Netherlands Open Air Museum: Arnhem’s Little Secret

netherlands open air museum arnhem
Posted by on July 31, 2014

Netherlands Open Air Museum in Arnhem

I don’t think the little city of Arnhem gets a lot of love from the travel set, given its out-of-the way location in the province of Gelderland far to the east of the big cities like Utrecht and Amsterdam. There’s at least one reason to visit, however, and quite a nice one at that: the Netherlands Open Air Museum.

netherlands open air museum traditional buildings

Though admittedly a popular stop for school groups, the Open Air Museum in Arnhem is entertaining for not only the young but also the young at heart. (Hat tip to the Dromomaniac.)

big bikes at the arnhem open air museum

Aside from plenty of opportunities to channel your inner child, the museum is also full of idealized classic Dutch-style things like stroopwafle and windmills and several varieties of livestock. There was even an AMAZING movie that I couldn’t understand, with perhaps the most impressive presentation of any I’ve ever seen. Many of the buildings in the museum have been brought here and rebuilt from all over the Netherlands, with windmills and blacksmiths and ‘Indonesian backyards’ giving a look into historical lifestyles in the country.

blacksmith at the open air museum in arnhem

There are also, deliciously, traditional Dutch foods. Poffertjes (buckwheat pancakes) and an old-school candy shop are the big draws, but my money is on the bakery next door and all the delicious things that live within.

traditional dutch apple pastry

Whether you’re looking for an escape from Amsterdam or just something to do en route from the Dutch capital to Germany, Arnhem and the Netherlands Open Air Museum are a decent diversion. Other than the occasional school group, you might just be the only international tourist in town.

shopkeeper at the netherlands open air museum

nature in the arnhem open air museum

Maybe the best thing about Arnhem is the actual quiet. Amsterdam is great, of course, but the constant stream of boobs and bikes and bongs can be a bit much. Arnhem is the total opposite: quiet and calm and not a red light in sight. Plus, it makes a good jumping off point for the excellent Hoge-Veluwe National Park.

Operating hours and admission fees vary depending on the season in which you visit. The park is open daily from 11:00 – 16:30, with extended hours during the busier seasons. Full-price admission is €15.70 in the high season and €5.00 in the low season, with discounts for children 12 or younger. For more information, visit their official website

The Netherlands Open Air museum is, conveniently, located a short walk away from the only hostel in town. If you’re looking for something more upmarket, there are also a number of hotels in the city


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