Amsterdam is home to some world class museums like the Rijksmuseum or the Van Goghmuseum, with their massive collections of iconic art pieces. But Amsterdam also offers some of the coolest and most unique museums in the world. Here is our top 5!
The Hash, Marihuana & Hemp museum
There is no better place for a museum like a Hash, Marihuana & Hemp museum than Amsterdam. Amsterdam is already famous for decades for its coffeeshops, where you can buy marihuana in all varieties. Nowadays more and more countries decriminalize or legalize the sale of marihuana but Amsterdam (and the rest of the Netherlands) already tolerates this since the early 70’s.
The museum opened in 1987 and has a collection of over 7000 pieces. You’ll learn all about the history and culture of weed, with a staggering collection of pipes from over the centuries as well as smoking paraphernalia. But it’s not all about the recreational and farmaceutical aspect of hemp. The museum also shows you how industrial hemp was an important factor in making The Netherlands the richest country in the world in the 17th century.
Visit the cannabis garden, where you can see real plants in different stages of growth. And if you feel like it you can even have a taste of some of their agricultural products in the ‘Vaporizing Area’. This museum is interesting, educational and unique so it made top spot on our list of coolest museums in Amsterdam.
Our House Museum
The Our House Museum is the first museum in the world dedicated to Electronic Dance Music, better known as House. Within the museum you’ll learn about the past, present and future of this populare music genre. You can visit interactive exhibits, view video installations and immersive shows and you can even create your own music and learn how to mix tracks.
Some of the exhibits are curated by some famous musicians and institutions, like Daft Punk, Armin van Buuren, Carl Cox and ID&T, to name but a few. Next to these exhibits Our House also offers a unique collection of flyers spanning over 40 years of dance culture. This museum is a must-visit experince for lovers of electronic dance music.
Probably one of the weirdest and maybe even creepiest museums in Amsterdam is Museum Vrolik. The museum is based on a collection started by Professor Gerardus Vrolik, who specialized in congenital abnormalities, also known as teratology. He and his son accumulated a collection of medical and anatomical items for years. A collection of great scientific value and includes anatomical models, skeletons, skulls and reconstructions.
The collection was first only available for medical students, but since a couple of years it’s open for the general public. It’s not located within the old historic centre of Amsterdam, but it’s housed within the Amsterdam Medical Center. The location is very well reachable by public transport and definitely worth the trip to the outerskirts of the city.
Red Light Secrets
Red Light Secrets is a museum dedicated to the oldest profession in the world, so they say. In a city famous for its Red Light District, this museum educates you on all aspects of prostitution in Amsterdam. You’ll discover how the ladies are looked after and made to feel safe as they do their work, which is legal and protected in Amsterdam and the rest of the country.
During your visit, you will experience what it feels like to sit behind one of the famous windows where the sexual workers try to lure customers in. Some of the working girls tell their experiences and give you their perspective on working as a prostitute. The museum aims to educate the public about the profession in a light-hearted and informative way. You’ll also learn about the history of the Amsterdam Red Light District, which is better known as De Wallen.
The Cat Cabinet
If you’re just as fond of cats as art, a museum not to miss is the Cat Cabinet. This independent museum is completely dedicated to cats and art. There’s kitty-themed work by Picasso, Rembrandt, Theophile Alexandre Steinlen, Henriette Ronner Knip, Toulouse-Lautrec and more. Enjoy it all while petting the cats that actually live in the museum.
It’s not a big museum and ofcourse very niche, but it’s odd, interesting and fun enough to make our list.