National Maritime Museum
As is the case with so many countries across the world, the proximity to the sea has helped to shape Dutch culture. If you're looking for unique things to do in the Netherlands, the National Maritime Museum is one of the most interesting and engaging tourist attractions for both young and old. The Museum itself is recently refurbished as of 2011, and includes a bunch of exhibits for all ages to educate visitors on the role the ocean has played for the nation over the past 500 years.
Here's a look at some of the highlights:
* A replica of Amsterdam, a famed three-mast Dutch East India Company ship that guests have the opportunity to board and explore, including its cabins which houses 350 crew members. The ship sank on its maiden voyage in the English Channel in 1749. The replica was finished in 1990 after the wreckage of the Amsterdam was found in the mid-1900s.
* Kid-friendly exhibitions, such as "The Tale of the Whale" and a multimedia presentation titled "See You in the Golden Age."
* The magnificent glass roof structure of the Museum, which was a part of the 2011 renovation. The historic Museum facility itself dates back to 1656, when the Dutch navy used it to store sails and sailing supplies. It was re-purposed into the Museum in the late 1970s.
* A museum restaurant and a museum gift shop.
* A 6,000-plus volume maritime library that guests are able to explore.
* Hundreds of maritime artifacts that visitors are able to see throughout the Museum, which is largely hands-on and interactive.
Hours and Admission
The National Maritime Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., aside from certain holidays (December 25, January 1, April 27). The maritime library is closed on additional days, such as April 1, May 20 and December 24, 26 and 31.
The cost of admission is 15 Euros for adults and 7.50 Euros for children ages 5 to 17 and for students. Children 4 and under are free. Those with an Amsterdam City Pass are also privy to 20 percent discounts on admission.
The National Maritime Museum
1018 KK Amsterdam near the old city harbor