Take the opportunity of a bad weather day to explore some of the best and most unusual museums in the Netherlands - located right in the capital.
Amsterdam is well known for its history and culture. While there’s always exciting things going on in the city, let’s be honest. A rainy weather forecast may ruin some of your outdoor plans. Have no fear! There are plenty of intriguing places to check out that will keep you dry and entertained. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite small and unusual museums to make the most out of your Amsterdam trip, no matter what the weather looks like outside. So grab an umbrella and an open mind, and get ready for a museum day out in Amsterdam.
1. Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic)
Bad weather may have you praying to the gods for some sunshine. This unusual Amsterdam museum is located in an even stranger location - a hidden church! Venture into the second oldest museum in the city and prepare to be amazed at the miniature Catholic Church that’s still in use today. Whether you’re religious or not - you’ll be thanking the heavens for this faithful escape from the rain.
2. Houseboat Museum
Amsterdam is famous for its picturesque canals - but what if it’s too rainy to walk up and down the UNESCO area? What if we told you there was a way to explore the canals in a more authentic way? Yup, you can visit the Houseboat museum right along the canals. Don’t let the weather get you down, instead get down and inside one of the boats yourself! Besides, there’s nothing more Dutch than exploring the canal boat lifestyle.
3. Katten Kabinet
Looking for an interesting museum in the Netherlands? What about one that offers 9 lives? Well, not exactly. But at Katten Kabinet, you can dive into a house filled with just about everything cat related. The owner created the museum to honour his late cat, and since then it’s grown into an eclectic collection of cat art! Cats hate the rain just as much as you, so next time the weather isn’t looking good in Amsterdam head to the Cat Cabinet! We think it’s the purrrrfect escape.
4. MOCO Museum
Museumplein is one of Amsterdam’s most popular spots for museums. With the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum located in the square, it’s no wonder it brings in millions of visitors each year! But if you want to check out a gallery that’s less crowded, MOCO is the place to go. The building itself is impressive, but what’s on the inside will really blow you away: modern art from local and international artists, including the anonymous Banksy. Skip out on the overpopulated museums and check out this intimate art experience on the next rainy day in Amsterdam. You can get your tickets here.
5. Museum Vrolik
If walking around in the rain gives you a bad feeling, just wait until you check out this creepy museum. Museum Vrolik may be the Netherlands’ most spooky museum we’ve found: bones, skulls, siamese twins, and over 10,000 anatomical pieces. Thunder and lightning may scare you, but it’s got nothing on this place. Enter if you dare!
See the world from a different perspective - a microscopic one! Micropia may be one of the more famous museums in Amsterdam, yet we think it still belongs on the list. This is the perfect place to spend a rainy day in the city, and it’s great for all ages. Learn about different microbes and how they work, and see them up close and personal through microscopes! Nothing like getting the big picture out of something so small. You can get your tickets here.
7. This is Holland
It may feel overwhelming to try and tackle an entire city while traveling. Add in bad weather and it could feel impossible. But what if we told you that you could fly and explore not only Amsterdam, but all of the Netherlands? That’s right. At This is Holland, you can discover all of the beauty and culture of the country - within an hour! Through a 5-D special effects projector, you’ll go on a Dutch adventure like no other. The best part? It’s all inside, so the weather won’t rain on your parade. You can book your tickets here.
8. Hash and Marijuana Museum
Okay, let’s be honest. We’re aware of the few R rated activities the Netherlands is known for. Whether you’re exploring the Red Light District or the green coffee shops, there’s a reason this place has such big hype around it. So why not take advantage of the next rainy day to learn more about Amsterdam’s greenest market? The Hash and Marijuana Museum is the world’s first museum dedicated to cannabis. Safe to say, leave the kids home for this one.
Prepare to be amazed at the visual experience that is the NXT in Amsterdam. This small museum packs a big punch. From the moment you walk in you’ll be transported to a different planet with all of the lights and visuals created. Rain can’t possibly ruin your plans here, you’ll be too busy floating through space - no really, there’s a room that looks like you’re in outer space! But we won’t give too much away. It’s better to go and experience it for yourself the next time it’s raining in the city. You can get your tickets here.
10. Electric Ladyland
Arguably one of our favorite museums in Amsterdam is also one of the smallest. But size doesn’t matter when you enter this technicoloured world of fun! Electric Ladyland is a museum in Amsterdam dedicated to fluorescent lights. The owner takes you on a journey through the history of fluorescent lights, along with highlighting the artwork he’s created with it. Turn a bland and gray rainy day into a strikingly radiant day of excitement here at Electric Ladyland.
That’s it for our list of the coolest museums in Amsterdam. But the capital of the Netherlands has even more quirky things to do. Check out our Amsterdam city guide for even more places to go on a rainy day!