Dick Bruna is the creater of Miffy or known by the dutch as Njintje. This delightful little girl bunny was designed in 1955 and helped Dick Bruna to have worldwide fame. She is so popular that she has her own statue in Utrecht and her own television program and is up there on the top ten dutch exports. Dick Bruna wrote and illustrated 100+ books which have been translated into over 40 laguages and sold 80M copies worldwide.
These children's books are colourful and teach children simple lessons in a fun way
The museum is open Tues - Sunday 11am - 5pm. The focus downstairs is more interactive for the children whilst upstairs the adults can learn more about the author. They organise events for children 3-6yrs old. I am such a fan of miffy that I went to our childrens museum in London specially to see the Happy Birthday miffy exhibition. As you go in there is a free audio guide but I gather you have to ask as the staff were a bit unhelpful.
Do be aware that the entrance cost is Eur8 combined with 2 other museums (tickets not sold separately) you can only purchase the entrance tickets at the Centraal museum across the way. The building that houses this collection was previously used as a mad house.
My paternal grandfather was a railwayman, so I suppose trains are in my blood. I've always loved railway travel. Finding, by accident, the Spoorwegmuseum (Railway Museum) therefore made it an absolute must see. Entrance is a fairly hefty €12:50 for adults but it was worth every cent.
I don't really know where to begin. The Museum is housed in the old Maliebaan station, which is hugely impressive in itself. Indeed, if you are a real railway enthusiast, there are special trains several time a day linking the Central Station to here, so you can actually arrive by train.
Passing the splendour of the Station, you go out the back to a huge hall where there are old trains of every shape and size. Have a look at the photos for a general idea.
As well as the trains, many of which you can actually get on, there is a train driving simulator and an interactive tour round de Arend,which was the first train in Holland in 1839. Apparently, it was driven by an Englishman! There is a "ghost train" which carries you through all sorts of old trains etc. in a supposedly haunted goods yard.
Outside, there are yet more trains, carriages and whatnot to see. There is an old turntable, a recreated signal box from Groningen, a water tower and numerous other interesting things.
There are all sorts of things for youngsters outside, including their own kiddies train and handcarts which they can propel along a short track. The foul weather prevented my wandering into the maze! If you're wondering why the weather looks so good in some of the photos, I took those on Monday, when the Museum is shut. When I actually visited, it was pouring down!
Although I visited on a November weekday, the place was quite full and I suspect it gets very busy in the holidays. I must admit to having had a bit of a camera frenzy, to the extent that I'm going to have to create an album on my homepage to accomodate more of the photos than I can here. Have a look.
This well thought out museum will absolutely delight kids of all ages. Thoroughly recommended.
The audio tour starts in a trembling time machine, which takes you back to the year 1839.
It's amazing. When you come out of this machine, you are standing in an old English mining village, where the first train driver John Middlemis tells you about his life and the first steam engins.
We felt as little people in a giant model train scene. The décor is wonderful. Sound and smell makes it realistic. The replica of the "Arend", the first steam engine in Holland is perfect!
This tour ends with an exposition of paintings and drawings about trains and sceneries with trains... some are fine examples.
Take about 20 minutes for the audio tour and 10 minutes for the exposition. Of course you can skip the expo if you have kids who prefer action over looking at paintings.
This museum is the oldest municipal museum in Netherlands founded in 1838 has several permanent collections as well as special exhibitions, do make sure you request a free audio guide in the laguage of your choice.
I absolutely loved the dollhouse of Petronella de la Court showing all the intricate details of a 17th centuary dutch residence. These dollhouses were not meant to be played with by children but rather they were colections for ladies in affulent social circles. There are real minature 17th centuary paintings by dutch masters. There are 28 dolls in total dressed in the fashion of the time. The garden is ordained with statues which showed your social status in those days.
The museum itself is housed partly in a medieval cloister and if you can find the chapel within the labyrinth of passages you are in for a treat. Outside there are stables which are now used as another part of the museum currently being renovated.
A permanent exhibition is a medieval type of river barge discovered to be from the Netherlands. It is 17.8m long and made from one tree trunk built in the year 1,000 it is well preserved in the museum so be aware that there is a strange smell in the humidified room they keep it in.
Other temporary collections were of Gerrit Thomas Rietwield furniture designs. He was most famous for the early 1918 frame red and blue chair and his 1924 Schroeder House in Utrecht. See some of his furniture designs on display until 30th Aug 2009, its certainly not ikea.
Part of the 3 museum entry ticket Eur8
This part of the museum is just great!
A wonderful reconstruction of the gare de l'Est in Paris in the late 19th century. This was the place where the Orient Express left for the East before the trip started in London.
Interactive screens, articles, folders, brochures, maps, presented in a fantastic décor with turn of the century music... it's as if you were there.
Don't miss the theater show, a humoristic act of 20 minutes about a young woman travelling on the Orient express without her husband.
The hall is full of antique engins; steam engins,more recent diesel locs and carriages. Wonderful! I wonder how they can keep them so shiny. They are all incredibly clean! (a woman's remark, of course he he)
Some of them are open and some can be visited with a guide who tells the story of the specific loc or carriage.
There is also a post carriage. -Remember that post trains ride at night.- This carrige feels as if the train is riding. Post bags are shaking and when you look outside the windows, you see little lights passing by, just as if the train was riding at night.
A great reconstruction!
This museum is really different!
The Catharijneconvent museum displays a collection of Christian art from the Middle Ages until the present. Next to the perminent exhibition there are thematic ones.
