Museum Speelklok (Musical Box Museum) Utrecht

Museum Speelklok

15 EUR


4.6/5 Pros

  • Great presentation of historic musical machines
  • A lot of exhibits are still operating...
  • ... some even with rather modern music

During my most recent trip to Utrecht, I unfortunately did not have too much time to explore the city. Apart from a walk through the picturesque place, I at least visited the Museum Speelklok, a museum about musical boxes. Here is my review.


Museum Speelklok – Location & Admission

Museum Speelklok is located in a former church in the heart of Utrecht. Walking distance to Utrecht Central Station is less than ten minutes. The pedestrian and shopping area with all kinds of touristic needs is nearby. The easiest way to access the museum with public transport is indeed the station with all kinds of connections. However, there also some bus stations around, which are a bit closer to the museum (e.g. Domplein, bus line 2).

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00. If there are public holidays on Mondays, the museum is open as well. Adult admission is 15 Euro. There is also a combined ticket with the cathedral tower (22.50 EUR). If you have the Museumkaart, the admission is free.


Museum Speelklok – The Visit

The museum is split into different sections. For example, there is a section full of musical machines, others rather concentrate on items like music boxes. At the entrance of the museum, you can grab a key to activate some of the exhibits. However, the major machines are only kicked off by the staff, e.g. during small guided tours. The museum is well structured and the directions in the museum are given very well, so that you easily find your way. Most of the exhibits are on the ground floor, while there is a smaller part in the gallery on the upper level. All documentation is in Dutch and English in parallel.

The collection of the Museum Speelklok, which names itself the most fun museum in the Netherlands, is really impressing. There are rather functional musical machines as well as others which come with a lot of detail and a great design. Some even have additional features like moving figures. Few are built to play one melody only, but quite a lot of them can be somehow controlled. In the different sections, the museum also explains the different kinds of technology used for that. Of course, being able to run and enjoy some of the exhibits is one of the highlights of your visit there.

While there is a lot to see, to learn – and to listen – the “stars” of the museum are of course the large machine. There is a room with several huge machines, as they are used to operate on fairgrounds and similar attractions. Listening to them running is absolutely impressing. The museum also has the possibility to run rather modern songs on them. One of the machines, for example, ran Happy by Pharrell Williams, which was absolutely cool. The upper floor is (naturally) dedicated to comparably smaller items. Nonetheless, it is very interesting to pass along them as well.


Museum Speelklok – Services

The staff in the museum was absolutely lovely. They also run a small souvenir store, where you can also buy some small music boxes. A very popular place at Museum Speelklok is also the cafe, which is having a rather unique atmosphere – and some really nice cake.


Museum Speelklok – My View

The Museum Speelklok is one of these hidden gems, which make me love traveling. What feels like an absolutely niche place turns out to a really entertaining and educating place. You simply have to smile when you dig in all the machines provided. If you happen to be around, I absolutely recommend to have visit to it! in Utrecht:

Here are all my postings about Utrecht in the Netherlands:


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