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Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

549 Castlehill, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 2ND

The Basics

Many tourists taking sightseeing tours along the Royal Mile, a prominent thoroughfare that cuts through the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, will see the historic 19th-century Camera Obscura building. To access the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, you’ll have to purchase tickets at the door on the day of your visit. World of Illusions exhibits include the Mirror Maze and the Vortex Tunnel. Tickets also provide access to the 15-minute Camera Obscura show, and the rooftop terrace.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Edinburgh

star-5
Fantastic and well organized attraction
Kym_P, Oct 2021
Camera Obscura & World of Illusions Entrance Ticket
Fantastic day out. Was worried it wouldn’t be suitable for our 2yr old but he loved it. They have managed the covid situation brilliantly and it was very well organized. We never felt like there were too many people and there were plenty of wipes and sanitizer. Would highly recommend.
star-5
A great experience
Alison_F, Oct 2021
Camera Obscura & World of Illusions Entrance Ticket
The vortex tunnel and mirror maze were the kids favourite. The views from the top over Edinburgh were also fantastic. It was very clean with lots of Han sanitizer and a one way system. A great experience
star-5
Fun day !
Tina, Aug 2021
Camera Obscura & World of Illusions Entrance Ticket
Very fun place to visit for all ages. Necessary COVID safety measures in place. Staff were very friendly.
star-5
Fun family day out
Amanda_L, Aug 2021
Camera Obscura & World of Illusions Entrance Ticket
Kids had lots of fun, lots for them to do and see. Well planned out for covid too, though felt a bit busy for us (given restrictions have been lifted we can’t really complain, just need to get used to that) but well thought out to try and keep social distancing.
star-5
Fantastic
Ashley_H, Aug 2021
Camera Obscura & World of Illusions Entrance Ticket
Fantastic time .. great for adults and kids. Even the toilets were great fun 🤩 Staff were friendly and the venue was safe and clean
star-5
Really fun place would definitely recommend
Emma_M, Aug 2021
Camera Obscura & World of Illusions Entrance Ticket
Really fun place, had a great time! Kids loved it it’s worth the money and it’s kept really clean! Staff are lovely. Would definitely recommend and will be going again the next time we are in Edinburgh.
star-5
Good place to visit
David, Jul 2021
Camera Obscura & World of Illusions Entrance Ticket
Only problem was there was no social distanceing whatsoever should be 5 mins apart from next person 25 ppl in a very small room but overall the experience was fantastic and I recommend you visit at night to busy during the day
star-5
So much fun
Karyn_W, Jul 2021
Camera Obscura & World of Illusions Entrance Ticket
So enjoyed the camera obscura afternoon very covid safe and so much fun even as an adult we had a great laugh the views from the top are just wow Great fun for all
star-5
All round great experience
JNB, May 2021
Camera Obscura & World of Illusions Entrance Ticket
Great value for money and greeted by very friendly and informative staff. Social distancing measures are excellent.
star-5
Great to be back!
Sheila_S, May 2021
Camera Obscura & World of Illusions Entrance Ticket
The staff were very friendly, welcoming and attentive. The facilty was clean and safe. Everyone interacted. Next time I will bring my great niece! Great fun, even on a rainy day.
star-5
Fantastic Place to Experience
Xena_S, Oct 2021
Camera Obscura & World of Illusions Entrance Ticket
Such an amazing experience. Loads of really cool things to see and have a laugh with whoever you are going with. Would 100% recommend visting if ever in Edinburgh.
star-5
Excellent experience
Donna_G, Oct 2021
Camera Obscura & World of Illusions Entrance Ticket
Really good lots too see we had a really good time and would definitely recommend doing if visiting Edinburgh

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Tickets are valid for the whole day so if you can, leave to get lunch or a coffee and return after.

  • Bring your phone or camera to capture wacky, perspective-warping images.

  • Allow around two hours to explore.

  • Camera Obscura and World of Illusions is not wheelchair accessible.

  • Camera Obscura show times are allocated at the time of ticket purchase.

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How to Get There

Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions is situated at the west end of Royal Mile near Edinburgh Castle. It’s about a 10-minute walk from Edinburgh Waverley train station. Local buses stop at the nearby George IV Bridge, which is just a 3-minute walk away, while sightseeing buses stop on the Royal Mile, just a 1-minute walk away.

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When to Get There

The best time of the year to come is during summer, when clear skies offer the best rooftop views. Note that Camera Obscura shows only run when there is sufficient light, so it’s important to come early, especially during short winter days. The attraction is also at its quietest in early morning.

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History of the Camera Obscura

The 19th-century Camera Obscura, which has been used since 1853, was the height of technology back in Victorian times. Despite the advent of virtual reality, this device still manages to enthrall 21st-century visitors. The pinhole camera uses lenses and mirrors to cast real-time images of Scotland’s capital onto a table in a darkened chamber.

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