The National Maritime Museum, or Het Scheepvaartmuseum, is an amazing collection of all things related to the extensive shipping and sailing history of the Netherlands. Located in the old harbour, it is not far from the city centre and is a fun way to examine Amersterdam’s reliance on the sea.

The collection contains maps, including pieces drawn by cartographers Willem and Joan Blaeu, paintings that depict important naval officers and sea battles of note, along with models and weaponry. There is even a copy of the first edition of Maximilianus Transylvanus' De Moluccis Insilus, describing Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage around the world.

National Maritime Museum - one of the highlights of 9 Best Things to Do with Kids in Amsterdam and 10 Best Museums and Galleries in Amsterdam (Read all about Amsterdam here)

Highlights of the National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum, housed in the ‘s Lands Zeemagazijn building, was built in 1656 on an artificial island created by sinking 1,800 wooden piles into the harbour floor. Designed by Daniël Stalpaert, it was considered an architectural marvel with the purpose of preparing warships for the Dutch Republic.

A crowd favorite is the replica of the clipper ship Stad Amsterdam of the Dutch East India Company at the front of the building. Reconstructed to the same specs as the ship that sank in the British Channel on its maiden voyage in the winter of 1749, one can marvel at the primitive conditions the sailors endured.

Important Things to Know When Visiting the National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum offers many fun and interesting things in its collection for people of all ages. It is divided into separate exhibits such as the relationship between Amsterdam and the sea, the Dutch influence on the world through the Golden Age, and even an exhibit dedicated to exploring whales and other sea creatures, including endangered species

All information is provided in both Dutch and English, so it is accessible to foreign visitors as well as Dutch citizens. There is also a cafe on the premises, as well, as it can take several hours to see the National Maritime Museum in its entirety.

National Maritime Museum

Location: Kattenburgerplein 1, 1018 KK Amsterdam, Netherlands

Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

Phone: +31 (0)20 523 2222