A Blast from the Past: Visiting Krapina Neanderthal Museum with kids

With my daughter learning about the Paleolithic at History and struggling to remember the facts, I thought there must be a better way. No, I haven’t invented the time machine, but Krapina Neanderthal Museum comes close enough. It lets you experience an important time in our history in an interactive, fun and above all educational way. I share our tips for visiting Krapina Neanderthal Museum.

Kids learn best by experiencing things

Come to think of it, we all do. Why? I understand things more thoroughly when I have a chance to see them, taste them, interact with them. And I think it’s the same for my kids. Paleolithic times, Neanderthals, living in caves etc can be confusing and hard to grasp. Who were these strange creatures?

Krapina Neanderthal Museum answers all these questions and many more in a way that it’s easy to understand.

It is located near the excavation site Hušnjakovo, where the world largest collection of Neanderthals fossil bones that date back to 125 000 BC was discovered by professor Dragutin Gorjanović-Kramberger, a well-known Croatian geologist, palaeontologist and paleoanthropologist. It.

Visiting Krapina Neanderthal Museum with kids

Learning can be fun

I’ve noticed that schools nowadays encourage fun ways of learning things, much more than when I was a kid. But it’s not just up to the schools, I’d like to think we as parents have an important role in shaping our kids’ beliefs that learning is fun and important and something they will hopefully never stop doing.

And that’s why it’s important to include visit of the museums into your itinerary. Especially the museums that do such a great job of explaining complex matters in an understandable and fun way.

Learning about the past is good for the future

Little did I know that the museum would also be a much-needed tool that would help me make sense of the future.  The displayed show of the complex origin of Earth and human evolution helped me realize that we as a species are resilient, smart and daring. It’s exactly what we need more of today.

Tips for Visiting Krapina Neanderthal Museum

Where is it?

It’s located in the northern Croatian town of Krapina. Only a two-hour car ride from Ljubljana. This is a beautiful region, so do make a day of it. After the museum head to the baroque town of Varazdin.

Where to park?

There’s a large enough parking with a fee in front of the park that encompasses the hill where the bones were found as well as the museum.

What’s on display at Krapina Neanderthal Museum?

Upon entering the museum which is built in stone in way that resembles a cave, you can first enjoy a movie of how according to everything that was discovered scientists believe Neanderthals lived.

Then you get a better understanding of the discovery itself and what has lead to it, how it looked all the way back in 1899 at the start of the geological and paleontological research.

An interesting fact: Some nine hundred human fossil bones were found in the cave’s sandstone deposits, which were 8 meters high. The bones belong to the fossil remains of several dozen individuals, both male and female, from 2 to 40 years of age.

The admission to the Krapina Neanderthal Museum

A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children was 120 Kn, or 15,7 Euros.

More information about visiting the Krapina Neanderthal Museum on their official website.

How long does the visit take?

If you watch a movie and take your time to read and explain most of the interesting facts to the kids, discuss things then plan to spend at least 2 hours in the museum itself.

I’d then suggest walking to the excavation site. Close your eyes and for a moment stand in that place trying to imagine what life must’ve been like back then.

Can you visit with a stroller?

Yes, you can. There’s a nice concrete circular passageway where most of the exhibition takes place.

Kids’ favourite thing?

A fun explanation of the origin of Earth and the different historic periods. Each showcasing what that period was all about. It makes it very easy to see that dinosaurs roamed the Earth way before people arrived.

My favourite thing?

Seeing my kids’ excitement over History. That’s always been my favourite subject at school and I was so happy that for a moment it was theirs too. It only shows that everything can be fun with just a little bit of an effort.

More museums? How about one showcasing Vikings? Let’s visit the Jorvik Viking Centre.

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