Museum Speelklok collects, preserves, presents and restores an extensive and internationally renowned array of self-playing mechanical musical instruments. The museum houses one of the world’s foremost collections of automatic musical instruments and one of its major roles lies in spreading its knowledge of the collection to a wider audience.
The museum was founded in 1956, following a successful exhibition entitled “From Musical Box to Street Organ” held in that same year. The museum opened its doors to the public in 1958, when it’s home was in a wing of what is now St Catherine’s Convent, in the Lange Nieuwstraat in Utrecht. The Utrecht Foundation for Municipal Recreation, as it then was, and the Friends of the Mechanical Organ – a group which continues to be active to this day – took the initiative and oversaw the birth of the National Museum ‘From Musical Box to Street Organ’, as the museum was then called.
The museum’s aim was – and still is – to encourage interest in self-playing musical instruments. The large numbers of visitors to the museum confirmed that this aim was being achieved in practice from the very earliest days. The collection itself grew steadily and by 1971 it needed a larger home and moved to the former Main Post Office, on Achter den Dom 12 in Utrecht. The museum soon outgrew these premises as well, and in 1984 it moved to the fully restored ‘Buurkerk’, itself dating from the Middle Ages, where the renamed Museum Speelklok is still to be found today. So far, about 2 million visitors have made their way to the museum in the Buurkerk. After major refurbishment work in 2004 and 2005, the building is now fully modernised and offers a welcoming environment for its visitors and a worthy home to the museum’s collection of more than 1,100 instruments.
3511 JP Utrecht
Route via Google Maps
Welcome to Utrecht
De Rechtbank €
Korte Nieuwstraat 14, Utrecht
From a meeting place for judges and convicts to the best terrace in Utrecht. De Rechtbank (The Courthouse) serves an extensive breakfast buffet, relaxed lunch and dinner. Signature dish: ‘Risotto al Grana Padano’.
De Artisjok €€
Nieuwegracht 33, Utrecht
While the beating heart of Utrecht attracts most people, the Nieuwegracht is situated on a quieter waterway. De Artisjok is known for the beautifully prepared plates, the refined dishes and the craftsmanship of the hosts. The chef composes surprising menus, accompanied by suitable wines.
Karel V €€€
Geertebolwerk 1, Utrecht
A fourteenth-century monastery in the heart of Utrecht. Grand Hotel Karel V was once home to medieval knights, priests and emperors. Today it is one of the most surprising places in the city. Enjoy a classic menu in the bistro or subtle refinement in the restaurant.
Broodje Ben Utrecht €
Oudegracht 131 T/O, Utrecht
Looking for a quick sandwich? Look no further. Broodje Ben serves more than 50 different sandwiches freshly prepared from their van on the Oudegracht. A local hero at every office lunch.
Zadelstraat 20, Utrecht
Rabarber is a petit café where you are welcome all day for a shot of espresso, breakfast, lunch, newspaper, game, beer, appetizer and/or wine. The kitchen is open from 09.00 to 17.00 hrs. The menu changes regularly, and they work with seasonal products as much as possible.
Le Jardin €€€
Mariaplaats 42, Utrecht
At Le Jardin cooking with vegetables and herbs is the starting point. Preferably with seasonal vegetables. They get their products as close to home as possible: Traditional, responsible and organic. Le Jardin is inspired by the products and expertise of the French cuisine.
Things to do:
Visit the Dom tower ~1h
Domplein 21, Utrecht
The iconic Dom Tower is Utrecht’s pride and joy – a special monument with a unique story. At 112 metres, it remains the highest church tower in the Netherlands.
Walk around the city ~2h
The Dom Tower is the highlight and historic symbol of Utrecht, but there is much more to see in the Dom district (Domkwartier). Have a look at a few popular routes through the city: https://www.visit-utrecht.com/routes/1608059898/walking-through-the-domkwartier
Visit Universiteitsmuseum Utrecht ~3h
Lange Nieuwstraat 106, Utrecht
Get to know your inner scientist at the Universiteitsmuseum Utrecht (Utrecht University Museum). At the museum you will experience the differences between science now and in bygone days.
We warmly recommend the following hotels for your stay in Utrecht:
Please note: Museum Speelklok (venue) is only 700 meters on foot (~8 minutes) from Utrecht train station.
Public transport in The Netherlands is very accessible. We use one card, the OV-card (OV = Openbaar Vervoer = Public Transport), for all trains, buses, trams and metros. On arrival to The Netherlands, please purchase an anonymous OV-card. You can get one in the bright-yellow machines of the NS (NS = Nederlandse Spoorwegen = Dutch National Railways) in the entry-hallway of Schiphol airport or at any train station. Interfaces of the machines are available in English. Staff or any Dutch citizen will be glad to help you if necessary.
The OV-card will cost you EUR 7,50 and in addition you need to charge the card, the amount depends on the duration of your stay and intention to travel. To get an idea about the costs of traveling:
– Train from Utrecht to Amsterdam: EUR 8,00 (takes 30 minutes)
– Train from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam: EUR 4,50 (takes 15 minutes)
– Train from Schiphol Airport to Utrecht: EUR 9,20 (takes 30 minutes)
Before entering the train, you need to ‘check in’. Please realize you cannot check in on the platforms at larger train stations, so immediately check in when entering the train station. Obviously, you need to check out at your destination. There’s a minimal amount of credit you need to be able to check in:
– Trains: EUR 20,-
– Buses/trams: EUR 4,-
You do not need to buy tickets in advance and are not bound to any specific train or seat after checking in. Just make sure you travel second class.
Google Maps has fully incorporated Dutch public transport. Use their route-planner to plan your journey. Another useful website is www.9292.nl/en , where you can plan your trip from door to door. For information about trains only, please go to www.ns.nl/en