- Mika Vepsalainen
Musée d'Histoire Naturelle - A Two-Headed Turtle and Other Natural Wonders in Geneva
Updated: Mar 18
Want to entertain the whole family in Geneva? The Museum of Natural History is a great place to check the local nature and have fun at the same time!
The Natural History Museum in Geneva is a small treasure for both adults and children. The museum features the largest natural history exhibition in the whole of Switzerland. In addition to its great collection and temporary exhibitions, serving as a scientific centre, the museum is provides identification and advisory services to the Geneva region and all of Switzerland in support of the Swiss Biodiversity Stragegy. Too often animals, especially small creatures such as insects, are eliminated simply because we do not know that the animal is harmless and does not present risks!
The box based architecture from the 1960’s with white marble walls stands beautiful on a hill when you enter the Malagnou quarter from the central shopping street in Rive. The base exhibition includes all animals you can find in Switzerland with over 200 stuffed ones on show. Do not miss Janus, the two-headed turtle, the living landmark of the museum, also on our feature photo!
The upper floors feature a large collection of stuffed tropical animals, including e.g. a real dodo and an emu. The highest floors tell you all about sciences: geology, astronomy and human evolution. The earthquake simulator reminds you of the hazards that a mountainous country like Switzerland has with the African plate pushing constantly under the European one, raising the Alpes year by year. One of the musts is the moon stones in the third floor - a gift from NASA.
The museum has a great café with a lovely menu and a daily “plat du jour” dish albeit with Swiss prices but you will be happy to hear that you can bring your own picnic lunch with you provided that you buy a drink in the café.
The museum is free with the exception of the special exhibitions but to allow you to spend some money, the museum shop will give you great ideas for Christmas and birthday presents for both adults and your kids!
The museum is fully accessible with lifts taking you up and down. There are also a few parking spaces in front of the museum but you need to drive Route de Malagnou towards the centre in order to be able to turn to the right to the parking lot.
There are loos in the entresols between the floors but only one easy access loo in the first floor. The cloakroom in the first floor is not guarded, so don’t leave anything valuable there.
Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Genève
Route de Malagnou 1, 1208 Genève