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A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to visit Madurodam for the first time. This miniature open-air park in the outskirts of The Hague features scaled models of all the major highlights of the Netherlands in a nice park. So since my mother and brother were visiting from Colombia and their time here was short, we thought this was a good option for them to see at least a sample of some of the treasures this country has to offer. Besides, now that my little girl is a bit older, she also enjoyed the visit a lot.
For this trip, the drive was long but it was also worth it, specially since we combined it with a visit to Delft. We got there shortly before 10AM and there was already quite a bit of people. Right after buy our tickets, we watched a video presentation about the origins of the park and it was quite interesting to learn how it came about. So, if you have the chance, that is something nice to see.
After that, we were free to admire all the models, which are built on a 1:25 scale. And there is a little bit of everything, from windmills, to bridges and canals. There are even trains, cars and planes!
One of the things I liked best is that Madurodam goes beyond simply recreating model buildings and places in the Netherlands. They feature more like little snapshots of what is like to be in these places, so it feels more like a celebration of Dutch culture.
Also, at the entrance you get a special card that you can scan throughout the park at certain stations to partake in some special activities. After your visit, you get an email with your results in said activities. We didn’t do many of these, because we had to wait for some.
We were particularly intrigued by the 3D scan. For this you and a partner get inside a sort of 3D photo booth that scans your body. Then you get an email with an image of the scan and you can order a 3D print! So for 59€ you get a figurine of yourselves made in sandstone 😄
If you are visiting with kids and they get bored of watching the tiny buildings, don’t worry. There are also two playgrounds inside the park. One for older kids, which has a ship-theme; and another for smaller kids with a Nintje (Miffy) theme. We went to the latter one and after a while had to drag my little girl away when it was time to leave.
The Madurodam Story
As mentioned, a short documentary film explains the origins of the park. And I was surprised to learn that the Madurodam miniature park was actually conceived as a memorial space in honour of George Maduro, a Dutch officer who fought against the Nazi occupation in the Netherlands.
Located in the Scheveningen area of The Hague, the park first opened its doors in 1952 and has managed to keep relevant by incorporating elements of contemporary life. So all the models feel hyper realist. There are also a few interactive elements spread over the park to keep visitors engaged.
Tips for Visiting Madurodam
- Check the weather forecast before you go and dress accordingly. All the miniature models are outside, so it’s best to be prepared to deal with the unpredictability of Dutch weather.
- Although you could probably see quickly the whole place in about an hour, it is best if you plan to stay at least a couple of hours. That way you’ll be able to really appreciate the intricate details of some of the buildings and, if you are traveling with kids, they’ll be able to burn some energy in the onsite playgrounds.
- The whole park is wheelchair accessible and you can bring your own buggy/stroller or rent one at the park for 2€.
- If you buy your tickets online, you can save 2€ per person on a day ticket.
Did you know that you can see all of Holland in a day? Discover Holland's highlights and heritage at @Madurodam , the miniature park.
— Holland Tourism_IND (@Holland_IND) June 20, 2018
Personally, I was not expecting much of our visit to Madurodam, but it turned out to be quite interesting. Specially, since it made me realize how much of the Netherlands I still have to see!
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Have you been to Madurodam? How did you like it? Are there any other attractions in The Hagur you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment and let us know!