The National Maritime Museum shows how the sea has shaped Dutch culture. Some of our exhibitions bring historic events and personal stories to life. Others display the showpieces from our world-famous collection. We have special exhibitions for everyone, even our very youngest visitors. All exhibitions have explanatory texts in English.


discover our tours


all exhibitions


east indiaman amsterdam

step back in time

Experience the Amsterdam! With our new fun activities you can really get a sense of how life used to be on an East Indiaman. Continue>

the atlases

Go on a journey with the maps and atlases that forever changed how we see the world.


see you in the golden age

no golden age without the sea

In the Netherlands, we refer to the 17th century as our Golden Age. In those days, the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands was one of the richest and most powerful countries in the world. And that was primarily thanks to seafaring. Continue >

the tale of the whale

from sea monster to endangered species

In the 16th century, man knew little of the whale. For the most part, it was thought to be a fearsome sea monster. But that changed when Dutch sailor Willem Barentsz went on a voyage of exploration to the Arctic Ocean... Continue>

port 24/7

a world-class port

From potato chips to sneakers to iPods. Almost all products pass through the port of Amsterdam before being shipped to the rest of the world. Continue>

voyage at sea

come on board for an exciting sea voyage

Voyage at Sea is an amazingly exciting virtual adventure at sea. Join our voyage and get to know the people and the stories behind these important objects from our collection. A startling experience awaits you. Continue>

the paintings

paintings of holland’s glory

In the 17th century, a lively market for paintings of sea scenes emerged in the Netherlands. The maritime industry had become a major driver for the economy, in addition to being a source of national pride. People wanted to be reminded of the ships, the ports, the sea battles, the heroism and the storms, even in their own homes... Continue>

the navigational instruments

the art of knowing where you are

Finding your way is easy these days, thanks to satellite navigation. In olden times, navigating was much more difficult - especially at sea. The Navigational Instruments will give you an idea of how inventive the sailors of yesteryear were. Continue>

the photo albums

tales from bygone days

The National Maritime Museum has a huge collection of photo albums dating from the early years of photography. The photos show a beautiful and personal picture of sea travel and exotic destinations. They are a document of what life was like in those days. Continue>

the ship decorations

raw beauty and pure craftsmanship

A ship’s ornaments do not make a ship sail better, yet ships have been decorated in all times and in all places. Greeks, Romans, Vikings and Dutchmen: they all decorated their ships with paintings, woodcuts, statues and images packed full of symbolism. Continue>

the yacht models

the timelessness of ostentation

Even as early as the 17th century, people who could afford to loved to show off their richly decorated yachts. This exhibit of ship models presents a beautiful picture of luxury pleasure craft through the ages. Continue>

the glass, silver and porcelain

style with a story

Naval heroes, regents and merchants were often given lavish gifts as a token of gratitude for services rendered or in commemoration of extraordinary events. These glasses, plates, dishes, and other pieces are all exquisite specimens of fine craftsmanship and each has a stirring story behind it, from the glass depicting an entire naval battle to the dishware eaten from by a sultan. Continue>