Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Founded in 1846, the Museum of Natural Sciences’ permanent and temporary exhibitions chronicle the development of life on the planet, from the earliest humans to the biodiversity of today’s cities. Walk through the Dinosaur Gallery—Europe’s largest—to marvel at the giant skeletons; discover how the human body evolved in the Humankind Gallery; view crystals in the Minerals Hall; and travel through billions of years of the planet’s past to see primitive life and projections on future species.
Visitors can buy entrance tickets to explore on a self-guided basis or pay for a guided tour with an official guide for extra insight. For maximum value, consider purchasing a Brussels Card sightseeing pass, which provides complimentary access to the museum and more than 30 others in the city.
Things to know before you go
- The Museum of Natural Sciences will appeal to anyone interested in natural history, science, and geology.
- Plan 2-3 hours for a visit.
- The museum is fully wheelchair- and stroller-accessible.
- Facilities include restrooms, a gift shop, a cafe, a free cloakroom, and paid lockers for storing personal items.
How to get there
The Museum of Natural Sciences is located at 29 Rue Vautier, a 5-minute walk from Brussels-Luxembourg station. The museum parking lot is very small and while there are paid parking lots nearby, driving and parking in the area can be difficult. By public transit, take the #34 and #80 bus, which both stop right outside; or ride metro lines #1 or #5 to Maalbeek, or #2 or #6 to Trone station, both 10 minutes’ walk away.
When to get there
The museum is open six days a week from mid-morning to early evening, with extended hours on the weekends. Be aware that the galleries can get busy on weekdays during school terms and at weekends.
What Not to Miss at the Museum of Natural Sciences
Most visitors head straight for the museum’s showpiece Dinosaur Gallery before delving deeper. Prize exhibits include two fossilized skeletons of Iguanodons—giant herbivores that lived around 100 million years ago—and the bones of a T-Rex. Other unmissables include the Evolution Gallery’s displays of stuffed crocodiles, fish, and snakes, and a captivating collection of moon rocks and meteors.
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