Natural Sciences Museum (Museum fur Naturkunde)

The Berlin Natural Sciences Museum (Museum fur Naturkunde) is worth a visit if for no other reason than to see its dinosaur collection, which has the skeleton of a Brachiosaurus brancai, the world’s largest mounted skeleton in its pe rmanent collection. It also has the world’s best preserved specimen of the first bird, the Archaeopteryx.
It also has a huge meteorite collection as well as exhibits of almost all of the minerals in the world.
For a museum that is almost 200 years old (with some parts of its collection even older, dating back to Prussian academy almost a 100 years earlier) this museum has moved with the times in its embrace of technology. Several of the exhibits are now digitized and offer video or computer-generated images that help bring complex scientific concepts to life. Among the innovations are a cool planetarium-light in the stairwell of the majestic building where visitors lie back on a huge circular cushion and look directly up at a screen. One area in which the museum shows its age is in its many steps that make it generally unfriendly to people with small children in buggies or people using wheel chairs. That said it can provide quite a bit of entertainment to children and my four-year-old loves it, especially since he now knows schoolyard German and talks about going to the Dinomuseum.

A useful tip when you get there if there are more than two adults is to ask for a family ticket. They are quite relaxed about selling you these when you are clearly not a family and the staff have even recommended it to me when I’ve been there with another dad and his boy. You save a euro or so if you do that.

It is open from 9:30 till 6pm fromTuesday to Friday and opens half an hour later on weekends. It is closed on Mondays.

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