Amsterdam is a city of art and culture.
If you can’t travel the whole world, but you would love to see it somehow – come to Amsterdam! The population of Amsterdam is one of the most diverse in the whole world with over 180 nationalities plus this fascinating Dutch capital has more than 75 museums all around the city. As a matter of fact, Amsterdam has been declared as the world’s most popular city with the most cultural attractions per capita.
The choice is enormous. From modern and contemporary art, science, film, biology, photography to houseboat museum, cannabis, erotic and torture museum. There is simply a little bit of everything for everyone.
I must admit I haven’t been to many museums in Amsterdam. Somehow, I never had enough time. However, I’ve been to few and I want to present you one unique museum I believe you will adore as much as I do. In this post, I’ll describe you my favourite museum in Amsterdam: NEMO Science Museum. A museum that will drive you to the past and pull you back-to the future.
The building of the museum is striking. It represents a full size replica of a Dutch trading ship that is docked on a pier. The architect was Renzo Piano, surprisingly – not a Dutch but an Italian man. Believe it or not, the museum was build on top of a tunnel and connects city center and the North part of the city.
On the ROOF OF THE NEMO SCIENCE MUSEUM you can enjoy in amazing views over Amsterdam, being in the tallest town square in the whole Netherlands – 22 metres above water level. (considering the whole country is below the sea level, this is quite high!) Here you will also find the open-air exhibition Energetica, a huge terrace and a gorgeous healthy-style restaurant.
I recommend you to visit the roof on a sunny day and enjoy in interplay between the elements (water, sun, wind) via sculptures and installations that you can operate yourself and find more about how renewable energy works. The roof is also a nice to just relax.
But that’s not end of the story about the exterior of NEMO. As I already mentioned in few of my previous articles, Dutch people are truly genius architects and builders and I keep admire them in all what they did and what they still do.
They’ve even made a green roof on NEMO since 2013 as a part of Amsterdam’s natural environment. On the roof, you can find 14 types of succulent and 25 different types of herbs (17,500 individual plants.)
Besides, there are two hives of approximately 20,000 Buckfast bees situated on the roof. However, don’t worry, these kind of bees are super friendly and quiet and you probably won’t even see them.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT TO FIND IN NEMO?
NEMO Science Museum offers stories of science and technology via devices and inventions on 5 floors. The museum has a collection of approximately 19,500 objects that explain the story of man and energy. The main focus is exactly the energy, but in a broad sense of the word.
Literally, this means that in NEMO museum you can find it all; from a walkman, rare algae and pieces of meteors to “how it works” interaction devices, quizzes to test your IQ, optical illusions and so much more. It’s a perfect place to grab lots of knowledge and entrain yourself, your family and friends.
If you love bunch of facts and if you constantly question everything like I do, NEMO is definitely a must place you shouldn’t avoid when in Amsterdam.
Check NEMO’s interesting section online with many explanations called: “Discover The World Around You At Home”.
1.) THE LOBBY
In the lobby, you can find a Water Clock small cafeteria and a gift shop which sells small copies of some of the attractions in the museum, books, cards, crystals and many more interesting things.
2.) FIRST FLOOR
The main focus on the first floor is DNA and chain reactions. Plenty of devices that will blow your mind.
3.) SECOND FLOOR
On the second floor you can find many objects to play with and understand how and why something works. A great thing is that on each floor you have a great explanation next to every device or you can always call stuff to explain you better. There’s also a small cafeteria and a movie/performance hall where many acts, movies and shows about science are shown.
3.) THIRD FLOOR
There’s a giant science lab on the third floor where you can do science experiments such as looking at DNA, testing electricity etc. There is also a small part of knowledge about money and business.
4.) FOURTH FLOOR
This floor is dedicated to the human mind and it’s my favourite! It contains of many experiments such as memory tests, mind solving problems, IQ tests, sense testers and many more. This floor is quite dark which adds more to overall impression.
5.) FIFTH FLOOR
This floor has a cafeteria, a children’s play area and a great views of the city.
FROM WHERE ARE ALL THOSE OBJECTS IN NEMO?
The vast majority of NEMO’s historical and engineering collection comes from the former Amsterdam Museum Energetica. That former museum had a large donations too. Most of the objects in NEMO are very rare and you won’t see them anywhere in the world, but in NEMO.
The museum is currently closed due to corona virus measures. I hope everything goes well as soon as possible and measures become less strict and we can all travel again. For future visits, it’s important to mention that this museum is a popular place for families. It can be busy and loud and you often have to wait your turn to try some device. That’s why you should avoid NEMO during school holidays and during holidays.
Quiet periods are on beautiful weather (Dutch people love to use every ray of sun) and at the beginning of the day around 10 AM. I advise you to come as soon as NEMO is open because you need a lot of time to explore all. (remember, there are 19,500 objects!!)
Dutch people are usually offering many facilities in each museum. One of the highlights here are:
- baby change
- FREE LOCKERS
- trained stuff to suggest you most interesting things and to answer on all of your questions
- gift shop
HOW TO REACH IT
NEMO is super easy to reach. If you go on foot from the main exit of Central Station, it will take you only 15 minutes. And don’t worry. You will recognize NEMO right away. A huge, blue/green building in a shape of a boat.
HOW TO SAVE THE MONEY ON TICKET
A challenging thing about museums in Amsterdam is crowd. For example, a waiting line to Anne Frank house can last for hours. In order to save your time and some money, I advise you to buy tickets online (usually you have a discount and you can skip the line) or get I Amsterdam City Card. For more information, visit the official website of the NEMO museum.
What is your favourite museum in Amsterdam or if you still haven’t been, which museum you would love to visit?
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