Het Spoorwegmuseum (Railway Museum)

We visited the Railway Museum during the last school break. This place is so much fun! My son is slightly obsessed with trains so it’s the perfect place for him. He was so excited to come that he insisted on wearing 2 different train shirts, a t-shirt that his grandpa got for him at another train museum and his train pullover. He kept pointing to his shirts and the train and saying “another one like this!”

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A quick overview:

The museum itself is basically separated into 4 different parts.

  1. The first building is actually an old train station. It is gorgeous! I really recommend you have a wander around, it’s not that big. There is, what looks like, a really nice coffee shop inside with cakes and other sweets. Our plan was to have a snack there before we left but we stayed until the museum closed so we ran out of time. Next time for sure. As weird as it sounds I also recommend checking out the bathrooms. They are some of the prettiest I have seen. The tiles are great. The little stalls themselves have the old fashioned type of toilette. Not an actual toilette but a whole solid wood bench with a whole in it and a pull string to flush. My son walked in and screamed “mom, there is no toilette”. I went in and explained that this is a toilette but an old fashioned one. He said “how does it work?” priceless. It was so hard not to take a picture of the toilette but I thought it would be weird!   I didn’t take any pictures of this part and I don’t know why. I will have to go back and correct this mistake (yay!).   Exit out the back and you will find
  2. Another train station. There are tracks with some more modern trains parked on them. Keep walking and you will cross an actual working train stop. How cool is that?!? You can take the train to the Railway Museum. check    Home/NS   for more information about train schedules.  Added bonus: this site is in English!!
  3. Go into the really big building. The is the heart of the museum. It’s basically a giant open room with tons of trains. There is a lot to do in here. Things to climb and play with.  There is walkways up high so you can look down on the trains.

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  4. Outside: This is where the real play happens. There is a big climbing/slide structure. There is a little train that will take the kids on a ride. A tiny boat you can pull yourself over to an island with a watch tower. Basically it’s a super cute train themed playground. There is also a bunch more trains (surprised?) to look at and an old signal tower to go into.  One of the coolest things to do is a kind of roller coaster.You sit in a pretend engine of a train and pretend to drive it while a screen in front of you shows where you are going. The whole thing moves and shakes and makes noise. My kids loved it. They kept squealing! Honestly I really enjoyed it as well. If the line wasn’t so long we would have rode it again.

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Some Practical information:

  • There were picnic tables outside so I’m sure you can bring your own food as long as you don’t sit in the cafe
  • Inside the actual museum is a pretty good little cafe. They had nice sandwiches and salads as well as hot options like hamburgers or your more typical Dutch fried foods.
  • The bathrooms are great. I find myself talking about bathrooms a lot in this post but they deserve it. Here specifically the “kids toilette” is awesome. The actual toilette is a train and you sit on the front of it to do your business. Everything is decorated in a fun train theme and kid sized. My son really loved it. This is also where the changing tables are.
  • Parking: They have their own parking lot that is a pretty good size. It costs 5.50 Euros for the day. There is also “on street” parking all around there but it costs more. Overall, though, parking isn’t a problem.
  • Entree is free till kids turn 4 and after that it costs 16 Euros per person. It is free with your museum card. Still don’t have a museum card? You can read about them by clicking here: The Museum Card .
  • Most of these museums are closed on Mondays so make sure you check the opening times. Their website says that they are generally open on Mondays during school vacations, though.

I really can’t wait to go back. It was great fun. I don’t know how much fun it would be on a rainy day because the outside play area is where we spent a good chunk of our time. They have Thomas the Tank Engine weekends there and that would be really fun to attend. I have also been told by  few different people that Christmas is an amazing time to go. They said that it is really well decorated and there is a lot for the kids to do so I am very excited to check that out.

If Het Spoorwegmuseum isn’t on you “to do with the kids” list put there! You won’t be disappointed.

Het Spoorwegmuseum

Maliebaanstation

3581 XW Utrecht

Looking for more Dutch museum fun with the kids?

Discovery Center Continium: Limburg

Nederlands Water Museum

Science Center Nemo, Amsterdam: A Grand Family Day Out

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