The NEMO Science Museum is the largest in the Netherlands, making it a must-visit for science lovers making a stopover in Amsterdam. Located in the Oosterdokseiland neighbourhood, the 5-storey building has over 10 different sections with plenty of hands-on exhibits.

This kid-friendly science centre has exhibits suitable for visitors of all ages, including an interactive laboratory. The rooftop of NEMO Science Museum has chairs fitted with solar panels, unique sculptures that move with the wind, and an enormous sundial.

NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam - 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)

A brief history of NEMO Science Museum

The NEMO Science Museum dates back to 1923 when it was known as the Museum of Labor. Located in the Rozengracht area of Amsterdam, it was founded by Herman Heijenbrock, a Dutch writer and artist. The museum was later relocated to its current building and renamed the Science Center Netherlands in 2000. It officially became the NEMO Science Museum in 2016.

Unlike most museums across the country, the building housing the NEMO Science Museum has a bright, copper-green exterior and a unique design by the Italian architect, Renzo Piano. Built in 1997, the venue aims to have a striking exterior that captures the public’s attention while retaining a minimalistic interior so guests can enjoy the exhibits distraction-free.

What are the highlights of the NEMO Science Museum?

A variety of exhibits are available at the NEMO Science Museum, including lessons on understanding natural phenomena such as light and sound, learning about the Big Bang, and discovering all about how the human brain works. To keep things interesting, you’ll also find various interactive displays across the museum.

Parents looking to visit with younger children are welcome to visit the upper deck of the museum where a children’s play area awaits. To keep you fuelled throughout the visit, NEMO Science Museum features 3 pit stops throughout its establishment. This includes a café on the 2nd floor, a restaurant on the 5th floor, and a coffee bar by the entrance.

The NEMO Science Museum has a rooftop viewing deck that is free for everyone to visit. Here, you'll be able to look out to the city of Amsterdam and the harbourfront of the Amsterdam waters. Do note however that the viewing deck is closed on rainy days, so it's always best to check the weather forecast before you visit.

Good to know about the NEMO Science Museum

Guests typically spend up to 3 hours at the NEMO Science Museum, and it’s particularly popular on overcast days as you can hide away from the rain. Tickets are exclusively available online and no tickets will be sold at the entrance. You’ll also be able to select your timeslot to visit as a form of crowd control for the establishment.

For your comfort and convenience, the NEMO Science Museum offers a locker service so you can leave your belongings. A coat check counter is also available if you're not keen to carry your coats while exploring the museum. This isn't recommended if you're looking to spend some time on the rooftop as it can get chilly in Amsterdam.

Thanks to the museum's central location, you can easily make your way by taking a 15-minute walk from the Amsterdam Centraal Station. If you want to cut down your walking time, you can ride Bus 22 and stop at Kadijksplein station. Bicycle stands are available for anyone exploring the city on a bicycle. Keep in mind that these may be subjected to availability on a first-come, first-served basis.

NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam

Location: Oosterdok 2, 1011 VX Amsterdam, Netherlands

Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 10 am to 5.30 pm (closed on Mondays)

Phone: +31 (0)20 531 3233

Elie Lam | Contributing Writer