National History Museum Dublin.One of the World’s Finest Collections

National History Museum Dublin

Explore famous National History Museum Dublin, zoology & geology. National History Museum is also called Natural History Museum or Dead Zoo.It is often described as a “museum of a museum.” The Museum houses one of the world’s finest and priceless collections up to date- over two million species. Opened in 1857 it’s the  oldest museum in Ireland.

National History Museum is one of the top 10 Free Things to do in Dublin.

National History always surprises kids of all ages by different free events, workshops, kids activities and  is on of the Top 10 Venues in Dublin for free events.

Do you ever wonder about what to do when in Dublin? Is that one of your concerns? Do you worry that you and your family might not have a fun filled vacation in Dublin because of a lack of fun activities in Dublin? Perhaps you are considering making a leisure trip to Dublin, Ireland and one of your major worries is that you would not find anything interesting to do in Dublin.

Well, you can’t not have anything interesting to do in Dublin when it is one of the most history-filled countries in Europe. In fact there are way too many things to do in Dublin that you would not be able to cover all of them in one trip. But you could have a head-start from National History Museum Dublin, Ireland.

Here are some interesting facts and background information on the National History Museum in Dublin to help you have a better experience when visiting.


The National History Museum

The National Museum is actually an offshoot from the National Museum of Ireland and It can be found on Merrion Street, Dublin. It is also commonly called the dead Zoo so don’t be scared when someone calls it that especially when it is an apt description of the museum.


Brief History of the National History Museum

The National History Museum was established in 1856 with the sole purpose of creating a space for the ever increasing collections of the Royal Dublin Society. The collections of the Royal Dublin Society are always under a lot of expansion since they bought the most vast natural history collection owned by Nathaniel Gottfried Leske in the late 17th century.


Ownership of the National History Museum

The National History Museum was first owned or managed by the Royal Dublin Society until late 18th Century precisely in the year, 1877 when the museum was handed over to the Irish government. Soon after its possession by the Irish government, the national history museum saw an improvement in it’s collections of animals as quite a number of new animals gotten from the British empire were sent to the museum.


Architecture of the National History Museum

The National History Museum was originally intended to be an extension of the existing Leinster house which was the home of the Royal Dublin Society. It was supposed to be annexed to the Leinster house so that the members of the Royal Dublin Society would have an easy access to the museum. It was contracted to an architect known as Frederick Clarendon who designed it to look like the National Gallery of Ireland which lay to the other side of the Leinster house. The National History Museum took less than 2 years and as intended it was connected to the Leinster house via an elaborately constructed Corinthian staircase which would later collapse hurting several people in the process.


Contents of the National History Museum

The National History Museum can boast of more than 2 million artifacts that are primarily geological and zoological with more than half of the entire collection being of insect origin. Many of the collections that pertain to geology have been moved to a different location so as to free up some space for other buildings to be mounted.

The National History Museum used to have collections pertaining to plants but in 1970,those collections were moved to the National Botanic Gardens where they belong.


Things to do at the National History Museum

Opened in 1857, the National History Museum has over 10,000 exhibits. It welcomes all the family and provides a glimpse of the natural world. It has delighted generations. It amuses adults and kids alike. Introduce your children to the natural world, where they have the opportunity to learn and discover new things.  It’s a Dublin attraction to learn heritage, culture and history. The perfect opportunity for all the family to learn and get connected with nature. Take your kids with you because natural history section houses are one of the largest collections of stuffed, pickled or otherwise preserved animals and insects and is always a kid’s winner, and with 10,000 exhibits in the museum, everyone will be impressed.

You don’t want to get to the Museum and spend half the time trying to figure out what each level and area is supposed to be displaying.

Explore the 4 major areas in the museum. Each area exhibits different collections. They include:

  • the Irish room
  • the lower gallery
  • the upper gallery
  • the first floor

The Irish Room

As you might have guessed, the Irish room was designed to exclusively display animals and collections native to Ireland. Located at the ground floor of the National History Museum, the Irish room contains collections that are one hundred percent Irish including the pelts of some still living animals such as the foxes and badgers. It spans the entire last floor and contains collections like the skills and pelt of certain animals that are native to Ireland.


The Lower Gallery

The lower gallery of the museum contains the collections of a vast number of different bird species.


The upper Gallery

The upper gallery exhibits collections of invertebrate animals and the museums much sort after collection of glass sea creatures.

The first floor

The first floor exhibits a large and varied collection of mammals all over the world including extant and extinct species.

Note that the upper an flower gallery’s have been closed to the public since 2007.


Admission to National History Museum Dublin

The admission is FREE. Note, the Museum operates on different timetable during Bank Holidays in Ireland:

New Years Dayclosed
St Patrick’s Day10:00 – 17:00
Good Fridayclosed
Easter Mondayclosed
May Dayclosed
June Holidayclosed
August Holidayclosed
October Holidayclosed
Christmas Dayclosed
St Stephen’s Day10:00 – 17:00


The National History Museum Dublin is one of the Free things to do in Dublin.

The National History Museum Dublin is a good place to start your sightseeing in Dublin from. It’s vast array of historical collections from the zoological and geological fields would prove to be very interesting for you and your family members. In particular, children would like to see the wonderful collections of animals especially those of the mammals in the first floor. It would be an awesome experience for them to see some of the extinct mammals not in pictures but almost like they would have been were they real. Visiting the National History Museum in Dublin would be one pit stop that you would not regret at all.


Opening Hours

  • Tuesday10:00 - 17:00
  • Wednesday10:00 - 17:00
  • Thursday10:00 - 17:00
  • Friday10:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday10:00 - 17:00
  • Sunday14:00 - 17:00

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