Fort Zoutman Historical Museum

Fort Zoutman Historical Museum

Fort Zoutman Historical Museum
3.5
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
About
The Historical Museum of Aruba is housed within the oldest buildings of Aruba, the Fort Zoutman, that was built in 1798, and the Willem III Tower, built in 1868. Both are protected monuments since 2011 and are our witnesses of the rich history and prosperity of Aruba’s capital, Oranjestad. Once inside Fort Zoutman, you are bound to feel the history seeping through the walls while learning more about Aruba’s heritage. The entrance fee is $5. The Bon Bini Festival, a year-round folkloric celebration, is held every Tuesday night at Fort Zoutman in Oranjestad from 7pm to 8:30pm. The entrance fee is $10.
Duration: < 1 hour
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles270 reviews
Excellent
66
Very good
99
Average
73
Poor
20
Terrible
12

megsiup
Williamsport, PA47 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2011
I enjoyed this museum thoroughly. It is housed in what used to be a fort, and the building is great--if you're a photographer, it's worth visiting just to shoot the building. The exhibits range from crude farm and industry tools to old maps to personal artifacts of society life. The admission is very reasonable and it even includes a drink at the bar (soda or lemonade, not beer!). The staff was friendly and eager to answer questions. They even gave us directions to our next stop. We were the only ones there and thought it was a hidden gem. Much better than the archaeological museum, which we also visited.
Written February 27, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EpiDoc
Suva, Fiji128 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2012 • Family
During our two years in Aruba, we had the opportunity to visit ourselves, and then with family and friends. On Tuesday nights during tourist season they do the Bon Bini (hello in Papiamento) Festival with local performers. This is nice, but did tend to go on a bit. The small museum is nice and has some great artifacts to help you understand Aruba's past. Enjoy!
Written January 27, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MIJO85
westchester ny7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was our second year in Aruba, so we wanted to try something different, bon bini was $3.00 each to get in and had folding chairs to sit on (get there early to get seat) The food was very good and prepared and served by the locals for about $5.00, chicken & rice shrimp & local goodies. The show was delightful also by the locals (ran alittle long) but so nice to see and such a "cheap evening". Going back this year with friends and will definetly take them to bon bini.
Written January 20, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

midway42
Georgia3,329 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2014 • Solo
Nestled in the interior courtyard of Fort Zoutman, the Aruba Historical Museum was one of the highlights of my week long stay on the island. If memory serves me correct I believe admission here is free. After checking in at the front desk I was given a tour of the premises by a very enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and considerate guide.

The museum proper consists of two rooms for the permanent collection and an adjoining room for a special exhibit. The main entry room consists of a number of historical items from the colonial period documenting a wide array of island life; harvesting aloe, merchant weights and measures, gold mining, and musical instruments are all covered here among a wide variety of other topics. English descriptions are spotty at best but present, while my guide provided a number of valuable insights. The main collection's adjacent room consists of period Dutch furniture that is pleasant to look at if not particularly illuminating. The third room consists of a rather unique temporary exhibit. Historians from the museum worked with local schools to have students pilfer their own homes to look for unique items from relatives that might illuminate the multicultural background of the island. Large storyboards display over a dozen students with the artifacts, which range in diversity from a wedding ring to a wooden cabinet to a recipe for cactus soup (!). Detailed descriptions place the items in the context of the student and 19th/20th Century history.

Overall my visit here was memorable and the time was well spent. The main collection could have had better descriptions for each display but I still gained an impressive amount of information after the tour and on my own. The temporary exhibit with the students was very well done and one of the best I've seen in my years of travels. Although it doesn't cover much of pre-colonial life this museum dovetails nicely with the Archeological Museum (see separate review) to provide the best available review of island history. Highly recommended.
Written December 11, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CavesAndStars
Birmingham, AL6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Couples
First, I must admit that I am an Archaeozoologist so this was a must visit. I was quite impressed with the quality of exhibits and the gardens were lovely. I had hoped for more educational labeling for many items on display but being such a small museum, we thought it wonderful. We are also 25 years plus cave explorers and just loved the "caver" with ancient glyph drawings projected onto the walls. Super fun! And great for a day out of the searing sun. Please support them and what they do... small museums need us to visit and why not learn about the indigenous cultures before European occupation and destruction of the Native lifeways?
Written June 30, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Heathercrest
Ottawa, Canada111 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2012 • Couples
The museum traced the history of Aruba prior to the arrival of the Europeans. Well worth a visit for a couple of hours.
Written February 21, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NoFixedPlans
Toronto384 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Couples
This little fort and museum could be so much more! There’s no information on the history of the fort - just a hat-making display, a roomful of antiques and, strangely, one lone modern art installation in the middle of it all.

The view from the tower over the parliament buildings is mildly interesting, as is a display about the history of agriculture in the island.

The whole place can be seen in under half an hour. The entrance fee of $5 US is too much for what is offered - and they do not accept florins for the entry fee so it’s clearly just for tourists.

The Archeological Museum (closed indefinitely for renovations) is said to be much better.

Written February 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael T
Apex, NC994 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Couples
We attended a local cultural show at this venue. The show was nice and they sold local food made by locals, not by commercial entities. Well worth the time and money and keeps local traditions alive.
Written September 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brigid W
Neenah, WI152 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 • Couples
Every Tuesday from 6:30-8:30 they have a cultural festival at the fort called Bon Bini Festival. Here they present local and folklore music and dance, as well as local artisans and local food. We LOVED the local food. I'm not sure if they change it up every week or so, but my husband is such a picky eater so we decided to share a plate and he liked it so much he went back for his own plate after. He also said it was his second favorite meal of our entire week in Aruba! We also bought some local desserts as well. The show itself it interesting and a good look at Aruban culture. The host was really good and very entertaining! If you want a glimpse into local culture, definitely check the Bon Bini Festival out!
Written September 12, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Annie R
Waukee, IA50 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Couples
Tuesday evenings the Aruban people put on a wonderful festival (dancing and music) for the visitors on the island. It is so much fun. We would always eat there with their homemade goodies whenever we visited. This festival is where I ALWAYS purchase my presents to bring home. The Arubans hand make them. One stop shoping for me!
Written June 24, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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