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The Netherlands has a rich history full with interesting stories. There’s one place where you can literally have a walking historic tour through the history. It’s all outside, in small historic houses with people who tell you everything. This place is called the “Openluchtmuseum” in Arnhem and it’s the perfect day trip from Amsterdam!
I have always been a fan of history. It’s been my favorite subject in school and I’m always curious to know how we ended up where we are now and what we’ve been through in our history. I feel like we need to know our history in order to know why we do the things we do. People have fought to get us to this place. And besides all of this, I just love diving deep into how we used to live and what we used to do. That’s exactly what the Openluchtmuseum shows you about the Dutch history!
Perfect history tour in the Netherlands
What I love about this museum is the volunteers, the authentic houses and that it’s outside. You can walk around for miles. It’s so interactive, not boring and it is a place where you can spend the entire day.
Activities to do
The interesting side of this museum is that it’s all outside and you’re free to walk around the entire day! This place is located in the most beautiful part of the Netherlands, it’s in the middle of the forest with lots of hills as well. Most people guess that the Netherlands is completely flat, but the east side feels like an entirely different country.
Like I said, simply just walk around. Explore the 44 hectares of this outdoors museum by foot! There’s really no route to follow and I would suggest just going in any direction you find interesting. It’s a nice walk through the forest and along the windmills and water! You have benches on the side to sit and relax, drink some water and see where you want to go next.
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Take the train
There’s a small train driving through this museum and it’s the perfect way to get from one side to the other side in just a few minutes. It’s a very old tram that used to drive in Rotterdam years ago! The yellow tram is such a fun sight to see and it’s another historic experience to have.
Buy snacks or eat/drink somewhere
There’s a big restaurant at the front of the outdoor museum which has almost everything to eat and drink. If you walk around, in the middle of the museum, you’ll find the small “city centre” with a bakery, cheese store and other small restaurants and cafes in typical and historic Dutch buildings.
The entire outdoors museum has dozens of historic buildings from the very early days of our history. From an old cheese factory, to a home where farmers used to live and a small bakery. Lots of windmills. It is a historic view of how our country used to look like which gives a very authentic and exciting feeling!
The smell here brings you back hundreds of years in history. You’ll smell fire and wood and so many other smells that I cannot even explain. It’s the entire story telling of this place that makes it such an interesting and must-visit if you ever come here.
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The historic stories
Every place in this museum has a volunteer showing you how they made cheese (for example) and tells you who used to live in this house, what they did and how all the people lived during that time. This is another part of the amazing story telling at this place. It’s so much fun to learn more about the history and ask all the questions you have.
They even walk around this place in the traditional clothes! I listened to an old man telling the story about how small we used to be, when we’re considered to be one of the tallest people on the earth right now. The beds used to be twice as small as they are now! The family that used to live in this place had 5 kids and four goats. They lived in the tiniest house with only three beds and a small shed attached for the goats. It’s what was so normal at the time.
Day trip from Amsterdam | How To Get Here
The address: Hoeferlaan 4, 6816 SG, Arnhem
If you are looking for a day trip – this place is perfect. This outdoors museum near Arnhem is perfect to reach by car. It’s also doable if you want to take the public transportation to this place!
Honestly, just add the address into Google Maps and you’re good to go! I can give you all the information about the roads to follow but I’m sure it’s much easier if you follow the directions from Google Maps. If you’re worried about your data – download the map of the Netherlands so you can use it offline without using any data!
For the ones who would like to have the directions, here we go! It’s located in Arnhem-Noord, near the A12/junction Waterberg (exit 26 from A12/E35/Utrecht/Oberhausen and exit 20/Arnhem Centrum from the A50/Apeldoorn). Follow the signs Arnhem-Noord: Openluchtmuseum/Burgers’ Zoo when you’ve exited the highway!
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Take the train to Station Arnhem! I’d recommend using the NS app or www.ns.nl to find the right train to take from your destination and to know when there are any problems on the train track.
Option 1: Take the city bus 3 to Burgers’ Zoo / Openluchtmuseum. It’s a 5-minute walking distance to the outdoors museum.
Option 2: Take the city bus 8 to Velp Ziekenhuis (Velp Hospital). It’s a 4-minute walking distance to the museum.
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Where to stay in the area
If you want to come here, I highly suggest taking the advantage of the area as well. Book one or two nights near Arnhem and you’re good to visit this museum and visit the National Parc the Veluwe. Honestly, you need to visit this area for a little while. The city Nijmegen is close by and this is my all-time favorite city in the Netherlands. It’s such a cosy city, located in the hills and surrounded by nature and forest. Small beaches along the Waal river, a fun shopping street, lots of local cafes and yes, it’s wonderful to bike around here!
Read more. Rotterdam is called the Brooklyn of the Netherlands. I’ve lived so close to Rotterdam and listed all my travel tips for Rotterdam in an insiders guide.
The area around Arnhem is such a nice one to explore more. Not just this outdoors museum, but other cities like Arnhem and Nijmegen I mentioned. Enjoy the national parc and the pretty surroundings as well. I’d say a 1 or 2 night stay is enough if you want to combine this outdoors museum and some more sightseeing!
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Would you love to visit this place? Let me know in the comments!