad way to spend an hour , although i forgot it was half term so was full of kids , although in fairness probably aimed more at kids anyway. ( had left ours at home !) Did not do / see all of it due to amount of people inside and would... More 

Helpful?
Thank IanMandy1709
Tony M, Manager at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, responded to this review

Hi, thanks for your review! You’re quite right – the school holidays are a busy time for us. Each year we get more and more visitors, while the size of our building stays the same! We therefore are constantly looking for new ways to manage these numbers, during this current holiday period we have extended our opening hours to 9am-8pm,... More 

Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2015

Passed a couple of hours on a cold day with our teenage sons. Can't fault the entertainment factor lots to see for 1-2 hours, definitely no longer.. However at just under £50 for a family of four, I would compare value for money with many, many other attractions in Edinburgh. They don't sell a discounted family ticket so you would... More 

Helpful?
Thank fizz009
Tony M, Manager at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, responded to this review

Hi there, thank you for taking the time to review us. I am glad to hear that you found our exhibits enjoyable. We monitor visitor feedback closely as regards admission prices and, although we find most feedback is very positive, we do take all comments on board so thank you. The average length of visit here is over two hours... More 

Worcester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2015

We went to see the world of illusions after a very disappointing time at the games section at the museum. We had previously ruled it out until we saw how many people had enjoyed it on here. When entering we were advised that the camera obscurer may be lacking visibility due to the fog but that our ticket would allow... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank dibdab44
Tony M, Manager at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, responded to this review

Hi there! I’m glad to hear that despite the fog, you enjoyed the show in the Camera Obscura. As I’m sure it was explained to you- the Camera Obscura is weather dependent and therefore a foggy day can cause us a little bit of bother with regards to visibility. On a clear bright day the Camera Obscura produces a spectacular... More 

2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2015 via mobile

Such a great, hands on afternoon. As two adults, we found ourselves goofing off like children. A great place to experience some interesting illusions and enjoy a great laugh! Suitable for all ages and totally worth the stop!

Helpful?
1 Thank Elisha d
Tony M, Manager at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, responded to this review

Hi Elisha! People often think that we are an attraction aimed solely at children. However, most of our visitors are adults without children, who, like yourself, are made to feel like a kid again! So glad you enjoyed your time with us. Thanks for leaving a review! More 

Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2015

The camera obscure was something I really was keen to do when moving over to Edinburgh. The staff were lovely and the experience was pleasant. I just felt it was very expensive for what it was.

Helpful?
Thank CJM1995
Shawnee, Kansas, United States
Level Contributor
58 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2015

Go & don't wait until too late in the day! I had read that this was a fun attraction in Edinburgh, but the concept seemed a little hokey to me. We found ourselves with some extra time before dinner reservations across the street at the Witchery so we decided to check it out. What a surprise! We had so much... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Christina H
Tony M, Manager at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, responded to this review

Hi Christina! It’s great to hear you had a great time during both your visits despite your initial reservations. The Camera Obscura does work on natural daylight so our last show times vary between Winter and Summer months. Thank you for your lovely comments about our staff, I’ll be sure to pass them on to everyone. Those are some wonderful... More 

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Staying in Old Town

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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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