Camera Obscura World of Illusions – A great day out

When our son is asked to recommend his top things to do on a day out in Edinburgh, a visit to the Camera Obscura on the Castlehill section of the Royal Mile is always near the top of his list. He made his first trip at the age of five and shows no sign of getting tired of making repeated visits there.

There’s so much to see, and photo opportunities at every turn.Our only complaint is that there still isn’t a season ticket or annual pass option for visitors who visit as often as we do. For details on tickets click this link.

Camera Obscura – How to get there:

It’s an uphill climb from Princes Street – up The Mound, then turn right at  and continue up to the very top section of the Royal Mile – Castlehill – where you will find the Camera Obscura on the right hand side.

Although it’s a mostly indoor activity, it’s good to visit on a day where the weather is good to make the most of the great views from the top.The Camera Obscura relies on good light levels for maximum clarity.

The rest of the attraction is devoted to a wide variety of optical illusions, holograms and tricks with light. Whatever you do, don’t forget your camera! The addition of wi-fi Internet access throughout the building encourages visitors to upload photographs to InstagramFacebook or X as you go round the many floors of the 5-storey high building. Definitely a ‘must see’ on your visit to Edinburgh. We’d allow 2 hours for a visit there to make sure you see all that’s on offer.  You can also visit the shop even if you don’t have time to return to see the whole thing – you’ll find them Tweeting at: @Camobscurashop for some present ideas.

The Mirror Maze at the Camera Obscura, Edinburgh
The Mirror Maze at the Camera Obscura, Edinburgh
Playing with light in the Infinity Corridor, Camera Obscura
Playing with light in the Infinity Corridor, Camera Obscura
View from the top
View down the Royal Mile – Bass Rock in the distance, Edinburgh
Free telescopes - Camera Obscura, Edinburgh
Getting to grips with the telescopes – Camera Obscura, Edinburgh
Tower of the Camera Obscura, Edinburgh
Logo on the tower of the Camera Obscura, Edinburgh
Optical illusions
Head on a plate illusion at the Camera Obscura, Edinburgh

Booking your holiday accommodation:

There are lots of accommodation options in the city centre for you to choose from.  See 

Please note that the above site does not charge any booking commission.

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Blog post updated March 2024

4 thoughts on “Camera Obscura World of Illusions – A great day out

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  • 24 July 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Kind words indeed. Glad to hear that the search is on for ticket options. The wi-fi is a definite plus for an interactive exhibit like yours. In fact, it puts me off going to places if I can’t take photos. Thanks for your invitation. I’ll keep you posted when we’re coming again!

  • 24 July 2012 at 11:06 am

    Hi Susan,
    Thanks so much for visiting again, and for the lovely blog entry and great photos. Sorry about the lack of season tickets. We have been trying to source a new supplier for our till and back office systems, but have not found the right partner yet. One of our stipulations is the facility to do season tickets or memberships easily. So it will come at some point. The wifi is an immediate hit. we had it running for a couple of days of testing before telling anyone, and around sixty people used it in this time. Susan – as regular visitors, please come as my guests next time – just get in touch. Warm regards, Andrew

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