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Attractions

Camera Obscura Edinburgh

Address: Camera Obscura, Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 2ND
Tel: 0131 226 3709
Operated by: Independent
Opening Hours: Apr - Jun: 9:30 am to 7 pm everyday
Jul - Aug: 9 am to 9 pm everyday
Sep - Oct: 9:30 am to 7 pm everyday
Nov - March: 10 am to 6 pm everyday (closed Christmas Day)
Last Admission 1 hour before closing time.
Admission: Adults (16+): £15.50, Student: £13.50, Senior: £13.50, Children (5 - 15): £11.50, under 5: Free
Parking: No
Languages: Information boards in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
Accessibility: The exhibition is located in an old building that has several levels connected by narrow stairs. There is no lift so this is not a practical attraction for those with impaired mobility.
Toilets: Yes (on the first floor)
Shop: Yes
Cafe/Restaurant: No

Edinburgh's Camera Obscura and World of Illusions (to give it its correct and full name) is a great collection of exhibits that cover a wide range of optical effects and tricks.

The focal point (excuse the pun) of this attraction is the Camera Obscura, a Victorian curiosity that is, in effect, like a periscope that projects an image of Edinburgh on to a large bowl shaped screen. This maybe doesn't sound very thrilling, but don't worry there's lots more to see and do in the "World of Illusions".

The exhibitions are spread over several floors each with a different theme. You can see some early 3D photographic techniques from the 1890's which are surprisingly effective. There is also a gallery of quite amazing modern 3D images that will have you mesmerised.

On another level, you have a fun collection of optical illusions that will baffle your eyes and brain. There are also the good old fashioned distorting mirrors so you can have a giggle experimenting with some alternative body shapes.

We haven't covered everything on display here as the fun of this attraction is the exploration!

When you get to the top level, you have the viewing platform and the Camera Obscura. This is one of the highest points of the Royal Mile and one of the few places where you can get a 360 view of the city centre. The Camera has shows at set intervals, but you don't have to wait long between shows.

The Camera Obscura is a great family attraction, but equally entertaining for adults and certainly something a little bit different.

Plasmasphere Camera Obscura by Night (left)

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