Are you traveling to Amsterdam, the Netherlands soon? If so, it’s likely that you plan on doing at least a few tourist activities while you are there. I know that vacations can often get hectic and sometimes somewhat boring after driving around with your tour group to one attraction after another for long days after days. But as is usually the case in most cities or towns, some of these attractions should not be missed. And in Amsterdam, those are the museums. From the cannabis culture museum to the Rembrandt museum, Amsterdam is known worldwide for its extraordinary art and all kinds of informative exhibitions. From conservative, traditional to bizarre, Amsterdam has the best.
But where do you learn more about museums in Amsterdam, the Netherlands? How do you know which Amsterdam museums are worth? Well, much of the classic tourist trap type, if you will, Amsterdam museums will be featured on a city map or in a large travel book. You may even find out about it at your local AAA office or other travel agency. But as for the rather strange ones, the ones that are a bit harder to find and even more fun to talk about at home; here is a shortlist and description. Below are six Amsterdam museums that cross the line of the ordinary. Hopefully, you enjoy it.
The gigantic four-story NEMO science center is an Amsterdam museum attraction that many tourists can easily miss. Despite its massive presence right on the water near the city’s Central Station, this Mecca of experiments and knowledge is tucked away a bit and requires a little walk in the distance from seemingly nowhere. However, it is not difficult to miss, because the science museum is characterized by its architecture; the building’s design consists of the exterior of a huge ship from an aerial view that appears to have landed halfway into the water. Once inside the structure, no one would ever notice this look, and unfortunately, it is so high above the ground that, depending on how one enters the museum, it can easily be completely missed. But the NEMO center, the largest science museum in the Netherlands, also has a lot of character inside. Families with children, couples and even grandparents of all ages can enjoy this world of fun, practical learning resources. From the life-size bubble maker to the media type of the music machine to a ceiling-climbing exhibition, NEMO has something for every student type and level. On the top floor, you can also view the entire capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam.
This Amsterdam museum is actually what the name implies; it is a museum about tropical locations. And I mean everything. With permanent exhibitions in the regions of Southeast Asia, Oceania, West Asia, North Africa, Africa, Latin America and topics such as Man and Environment and Music, Dance and Theater, the Tropenmuseum is the perfect place to find extensive information about -western cultures of the world. With works of art and exhibition material, from photography to found objects to work by native to tropical painters, this location makes it possible to gain new knowledge in a fun, light-hearted way. The museum is known worldwide for its unambiguous ability to send its visitors directly to the heart of their tropical locations through beautiful displays that look, sound, feel and even smell and taste as if they are experiencing the environment first hand. Even better is the small dining area they have set up specifically to satisfy your thirst and hunger with all kinds of unique culinary creations from these tropical regions. Note that while the Tropic Museum is fun for all ages, including young people, the children’s exhibits are primarily designed for Dutch-speaking children.
Glasses Museum – Amsterdam Glasses Museum
Yes, believe it or not, this historic four-story house (dating from 1620) belongs to a very interesting, but probably a little peculiar family of a 3rd generation optician who not only wanted to teach the world about the extensive history of the spectacle invention, development and evolution over the years, but also to house the world’s largest and most unique arrangement of all types of glasses. It’s been about thirty-five years of business, but what has resulted in a rather extraordinary collection of u-name-type glasses; from tacky to stylish to chic to mod style, from geek to librarian, to your stereotypical four-eyed geeky four eyes before they got fashionable, every kind imaginable is on display at this museum. And while the tour itself is a bit long, the fact that such an eccentric place like the Spectacles Museum exists is reason enough to check it out. And really, even if you’re not exactly an eyeglass connoisseur, these unique glasses will blow your mind. And even if you decide that the ticket price is too high for a long history on glasses, you should at least make a small detour to the quiet street of Gasthuismolensteeg (number 7), tucked away from Singel towards Central Station and check out the spectacle museum gift shop. With spectacles of historical figures and unique designs by masters of spectacle art, you may discover a hidden fetish for spectacle accessories. But check your bank account before entering. You may not be able to buy one and they are certainly pricey. Glasses Museum is located at the Rembrandtplein
The Torture Museum
The Torture Museum, also located outside of Singel, is not really what you would expect. While the self-guided tour requires a walk through dark and musty narrow corridors filled with some serious middle-aged torture devices, it’s not exactly spooky and doesn’t really manage to take you back in the time period faced with an unwanted execution. Which, depending on how you look at it, can be good or bad. Perhaps the museum had been revamped so much that it had more or less tortured visitors, perhaps even a bit too controversial or disturbing for an Amsterdam museum. But as the museum is now it just feels like an average museum, you walk through, pause to view exhibits, read a little about it on the wall and then move on. And while people may often really want to come face to face with the evil and fear associated with torturous acts, it almost seems that, by keeping the atmosphere a bit neutral and objective, the designers have perfectly shown the carelessness and normality with which the torturers sadistically stimulated their victims. So while it wasn’t what most would expect with a name like Torture Museum, it was certainly a fascinating historical learning experience that would most likely be exciting and perhaps even erotic for those who enjoy this type of role-playing in everyday life.
The Amsterdam Sex Museum
Known as the Venus Temple, the Sex Museum is not only the very first and oldest sex museum in the world but also one of the most successful. This Amsterdam museum offers historical to modern works of art with all forms of sex, from the sensual and more love-infused aspect to traditional pornography, to exhibitions, displays, and paintings of hardcore sexual activity. If you go to the sex museum looking for a giggle or perhaps for the shock value that the place’s title might imply, you may be somewhat disappointed. While this museum is fun, it’s not exactly tacky or so offensive that you’ll want to tell stories about it for years to come. It is actually much more advanced than that. It seems the museum’s goal is to celebrate the beauty and magnificence of sexual art and if true they do a great job. If you are interested in a more new, crazy, maybe even rebellious to some, kind of sex display, you may want to go to the Erotic Museum as described below. Info for the Amsterdam Sex Museum is as follows:
Location: Damrak 18 2012 LH Amsterdam
The erotic museum
While the Sex Museum is quite conservative, the Erotic Museum seemingly has no limits. With five floors of crazy, flashy, artistic sculptures, paintings, cartoons, and even some interactive (but clean!) Exhibitions, this Amsterdam museum takes you into the world of hardcore pornography and bizarre fetishes. The displays here are certainly still quality enough to be considered artistic and perhaps sensual (ok some) to some degree, but it’s more of a novelty museum. While the Venus Temple seems to celebrate the softness and beauty of sex in its various forms, the Erotic Museum seems to want to celebrate the fun, excitement, and spontaneity of the act and hobby, or for many at this Red Light District Erotic Museum location, the occupation. There are displays of such overt sexual fetishes, such as mannequins with fruit shoved into their openings, an area that illuminates the prostitutes of red light because it encourages visitors to stand in their improvised red-lit window. And for the big kicker, if you take the time to notice as you climb to the top floor is a pretty little busty mannequin squatting above you and urinating on something like the glass right above your head. Don’t expect this museum to turn on super, but it’s a great laugh and something worth going just because you’ll never see anything like it again.
Located at OZ. Achterburgwal 54. Red light district.