Grand reopening for University Museum Utrecht

Photo: Lize Kraan / Foto: Lize Kraan
Photo: Lize Kraan

The new University Museum Utrecht (UMU) is the ideal museum for curious people. In the remodelled museum, you can take a look under the bonnet of science. The UMU has been transformed into a hands-on museum, and is once again ready to welcome its many eager visitors.

A ‘mystery box’ at the entrance piques the visitor’s curiosity as soon as they walk in the door of the UMU. What do you see, hear, feel and smell? Also new are ‘wisebits’: short clickable videos in which a scientist answers questions about science. In five exhibition halls, you will become better acquainted with the scientific research conducted at Utrecht University in the past and present. You can also discover how to do your own research by trying the challenging research activities. In each phase of research, you will add new information to your personal wealth of knowledge. Everyone who visits the UMU can also cast a vote on which object they think is inside the ‘mystery box’.

Collecting data

Which data should you collect for your research? How can you store the data safely? And what do you do with the data once you’ve collected it? By handling old and new materials, visitors learn about the utility of collecting data. And, due to help from Roland Geraerts, you can discover the difference between moving around on your own or as part of a crowd by joining in an experiment.

Photo: Lize Kraan / Foto: Lize Kraan
Photo: Lize Kraan


Like the university’s researchers, visitors can also compare things like the behaviour of humans and animals. What can you learn from the way a human looks at you, and how is that different from the way an animal does? With contributions by Liesbeth Sterck, animal behaviour comes to life through moving images enriched with lifelike animal replicas.


The Experimenting hall is all about the exact sciences. The exhibit features physics measurements in an illuminating story about the speed of light. Marvel at physical mathematical models. Wonder how to ‘break’ molecules, and how do you use individual atoms to ‘build’ new molecules? Learn how chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences work at the smallest level.

Faculty of Science employees Marcel van Asselen, Sanli Faez, Dante Killian, Joyce Kromwijk, Angela Melcherts and Peter van der Straten all contributed to the subjects featured in the Experimenting hall. A contribution by Karindra Perrier is currently in preparation.

About the UMU

The Utrecht University Museum will once again open to the public starting on Wednesday, 6 September 2023. The UMU is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:00 to 17:00. UU students receive a discount and will pay € 7,--. UMU website: