The Science Center NEMO overlooks the Oosterdok and is the perfect antidote to Amsterdam on a rainy day, especially for families as its clever interactive experiments can entertain children for hours. Housed in what appear to be a pale green ship – albeit one designed by Renzo Piano in 1997 – the aim of NEMO is to introduce science and maths to kids and make both subjects educational and entertaining. Through experiments, demonstrations and interactive games, they can learn how rainbows form, search for ETs, follow treasure trails through the galleries and send parcels across the world. NEMO looks forward too, with clear explanations of Big Bang and the future of our planet, discussions on harnessing green energies and experiments on purifying water.
In summer NEMO’s stepped and sloping roof (currently under renovation) comes into its own for adults as one of the places to hang out, taking in the view of the fast-changing architecture surrounding the IJ waterway while enjoying an espresso or glass of wine on the terrace of Café DEK5. There’s also a small outpost of NEMO at Schiphol airport.
Oosterdok 2. Admission €15; free for kids under four; free with IAmsterdam Card. Open Tue–Sun 10am–5:30pm. Accessible via buses no 22 or 48 to Kadijksplein or a 15-minute walk from Centraal Station.