Amsterdam has a couple of buildings that stand out from the rest. One of them is a massive green structure not far from the Central Station that is shaped like an ocean liner. That is NEMO Amsterdam – a science museum, which is just as unique as it looks like.
While many people would say that a science museum sounds like a boring place to visit, due to its unique concept, NEMO is everything but boring! It’s a place where science can be experienced and touched; it’s where they prove that learning can and should be fascinating.
The idea taken as a principle in NEMO Amsterdam is studying science in a fun way. Instead of bookworming, kids visiting the museum explore everything themselves.
They check how the laws of physics work by playing. They learn about chemical reactions while running experiments in the Laboratory. They try to capture energy from water, light or wind and see how they make a difference.
Children can spend the whole day in NEMO and still want a few minutes more! Sounds unbelievable, right?
That’s all because NEMO Amsterdam is not a museum in the traditional sense. Unlike many of them, dark and formal, where you’re not allowed to touch anything, NEMO is colorful and looks like a playground. Obviously, the don’t-touch-anything rule does not apply there either.
No one would even give you a detailed map of the building at the entrance, even though that is how it usually works for other museums. In NEMO, every visitor is encouraged to explore everything on their own, without any specific instructions!
The five floors of the NEMO building are filled with numerous scientific and technological objects divided into 13 different exhibitions. Apart from that, there are additional activities that engage children even more.
Several times a day, the museum welcomes visitors to the Chain Reaction show, the world of potential and kinetic energy. The show lasts for 15 minutes: dominoes are falling, balls are rolling, balloons pop – and the audience sees how all of that fits together.
Another popular thing in NEMO Amsterdam is the chemistry laboratory where everyone can become a scientist for half an hour, trying on a lab coat and working on a couple of experiments. Find out how salt interacts with ice, look at the onion cells under a microscope and write everything down in your lab journal.
Finally, there is the Maker Space, where kids come up with creative ideas and make things together. During the autumn half-break, from October 15 to October 30 this year, the science center also offers additional activities and workshops.
While the exhibitions of NEMO Amsterdam are intended primarily for children, there is something for grown-ups there too, and that is the roof of the building.
Renzo Piano, who was an architect hired to design NEMO’s roof, wanted to make a real city square there. Well, he’s done the trick, and now it’s the highest square in the Netherlands.
As this part of the building is freely accessible, a lot of people, both locals and city guests, like to visit, especially when the weather is nice.
In addition to the terrace and the restaurant, one of the museum’s exhibitions, Energetica, is located on the roof. Under the open sky, visitors can play with the interactive sculptures and capture the wind or sun energy.
The NEMO museum is open to visitors from 10:00 to 17:30, from Tuesday to Sunday every week. A regular ticket to the science center costs €15.00, the rest of the prices can be found via the following link. The visit to the roof is free of charge.
For the exact address of NEMO Amsterdam and the directions for how to get there, visit the official NEMO website.