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Wereldmuseum Amsterdam

Museum of World Cultures

The Wereldmuseum Amsterdam (formerly Tropenmuseum) is one of Amsterdam’s most intriguing museums. Deriving from the Dutch colonial past, this ethnographic museum contains fascinating exhibitions on many non-Western cultures. Book your Wereldmuseum tickets here

The museum is located in the Plantage neighbourhood of Amsterdam to the east of the city centre and close to Oosterpark. It is housed in a fine old building which dates from 1926 although the museum itself was originally founded in the 19th century.

The museum is part of the National Museum of World Cultures umbrella organisation (Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen) along with partners Wereldmuseum Leiden and Wereldmuseum Rotterdam.

The Wereldmuseum entrance foyer is located in the basement floor (-1) where you will find the ticket desk, lockers and toilets.

wereldmuseum amsterdam foyer
Wereldmuseum Amsterdam – foyer

The exhibitions themselves are spread over 3 floors (0/1/2) around the imposing Great Hall (Lichthal) which is the heart of the museum and used for events and activities.

Wereldmuseum Amsterdam
Wereldmuseum Amsterdam – Great Hall

Wereldmuseum Amsterdam has a rich collection of items from many exotic parts of the world. The museum exhibitions used to be based on geographical region – however, the new presentations are curated more on universal themes that connect all people.

Wereldmuseum Amsterdam great hall
Great Hall side view

Floor 0 now hosts two permanent exhibitions. Things That Matter is about personal objects related to social matters such as heritage and migration. Our Story looks at the history and development of the museum.

wereldmuseum amsterdam things that matter exhibition
Things That Matter exhibition
wereldmuseum amsterdam our story exhibit
Our Story exhibit

Wereldmuseum Junior (the oldest children’s museum in the Netherlands) is also found at floor 0 and is hands-on facility for younger visitors – tailored mainly to Dutch school visitors.

Floors 1 and 2 now host thematic and temporary exhibitions.

On Floor 1 there is Our Colonial Inheritance which looks at Dutch colonial history in Indonesia, Suriname, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and other countries.

wereldmuseum amsterdam - our colonial inheritance
Wereldmuseum Amsterdam – Our Colonial Inheritance
wereldmuseum amsterdam - our colonial inheritance
Our Colonial Inheritance / Wealth From Overseas
wereldmuseum amsterdam - our colonial inheritance
Our Colonial Inheritance / Slavery

Floor 2 currently has the temporary exhibition Plastic Crush, about the world’s changing relationship with plastic, from useful product to plastic waste. It runs until 21 April 2024.

wereldmuseum amsterdam plastic crush
Plastic Crush exhibition

There is a shop selling books, jewellery and gifts on floor 0 and the KIT cafe (which doesn’t accept cash) on floor -1.

wereldmuseum shop
Wereldmuseum shop
wereldmuseum kit cafe
KIT cafe

Overall, the museum is superbly presented with labelling in both English and Dutch. It must be said that reviews of the new museum layout have been mixed – some find the themes educational and inspiring whilst others think there is too much political correctness pervading the museum narrative.

Wereldmuseum Amsterdam is housed in a spectacular building and has a magnificent collection of artefacts. Its slightly out-of-centre location in the east means it probably does not get the visitor numbers it deserves.

Wereldmuseum Amsterdam Essential Info

Opening Hours

1000-1700 Tue-Sun, closed Mondays (except on public/school holidays).

Wereldmuseum Amsterdam Tickets & Admission

€17.50 for adults, €10 for CJP cultural youth pass, €9 for children 6-18. Free for children 0-5, Museumkaart and I Amsterdam City Card holders.

You can book Wereldmuseum Amsterdam tickets online here

Alternatively, order the I Amsterdam City Card online here which includes free entrance to the Wereldmuseum.

How to Get to Wereldmuseum Amsterdam

You can reach the museum on foot by walking down Plantage Middenlaan and then crossing over the Mauritskade canal.

By public transport, the nearest tram stop is ‘Alexanderplein’ and you can take tram 14 from Amsterdam Central; alternatively take tram 7 from Leidseplein or tram 19 from Amsterdam Sloterdijk.

Address / Contact

Wereldmuseum Amsterdam, Linnaeusstraat 2, 1092 CK Amsterdam
T: +31(0)88-0042800,

Last updated 5 April 2024. This article was first published in 2010 and has been regularly updated.

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