When it comes to museums, the Netherlands is famous for its world-class institutions like the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. However, beyond thewell-known cultural icons, there exists a world of offbeat and unconventional museums that offer unique and intriguing experiences. If you’re looking for a way to beat the heat this summer, try exploring some of the lesser-known museums in the Netherlands that house extraordinary collections and exhibits. Get ready to uncover hidden treasures and immerse yourself in the quirky side of Dutch culture!
Museum Speelklok, Utrecht
Located in the heart of Utrecht, Museum Speelklok celebrates the enchanting world of self-playing musical instruments. Step into a magical realm as you encounter whimsical mechanical organs, musical clocks and automated orchestras. The museum showcases an impressive collection of musical contraptions, some dating back centuries. Discover the history and craftsmanship behind these musical marvels and even join in a sing-along with the instruments. It’s asymphony of delightful surprises!
Calling all cat lovers! Prepare to be charmed by the feline-inspired art and memorabilia at KattenKabinet in Amsterdam. This eccentric museum pays homage to our four-legged friends through paintings, sculptures and artifacts featuring cats. Explore rooms filled with cat-themed masterpieces, and maybe encounter a few felines along the way. From ancient Egyptian cat amulets to contemporary cat-themed pop art, immerse yourself in a purr-fectly delightful atmosphere.
Museum van de Geest, Haarlem
Delve into the world of psychiatry, mental health and human behavior at Museum van de Geest (Museum of the Mind), an unconventional museum inHaarlem. This thought-provoking institution challenges the perceptions of normality and explores the intricacies of the human mind. Engage with interactive exhibits, personal stories and artistic interpretations that shed light on the diversity and complexities of our mental landscape. Gain a deeper understanding of the historical treatment of mental health issues and the progress made in modern times.
Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo
Nestled in the Hoge Veluwe National Park, the Kröller-Müller Museum is a true hidden gem for art and nature enthusiasts. This museum boasts one of the largest collections of works by the renowned Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, including his iconic masterpieces like The Potato Eaters and Café Terrace at Night. Explore the extensive sculpture garden, which spans over 25 hectares and showcases sculptures by prominent artists such as Auguste Rodin and Henry Moore. The museum’s unique setting amidst the natural beauty of the park creates a harmonious blend of art and nature, offering visitors a serene and immersive experience.
Corpus Museum, Oegstgeest
Corpus Museum in Oegstgeest offers a one-of-a-kind experience to explore the human body. Step inside a giant human-shaped building and take aguided tour through different organs and systems, discovering how our bodies work. With interactive exhibits and realistic displays, it’s an educational and captivating adventure for all ages. With state-of-the-art multimedia exhibits and lifelike displays, you’ll gain a new appreciation for the marvels of the human body.
The Netherlands is home to a variety of offbeat museums, each offering a unique and captivating experience. These examples are just a few of the interesting museums the country has to offer. But there are many more, such as the Beer Museum De Boom in Alkmaar, Pharmacology Museum De Griffioen in Delft, the Teapot Museum in Swartbroek or (very Dutch) the Dredging Museum in Schiedam. Whether you’re interested in art, history or science, there’s something for everyone in the offbeat museum scene of the Netherlands!
Written by Tracey Martin