One of the standard must-do things for many tourists visiting Amsterdam who spend all of their time in the city centre is a visit to a coffee shop to get stoned. This could then be quite naturally followed up with a trip to the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum which will take you through the history of the Devil’s Lettuce.
Foam calls itself a museum only in passing, and in reality it lies in the area that is somewhere in between a museum and a photography exhibition space. It presents a changing set of exhibitions that can tell stories of a contemporary or historical nature, particularly artistic or more documentary, and when I visited it had all ends of these spectrums covered.
Electric Ladyland bills itself as the first and only museum of fluorescent art, and it sure isn’t like anything else I’ve come across. It may also be the most hippy place I’ve ever been to. The museum contains paintings, sculptures, equipment, minerals, and yourself, best viewed under strong UV lamps for the greatest effect.
The Erotic Museum sits in the middle of Amsterdam’s (in)famous Red Light District. It has four floors, containing various erotically-themed things. There is a lot of art, both modern and historical, displays, books, toys, magazines, equipment, and so on. This post contains pictures from there, and may be NSFW.
Amsterdam has had a long history with trams, the first line (line 1) being horse-drawn, and opening in 1875. By around twenty years later, most of it was electrified. Nowadays, electric trams are a major part of getting around Amsterdam, especially when it’s raining or your bike is stolen. The Electric Tramway Museum keeps and maintains a bunch of old trams from Amsterdam and elsewhere, and lets you ride in them!
The Diamond Museum starts at the beginning, with the creation of diamonds under the crust of the earth, proceeds to the manufacture of the sparkly things you see, and finishes with their uses. In this respect, it something of an odd place, as it has quite a lot of space to fill and starts with a chronological history, but ends with a show-case of sparkles.
In the city of Den Bosch (aka ‘s-Hertogenbosch), about 500 years ago, a famous painter died. Known as Jheronimus Bosch, he was a painter and draughtsman. Now, for the first time in hundreds of years, a large portion of his works have returned to Den Bosch and are on display at the Noord Brabant museum.
Like many of Amsterdam’s museums, the Nationaal Brilmuseum (National Museum of Spectacles) is a shop and a museum in one. Unlike many of those, the museum is actually a thing in its own right, as opposed to just something to get people into the shop. On the ground floor you can buy vintage but unworn frames for yourself, but upstairs there are two floors which take you through the history of glasses, from the early wooden nose-pinching ones, through opera and safety glasses, to those that could be confused for weird butterflies.
The Anne Frank House is one of those places that is considered a must-see in Amsterdam, and this reputation is quite justified. It tells a story that is both personal and terrible, and provides a depth of insight into a period of history that goes much further than most historical accounts of things of this nature. In particular, it (along with the diary) takes a slice of the life of a young girl, rather than attempting to be a historical resource to teach you about events. This makes it both more accessible, and more tragic.