Quite a while ago, I took a trip to Arnhem in the Netherlands to explore the rich WWII history of the city. Somehow, I just did not make it to share all the museums with you. To me, the most fascinating place I visited was the Arnhem War Museum 40-45 – or Arnhems Oorlogsmuseum 40-45 in Dutch. The key reason for that is that is a private collection – which is amazingly rich. Hope you enjoy me taking you to this place.
Arnhem War Museum 40-45 – Location & Admission
The museum is located at the Kemperbergweg 780 in Arnhem, which is quite North of the city center, next to the A12/A50 motorway (there is however no direct exit). The closest attraction is the famous Burgers Zoo. Bus 9 is stopping right at the museum (stop is Schaarsbergen, Museum 40-45), but you can also reach the place easily by car. There are free parking spaces around.
The museum is opening daily from 10:00 to 17:00 hrs. It is closed on Mondays, though. The adult admission is 10 Euro. The museum only accepts cash.
Arnhem War Museum 40-45 – The Visit
As you already see on the first pictures, the collection of this place is massive. The documentation of the exhibits is trilingual, in Dutch, English and German. The exhibition space is really packed with all kinds of items. The first area thereby majorly covers cars and motorcycles, of the German as well as of the allies. The mass of original items is amazing and continues with different kinds of uniforms and some weapons. You also learn quite some interesting background stuff, for example about the involvement of the Boss company to the WWII cruelties of Nazi Germany.
A second section you visit is an area I would roughly describe as “weaponry” of the museum. The set of items in display is again overwhelming. Apart from glass display boxes full of pistols, guns and other war machines, the museum also features multiple dioramas, which lead to a nice and also entertaining atmosphere.
Some stunning items on the second floor
The museum features two floors (some of the pictures above are already from second floor) – and this one holds a couple of the most fascinating items. There are original grenades, the Wall of Madness reminds of the SS cruelties and there is even a sofa originally owned and used by Adolf Hitler. A cage around it prevents that it is used for weird peoples’ pictures. Before you exit the exhibition, you pass along a major diorama. If you really want to see a majority of the items, you should at least plan for a two hour visit. Militaria fans may easily spent three to four hours in this place.
Arnhem War Museum 40-45 – Services
Before you exit the museum, you pass along a rich souvenir / memorabilia store and a small cafe. On a warm / sunny day, you can also sip at a drink or a snack in the area in front of the museum. The staff was very friendly – you however walk through the museum on your own and will only get into contact with museum staff at the beginning and the end of your visit.
Arnhem War Museum 40-45 – My View
Places like the Arnhem War Museum 40-45 fascinate me. I am not at all a military fan – but it is an outstanding performance to me to collect all these items for a private museum. There is hardly any free spot in this museum, which feels so rich. The sheer volume of the collection also illustrates how intense the battles in this part of the Netherlands have been. Overall, if you are around, this place leaves no doubt to be a must-visit one.
Museums in the Netherlands
Here are all my Museums & Exhibition reviews related to the Netherlands: