Museum Speelklok
Museum Speelklok
4.5
Speciality MuseumsChildren's Museums
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Museum Speelklok, the most cheerful museum in the Netherlands! During a visit to the typical Dutch Museum Speelklok, cheerful live music will surround you from centuries-old self-playing musical instruments. The history of these instruments started back in 16th century the Netherlands with the use of church carillons. Over the centuries, the general desire of people to be surrounded by music, led to the invention of all sorts of self-playing musical instruments: musical clocks, musical boxes, orchestrions (self-playing orchestras) and the traditional Dutch street organs. All of these instruments, including the famous street organ named Arabier and the so-called 8th world wonder the Violina, can be admired and heard during the lively museum tour. Thanks to the highly skilled Restoration Workshop, the collection is kept playing and this craft can be passed on from this generation to the next.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Lange Elisabethstraat Mariaplaats
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See what travelers are saying
  • iziIzi
    14 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    quaint museum with lovely items! perfect for a rainy day
    small museum. many interesting and unique automatic music playing boxes (from pre record player days...). we went as a family, with children aged 4, 11, and 14, and we all had a lovely time. the guide was very pleasant and played several of the music boxes for us. at the end, there's a small "craft shop" where you can make a music book to play on a music box. a lovely and different museum, and a great excursion for rainy days! it is also very close to the hoge katherine mall, for another rainy day place to hang out.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 21, 2023
  • J0hn23
    Birmingham, United Kingdom74 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A joyous experience
    What a fabulous museum, like no other we've ever been to. The exhibits are simply stunning. The museum is packed with things to look at and interact with, well thought out and full of interest. It's worth doing the musical tour (which is offered in Dutch and English), to hear these beautiful machines being played. Five stars for the museum, five stars for our tour guide Victoria, and five stars to the geniuses who invented and built these things in the first place. We defy anyone to leave this museum without a smile on their face!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 25, 2023
  • AnnSeg
    307 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting
    Not a very large museum, but quite interesting nonetheless. The mechanics and techniques are advanced and the guided tour with listening to some of the music was intriguing. There’s also a cafeteria and a little shop. Great that there are small boxes for luggage, to use for free.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written April 21, 2024
  • Jeanne H
    Singapore, Singapore224 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A delightful and fun museum - join the half hourly tour for a meaningful experience
    I would consider this one of the highlights of the many attractions we visited in The Netherlands. After a while, one can get bored with churches ; ) This museum had a very interesting collection of self-playing musical instruments, including a rabbit which comes out of a hat, a container for cigars, and an instrument which plays a violin. The fun fair and dancing organs were huge and very ornate. However, the best was the half hourly free tour by a young guide who was clearly passionate about what she was sharing. We had a mix of Dutch and English speaking tourists and I would say she did not neglect either group (referring to someone who had rated the museum terrible because the guide elaborated mainly in Dutch and said little in English). Although the museum advertised itself as for children, there were more adults than children that day and they all seemed to have enjoyed the tour. I would say that it is important to time it such that you can join this free tour which is informative and fun as the guide is able to demonstrate some of the instruments.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 14, 2024
  • adamchristian6780
    Ringwood, United Kingdom6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An excellent Tour
    I visited this wonderful Museum last week and took a guided Tour. Our Tour guide Babbett was very pleasant and knowledgeable about her subject matter. I would strongly recommend this Museum for all age groups.
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written May 22, 2024
  • Phileas_Flogg
    374 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unmissable in almost every way
    We seriously underestimated Museum Speelklok. We underestimated the range, size and comprehensiveness of the collection and we seriously sold ourselves short on the time this wonderful museum deserves. There is no doubt that the free tour and multiple demos are the unmissable highlights but there is so much to absorb in this museum that the mere 90 mins we set aside is far too short to get the best out a visit. My estimate is that 2.5 to 3 hours would be about right. The reason I haven't conferred the full 5 blobs is 1) because I didn't get around all the exhibits so can't speak honestly about the quality of the curation and 2) because some unwelcome wokery crept in every time there was a depiction of an African with the formulation "this is not a neutral depiction" and an invitation via a QR code to express an individual opinion. To my mind, given that the representations offered insights into perceptions at the time (ie the 18th or 19th centuries) and were, at worst, typical of a fad for "exoticism" rather than racism, the unnecessary spotlight the curators placed on this aspect of the collection risked sensitizing and winding people up who might be tempted to argue for some form of "cancellation" to assuage the offence the museum themselves had whipped up.
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 10, 2024
  • az2580
    Chicago, Illinois175 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Loved this more than expected!
    We expected to enjoy but ended up loving this gem of a museum filled with mechanical instruments from last 100+ years…organs, music boxes, pianos. Very cool exhibits and magical space. Worth a visit when it Utrecht.
    Visited June 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written June 13, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles895 reviews
Excellent
503
Very good
293
Average
70
Poor
24
Terrible
5

TravellerKathy
Belfast, UK43 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
The instruments are fascinating and often very impressive visually but it isn't enough to justify the entry fee.

We took a bilingual tour which was 90% in Dutch (despite the guide knowing that at least four people on the tour only spoke English). Very frustrating.
Written March 9, 2020
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.

