Amsterdam’s Tropenmuseum (Museum of the Tropics) is a rare find in the city, but it is one which must be visited to be truly appreciated. The museum displays a range of permanent and temporary exhibitions about domestic and foreign culture, and social phenomena from around the world. With a variety of different exhibitions on show, there is something different to interest all visitors.
The Tropenmuseum is one of the leading anthropological and ethnographic museums in Europe, and it has been entertaining visitors for nearly 150 years, although it was originally located in a smaller building in the Haarlem district. Whilst the museum was originally designed to educated traders about the importance of understanding the different cultures of the Dutch colonies, it was later taken over by ethnographers, who proceeded to expand the scope of the museum to cover a wider range of places and cultures in the tropics and sub-tropic region. The museum now displays a mixture of old and new artefacts from around the world, including items from popular Dutch sub-cultures.
Whilst the museum is constantly updating its range of temporary exhibitions, it currently has permanent displays on Latin America; North Africa; Oceania; Southeast Asia; Western Asia; Man and the Environment; and Music Dance and Theatre. These exhibitions contain a fascinating mix of art, photographs, objects and audio-visual materials relating to the subject matter. There are also some intriguing reconstructions of local environments. Wide arrays of people have helped to contribute towards these displays, so that after browsing the permanent displays, you will be able to view things from a lot of different perspectives. Those consulted on the contents of the museum include leading public figures from local communities, and well as those who are influential in international ethnic groups. There are also materials from people from a range of different backgrounds and age groups.
The Tropenmuseum Junior is an interactive space designed especially with 6 to 13 year olds in mind. Many of the exhibitions are immersive, to encourage children’s curiosity and encourage engagement. The museum also puts on a wide array of courses and interactive shows which are centred on culture, music and dance. During the week, the Tropenmuseum Junior is only open to school groups, but it is open to families at weekends and during school holidays.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 5pm. In addition to this, the museum is also open on Mondays during the Dutch school holidays and on some public holidays. Entrance tickets to the museum are €12.50 for adults, €8 for 4 to 17 year olds and those with a student card, and free to holders of the Iamsterdamcard or Museumkaart. Activity books are available to purchase from the ticket office to help young children to enjoy the museum.
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