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Situated in central Amsterdam you will find the one and only museum in the entire world that is dedicated to microbes. That’s right… this museum is filled with bacteria, germs, and other tiny forms of life. If that’s not enough to pique your interest, we don’t know what we can give you.

Micropia is the kind of place you read about, wonder about, and eventually have to go and visit because it stays with you. You wonder what it could possibly contain…? How exactly do you even look at microbes, let alone place them in a museum? We suspect the answer has something to do with petri dishes and microscopes…

But before we get to the science bit, let’s talk about Lilly Likes Amsterdam. We deal with all things Amsterdam here, whether we are able to travel there or whether we have to admire it from afar, as we have for most of 2020. With travelling off the table for much of the world, We have been turning our attention towards the main page, over at Lilly Likes. Stay here for the Coffeeshops of Amsterdam and attractions of the city… Visit the man page for ideas on what to do to keep yourself entertained while we are all stuck indoors this winter.

Let’s get back to the task at hand… exploring Micropia so that one day, when we get back over the sea, we have a list of things to see and do the length of our arms.

What Is Micropia?

Essentially, Micropia is a museum dedicated to all things tiny. The only qualification, in fact, to earn a place in any of their exhibits, is that you are microbial. Micropia is the only one of its kind in the entire world and spends a lot of time focusing on the fact that microbes shape our whole world. You don’t need to be very big to be mighty.

Microbes are in the air we breathe. They make up tastes and smells, make us sick or heal us, and are in constant contact with our bodies, regardless of how much disinfectant we clean ourselves with. Micropia exists to demonstrate the point that Microbes are everywhere. They are tiny organisms in their own right, all of whom are capable of having a huge impact on the world around them.

In fact, they do this so well, that one of their exhibits is a body scanner. This scanner takes a reading form you and tells you how many microbes are actively moving around on the surface of your body at that time. It might help your mental health to have a shower before you go.

Why have a Museum Dedicated to Microbes?

Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there… and that’s the premise that makes Micropia so fascinating. The fact that these tiny organisms have such a massive impact on every aspect of our lives – and yet we never even see them – is an amazing concept. We spend our whole lives using, relying on, and exchanging, these microbes… yet we don’t even know what they look like.

The idea behind Micropia is to introduce visitors to some of the little beings that are constantly with us. It puts a face to the idea of micro-organisms… or a cell structure, at least. They want us to view this microscopic world not with the traditional fear and disgust – but with love and care. Sure, microbes have the ability to make us sick… but there is an opposite to this, too. Some microbes make us well again, some help keep us clean, some even line our guts to protect us against future health problems… yet we think about them with disgust.

Micropia in Amsterdam does important work in that they are helping the public to realise the error of this disgust. By helping us to understand the microbial world, they are helping us comprehend the science. In a post-pandemic world, we can all appreciate how important our scientists are to us… Micropia have encouraged more than a few young minds into this worthwhile trade…

Let’s turn our attention to what it is that you can do when you visit this fabulous microbial utopia…

What’s Inside the Amsterdam Micropia Museum?

Asides from germs, there are plenty of interactive exhibits where you can get down and dirty with the creatures that live on you, in you, and in the environment around you. Much like the Body worlds exhibit, this is not one for the feint-of-heart.

It took 12 years to put together the exhibits you will find at Micropia. Inside, you will learn about the human body and the tiny things that live on it. This means talking about poo, about germs, about gut health and even about the things that live in your eyes and on your face. There are a billion micro organisms that live on the average human boy, and each of them does an important job. Micropia teaches you about them, their functions, and why we need them. By doing this they take some of the fear and disgust out of talking about tiny lifeforms, increasing understanding of our dependence on them, as a species.

Micropia opened in 2014 and has won numerous awards for their exhibits, which include everything from human microbes to those that live on animals, in the dirt, and on the things we touch. It is filled with interesting experiments you can do, such as swabbing the inside of your own cheek and looking at it through a microscope. Although one of the most disgusting things you are likely to see in Amsterdam, this feels like the right place for it. It’s only right that the same city you can peruse the Red Lights District of, should be the same city that you can find out about venereal disease in. Boke.

Where Is Micropia?

You will find this cool exhibit situated inside the Natura Artis Maristra’s 1870’s building, the Ledenlokalen. You can also follow them on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, where you can message them and ask for directions, should you get lost. Don’t forget that there a bunch of other attractions for you to peruse, over on our home pages.

We leave you with these final words of advice: Micropia is pretty danged cool, but it’s not for everyone. If you are going to faint in the heart of Amsterdam, try and make it because of the smoke, not the exhibits.