Especially early car history collection is outstanding
Great architecture, very well structured
The Louwman collection, nowadays driven by the son of founder Pieter Louwman, Evert, is a private collection of oldtimer cars. It used to be named Nationaal Automobiel Museum (“National Car Museum”), before it named back according to the founding and owning family. The huge museum with over 300 cars is located right outside of The Hague / Den Haag in the Netherlands.
The museum is located in Marlot, a Northeast suburb of The Hague. The museum does have a bus station featured by three bus lines. The museum gives a traveling time from The Hague Central Station of eight minutes. If you arrive by car, the museum is driving an own parking garage (see below). The area around the museum is majorly featuring parks.
The museum is opening Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 to 17:00 hrs. Adult admission is 16 Euro, but the museum is also accepting the Museumkaart.
Louwman Museum – The Visit
The first stage of your visit is the impressive Great Hall, which already exposes you to a couple of cars. In general, I will not name too many of the exhibits as there were so many cars that I will simply fail in that. From one end of the hall, you take an elevator up to the main exhibition.
Your visit starts with the beginning of automotive mobility. The museum is having the largest collection of pre-1910 cars in the world. This section is simply breathtaking and features cars like the 1886 Benz Patent Motor car or the 1899 Columbia Electric Landaulet.
Your visit stays in the second floor, where you majorly walk along cars of the first half of the 20th century. There are also some motorbikes here and there, including very early Harley Davidsons.
The cars on this second floor do not only tend to become more modern – there are also some special topics like a brief history of electric vehicles or other kinds of fuels like wood carburators.
The following pictures have still been taken on the second floor – this section of some very characteristic cars and special designs also features the 1914 Dodge, which has been the very first car of the Louwman collection.There are also bubble cars and cycle cars in exhibit – which shows the wide range of vehicles in display in The Hague. There are some more sections in here, like a collection of Volkswagen cars illustrating the history of the brand under the Nazi regime, but also a car originally driven by Winston Churchill or two cars used in the The Godfather movie.
After going one level down, the next section of cars is rather focussing on car racing of all kind. There are also some huge limousines, but also Le Mans cars, rallye cars and other sports vehicles.
A very special exihibit is the car below used for the James Bond Goldfinger movie – you can see that it even contains a couple of the original add-ons for the movie.
Thereafter, the exhibition rather focuses on sports cars and formula cars, including cars used for the CanAm series. There are separate sections for Alfa Romeo and Ferrari.
There are a lot of cars, majorly large and luxury ones on the ground floor was well. The highlight of the exhibition is likely the Spyker 60H.P., which has been the first four-wheel drive car in history with a combustion engine (1903). There are also some absurd things like the 1910 Swan Car. The car section closes with a Bugatti exhibition.
Apart from this vast selection of cars, there are multiple other items in exhibits. You for example find car parts, engines, model cars, toy cars, but also pieces of art and other exhibits. Even in that way, the museum is amazing.
At the very end of your round trip through Louwman museum, you head to the Museumplein / Museum Square, which is an indoor historic city scenery. This area is simply beautiful. It also hosts the House of Lords, where you can have a bite and a drink. They also serve proper lunch – which is quite nice after a long visit at the museum.
Louwman Museum – Shop & Food
As said above, food is served in the House of Lords at the Museum Square. Next to the entrance, there is a quite nice shop with a lot of memorabilia like books, car models, clothing and other items. Just what you need if you want to take memories.
The museum drives a parking garage, which already giving you a few of a few cars. The one-time parking rate is six Euro. In case you arrive with a car older than 40 years, you are entitled to park at the front of the museum for free parking.
Louwman Museum – Gallery
There was so much to see – I just had to put 311 major size pictures in a section of the travel galleries:
No doubt – the Louwan is the most impressive car museum I ever visited. Even huge technology museums like the ones in Speyer and Sinsheim in Germany, cannot keep up with that collection. Especially the very historic car collection is just amazing. I can just tell you that even my wife loved to be there – and she is truly tired of visiting aviation and other technical museums with me. This is one of the most well-deserved Top Picks! of the year 2020 to me.