Dinosaurs in Spain: The Jurassic Museum of Asturias (MUJA)

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If you have dinosaur lovers in your family, then Jurassic Museum of Asturias is for you. Spain has lots of preserved dinosaur tracks, and many of them were found along the stretch of coastline visible from the Jurassic Museum of Asturias, known to locals as MUJA (Museo Jurásico de Asturias) 

Dinosaurs in Spain: The Jurassic Museum of Asturias (MUJA)

Jurassic Museum of Asturias (MUJA)

I had no idea just how much dinosaur remains were found in this part of Europe. Apparently, this area of northern Spain had plenty of sauropods, stegosaurs and other titans of the Mesozoic. Their preserved footprints are still visible in numerous places along the coast, and the Jurassic Museum of Asturias will help you locate them.

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Jurassic Museum Asturias PIN 1
Jurassic Museum of Asturias

But why walk around looking for footprints down the road when there’s so much to see here? Once you step inside the Jurassic Museum of Asturias, it’s easy to believe that any dino-loving kid (or adult) will be busy for a few hours. For casual dinosaur fans like myself, it’ll take about an hour.

Jurassic Museum of Asturias

Spain Road Trip: More things to do in Asturias with kids dinosaur jurassic museum triceratops head

The Jurassic Museum of Asturias has some great dinosaur reconstructions, scale models, and other exhibits, but overall, it’s as interactive as it could be. It’s also important to keep in mind that all of the exhibits are replicas, but you still can’t touch them.

Most descriptions are either in Spanish or in their local Asturian dialect. Some are written in English.

The museum’s architecture itself is quite cool as well. Designed to resemble a theropod track, the building that houses Jurassic Museum of Asturias has three main halls — one per toe.

Each hall is dominated by a massive skeleton reconstruction with a life-size painting of the particular dinosaur species you’re observing.

Asturias with kids: Jurassic Museum of Asturias (MUJA)

An Unexpectedly Interesting Exhibition

The Jurassic Museum of Asturias is unique in a number or way, including one I certainly wasn’t expecting. One of the three major halls showed me something I had never thought of before. In fact, I’m fairly certain that you can’t see this in any other major dinosaur museum: the mating practice of the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Spain Road Trip: More things to do in Asturias with kids dinosaur jurassic museum T-Rex couple

Look at the pic above. Look up front. That’s school group standing there. I love how casual the news of dinosaur sex is treated here. The circle of life, right? Those kids are here at the Jurassic Museum of Asturias to learn about dinosaurs and nature. Well, here you go.

“Mommy? Where do baby dinosaurs come from?”

“Great question, sweetheart. Let’s go to the Jurassic Museum of Asturias and I’ll show you.”

Here’s how my daughter took the news:

Outside the Jurassic Museum of Asturias, there are about a dozen dinosaur models keeping watch over the parking lot and adjacent fields. There is also a playground, a place for workshops (check the schedule before you go) and an area with tables and vending machine for when kids need a snack or a place to sit down and rest.

Asturias with kids: Jurassic Museum of Asturias (MUJA)

How to get the Jurassic Museum of Asturias (MUJA)

The Jurassic Museum of Asturias is about five-minute car ride from Colunga on the way to Llastres, and it’s very close to Playa de la Greiga, where a number of preserved dinosaur tracks are still visible on the nearby rocks. If you are in the area, Playa de la Greiga and the Jurassic Museum of Asturias can be a perfect stop for a break from driving and the heat, while the museum is a perfect rainy day activity. There are many things to do in Asturias, however, so make a detour just for this unless you have a future paleontologist in the car. See what others say here.

Entrance is 7.24€ for adults and 4.70€ for kids. Wednesdays are free. Check the latest news on their official site here.

Have you been to the Jurassic Museum of Asturias?

Are your kids into dinosaurs? How does this museum compare to others you’ve been to? What’s the best dinosaur exhibit you’ve ever seen?



Image credits: #6

Comments

  1. Mary Anne Campbell says:

    My twelve-year-old daughter aspires to be a paleontologist. We want to visit Spain for two or three weeks this spring/summer. I’d like to identify two or three key locations where we can find lodgings one week at a time — then take day trips. I’d sure appreciate suggestions.

    • Hi Mary Anne! If you’re coming to Spain with an aspiring paleontologist, then you’re reading the right post! I think there are actual dino tracks embedded in the stone near the museum as well! The Asturias region was possibly our favorite place we spent time last summer — possibly because we stayed there the longest. I’ve written about the two places we stayed: La Pontiga Apartments and Albergue Juvenil Bustiello. Very different places. La Pontiga is a fairly luxurious (by our standards) hotel/apartment hybrid, while Albergue Juvenil Bustiello is a simple & cheerful youth hostel built into an old schoolhouse. If we had to choose one or the other, we would probably choose Albergue Juvenil Bustiello, because almost everything the owners recommended to us ended up being a highlight of our trip, and the rooms and homey atmosphere at Albergue Juvenil Bustiello just clicked with us. Not a normal youth hostel — there were several families staying there. Are you driving? Both places aren’t near a train station. If you want to stay elsewhere, I highly suggest looking at AirBnB. The nearest town to the Jurassic Museum is Llastres. Oviedo & Gijon to the east were really nice as well, as was Ribadesella. Hope this helps!

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