Naturalis best museum of Europe 2021

May 7th, 2021
T. rex Trix with confetti

We are so proud! Naturalis Biodiversity Center has been named European Museum of the Year on May 6, during an online ‘award ceremony’. This is the oldest and most prestigious museum award in Europe. Previous winners have included the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and Rijksmuseum Boerhaave in Leiden.

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The international jury chose Naturalis, calling the museum the largest of its kind, with an impressive research record and diverse collections that focus on topics with universal appeal.

The international jury: “It is not only an organisation with a long history but also with an agile ability to get transformed. It is a very resourceful museum with beautiful exhibitions and a multitude of public services and events. As such, it is a very popular museum that engages visitors with compelling ways and invites us to feel strong emotions about the world that connects us all and reflect on how we can protect its beauty, preserve its biodiversity and be informed and responsible citizens regarding climate change.”

Skeleton of a peacock
National bee count


Edwin van Huis, general director of Naturalis Biodiversity Center: “It's great that our museum is internationally recognized through this prize. Thanks! Fascination for the beauty and diversity of nature, that is the foundation of Naturalis. Thanks to our museum, we can share our love and passion for nature with the public. If people embrace nature, they will also take better care of it. And that is now more necessary than ever!”

museum award

The European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) was established in 1977 under the auspices of the Council of Europe. EMYA is the longest-running and most prestigious museum award in Europe, helping to showcase innovations in the museum sector across the continent. Due to close links with the Council of Europe, EMYA is embedded in a system of values ​​of citizenship, democracy and human rights. This prize goes to a museum that succeeds in attracting (diverse) target groups, manages to create a unique atmosphere and experience and/or attaches great importance to education and social responsibility. 

until further notice

Naturalis opened the doors of the new museum building in August 2019. In just 4 months, 275,000 people already visited the new Naturalis. Unfortunately, Naturalis had to close its doors again shortly after the opening of the new museum building, as a result of the corona policy. Van Huis: "We can't wait to receive visitors again and show the beauty of our collection to the public again."

Dino Era
Great white in Life