Science Center NEMO

NEMO Science Museum is the preeminent science museum located anywhere in the Netherlands, and is routinely one of Amsterdam’s most visited museums. NEMO Science Museum proudly boasts a collection of approximately 20,000 historic artifacts—namely historic technological devices—but the real draw here is the museum’s tremendous selection of interactive galleries and immersive experiences. With five floors of fun-filled, hands-on exhibits just waiting to be explored, NEMO Science Museum is a family-friendly favorite of Amsterdam visitors.

Money Saving Tip! Science Center NEMO is included on the I Amsterdam City Pass. If you are sightseeing in Amsterdam, then you can save a lot of money with the pass.

History of NEMO Science Museum

NEMO Science Museum was founded in 1923 by the artist Herman Heijenbrock, who sought to establish a welcoming space to display the many artworks, objects, and gadgets he had accrued throughout his career. At that time, the facility was called the Museum of Labor, and Heijenbrock dreamed of growing the project into a national museum of technology. This goal was never realized during his lifetime, but in 1954 the facility’s name was changed to the National Institute for Industry and Technology.

The past quarter-century has seen the attraction undergo a series of important changes that have transformed it into the successful entity it is today. In 1997, the museum moved into its current building: a fabulous, modern design courtesy of legendary architect Renzo Piano built right on top of the IJTunnel. In 2016, the name NEMO Science Museum was adopted, and today the attraction draws upwards of 700,000 visitors each year.

NEMO Science Museum Highlights

NEMO Science Museum consists of five floors, each one organized around a central theme. The first floor, Fenomena, explores natural phenomena of the world like light, sound, and static electricity in an attempt to introduce children to how science works. The second floor, Technium, focuses on technology and its many applications in our lives today. The third floor, Elementa, examines the foundations of life on Earth. The fourth floor, Humania, considers what it is to be a human being, while Energetica occupies the museum’s fifth floor.

Across these five fascinating floors are a variety of exciting educational exhibits. The Innovation Gallery displays several centuries worth of technological advances as diverse as antique vacuum cleaners, walkie talkies, and eighteenth-century batteries. Science Throughout the Ages is an exhibit that tells the story of how science developed as a field of inquiry over the past several centuries via timelines, artifacts, and telescopes. Life in the Universe promises to be fun for the entire family, as it features an assortment of microscopes, an actual meteorite, and Project Earth!, an immersive gaming experience that challenges you to save the planet from radiation, solar wind, comets, and a whole lot more.

Other popular activities running daily at NEMO Science Museum include NEMO’s Chemistry Laboratory, where visitors are encouraged to put on a white lab coat and conduct experiments for themselves using an array of household products like vinegar and baking powder; Chain Reaction, a 15-minute demonstration of cause and effect sure to delight the little ones; and Water Power, which enables guests to build their own dam in order to create a green energy source.

More to See and Do at NEMO Science Museum

NEMO Science Museum is considered by many to be the best science museum in all of the Netherlands, meaning there’s an incredible number of unique things to see and do when visiting this outstanding attraction.

•The Machine is another great, hands-on exhibit, one that lets kids design and operate a logistics network for themselves. As part of The Machine, they’ll be able to operate a robot arm, prepare a package for shipment, and decide how best to transport their precious cargo.

•NEMO Science Museum contains its very own Maker Space. Located on the facility’s second floor (as part of Technium), Maker Space allows kids to unleash their inner innovator. This hands-on exhibit encourages children to try and invent a new gadget or create a fabulous piece of art.

•Located on the museum’s rooftop, Energetica is an outdoor exhibit that combines spectacular views with interactive installations and engaging sculptures. The focus here is on teaching visitors how renewable energy works, and so highlights of Energetica include Wind Island, Solar Island, and Water Cascade.

•There are numerous dining options available at NEMO Science Museum. NEMO’s rooftop restaurant was designed by Renzo Piano, and it’s a spacious spot featuring lovely views of the surrounding city. On the museum’s second floor you’ll find NEMO’s café, which sells an assortment of sandwiches and beverages. Guests in the mood for something quick will want to head straight for the NEMO coffee bar, located near the museum’s main entrance.

•If none of those options sound sufficiently appealing to you, be advised that NEMO Science Museum is the rare museum facility that actually encourages visitors to bring in their own outside food and drink. You’ll find designated areas located throughout the museum where you can enjoy your meal.

Why NEMO Science Museum Should Be on Your Must-See List

For families visiting the city with small children, NEMO Science Museum is one of the top attractions in all of Amsterdam. Its five floors are jampacked with engaging exhibits, educational activities, and opportunity after opportunity for interactive fun. Your little ones will love NEMO Science Museum, and the attraction’s proximity to other big-name Amsterdam highlights like the National Maritime Museum, Hortus Botanicus, and museum Rembrandthuis ensures the good times can continue well after you’ve all had your fill of science.