At the weekend we visited the Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid (The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision) in Media Park, Hilversum. The Institute collects, looks after, and provides access to over 70% of Dutch audio-visual heritage! It’s also a museum, offering an unprecedented amount of (Dutch) sound and screen history to its visitors. Lucky us!!
I’ve been wanting to visit since we first moved to Hilversum because 1. it’s where the Top 2000 cafe is stationed in December (!!) and 2. it has such great reviews on my beloved Trip Advisor!
But first of all, let’s just take a moment to appreciate HOW DAMN GORGEOUS this building is!! It was built in 2006, despite looking as if it was built in 2036, by Dutch artchitects Willem-Jan Neutelings and Michiel Riedijk. I’m not sure how exactly they came up with it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were on some mind-bending drugs at the time! 😉
When you enter the building, it just keeps on getting better and better. This seriously has to be one of the most beautiful modern buildings in the Netherlands, or even Europe.
Once we’d finished oohing and aahing, it was time to collect our entry tickets – which turned out to be interactive rings! How very modern!
As you enter the museum there are a number of interactive stations where you scan your ring and enter your name and email address. The idea is that you then scan your ring on each of the interactive exhibits and at the end of your visit you are sent a special personalised page of your visit including photos and video clips. You can also elect which ‘tour guide’ you would like to take you through your journey of the museum, from a number of options. I assume they are all Dutch celebrities, but being English, I didn’t recognise any of them (oops!) so I chose “Rembrandt” the only English-speaking guide.
By the way… it’s worth noting at this point that apart from the tour guide, all of the other attractions and exhibits are in Dutch. So if you don’t understand Dutch, it will be difficult for you to fully appreciate the museum. I would therefore only recommend it for Dutch-speakers.
The magnificent building is split over four floors (yup, it’s kinda like a tardis!) with the majority of the exhibits on the top two floors. The top floor is known as ‘Experience’ and is made up of 16 different themes including Animal Crackers, Sterrenshow (Stars Show – about Dutch stars of sound and screen), POP studio, Macht en Media (Power and Media) and Dit is het nieuws (This is the news).
My favourite was Ben ik in beeld (I’m in the picture) because you get to do stupid stuff! There’s a ceiling mounted camera pointing at the floor (which is decorated like a living room) so you just lie on the floor and strike a pose – to make it look like you’re upside down in the pictures. Leuk!
If you were to visit every single exhibit and log in to every interactive station, you could seriously spend the whole day here. Luckily, it’s open from 10.00am – 5.30pm (from Tuesday – Sunday) so knock yourself out!
A large area of the museum is dedicated to Tijdelijke tentoonstelling (temporary exhibition(s). Currently, it is Voorbij het nieuws (Beyond the news) a special exhibition showing personal stories from journalists and editors talking about the choices they made in the reporting of particular stories. Unfortunately, most of it went over my head!
In total, we spent a good couple of hours at the museum, but I think if you were with kids, you could spend soooo much longer. There are so many things to see and do, for grown ups too (you could spend a whole day just watching old archived TV shows if you had the time or the inclination!) but I think the interactivity works particularly well for children. They were into everything and didn’t want to miss a thing. A brilliant place to take ankle biters, especially on a rainy day.
And if you get hungry or thirsty during your trip? There’s an ultra modern cafe – what else!?
We’d already eaten, so we just grabbed a drink and sat on the terrace (yup, even in January!!)
We also couldn’t leave without a quick visit to the gift shop, where we bought, among other trinkets… TOP 2000 PHONE CASES!!! Reasonably priced too, at just €6 each. My life is now complete! 😉
Want to visit for yourself?
ADDRESS: Media Parkboulevard 1, 1217 WE Hilversum
OPENING TIMES: Tuesday – Sunday, 10.00am – 17.30pm. Closed Mondays.
PRICE: Adults: €15, Children 6 – 12: €8, Children 5 and younger: Free.
PARKING: Underground car park. €1,50 an hour with a maximum of € 7,50 a day. Limited disabled spaces.
MORE INFO: Beeld en Geluid website (Also available in English.)
If you’ve already been – what was your favourite bit?
PS – for loads more photos I took at Beeld en Geluid, see my Pinterest Board.
PPS – we were given two entry
tickets rings to the museum, but all other costs were covered personally.