The city of Utrecht hosts a very special museum inspired by Dick Bruna’s famous rabbit character Nijntje, also known as Miffy outside of the Netherlands. The name Nijntje is derived from the Dutch konijntje meaning little rabbit.
Dick Bruna (1927-2017) was a renowned Dutch author and illustrator. An Utrecht native, he produced the Nijntje character in 1955 and went on to publish around 120 children’s books selling millions of copies in multiple languages.
The museum was opened in 2006 as the Dick Bruna House. In 2016 it was renovated and rebranded as the Nijntje Museum or Miffy Museum. It is part of the Centraal Museum on the other side of the street which contains a varied collection of art and historical objects.
The ticket desk of the Nijntje Museum is actually located in the Centraal Museum, which also doubles up as a shop selling Miffy merchandise – not particularly cheap but good quality nonetheless.
Centraal Museum also has Studio Dick Bruna, a broader exhibition about the artist’s work. The museum’s Centraal café offers Miffy-shaped pancakes.
The compact Nijntje Museum has 10 miniature rooms over 2 floors with safe, hands-on activities for children. The museum is aimed at the core age group of 2-6 year olds.
Each room is dedicated to an everyday theme – cooking in the kitchen, an animal zoo, a visit to the doctor’s, plants in the garden etc – all decorated with illustrations from the Miffy books.
Our favourite is the road and traffic area where little ones can learn about traffic signs whilst riding a trike and operating a level crossing barrier.
The museum provides a fun and educational activities for kids. Parents/carers will appreciate the small touches – plenty of buggy/stroller parking space, low placed banisters for climbing upstairs, special children’s sinks/toilets and a picnic area. There are some art and craft activities on offer as well, particularly if you visit at weekends.
The museum is popular with local children so it is best to book a specific time slot if you want to be sure of admission. One tip if you arrive at the 10am opening is to immediately head upstairs and work back down rather than following the standard flow of exhibits.
If you are looking for a fun place to bring young children and/or you are a fan of Dick Bruna’s art then the Nijntje Museum is certainly worthy of a visit.
A nice café to have a coffee or light lunch afterwards is KEEK, just down the end of the road at 23 Twijnstraat which serves homemade organic food – note they only take card payments.
Note, the Nijntje Museum 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 10 minute increments) in order to maintain social distancing.
Nijntje Museum Essential Info
|Opening Times||Tue-Sun 1000-1700, closed Mondays.|
|Admission Prices (2020)||€10 for children 2-6, €6.50 for children 7-17 and adults. FREE entry to children 0-2 and Museumkaart holders. A family ticket (2 adults + 2 children) costs €25.
An annual season ticket (friends card) for children 2-6 is €27.
|Getting There||The museum is located in Utrecht’s Museum Quarter near the city centre. It is about 20 minutes walk from Utrecht Central Station and 10 minutes walk from Utrecht Vaartsche Rijn station.
U-OV bus 2 runs from Utrecht Central to just outside the museum (stop: Centraal Museum).
Nijntje Museum, Agnietenstraat 2, 3512 XB Utrecht
T: +31(0)30 236 2399, nijntjemuseum.nl