Madrid’s Museum of Natural Sciences started life as King Carlos III’s Royal Cabinet of History in the 18th century, and has since evolved through a number of incarnations to become the eclectic collection that it is today. There aren’t too many places in the world where you’ll find dinosaur bones, meteorites, historical paintings and an educational garden all on one site. The museum comes complete with interactive games making it a great day out for those visiting with kids.
The museum's enormous dinosaur carcasses are sure to appeal to children, while the display of stuffed animals provides a fantastic showcase of creatures from all around the world. The Hall of Birds and Mammals is home to species from Europe and beyond, including leopards, penguins and South American monkeys.
The Minerals, Fossils and Evolution area offers an inspiring insight into the history of the earth and of the species living on it. Meteorites, minerals and rock formations are exhibited in informative displays that detail the geological make-up and background of our planet. There is an impressive array of fossils here too, including one of a megatherium, an extinct species of elephant-sized sloth native to parts of Latin America. In the evolution section you'll learn about how dinosaurs, humans and other forms of life came into being.
You can then take a walk around the Mediterranean ecosystem exhibition. Here, you’ll find information on land and sea habitats, and the life-forms that these are home to. You’ll also come across a giant squid here along with some beautiful dioramas.
The outdoor section of the museum is equally interesting. In the Mediterranean Forest Educational Garden you’ll find plants from a number of different areas of Spain, while the Garden of Stones has an excellent collection of wood fossils.
The museum is in the centre of Madrid and is easy to reach from the Nuevos Ministerios metro station. It’s open every day apart from national holidays, and you'll need to pay an entrance fee.
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