Another of the museums that I visited while in Helsinki was the Finnish Museum of Natural History. Even when looking at a map, my sister and I found this museum a little hard to find. It is in central Helsinki but it is a little walk away from the main train station. The street names are really confusing on a map but we did end up finding it eventually and after knowing our way back, it was only a 10 minute walk away.
As you enter the museum you cannot miss the huge taxidermed elephant in the lobby. This takes up a hell of a lot of space but it is positioned near the stairs so you are still able to get to the ticket desk and to the shop. If you don't want to tackle the daunting looking stairs there are lifts to each floor as well. I thought the elephant was a great way to start our trip here as it was eye catching and definitely caught my attention. The lobby with the ticket desk is quite small due to the elephant but there is still space if you need to queue although we didn't have to when we got there.
Going up to the first floor was quite exciting after the shock of the elephant and I didn't quite know what to expect. The whole of the first floor is dedicated to bones which was a little creepy once I got to looking around. I actually really loved this display though as it was so interesting. The museum holds bones off all kinds of animals, both big and small. While the smaller animals were interesting to look at, it wasn't what I was interested in. As well as animals like snakes and reptiles, there are also bigger animal's bones. One that captured my interest the most was a monkey because it looked so human like once it was stripped of everything else.
The bones collection is not as extensive as what you can see on the second floor though. This museum dedicates most of its space to nature, Finnish nature in particular and The History of Life. The second floor is home to an extensive range of taxidermy. The museum has the largest zoological collection in Finland so that is definitely something to see! While taxidermy does freak me out at times, the collection here is amazing. Set up into different sections, the museum has tried its best to house the animals in enclosures looking as close to what their homes would be like normally. Sometimes there are animals on the hunt, some with their new offspring and some just looking to be in their natural surroundings. I loved the way that this was done because it made the museum different and not just a collection of taxidermed animals.
The gift shop sells all kinds of things from the usual pens and pencils to books on taxidermy, books about different animals, many books about Finnish nature as well as a range of other items. I loved looking around the gift shop here after having such a good visit in the museum. Although I didn't buy anything, many people were purchasing items so it seems that the things on offer were well thought out.
I really enjoyed my trip to the Finnish Museum of Natural History and was very happy that we finally found it. This was one of the most interesting things we did while in Helsinki and I would happily recommend it if you are visiting the city. For the cheap price of 8 euros, it is well worth the money and I spent a good couple of hours here.
Wintertime 1.1.-31.5. and 1.9.-31.12.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday - 9am until 4pm
Thursday 9am until 6pm
Tuesday to Sunday - 9am until 5pm
Adults - 8 euros
Family ticket - Max 2 adults and 4 children - 20 euros
Groups - 4 euros/ person
Season ticket - 35 euros
Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 13 00100 Helsinki Finland.