The Dutch are well-known for their history as seafaring traders. Come visit Het Scheepvaart, the Amsterdam Maritime Museum to learn more about the seafaring traditions of the Netherlands.
Het Scheepvaartmuseum • Experience the history of sailing & shipping
Housed in a building on the IJ called the Arsenal, this museum is located right in the midst of maritime history. The lovely structure was originally built in the 17th century as a warehouse for the Dutch war fleet, and was used by the Netherlands Navy for hundreds of years. Did you know it only took 11 months to build this impressive and massive building? Wow.
Look up! The large inner courtyard was recently covered in an amazing glass roof decorated with twinkling LED lights that cast a glow on the courtyard below. The design of the roof is inspired by sea navigation charts and the floor is specially designed to absorb sound. Be sure to visit the cloakroom and bathrooms as well, the tunnels downstairs are really cool!
Aside from the interesting building, the museum is a treasure trove of artifacts and information. Two favorite exhibits are the antique globe collection and the display of wooden boat models. The museum also has interactive exhibits such as the dizzying experience of what traveling in a shipping container is like or rowing a boat across the IJ.
Do you speak a language other than English or Dutch? Check out the free audio guides available at the entrance.
After visiting the exhibits, step outside to walk onboard the replica of the East Indiamen Amsterdam. This wooden ship moored outside the museum is an exact copy of the Dutch East India Company ship the Amsterdam, lost on her maiden voyage in 1749. The ship contains exhibits on what life was like for sailors on these vessels and is a highlight of a visit to the museum. Don’t miss the toilets! In addition be sure to stop by the new exhibit showcasing the golden koningssloep.
Het Scheepvaartmuseum is a fun and fascinating experience for all aficionados of boats, history and the sea – great for kids and adults alike. Visit using a Museumkaart and get free entry. You can also purchase tickets for Het Scheepvaartmuseum online in advance here.
And before or after your visit be sure to stop by the restaurant located off the courtyard for the most delicious gourmet hot chocolate in Amsterdam! And the food and views are terrific too. Take a look at this short video to get an idea of what surprises are in store for you during a visit to the museum.
The Maritime Museum is located on the edge of the Plantage neighborhood. Other fantastic places to visit nearby in the Plantage area include:
- Hortus Botanical Garden
- Artis Zoo
- Portuguese Synagogue
- Hermitage Amsterdam
- Cafe Restaurant Plantage
- Cafe Restaurant De Ysbreeker
- Hiding in Plain Sight
- Bakers & Roasters
Kattenburgerplein 1, Amsterdam
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TOP TIP: If you plan to visit more than three museums within the year, we recommend the Museumkaart for locals. The price of €59 is worth it as entrance to each museum is around €15-20 for adults. If you are visiting Amsterdam take a look at the iAmsterdam card which gives you free transport around the city as well as free entry to many museums and attractions in Amsterdam and Haarlem. Check here for more information and to purchase the iAmsterdam card online. Another option is the Holland Pass which grants free access to several museums and attractions, as well as discounts to others. Check here for more information on the Holland Pass.
HAVE YOU VISITED ALL OF THE TOP 10 AMSTERDAM MUSEUMS?
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