How Long Does It Take to Walk Through the Natural History Museum?

Are you planning a trip to the Natural History Museum but wondering how much time you need to fully explore it? Well, the answer is not as straightforward as one might think.

The amount of time it takes to walk through the museum largely depends on various factors such as your interests, the exhibits you want to see, and the crowd size. However, we have put together a rough estimate to help you plan your visit.

Size of the Museum

Firstly, it’s important to note that the Natural History Museum is massive. Spanning over 1.6 million square feet, it’s one of the largest museums in the world. The museum is divided into various sections, including Dinosaurs and Fossils, Mammals, Birds and Reptiles, Earth Sciences, Human Biology and Evolution, and more.

The Average Time It Takes

On average, visitors spend around 2-3 hours exploring the museum’s main exhibits. This includes viewing most of the popular exhibitions such as the Hall of Dinosaurs or The Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Zoo. However, if you are someone who loves to read every plaque or watch every video presentation in detail, then you may need an additional hour or two.

Tips for Saving Time

If you are short on time or wish to breeze through some of the exhibitions quickly while still being able to enjoy them thoroughly we suggest following these tips:

  • Prioritize: Make sure you know which exhibits interest you most beforehand so that you can prioritize them accordingly.
  • Weekdays: Weekdays typically have fewer crowds than weekends so try visiting on a weekday if possible.
  • Use a Map: Getting lost in such a massive museum can be frustrating and time-consuming. Use a map or download the museum’s app to find your way around.
  • Arrive Early: The museum opens at 10 AM. Arriving early will give you a head start and you can cover some of the popular exhibitions before the crowds show up.


In conclusion, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to how long it takes to walk through the Natural History Museum. However, with our tips, you can make the most of your time and avoid wasting any precious moments. Remember, always take your time and enjoy every exhibit that interests you.