The Museum of Natural History in Berlin offers you an exciting insight into the natural world. Follow the development of life on our planet, and discover how different forms of life evolve. Be astonished by prehistoric animals, birds and the legendary polar bear Knut. Or look back into the genesis of the universe. One highlight is encountering the world's largest dinosaur skeleton, a colossal 13.27 metre tall Brachiosaurus. Even more spectacular is Tristan Otto, a gigantic Tyrannosaurus Rex. In the special exhibition "Tristan - Berlin bares teeth", you encounter a 66 million-year-old and 12 metre long dinosaur skeleton, one of the best preserved specimens in the world. The skull alone, with its fearsome teeth, measures 1.5 metres. But there are many more exciting exhibits, so you'll want to take your time when exploring.
A palace of a museum
The Museum of Natural History has a long history of its own. In 1889, Kaiser Wilhelm II opens the building on Invalidenstraße. With its powerful pillars and large stature, the Wilhelmian building looks like a palace. Upon entering the central villagers' yard, you are welcomed by a dinosaur who leads you on a tour of the dinosaur museum. Engage with interactive exhibits about the former rulers of our planet. Futuristic virtual reality exhibits reawaken these formidable animals, bringing them to life before your eyes. But be sure to explore the other exhibition halls which each focus on a different theme. Particularly rewarding are the so-called 'wet collections'. These are housed in the East Wing, a state-of-the-art building that has been restored in 2010. A total of 276,000 glass jars filled with 81,880 litres of alcohol line 12.6 km of shelves in this dramatic space. Fish, spiders, crabs, amphibians and mammals are conserved here. Gaze at the fascinating and curious objects behind the glass. In the exhibition "Highlights of the Art of Preservation", you can get up close with animals such as Bobby the gorilla and Knut the polar bear. Thanks to the latest techniques and the artistic abilities of the preservationists, the objects seem to be alive still.
Five reasons to visit the Museum of Natural History
Tristan, the Tyrannosaurus Rex in the exhibition "Tristan - Berlin bares teeth"
The fossil of the ancient bird, Archaeopteryx
The world's largest dinosaur skeleton in the department "Evolution in Action"
The biodiversity wall on which 3,000 animal species are preserved
Wet collection of specimens from all animal groups
Other interesting highlights in the area
For those with an interest in science, there is another great museum just around the corner: the Medical History Museum is located on the grounds of the Berlin University Hospital. Just cross Invalidenstraße - from here you are only a few steps away. Discover the permanent exhibition "Life on the Trail", looking at over 300 years of medical history. Gallery 36 is also just minutes away from the Museum of Natural History and houses works by national and international photographers. A few hundred metres to the east is Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin's premier museum for contemporary art. Located in a former train station, this collection impresses with its outstanding modern and contemporary art pieces, and world-class special exhibitions. To get to the New Berlin Kunstverein n.b.k., just follow Chausseestraße south. Alternatively, take underground line U6 to Oranienburger Tor. This contemporary art association dates back to 1969, being one of the first art lending libraries in Germany.
Practical tips for visiting the Museum of Natural History
The Museum of Natural History is located in the centre of Berlin. Reach it easily by taking the underground line U6 or tramlines M5, M8, M10 or M12. Both the underground and tram stops are named after the museum - "Naturkundemuseum". You can also arrive via Hauptbahnhof or Nordbahnhof, served by lines S5 and S7. If travelling by car, use the car park directly by Hauptbahnhof. Entrance to the Museum of Natural History is free of charge if you have a Museum Card. This additionally gives you free entry to 50 state-owned museums across three consecutive days. With the Berlin WelcomeCard, you get a discount. The museum is dedicated to supporting children's and youth groups, whilst guided tours about various subject areas are available in both English and German. The museum also boasts the Carl Zeiss Microscopy Centre, where students can learn how a microscope works and try it out for themselves at the purpose-built visitors' centre. Museum educators also lead popular after-hours guided tours where you can go on an adventure through the building by torchlight.