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NEMO - Family Friendly Amsterdam Attractions

With a name like NEMO and an architectural design reminiscent of a sinking ship, you'd be forgiven for supposing that this building on the Oosterdok was simply a hymn to The Netherlands' glorious maritime past. In fact, its green copped-clad walls are home to the biggest science and technology centre in the country. Inside NEMO you'll find four floors of exhibits evenly dedicated to both edification and interaction. The target audiences here are children and teenagers, but honestly, with hands-on experiences that involve building replica hydroelectric power stations and journeying through a human brain, it's hard to imagine anyone not enjoying or learning something from a visit here. Their sole rule says it all: "please touch everything you see and explore".

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Boat tours in Amsterdam pull up very close to this child friendly attraction

It's hard to know where to begin when stepping into NEMO. Multi coloured contraptions clang, bubble and beep on all sides, while flashing lights and loudspeaker narrations beckon prospective visitors to attractions like electronic barkers. Wherever you start, however, you're going to have fun.

You can conduct your own scientific experiments in the Wonder Lab, get a crash course in physics in Why the World Works. Learn just why you look like your parents in Code Name DNA. Build a bamboo house in Amazing Constructions and learn the essence of creating clean drinking water via the audience participation Water Worlds exhibit.

The expansive Digital World lets you don a virtual-reality helmet and play around with games, images, animations, sounds and websites, and Internet-enabled computers on every floor work alongside theatre and video productions to explain modern-day electronic resources and communications. Another display aims to answer those seemingly unanswerable kids' questions, such as "Why is water clear but the sea blue?"

There's even an exhibit focusing on the difficulty of being a teenager and the best way to cope with raging hormones. At some time in life all of us have been through this and the explanations here including addressing problems of self-esteem can be helpful to teenagers.
When you need to entertain the younger members of the family NEMO is the place to do that in Amsterdam

Elsewhere, you can learn how to steer a super tanker, buy low and sell high as a stockbroker on Wall Street, play with a giant domino set and get charged with static electricity. There's also a chance to execute a little open-heart surgery, play the drums and even blow a bubble large enough to stand inside. The Main Level store is filled with brightly coloured gifts that, like NEMO itself, are aimed to both entertain and to educate.

If you're just looking for a beautiful view of the city, then you can climb the outdoor sloping staircase onto the roof free of charge. The Viewing Deck, as its known, peaks at 100 ft above the Ij Channel, and offers some breathtaking scenes across the redeveloping Old Harbour. In summer the deck is transformed into a beach and becomes a popular sunbathing spot.

NEMO is open Tuesday to Sunday (10:00-17:00) and seven days a week from July to August.
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