The Hague’s Louwman Museum – A Site to See
Our two-year-old is nuts about cars, trucks, planes and emergency vehicles. We’ve had the Louwman Museum on our radar for a full year but it was during a recent visit from Oma and Opa when it felt right to go for a visit. This antique car collection is the world’s oldest private collection, having been carefully curated through two generations of the Louwman family.
Over 250 vehicles are expertly shown inside a new, purpose-built exhibition space outside of the Hague. I recommend taking a car to the museum as public transportation would be tricky. The parking fee is 5 Euros payable at the entrance desk – but you could avoid this fee by parking 300 yards short of the museum in a free parking area. The museum costs 14 Euros per adult but is free with a Museumkaart. Even if you pay full entry price, this museum is worth the cost! You can download their free smartphone app that provides orientation and information on the exhibits. Expect to spend 2+ hours at this museum.
Don’t be fooled by the entryway! It looks like the bulk of the museum is in the main hall of the museum. On our visit, there were 10 beautiful cars parked just after the entrance station. We lingered a bit, then followed the museum route signs up to the fourth floor. Again, we lingered at the first few stops (stagecoaches and carriages).
But as we realized the immensity of the collection, our time at each vehicle decreased and decreased. This museum is simply overwhelming. You need to decide which types of vehicles you want to spend your time with – since the Louwman Museum has it all: carriages, early automobiles, military vehicles, emergency vehicles, race cars, pop culture vehicles, glamorous vehicles, paintings, ceramics, paraphernalia and more. Oma and Opa were delighted because the bulk of the collection is from their era.
The museum has multiple floors and two wings – so you spend a bit of time crossing left and right, from the top to the bottom. This can make the museum feel overwhelming, especially for a young child. There are ample places to sit down to rest your legs and the toilets are never far. While the subject matter is intriguing for a child, there was no specific catering to children – not even a kids coloring sheet or seek-and-find. We brought a stroller for our little guy and had to buckle him in twice so he would stop trying to touch the cars.
At the end of the museum route, you walk into a very well constructed cityscape. The cafe is in this spot, surrounded by period building and a zeppelin gondola overhead. There looked to be ample options for a light lunch and some drinks. The museum appears to do lots of events – their event space is huge and during our visit the staff was moving some of the vehicles around in the exhibition space. It was neat to see how easily the vehicles could be pushed by a couple of employees.
For adults, the Louwman Museum is a must-see but for kids, be sure you take yours on a day when they’re in a good mood and willing to spend a lot of time looking without touching.
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