The Amsterdam Tropical Museum is one of the largest museums of The Netherlands, dedicated to ethnographics: tropical cultures around the world. Permanent exhibitions at the Amsterdam Tropical Museum include traditions from Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, South-east Asia as well as world music, and rites and ceremonies of the Papuans (New Guinea). It also features a permanent exhibition about slavery and the consequences of colonialism. The museum is rather innovative, not only does it show objects and art, but you can get a real feeling of non-western cultures by hearing the music, smelling and tasting.
A big part of the Amsterdam Tropical Museum is dedicated to temporary exhibitions. Check out what’s on this year in the Amsterdam exhibitions calendar.
The museum dates back to 1871. It was founded to show the Dutch colonies and their inhabitants. Laten, the museum also did research about how to improve the results of coffee beans. Scientists also started to collect and portray information about local customs. In 1926 the building of the Tropical Museum, an enormous colonial styled building was built in Amsterdam East. The main hall is 800 m2 large. It has a spectacular glass ceiling.
The Tropenmuseum is owned by the Royal Tropical Institute (or KIT, Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen), a merge of the Colonial Institute and the Colonial Museum (merged in 1910).
Qi for kids
The museum is especially nice for children, as it has a special wing, Tropenmuseum Junior, for kids where they can play interactive games. The idea is that by playing games, children will be more open and interested in other cultures and so will be more eager to learn about them. The wing is only open during the weekend.
World music, theatre and cinema
At the Tropical Theatre (Tropentheater) you can enjoy many theatre and musical performances and cinema (fiction and documentaries), ranging from meditative melodies from Tibet, hand dolls theatre (for children), tango, meringue from Angola, flamenco and cinema from Taiwan.
Check programming at Tropentheater.nl.
Tropical Museum entrance
The Tropenmuseum is located in the beautiful neighbourhood of Amsterdam East, near Oosterpark and the Dappermarkt. To get there, take tram 3, 7, 9, 10 and 14. Entrance is €9. (free audiotour).