Things To Do

Body Worlds Amsterdam – The Happiness Project

Body Worlds has a permanent exhibition of plastinated human bodies in Amsterdam. It gives a fascinating and educational insight into the workings of the body with the theme of the Amsterdam exhibition being health and happiness.

The Body Worlds exhibition was created by German anatomist Gunther von Hagens and has been seen by tens of millions of people worldwide. Unsurprisingly it has attracted some ethical controversy from some quarters.

Plastination is a patented process in which the body’s tissue fluid is replaced by a reactive polymer (silicone rubber) with the aid of a special vacuum process. The body is then placed in the desired position and then hardened. The process also allows for the preservation of ultra-thin slices of the human body.

body worlds amsterdam man

Body Worlds Amsterdam is located on Damrak between Amsterdam Central station and Dam Square. Over 7 floors the Amsterdam collection contains 200 real plastinated bodies which were sourced from a donor program. The exhibit starts on the top floor and you work your way down each level – there is a lift available for accessibility.

Each floor covers a different aspect of the body, for example digestion, cardio-vascular, reproductive system etc.

The labelling is clear and in both Dutch and English.

body worlds amsterdam exhibition

The multi-media exhibition includes the plastinated bodies in various action poses as well as individual body organs on display. There are examples of sick organs such as a liver with cirrhosis and smoker’s lungs.

body worlds amsterdam exhibition

It is also possible to take your own blood pressure with a hand-held meter and do a ‘Body Scan’ on the ground floor which measures your fat mass, muscle mass and body fat percentage.

We found the exhibition to be very interesting and positive overall, particularly with the health and happiness perspective running throughout. It’s certainly worthy of a visit which takes about 1 hour, though you can take your time and spend longer if desired.

It’s probably not fully suitable for young children though Body Worlds recommends children are suitably prepared before visiting.

Also of interest the academic Museum Vrolik is a small anatomical museum at the AMC hospital.

Note, Body Worlds was closed between 13 March and 31 May 2020 due to coronavirus measures. Since reopening on 1 June it is mandatory to pre-book a ticket and timeslot in order to maintain social distancing.

Body Worlds Amsterdam Essential Info

Opening Times Sun-Thu 1200-1800, Fri-Sat 1000-2000.
Admission Prices (2020) Pre-booked entrance costs €20.50 for adults and €13.50 for children 6-18. There is FREE entry to children 0-5. Book your tickets online here
Getting There Body Worlds is located on Damrak, 5-10 minutes walk from Amsterdam Central station.

Body Worlds Amsterdam, Damrak 66, 1012 LM Amsterdam
T: +31(0)20 216 0601

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