Micropia is the world's first museum dedicated to microbes and micro-organisms, which actually make up two-thirds of all living matter.
At a cost of €10 million, Micropia opened in October 2014 and is part of the Royal Artis Zoo complex in the Plantage district of Amsterdam.
As Amsterdam's newest museum, Micropia is located on Artisplein which is a public square also recently opened at Artis. On entering you can purchase tickets on the ground floor and then take the lift ride up to the first floor - as you ascend look up to watch an animation about the mites living on your eyelashes and the even smaller bacteria and viruses living on those mites!
The first floor exhibition is in a darkened area and resembles a scientific laboratory with lots of microscopes and bubbling glass containers. There are plenty of interactive displays on offer including:
A body scanner which can show you what types of microbes live on your body.
A Kiss-o-meter which can count the number of microbes transferred during a kiss!
An impressive and colourful display of Petri dishes with various bacteria as well as everyday household objects and what is lurking on them - you will never think the same way about a hotel TV remote control again!
A comprehensive collection of animal faeces and a preserved human digestion system. You will see films of different animals decomposing.
There is a real-life working laboratory visible through a window where white-coated technicians prepare and manage the exhibits.
Various other displays and information on bacteria, viruses, fungi and algae. You are given a card on entry which you can "stamp" with microbes then check it later under a scanner.
Head back down the spiral staircase to the ground floor where there exhibition continues. You will learn how microbes are essential for life - how algae is used in various products from supplements to food; how microbes are used in the making of foods and biofuels; interesting displays of rotting food (probably seen at many a student house!) There are glass models of viruses including Aids and Ebola.
Entry to Micropia is not particularly cheap but it will certainly open your eyes to the hidden world of microbes. Whether you want to go immediately to lunch after is another question...
Micropia Essential Info
Opening Times: Daily 0900-1800 (Sun-Wed) and 0900-2000 (Thu-Sat).
Admission Prices (2016): €14 for adults, €12 for children 3-9, €7.50 for students, free for children 0-2, Museumkaart and Iamsterdam City Card holders. Combined Artis+Micropia tickets are €27.50 for adults, €23.50 for children 3-9.
Getting There: Artis/Micropia can be reached from the centre of Amsterdam on foot - head towards Waterlooplein and continue further east along the Plantage Middenlaan. By public transport you can take tram 14 from Dam Square or tram 9 from Central Station to stop Plantage Kerklaan.
Artisplein, Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, Amsterdam
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