Jeanne H
Singapore, Singapore224 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
I would consider this one of the highlights of the many attractions we visited in The Netherlands. After a while, one can get bored with churches ; ) This museum had a very interesting collection of self-playing musical instruments, including a rabbit which comes out of a hat, a container for cigars, and an instrument which plays a violin. The fun fair and dancing organs were huge and very ornate. However, the best was the half hourly free tour by a young guide who was clearly passionate about what she was sharing. We had a mix of Dutch and English speaking tourists and I would say she did not neglect either group (referring to someone who had rated the museum terrible because the guide elaborated mainly in Dutch and said little in English). Although the museum advertised itself as for children, there were more adults than children that day and they all seemed to have enjoyed the tour. I would say that it is important to time it such that you can join this free tour which is informative and fun as the guide is able to demonstrate some of the instruments.
Written May 14, 2024
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.

Mirjam B
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Family
My 4 year old loves this museum, we’ve been here a few times. There’s a nice cafe with a self playing piano, sounds exactly like live music, and a shop with beautiful gifts. They have guided tours all the time to bring the special music boxes, organs and church bells to live. The bigger ones are a bit loud for my little one, so we stay at some distance, also helps not to disturb the tour, and small children do not need to hear every word of explanation, they just want to see the music boxes play. Children are very welcome though and many people come with children. It’s really a lovely and unique museum. There’s a section with a few devices you can operate yourself as well
Written January 28, 2023
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.

adi inbar
Utrecht, The Netherlands39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
I visited with 2 girls,4 and 11 years old and we joined the guided and we enjoyed every moment. The exhibitions is very reach and beautiful, and there is also activity for the kids along the way, and at the end they can play them self in a music box.very very nice and fun time. We spent 2 hours here and it was enough. I really recommend join the guided tour and to experience and hear the beautiful musical instruments.
Written January 2, 2020
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.

Joy Black
96 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
There is a lift to every floor so it is accessible to all. Make sure you take in one of the tours, so you can hear some of the exhibits played. The guides are approachable , very knowledgeable and are happy to conduct tours in both Dutch and English. The effects are stunning! and delightful. Take your time , don't be tempted to rush around, and make sure you visit the other floors for the rest of the exhibition. It is worth getting to the top floor, where there are uncovered and preserved medieval wall paintings, and the lovely ancient church that houses this collection makes it's presence felt. This little gem should be better known and comes highly recommended.
Written May 18, 2022
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.

KingsMountaineer
Woodside, CA103 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
I loved this museum. Be sure to come for the tour (no extra cost) so you can hear many of the clocks and organs played. The only downside is you really want to hear and play more! I hope, in the future, they'll make more of the various models playable, especially some of the musical automatons. The building is an former church. Somehow, it was a touch melancholy to walk on the memorials of people entombed in the church while going to view a blaring hurdy-gurdy. Sic transit gloria mundi
Written June 19, 2022
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.

erikachu
Lund, Sweden63 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
Spent a day in Utrecht and googled stuff to do, this was one if the first things that showed up. Knew nothing about these street organs and automatic instruments before coming and I was so pleasantly surprised. Definitely worth a visit! Do make sure to take the guided tour, though, to hear the instruments play live. The only reason for the 4 stars is that although a third of our group did not know Dutch, the tour was mostly in Dutch with very brief summaries in English at each stop. A shame, because the guide was very good at English, and I think it would make more sense to split the explanations more evenly between the two languages.
Written April 21, 2023
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.

J0hn23
Birmingham, UK74 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
What a fabulous museum, like no other we've ever been to. The exhibits are simply stunning. The museum is packed with things to look at and interact with, well thought out and full of interest. It's worth doing the musical tour (which is offered in Dutch and English), to hear these beautiful machines being played. Five stars for the museum, five stars for our tour guide Victoria, and five stars to the geniuses who invented and built these things in the first place. We defy anyone to leave this museum without a smile on their face!
Written July 25, 2023
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.

Phileas_Flogg
Oxford, UK374 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
We seriously underestimated Museum Speelklok. We underestimated the range, size and comprehensiveness of the collection and we seriously sold ourselves short on the time this wonderful museum deserves.

There is no doubt that the free tour and multiple demos are the unmissable highlights but there is so much to absorb in this museum that the mere 90 mins we set aside is far too short to get the best out a visit. My estimate is that 2.5 to 3 hours would be about right.

The reason I haven't conferred the full 5 blobs is 1) because I didn't get around all the exhibits so can't speak honestly about the quality of the curation and 2) because some unwelcome wokery crept in every time there was a depiction of an African with the formulation "this is not a neutral depiction" and an invitation via a QR code to express an individual opinion. To my mind, given that the representations offered insights into perceptions at the time (ie the 18th or 19th centuries) and were, at worst, typical of a fad for "exoticism" rather than racism, the unnecessary spotlight the curators placed on this aspect of the collection risked sensitizing and winding people up who might be tempted to argue for some form of "cancellation" to assuage the offence the museum themselves had whipped up.
Written June 10, 2024
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.

az2580
Chicago, IL175 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
We expected to enjoy but ended up loving this gem of a museum filled with mechanical instruments from last 100+ years…organs, music boxes, pianos. Very cool exhibits and magical space. Worth a visit when it Utrecht.
Written June 13, 2024
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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