I love Natural History Museums. They fascinate me, because they are so "Victorian". I know that word only applies to Britain, but it fits most Natural History Museums around Europe: old-fashioned, yet laced with the curiosity and thirst for knowledge of that age.
These are some of my favourite pictures of Natural History Museums around Europe.
The Natural History Museum in Oxford is the one I visited most recently. The main hall is amazing and, of course, it is home to the famous Oxford Dodo (it is somewhere in the display cases on the left side of the second picture). I even skipped the Art Museums in Florence (partly because all the tickets were sold out, though) in favour of La Specola, where they have a fascinating collection of wax works of human bodies, used in medical studies in the 17th and 18th century.
This giraffe is in the Edinburgh Museum. Though not strictly a Natural History Museum, it's one of my favourites, because of its amazing building and broad array of exhibits.
But the best Natural History Museum in the world, in my opinion, is the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna. A gorgeous building (even more beautiful with its twin, the Art History Museum), old casings, halls and halls of interesting and sometimes odd displays. I could spend days there (I could even spend days in Vienna's Art History Museum, even though I'm a real noob when it comes to art).
Even though the displays can be cruel sometimes (it is a bit disturbing to think how many animals had to die to fill all those museums), it's the curiousity that is so clear in them, that I find interesting. Natural History Museums are a life-size catalogue of all life on earth, disected, researched and displayed to teach others. Really, the only thing that is missing from them is humans (although the NHM in Vienna does have some bones from early humans). La Specola in Florence found a solution to that: