Scheepvartmuseum AmsterdamWithout the sea, there is no Netherlands, whose wealth and power was built in large part from the shipping and trade industries. The country’s rich maritime legacy is told through the display of more than 300,000 objects representing 500 years of history at the Scheepvartmuseum in Amsterdam.

Everything about the museum harkens the sea, from the building itself, a former naval storehouse built in the 17th-century on the water in order to supply and offload ships on all sides to the replica of the Amsterdam VOC ship, moored next to the museum. Even the impressive lattice glass roof in the open courtyard at the point of entry for the museum makes reference to the lines of longitude and latitude on old nautical charts.

The museum uses its extensive collection of objects, which includes paintings, ship replicas and navigational tools, in combination with 5 main themes – the Dutch and the World, the Netherlands as a Maritime Nation, The Sea as a Source of Inspiration, the Sea as a New Challenge and Amsterdam as a Port City – to tell the country’s sea faring history.

The numerous interactive displays will keep children entertained, as will the wing of the museum dedicated to them. A kids’ guide to the museum is available for purchase at the entrance filled with games, history and quizzes to entertain and educate little ones and help them get the most out of their visit.


The museum is open seven days a week from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, with the exception of Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Queen’s Day (April 30).  Visit for more information on special exhibitions and admission costs.