The Dutch National Maritime Museum, locally known as the Scheepsvaart Museum, is located in the more eastern part of Amsterdam. Before entering the museum one must marvel at the immense 17thcentury admiralty building. Built in 1656, it served as an arsenal for naval equipment such as canons, gunpowder, sail, flags and so forth. Besides being located in a beautiful building this museum also hosts one of the most prominent maritime collections in the world with around 400,000 objects.
The collection includes ship models, paintings, weapons and classic world maps. The paintings show, among other things, Dutch naval officers such as Michiel de Ruyter and impressive Dutch historical naval battles. The collection of cards contains copies of Willem and Joan Blaeu. Inside the National Maritime Museum Amsterdam you get to explore over 500 years of Dutch maritime history.
This museum also hosts some unexpected highlights! These include a full-scale replica of the original Dutch East India Company’s (VOS) 700-tonne and 65-foot (20 meters) Amsterdam, one of the largest ships of the fleet. The ships lays moored outside at the back of the museum. Back inside you can walk on in the belly of a life-size whale, which is a part of an exhibition dedicated to the whaling trade.
Walk around inside, hear its heartbeat and touch its skin!
The museum also hosts a number of interactive exhibitions such as loading of the canons in the right way in order to fire! These days It’s also possible to do some time traveling at the Maritime Museum Amsterdam! Return to Holland’s golden age with the spectacular Virtual Reality time journey “dare to discover”. During the trip you make a flight over the historic port of Amsterdam and experience how this area developed at lightning speed into a bustling port. You’ll witness a number of events, such as the creation of the impressive shipyard and the Sea Warehouse – the current museum – and the construction and launch of an actual warship.
Between 2007 and 2011 the National Maritime Museum was extensively renovated. Reception rooms, public spaces, restaurant and the library were completely redesigned. The goal was to modernise the building, while at the same time retaining the feeling of a 17th-century warehouse. The absolute highlight of the renovation is the roofing over the courtyard. It consists of thousands of pieces of glass in a metal frame. The compass lines of old nautical charts inspired the design.
The museum also hosts a great cafe & restaurant to have a bite to eat or some drinks. They serve quality food at a fair price and the service is great. Here you can get delicious Dutch apple pie and heavenly jenever from Wijnand Fockink – Amsterdam’s most famous producer of jenever.
All in all people typically spend up to 3 hours in the National Maritime Museum Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Oosterdok (eastern side of Amsterdam Central Station along the river IJ, 20 minute walk) and if you are with children you could combine this history oriented museum with a visit to the scientifically oriented NEMO museum which is located a 5 minute walk from the Maritime Museum.
This big museum is open 7 days a week and is great to visit under all weather conditions. Monday through Sunday 9:00 am till 17:00 pm.
Entrance fee for adults: 16,50- euro.
For children and youth (4- 17): 8,- euro.
Younger than 4 can enter for free.
Street: Kattenburgerplein 1
Zipcode: 1018 KK
Directions: the museun can be reached by bus from Amsterdam Central Station. Take either bus-line 22 (to Muiderpoort station) or bus-line 48 (to Borneo Island). The Kadijksplein stop is in front of the Maritime Museum.
By foot: it’s a 20 minute walk from Central Station to the National Maritime Museum Amsterdam, where you pass the impressive building of NEMO Science Museum
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