When my sister suggested that we visit Madurodam Park, I was surprised that I didn’t know where she was referring to – especially since it’s in The Hague.
Rachel, my sister, came to visit me for a few days this spring and we were looking for things to do while she was here. Before her trip, she’d looked online for places we could visit and had stumbled upon Madurodam Park. She then told me about it; and after I’d had a look at it, too, we decided to visit it together.
So, on a sunny spring afternoon, we got on a bus and made our way there.
The most convenient way for us to get to Madurodam from where I live was to take bus 22. You can also get a tram to Madurodam from Den Haag Centraal Station. They come a lot more frequently than buses do and might even get you there faster. However, if you’re driving to the park, it should take you even less time (about 7 minutes) to get there from Den Haag Centraal Station.
We arrived at Madurodam at about 3.00 pm and found a short queue of people waiting to buy their tickets to go inside. We joined them and waited our turn. Tickets to enter the park cost €16.50 for adults, and children under the age of two go in for free. However, if you’d like to book a ticket but aren’t sure of when you’ll be visiting the park, you can book an open ticket online for €21.50.
Madurodam Park is named after - and is a monument to - resistance hero, George Maduro who played a key role in defending his country in the Battle of the Netherlands. Located at the entrance of the park is a model of Maduro’s birthplace in Curacao (pictured above).
The park is divided into three main areas. These are:
There is also a playground in the park called the Wadden Sea, where children can keep busy as their parents explore.
We toured each of them and couldn’t help but feel like giants as we walked through this miniature city. Some of my favourite parts of the park are the replicas of narrow, traditional Dutch canal houses, the monumental buildings such as the Rijks Museum, Binnenhof (which houses the meeting place of both houses of the States-General of the Netherlands and the Ministry of General Affairs, and the office of the Prime Minister), and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – the Netherlands’ main international airport (and where I always depart from and arrive in the country when I’m travelling). There is also a replica of the tulip fields in Lisse and the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam, among other things.
While you’re in the park, you can also take part in some interactive activities such as helping a plane take off from Schiphol Airport and loading cargo onto a ship docked at the miniature port of Rotterdam. You’ll also be provided with a smartphone that will get you better acquainted with the things you see in the park by giving you information about them as you visit each of them.
Seeing as we visited the park after lunch, we weren’t really in need of anything to eat while we were there. Nevertheless, there are two restaurants in the park – Panorama Café and Taste of Holland. There’s also a souvenir shop where you can get gifts for yourself -and your loved ones - to remind you of your visit to Madurodam. 😉
The park and all its facilities are also accessible to people using wheelchairs, and there are at least four parking spaces in the parking lot reserved for physically challenged people. Parking costs €10 per day. People with a disability pay the normal entrance fee; and if someone is accompanying them, he/she is allowed free entrance to the park.
There is also a braille map of the park for those who are visually impaired. You can order one in advance here: www.passendlezen.nl.
Madurodam park is a great place to start your tour of the Netherlands, especially if you’re staying in The Hague. It’ll give you an idea of where else you might want to visit while you’re here. It is open every day from 9.00 a.m, but it closes at different times on different days – depending on the occasion. All proceeds from the park are donated to different charities in the Netherlands.
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