Royal Tyrrell Museum: The Best Dinosaur Museum In The World
The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Alberta, Canada, is without a doubt the best dinosaur museum we have ever visited.
Living in London, we have enjoyed visiting the famous Natural History Museum (and its less famous relative, the Tring Natural History Museum. We have two dinosaur mad kids in our family and seeking out dinosaur themed days out is a high priority.
When we found out that the Royal Tyrrell Museum was a dinosaur museum, located in Drumheller, the Dinosaur Capital of the World AND located in the awesome sounding Canadian Badlands, we knew we had to include it in our Canadian itinerary. And if that description doesn’t make you want to visit too, then we don’t know what will!
We promise, you will not be disappointed with a visit to this dinosaur museum if you are visiting Drumheller with kids. Even if you are not traveling with kids, this museum is truly fascinating and is one of the best things to do in Drumheller.
Here’s our complete guide to visiting the museum so that you have everything you need to plan your visit.
Royal Tyrrell Museum location
This amazing dinosaur museum is located in the town of Drumheller, just 145 km northeast of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.
You can easily visit the museum on a day trip from Calgary but if you want to have longer in Drumheller, we have listed some great accommodation options at the end.
Royal Tyrrell Museum address: 1500 N Dinosaur Trail, Drumheller, Alberta T0J 0Y0, Canada
You can find the museum by taking the North Dinosaur Trail out of town for about 7 km (4 miles). It is clearly signposted on the right hand side of the road as you are heading away from Drumheller.
Parking at the Royal Tyrrell Museum
There is a large, free car park at the museum. The parking areas are signed which is helpful because it is such a large car park and it will help you locate your vehicle after your visit.
There is usually a shuttle bus to take you closer to your vehicle if you have parked far away, but this is not running at the moment.
Entrance to the Royal Tyrrell Museum
Royal Tyrrell Museum ticket prices are:
Adult – $21
Child (7-17) – $10
Child (6 and under) – free
Parking is free of charge.
You can see more about Royal Tyrrell Museum hours and admission prices here.
Main exhibits in the Royal Tyrrell Museum
There are over 160,000 catalogued dinosaur fossils in the museum (not all of them are on display) so you probably won’t be able to see and do everything on your first visit.
For our kids, the Royal Tyrrell Museum dinosaurs that caused the biggest excitement were the big boys of the dinosaur world. These are all found in the main Dinosaur Hall.
- Tyrannosaurus Rex
- Woolly Mammoth
We love how they have created scenes with the dinosaur skeletons that tell a story. This was far more interesting for the kids than just looking at rows of dinosaur bones. We challenge you not to be blown away by what you see.
But the most fascinating of all of the dinosaur fossils for us was the Royal Tyrrell Museum Nodosaur. What it lacks in size, it makes up for with its uniqueness. This 110 million year old fossil (also known as the dinosaur mummy) is part of the armoured Ankylosaur family and is the best preserved dinosaur fossil ever found.
As well as the dinosaur exhibits there are interactive displays which the kids also loved. There was a really informative, short film on the history of the earth from the beginning of time and tells the story of the life and death of the dinosaurs. The timeline tunnel was also really cool – taking you through every age of the dinosaurs.
One of their favourite interactive exhibits was the ‘Create your own dinosaur’. You could select the head, body and legs from a variety of known dinosaur species and jumble them up to create your own dinosaur.
They also found it fascinating watching one of the Royal Tyrrell Museum staff members excavating a dinosaur fossil.
Royal Tyrrell Museum Gift Shop
As you would expect, the gift shop at the museum sells every kind of dinosaur gift you can think of.
We bought the boys each a couple of small dinosaur toys and a dinosaur t-shirt. We don’t usually buy holiday souvenirs but we made an exception this time. They are still a favourite with the boys nearly 2 years on.
Facilities at the museum
You will need to check current guidelines to see what facilities are open at the museum, but normally there is:
- Picnic area
- Playground area (Cenovus Paleo Play Park)
- Plenty of restrooms including accessible restrooms
Badlands Interpretive Trail
At the end of your visit to the museum, don’t miss out on doing the Badlands Interpretive Trail. It is an easy 1.4 km (0.8mile) paved loop where you can view the badlands of the Midlands Provincial Park and follow factual and interpretive signs along the trail. It should take you around 30 minutes.
Final tips for visiting
- If you are visiting with young kids you may want to take your own stroller as you will not be able to rent them at the moment.
- Go early in the day as it gets busy. In the summer months it can also get very hot so it may be better to do the Badlands Interpretive Trail first to avoid the midday heat.
- Discounts – make sure to check here to see if you are eligible for discounted or free entry.
Things to do near Royal Tyrrell Museum
We have a lot more information in our Drumheller guide, but here are the main things to do in the area near the Royal Tyrrell Museum
- Horsethief Canyon
- Bleriot Ferry
- Rosedale Suspension Bridge
- Dinosaur spotting on the streets of Drumheller
- Climb the largest dinosaur in the world at the Drumheller Visitor Information Centre
Hotels near Royal Tyrrell Museum
If you are just visiting Drumheller on a day trip from Calgary, there are plenty of hotels in Calgary. We stayed in Strathmore at the Travelodge on the outskirts of Calgary so that we were closer to Drumheller.
If you want to stay in Drumheller, the Ramada by Wyndham is a good option.
Virtual tour of the Royal Tyrrell Museum
If you can’t get to the museum in person right now, make sure to check out the Royal Tyrrell Museum Virtual Tour. We love how this and so many other virtual tours allow people to travel the world virtually when they are not able to travel in person.