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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 10 February, 2024
Expert travel writer: Jennifer Ceaser

This copper-encased science centre – designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano to resemble the hull of a giant ship – has become one of Amsterdam’s landmark buildings.

Inside, you’ll find four floors of fun (but educational) hands-on exhibits that let children experiment with water, sound, light and weight. Calmer sections on the upper floors deal with subjects suitable for older children. A must for kids, but fun for adults too.

While you’re there

At the time of construction, architect Renzo Piano noted that there was no public space in Amsterdam offering raised city views. The result was this superb, sloping roof terrace/garden, with miniature waterfalls and views across the Canal Ring.

There’s a café and plenty of seating, making it a welcome oasis of calm for time out from sightseeing (or the kid madness going on inside) – and even some sunbathing. You can access the terrace independently of the museum too.


Price from: £15
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 4+
When: All year around

When to do it

The science centre is open all year round, from Tuesday to Sunday. During the official school holidays, the museum is open on Mondays too. There’s not really a quiet time – it always seems to be full of kids, but first thing in the morning or end of the day the crowds tail off.

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North Holland, Netherlands

Rows of houses near a canal in daytime

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