Europe has some of the oldest and best museums in the world. There are fossil bones in these treasure houses from every corner of the globe, many of them collected from the European colonies in the late 1800's and early 1900's. There are also casts of some the the most famous dinosaurs from the American West, plus dinosaurs and other fossils from Europe itself, including such famous finds as Megalodon, Iguanodon and Archaeopteryx. Those naturalists of old were also civilised men, and were instrumental in building beautiful museums to house their precious collections. Either there was a lot more money around in those days, or the project managers weren't that worried about budgets, but for whatever reason we are the beneficiaries of their foresight and commitment to aesthetics. So please browse around and follow the links to these amazing places of learning and science.
Natural History Museum, London
This is one of the finest natural history museums on Earth, all housed in a beautiful gothic heap of a building. The NHM revolutionised the concept of what a museum is. It is a great storehouse of specimens, some of which were collected by Charles Darwin. Get down to the NHM without delay as you will miss out if you don't. For more on the NHM click here.
National Museum of Natural History, Paris
The National Museum of Natural History, perhaps more romantically known as Muséum national d'histoire naturelle is to be found in Paris and forms part of the Sorbonne Universities. There are 62 million specimens housed in that museum, which is a great store of treasure indeed. It was founded in 1793 during the French Revolution, but has its origins way back in 1635 which sees off most of the competition. For more information click here.
Museum fur Naturkunde, Berlin
Museum fur Naturkunde, Berlin houses the largest dinosaur mounted anywhere on Earth, a Giraffatitan sauropod which alone makes it a must visit. It also houses Archaeopteryx, that bird-like, dinosaur-like feathered, flying transition between the world of dinosaurs and those of birds. Get yourself to Berlin to see this wonderful museum. For more information click here.
The Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Oxford, England
A techno-gothic cathedral dedicated to science and reason, this beautiful, and I mean beautiful, building houses a grand collection of dinosaur fossils, including the first two ever officially described, and it was here that Darwin debated his Theory of Evolution with other great scientists, philosophers and churchmen of his time. For more information on the OUMNH click here.
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Science, Brussels
The Museum of Natural Sciences is located in the Brussels, Belgium and forms part of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. Housed in the walls of that grand institution are 30 skeletons of Iguanodon, which were discovered in 1878 in Bernissart. The dinosaur hall is Earth’s largest museum hall dedicated solely to dinosaurs. For more information click here.
Jurassic Land, Istanbul
When they discovered a trove of dinosaur bones during the construction of the Forum Shopping Mall Centre in western Istanbul, the scene was set for Jurassic Land. The main hall, 1000 square meters in extent houses life size moving models of over 70 different species of dinosaur, and a number of exhibitions which bring to life the Mesozoic world and how the dinosaurs eventually died. There is also a massive, cinema with special effects that take us on an amazing adventure through Mesozoic skies, below the seas and across the ancient landscape. They call the cinema the Juracopter. For more information click here.
The Jurassic Coast, Dorset and East Devon
The Dorset Coast has been yielding up plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs for ever, but first documented by Mary Anning of 'she sells sea shells on the sea shore fame". With impossibly perfect coves, sea arches and fossils aplenty, a walk along the coastal cliffs is a must for anyone even remotely interested in fossils. For more information click here.
Dinosaur Isle, Isle of Wight
The Museum of Natural Sciences, Brussels
Manchester Museum, Manchester
New Walk Museum, Leicester
World Museum, Liverpool
Sedgewick Museum of Earth Sciences, Cambridge
Lyme Regis Museum
The museum at Lyme Regis houses fossils from the cliffs and has a Mary Anning wing dedicated to the woman who devoted her life to the fossils of the Dorset Coast. For more information click here