National Museum of Ireland - Natural History

  • Family friendly
  • Free to visit
  • Rainy days
The National Museum of Ireland - Natural History, on Merrion Street in Dublin City, has galleries of animals from Ireland, as well as geological exhibits from a total collection of about two million scientific specimens. It is affectionately called the ‘Dead Zoo’ and has hardly changed in over 150 years from the Victorian period.

Just two years before Charles Darwin published his famous work, The Origin of Species, the National Museum of Ireland - Natural History, Merrion Street, was opened to the public for the first time in 1857. Now, as then, it educates and inspires, leaving visitors feeling small and humbled amidst the vast and wondrous diversity of life on display.

This museum of museums is famous for its Victorian cabinet style, which houses one of the world's finest and fullest collections still to be seen today. Two million species, of which roughly half are insects, live side by side with, appropriately for a natural history museum, decorated and sculptured panels depicting mythological figures. This zoological museum encompasses outstanding examples of wildlife from Ireland, some to be seen today and others long extinct.

The Museum has been a filming location, especially for Victorian period dramas. These include an episode of Ripper Street, season 2, and Penny Dreadful, season 3.

Please note, the second floor of the National Museum of Ireland - Natural History is not currently open. Admission is free but booking is required.

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