Admission fee: € 12,00 (adult)
Tu-Fr: 10AM - 5PM
Sa-Su: 11AM - 5PM
This dark ride is sometimes rather creepy, especially for young kids.
The ride is literally a breathtaking trip between, under and over hissing, whistling and rumbling monsters of steel. Feel the heat of the steam and smell the smoke.
A highlight in this museum, just as World II (the Orient Express)
The Aboriginal Art Museum is situated on the Oude Gracht, in the centre of the city. The museum is the only of its kind in all of Europe. Inside the museum you can see about 500 pieces of art varying from paintings to sculptures. The museum has various expositions throughout the year. When I went on display were Lands of the Spinifex people.
The good thing about the museum is that a lot is explained to you about what the meaning is of certain symbols you often see in the paintings. This makes it interesting for everyone not just the people who have already seen a lot of aboriginal art before or people that have been to Australia.
The museum is very bright and the displays are informative. Go here if you want to see something else and it's also a must to go here if you've been to Australia or are planning a trip there.
Take a look at the website for more information about guided tours and if you always wanted to learn about playing the didge, check out when the didgeridoo workshops are. Other facilities are an art gallery where you can buy authentic paintings and sculptures. There is also a souvenir shop with Australian tea, you can buy posters there and other gifts. I found a very nice poster with a piece of art on it from the Art Gallery in Sydney. It depicts a washing line with a lot of flying foxed hanging on the lines. I took a picture of it on my visit to Australia. Hope you like it...
Hollands national railway museum is situated in the impressive Maliebaan station in the city. The main building is very ornate (see photo) and used for conferences and meetings and then a short walk takes you in to the large exhibition hall where you can see a static display of trains from Hollands railway history. With a headset (English available) you can take a walk through County Durham in the UK where the railway was invented and then move on to a very good recreation of Haarlem in 1839 when the first train ran in Holland. The driver of the train was English and I felt quite honoured.
The theatre has live shows through the day and an assistant told me this was a film show. It was a one woman show on travel on the Orient Express and quite visual so worth seeing if you do not speak Dutch - without seeing this you miss the small train ride under and alongside some exhibits.
Good cafe and generally disabled friendly. Great for children - there is a play area outside.
Allow at least 3 hours.
This is a really fun museum for all ages. Situated in an old unused station you can experience railing through the invention of steam engines right to the present day.
The website below (English version) is already a fun way to get acquainted.
The "Nederlands Spoorwegmuseum" is the national railway museum in the Netherlands.
The museum was established in 1927 and was initially located in one of the main buildings of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch National Railroad) in Utrecht.
In 1941, during the war the museum is housed in a wing of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
In 1954 the museum reopened in the remodeled "Maliebaan station", a former railway station in Utrecht. In this location there was far more room to exhibit the entire collection to the public, including historical rail equipment.
In the completely restored 19th-century Maliebaan station you feel like a passenger in a 1874 station.
The Railway museum own an extensive collection of locomotives, trains, carriages, scale, steam machines, paintings, railway materials and objects.
VIDEO of my visit:
The Utrecht Archives is housed in a rather impressive building downstairs they have a computerised archive system that holds records dating back to the 11th centuary. You can trace your genealogy here with access to population records, marriage, birth and death certificates from 1811 – 1942. When we visited there was a grandfather and grandchild making up a newspaper for themselves of relevant historic events that perhaps occurred in the granddads time and tracing their family roots. Downstairs as well is a collection of short movies relevant to historic events in Utrecht which you can select and view at your leisure as well as take a virtual tour of places in Utrecht along the main canal.
Upstairs I believe is a large library with a collection of 70,000 books, magazines and newspapers. Also there is access to approximately 500,000 drawings, maps and photographs from which prints can be ordered. There was an exhibition of postcards of Utrecht through the ages and the former prison cells have also been turned into an exhibition. The building used to be a monastery and you can still see traces of the Paulus Abbey, see the Gothic pointed arch used by the Benedictine monks to get the chapter hall. Visit the storage cellar and meet the ghost of this establishment!!
There is English information on paper when you enter the archives but the displays are mostly in dutch.
At the Oudegracht in Utrecht, near the DOM tower, you will find the ABORIGINAL ART MUSEUM.
It is the 1st Gallery for contemporary Aboriginal Art in EUROPE.
The gallery presents Aboriginal art from all regions of AUSTRALIA
Isn't this work-of-art a wonderful creation ??
CREATED by : MUNTJA NUNGURRAYI, Balgo Hills.
Recently (2003) I have seen a documentary about the Aboriginals and how they create these works.
The most stunning idea is this: they just LOVE making their paintings.
Sitting in groups they hum and work, hour after hour and believe me, every dot and line tells a story, which of course has to to with their famous : SONGLINES (read CHATWIN'S BOOK "SONGLINES" ) AND DREAMS.
Once a work has been finished they are no longer interested in it! They don't care whether they are in world's most famous museums or thrown away....they don't want to keep them, see them let alone talk about them.
They do get a fair amount of money (they love MONEY and don't we all??) and a group of people interested in the Aboriginals and their wellfare buy the paint and brushes and even canvasses in frames....they only want to paint...paint...paint.....
This MUSEUMKWARTIER is situated in the southern part, the old part, of the city.
It is easy to reach by PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, ON FOOT, BY BIKE OR BY CAR.
It is a string of canals, Medieval houses, churches, galleries, museums, little atmospheric restaurants. In this treasure trove you can find the history, richness, art and culture of UTRECHT.
The DOMTOWER (which of course you can/must climb!) which is more than 6 CENTURIES old and 1120 meters in height is the highlight of this tour.