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National Maritime Museum

Last updated: 10 February, 2024

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.

Logistics

Price from: £12
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 8+
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.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Amsterdam National Maritime Museum Skip-the-line-Ticket

  • Amsterdam

Avoid admission lines at The National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam and explore one of the largest and most notable maritime collections in the world with a skip-the-line ticket. Discover 500 years of Dutch Maritime history as well as its strong links to today’s society and the society of the future. An optional 1-hour audio-guided tour is included.

Price €18

Min age 4

Rating 4.12 / 5 [87 ratings]

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