MADURODAM – an open-air theme park located in The Hague, featuring miniature 1:25 scale model replicas of all Holland’s highlights and heritage. You can visit the entire Netherlands right here at this location and be done in two hours!
Madurodam first opened its doors on 2 July 1952. It was originally established as a monument to the resistance hero George Maduro (15 July 1916 – 8 February 1945). He was a Dutch law student who fought the Nazi occupation forces with the Dutch resistance and died at Dachau concentration camp in 1945. George’s story begins as soon as you enter the park.
The entire Madurodam park consists of 338 detailed miniatures, 21 interactive activities and 4 indoor attractions. Visitors can check out Alkmaar’s cheese market, peak inside Rijksmuseum, wander around Dutch castles, mix some beats like DJ Armin van Buuren, admire the beautifully built Rotterdam, Utrecht and Groningen Centraal train stations, load containers at the Port of Rotterdam, help a plane take off at Schiphol airport, discover the Dutch roots at the metropolis New York in the 17th century, visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites, skip the queue at Anne Frank Museum, experience the largest steam engine called De Cruquius, prevent a great flood by operating the Oosterscheldekering storm surge barrier and so much more. Not forgetting models of traditional Dutch canal houses, windmills, famous bridges and iconic buildings while surrounded by 55.000 beautiful flower beds and 5.500 small green trees through out the park.
Upon closer inspection, you will find some of these models are coin-operated entertainment show for your amusement. You would receive little gifts such as flower bulb, small clogs and Mars chocolate at the appropriate factories. Do prepare some loose change in denomination of 1 euro, 50 cent, 20 cent and 10 cent coins on hand if you are interested. For an unusual souvenir, step into the futuristic Fantasitron for a few seconds to create a 3D scan of yourself free of charge. You will then receive the scan via email with a link to order a real miniature version of yourself (€37.50 for one person). You can decline not to order of course.
Exclusively for the kids, there are two playgrounds; Miffy playground for the little ones with swings and seesaws and the Waddenzee playground with a lighthouse slide, sand digging machines and a fishing boat to scramble about. You can refuel thereafter, at the nearby two restaurants: Taste of Holland and Panorama Café. Several Dutch delicacies such as poffertjes (small fluffy pancakes) and stroopwafels (crisp waffles with a syrup filing) are also available at the additional food carts within the park.
At the end of your visit, browse through the extensive Dutch souvenirs available the two gift shops. They have quite the collection!
Madurodam is a major tourist attraction in the Netherlands. Thus, always crowded! As a ‘local tourist’ myself, Madurodam gave me inspiration to venture further provincially. I can relate to many of the landmarks that I have visited. A refreshing perspective of cities and towns with details from the viewpoint of a giant standing over them.
But if you are a regular tourist, is Madurodam really for you? I found the exhibits lacking visible signages to properly introduce most of the landmarks. Such a pity! But I guess you can use the free WIFI and google it on the spot. The detailed models are absolutely great if you are interested in architecture. Visitors also do get the opportunity to take all the typical Dutch cliché photos wearing huge wooden clogs, pose next to a windmill or snap a group photo amongst the tall tulips. Madurodam does make your trip look interesting and amazing on photos for all tourists!
Personally, I do think the admission fees are expensive. Other than that, go for it and experience Netherlands under one open-air park anytime of the year.
Address: George Maduroplein 1. 2584 RZ The Hague.
Opening Hours: Opens (365 days) daily from 11am to 5pm mostly. Check website for special extended opening hours.
Admission Fees: €17.50 for Day Ticket applicable for all age 3 years and above. Less €2.00 when buying tickets online. Family tickets and combi tickets to SEA Life Scheveningen are available too. https://www.madurodam.nl/en/tickets
Getting There: 10min by bus or tram from Den Haag Centraal Station. Day parking cost €8.50 per car.