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Top 10 Things To See

Discover a ‘cabinet-style’ museum and a glimpse of the natural world that has delighted generations of visitors since its opening in 1857.

Free Admission

1. A 'Museum of a Museum'

Often described as a ‘museum of a museum’, this important Victorian building dates to 1856 and was built to house the Royal Dublin Society’s growing zoological collections, which had expanded continually since the late 18th century.

2. An Irish explorer

On your way into the Museum, meet the Irish explorer Thomas Heazle Parke, whose statue stands guard at the front of the building. In 1887, Parke was part of an 8,000 kilometre expedition across Africa, up the Congo, and through the Ituri rainforest, before reaching Lake Albert.

3. Giant Irish Deer

The giant Irish deer skeletons found at the entrance of the Museum are some of the most famous and distinctive animals on display here. One of the skeletons has an antler span of 3.5 metres.

4. Irish wildlife

See some animal families in the Irish wildlife display on the ground floor. The badger family is a firm favourite and is one of a series of very popular exhibits made by the Dublin taxidermy firm of Williams & Son., who produced ‘family groups’ of badgers, otters and pine martens.

5. The Wonder Cabinet

Get up close to a wide range of real and replica specimens at this new interactive zone in the Museum. Highlights include a Spotted Hyena jawbone fossil and a Peregrine Falcon.

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6. Attend an event

The Musuem offers a year-round programme of free workshops and tours for all ages. Browse the latest programme, pick an event and start planning your visit!

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7. Eel choking on a frog

Our fluid collections provide an important record of Irish biodiversity. One of our favourite specimens is the Eel choking on a Frog, which captures an unfortunate interaction between two protected Irish species.

8. Go on an activity trail

Younger visitors can explore the Collections with a fun activity sheet. Family favourites include My Favourite Animal or the seasonal trail series.

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9. Blaschka glass models

These glass models made by the Blaschka family between 1863 and 1890 are exquisitely detailed reproductions of difficult to preserve soft-bodied animals, like sea-slugs. More than 50 Blaschka models are on display in our Irish Room.

10. Whale of a time!

One of the most striking exhibits at the museum was the 20-metre long Fin Whale skeleton suspended from the roof. In 2020 that specimen was removed. How we did it is a story in itself.

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Natural History

Natural History,
Merrion Street,
Dublin 2,
D02 F627

+353 1 677 7444