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, has galleries of animals from Ireland and overseas, 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 2 years before Charles Darwin published his famous work, 'The Origin of Species', the Natural History Museum in Merrion Street was opened to the public for the first time in 1857. Now, as then, it educates and inspires, leaving us feeling small and humbled amidst the vast and wondrous diversity of life on display. Affectionately called the "Dead Zoo" it has changed little in over 150 years. Some say it is a museum of a museum.

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 and the far corners of the globe, some to be seen today and others long extinct, covered in "Irish Fauna" and "Mammals of the World".

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-Second floor of Museum is not wheelchair accessible.

Admission is free.

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