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.
The Biblical Museum isn’t a large museum, but it is densely packed with historical items and replicas that cover the Christian religious history of Amsterdam and the Netherlands.
The early seventeenth century was a pretty strange time in the Netherlands. Tulip mania was all around, livelihoods were being built up, merchants were raking it in, and then it all came crashing down. So it’s quite natural that someone made a Tulip Museum to capitalise on this.
The Amsterdam Cheese Museum is clearly and unapologetically there to get tourists to buy cheese from their shop. And that’s fine.
The Amsterdam Museum is, as the name suggests, focussed on the city of Amsterdam, and its history. It’s exhibitions cover the thousand years from Amsterdam land being reclaimed to the modern day, and the people that were (and are) part of it.
The Amsterdam Dungeon is not something I’d put on a Wikipedia list of museums, but it was there and so I went. Ostensibly it’s historical, and it does cover some of the history of Amsterdam. But you’re not going to learn all that much. What it really is, is a somewhat interactive “house of horrors” type event, where the theme is the more violent or gruesome elements of Amsterdam’s history.