The Strangest Museums Of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Jul 31, 2015 | Amsterdam, Destinations

Amsterdam’s museums are world-famous and even without having visited the city, most people know about the Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum. But did you know about the quirkier, smaller museums? Amsterdam has all sorts of unusual collections – dedicated to cats, spectacles, houseboats and bibles to name just a few!

If you’re the kind of person who likes to go off the beaten track then you should certainly explore some of these more unusual museums, which often have the bonus of being situated in some stunning locations.

Cat Cabinet

This feline monument was founded in memory of a frisky tomcat, John Pierpont Morgan, long-time companion of the museum’s founder. Even if you’re not cat crazy, then a stroll through the impressive rooms of this beautiful canal house – also used in the film Ocean’s Twelve – is an unexpected treat.

Biblical Museum

It’s a similar story at the Biblical Museum (Bijbels Museum). Even if you are not an avid Bible reader, the museum building is still quite a find. Situated in two historic houses – designed by Philips Vingboons – this atmospheric setting on the Herengracht houses is one of the oldest Dutch museums. A highlight is the 1718 painted ceiling by Jacob de Wit. There is also a life-sized reconstruction of the shrine housing the Ark of the Covenant and a superb collection of Bibles – including the oldest Bible printed in the Netherlands. Free admission with the I amsterdam City Card.

Houseboat Museum

You don’t find houseboats everywhere in the world, so it follows that you won’t find many houseboat museums. The Houseboat Museum answers all the questions you might have concerning the practicalities of living on the water in Amsterdam – like how the water, electricity and sewage function. The museum is situated on the Hendrika Maria, a former freighter which was converted into a houseboat in the 1960s. These days it looks like the owners have just popped out to the shops! Free admission with the I amsterdam City Card.

Spectacles Museum

The Spectacles Museum grew out of the passion of a private collector for optometric objects. On the ground floor you will also find a recreated 1930s spectacle shop, which sells historic frames and some more modern models.

More unusual attractions include the Museum of Bags and Purses, the Pianola Museum– also one of Amsterdam’s smallest museums, the Tulip Museum, the Coffee and Tea Museum and the Diamond Museum.