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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 10 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Jennifer Ceaser

The Dutch were a naval superpower in the 17th century, a period of their history known as the Golden Age, when the Netherlands was the centre of international trade. During this time the Netherlands developed a reputation for tolerance, which helped to draw traders and immigrants from far and wide. The National Maritime Museum (Het Scheepvaartmuseum) traces this heritage and is the second-largest maritime collection in the world.

Highlights within include the historic terrestrial and celestial globes, navigational instruments, incredibly detailed models of ships, and high-tech displays that bring to life seafaring in the Dutch Golden Age.

The museum has an excellent range of facilities and exhibits for children of all ages, from a ‘circus at sea’ show for under 6s, to a virtual adventure complete with sea storms and battles, for older kids. Children will love exploring the replica 18th-century sailing ship, and be engaged by the instructive exhibition on whaling.

Don’t miss

Moored outside (so easy to overlook) is a full-scale, replica 18th-century sailing ship, The Amsterdam. You can clamber all over it, including the storage and living quarters.

While you’re there

The museum fits in well with a bike tour of the Eastern Docklands. Pick up information on interesting sights at the ARCAM (architecture) centre, just across the bridge from the museum.

Price from: £12
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The museum is a 15-minute walk from Centraal Station. Or catch bus 22 or 48 and get off at Kadijksplein. A range of themed tours are available if you book in advance; see the website for descriptions of each.

When to do it

The museum is open all year round, seven days a week. Given the scale of the building, the museum copes with high numbers of visitors, so crowds and queuing are unlikely to be a problem at any time.

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Amsterdam National Maritime Museum Skip-the-line-Ticket

Amsterdam National Maritime Museum Skip-the-line-Ticket


Avoid admission lines at The National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam and explore one of the largest and most notable maritime collections in t...

€18 | Rating 4.13 / 5 [69 ratings]

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Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Kimpton de Witt Amsterdam

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands[1.5 miles]

A stylish yet unpretentious design hotel, housed in three 17th-century buildings, in a great city centre location.

Official star rating:

De L’Europe Amsterdam

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands[1.5 miles]

Ultra-plush five-star luxury in a landmark hotel. Perfectly located on the southern of the character-filled Canal Ring, walking distance to the big art museums.

Official star rating:

W Amsterdam

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands[1.7 miles]

Swanky design hotel in the picturesque heart of the city, offering an array of bars and restaurants, plus the city’s largest rooftop pool.

Official star rating:

Hoxton Amsterdam

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands[1.9 miles]

A cool, retro design complements the historical character of this wonderful, affordable canal-side bolthole.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


North Holland, Netherlands

Picturesque Golden Age canals, premier league art, cosy cafés, and liberal urban living combine to make Amsterdam one of Europe’s most vibrant capitals.

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Hermitage Amsterdam

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands[1.1 miles]

A 17th-century old people’s that is now the overseas outpost for St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum. Lavish, must-see exhibitions of exquisite treasures selected from the Hermitage’s vast collections.

Best for ages: 18+ | £22

The Nine Streets

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands[2.1 miles]

Stroll the city’s most stylish streets, packed with independent boutiques and vintage fashion stores, the latest Dutch and Flemish brands, and locally-made soaps and luxe toiletries.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

Anne Frank House

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands[2.1 miles]

The canal-house annexe – now a moving museum – is where Anne Frank hid and wrote her world-famous diary.

Best for ages: 8+ | £12

Heineken Experience

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands[2.2 miles]

One of the city’s most popular attractions is the historic 1867 Heineken brewery, which has retained the original brewing room with its enormous vintage copper vats and antique brewing equipment.

Best for ages: 18+ | £18

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

NEMO Science Museum

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands[0.3 miles]

An interactive science centre offering the best indoor kids’ entertainment in Amsterdam – and a superb roof terrace for coffee with a view.

Best for ages: 3+ | £15

Exterior view of the Hortus Botanicus and a lake in the front

Hortus Botanicus

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands[0.7 miles]

The unheralded but delightful Hortus Botanicus is one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens – founded in 1638. It’s just east of the city centre and well worth a visit.

Best for ages: 4+ | £10

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interior view of the synagogue during the daytime

Portuguese Synagogue

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands[0.8 miles]

One of Europe’s largest synagogues, this magnificent building has been in continuous use since its founding in 1675 and is still lit entirely by candlelight. 

Best for ages: 18+ | £17

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Exterior view of the museum during daytime

Rembrandt House Museum

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands[1 miles]

From 1639 to 1656, Rembrandt lived and worked in this graceful townhouse, which features a recreation of his studio and period furnishings from the Golden Age; a modern addition displays his prints and lesser paintings.

Best for ages: 18+ | £13

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