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Dutch National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam

Het Scheepvaartmuseum

Het Scheepvaartmuseum is the Dutch National Maritime Museum located on the eastern docklands area of Amsterdam. The museum was reopened in 2011 after years of renovation and is now one of the city’s premier attractions.

The Scheepvaartmuseum is housed in het Zeemagazijn (the Arsenal), a former Admiralty of Amsterdam storehouse built in 1656 which was designed by Dutch architect Daniel Stalpert. It remained a navy building until 1973 when it was converted to the country’s national maritime museum.

The museum was closed between 2007 and 2011 and underwent a complete renovation – the resulting highlight of which is the stunning glass roof over the inner courtyard made up of some 1,200 glass pieces.

courtyard at maritime museum amsterdam

The courtyard contains the ticket counter, Het Pakhuys museum shop and the Stalpaert restaurant. The museum is divided into 3 gallery sections – West, East and North – and you need to show your ticket at each separate entrance.

West Wing – Contains See You in the Golden Age, a striking presentation of life during the 17th century when the Netherlands was at the peak of its power. Watch and listen to stories presented by actors on life-size high-definition screens. The Tale of the Whale looks at the large sea creature hunted to near extinction. Life on Board is an interactive game about life on the seas.

East Wing – This section includes one of the finest collection of globes in the world, glass and silverware, models of yachts, some beautiful ship decorations and navigational instruments. Browse through some old photo albums in a ship’s lounge setting and experience travel from a bygone era. The 2nd floor houses an impressive array of maritime landscape paintings.

North Wing – See The Royal Barge, a richly decorated royal vessel commissioned by King William I in the early 19th century; Port 24/7 is a fascinating display about the port of Amsterdam – it includes a video ride which gives a container’s eye view of travel through Amsterdam.

Head outside of the North Wing to explore the VOC ship East Indiaman Amsterdam which is moored at the museum. Dare To Discover is a virtual reality exhibition which will take you back to the Golden Age. Note, it is only included with online tickets.

voc ship amsterdam

Exhibits at the museum are presented in a modern and innovative way with full use of multimedia and excellent bilingual (Dutch/English) labelling.

A free audio tour is available in 11 languages which can show you the collection highlights in 60 minutes.

The Scheepvaartmuseum is certainly one of Amsterdam’s crown jewels – reflecting the country’s rich maritime history – and is a must-visit.

Scheepvaartmuseum Essential Info

Opening Times Daily 0900-1700. Closed on 27 April, 25 December and 1 January.
Admission Prices (2019) Adults €16.50, children 4-17 €8. FREE entry to children 0-3, Iamsterdam City Card and Museumkaart holders.
Getting There The museum is a 15-20 minute walk east of central station – either via the Central Library and NEMO or along Prins Hendrikkade. By public transport take GVB bus 22 (Muiderpoortstation) from the central station IJ-side. Get out at stop Kadijksplein/Scheepvaartmuseum.

Scheepvaartmuseum, Kattenburgerplein 1, 1018 KK Amsterdam
T: +31(0)20 523 2222, hetscheepvaartmuseum.com

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