Natural History Museum, Bern

(4.3/5 based on 70+ reviews on the web)
The Natural History Museum of Bern is a museum in Bern, Switzerland. In its teaching and research it cooperates closely with the University of Bern. It is visited by around 100,000 people yearly.HistoryThe museum is owned by the Bürgergemeinde of Bern. It was officially founded in 1832. It is located on Bernastrasse, in the Kirchenfeld quarter, in a building that was erected between 1932 and 1934, opened in 1936 and expanded several times since then. Previously the exhibits were kept in a building on Hodlerstrasse built from 1878-81 and demolished in 1936; and earlier still, in the library gallery of a former college building.CollectionThe museum is known for its set of over 220 life-sized dioramas, featuring preserved animals from Switzerland, Africa and Asia; it also owns a collection of minerals from the Alpine region, samples of gold discovered at various locations in Switzerland, meteorites, a large stock of invertebrates, and Switzerland's largest collection of animal skeletons and bones.Mammal DioramasThe dioramas originate from a collection of big game animals from Africa, bagged by the London-based Bernese painter and game hunter Bernhard von Wattenwyl (together with his daughter Vivienne) during an expedition in 1923-24. A total of 130 of these animals are on display, in 33 dioramas along two darkened corridors. The dioramas are designed and furnished according to the animals' natural habitat.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We were on a Pilgrimage of sorts to the origins of the St, Bernard, so the only thing we visited in the museum was the Barry exhibit. The coolest thing was a photo booth where you can take a picture w...  more »
  • Are 3 floors. Is much smaller than NEW YORK, but worth visiting with children. Adults only pay (like everyone in Switzerland-I think!). Has free parking in front. There is a fantastic space where children can play the real animal fur. Total success! Perfect walking option in winter.
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  • I should make clear that I am not a rock fan, and went downstairs to the rock (minerals) exhibition to humour the children. After an hour or so they were trying to drag me out. The rocks on display ar...  more »
Google
  • Nice museum with the standard exibition. However whats cool about it is that they frequently organize events in the evening. One such event is the "Bar of the dead animals" where they transform one section of the museum into a bar. Othet events include art and cultur events which get a special atmosphere from being held inside the museum.
  • Nice place to visit for a very hot day. the events organized inside worth to watch.
  • Our absolute favourite for a (rainy) family day out. We must have seen the exhibition ‘c’est la vie’ ten times or more. Our daughters (2 and 5) love going there, and it certainly sustains repeated viewing for adults, too! The collection of skeletons and a superb series of life-size animal dioramas are among the highlights. Also don’t miss the room-sized ant colony - and the rocks & minerals section in the basement. The cafeteria is small but perfectly formed. There is also a picnic area upstairs, and a playground in the inside courtyard. The presentation of the science is top-notch, the museum succeeds in engaging all age groups without resorting to ‘talking down’ to children. The whole museum has nothing of the mustiness so often associated with natural history museums - in fact, it’s super stylish! A lot of the museum’s success is no doubt owed to the splendid exhibition- and graphic design by art director +Claude Kuhn. (Google him, you’ll see what I mean). If you spend more than a few days in Bern I think this is an absolute must.
  • Immer wieder gerne, gute Dauer-Ausstellungen
  • Perfekt für den verregneten Sonntag mit den Kids!