STRAAT Amsterdam Review: An Insider’s Guide to Urban Art Brilliance

Place Details

Name: STRAAT

Rating: 4.5 / 5

City: Amsterdam

Country: Netherlands

Address: NDSM-Plein 1, 1033 WC Amsterdam

Phone Number: +31 020 370 9630

Website: Visit the Website

Location

About STRAAT

Tucked away within the industrial grandeur of the Lasloods on the NDSM wharf, the STRAAT Museum stands as a testament to the pulsating heart of graffiti and street art. The museum is an ode to the boundless creativity that spans from Amsterdam’s edgy streets to the electric avenues of New York, the colorful alleys of São Paulo, and beyond to Tokyo’s bustling districts.
Visitors to STRAAT are enveloped by an awe-inspiring collection that showcases a fusion of styles, forms, techniques, and narratives that define the most significant art movement of our times.
The artworks, monumental in scale, are as imposing as the buildings they could envelop, all housed under the soaring roof of the Lasloods—a national monument in its own right. With permanent installations and rotating exhibitions in the STRAAT Museum Gallery, one’s senses are constantly engaged. For a truly immersive journey into contemporary urban art, the STRAAT Museum is an essential destination. Tickets and details await at their website, beckoning art enthusiasts to enter a realm where art knows no bounds.

Nestled in the heart of Amsterdam’s creative hub, the NDSM wharf, the STRAAT museum presents itself as a celebration of street art and culture.

As an insider with a keen eye for the city’s artistic offerings, I’ve frequently explored the vast, warehouse-like space of STRAAT. It stands out as an essential destination for those enamored with contemporary art.

Housing more than 150 artworks from over 130 international artists, the museum not only showcases an extensive collection but is known for its dynamic curation. Works are periodically rotated, ensuring each visit offers a fresh perspective on the street art scene.

Understanding the pulse of Amsterdam’s cultural scene, the STRAAT museum captures the spirit of urban art often experienced in the transient nature of city streets.

My multiple visits have allowed me to witness the museum’s dedication to this expressive form firsthand. From colossal murals to intricate stencils, the artworks span various styles and narratives, all under one industrial roof.

Visitors to the STRAAT museum can anticipate a viewing experience and an educational journey into the evolution and diversity of street art.

Each piece tells a story, some whispering the anecdotes of Amsterdam’s streets while others shout the tales from walls across the globe.

It’s a cultural dialogue that I have found myself returning to, finding new meaning and connection with each visit as the living collection continues to expand and echo the ever-changing voice of the street.

Exploring the Origins of STRAAT

Vibrant street art mural at STRAAT Museum Noord-Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Discover the roots of the STRAAT museum, which lies in the heart of Amsterdam’s creative expression. This section delves into the museum’s journey from an old warehouse to a renowned institution for street art appreciation.

Tucked within the industrially rich NDSM wharf of Amsterdam Noord, the STRAAT museum occupies an old warehouse. The NDSM, once a shipbuilding powerhouse, now serves as the cradle of this unique street art museum.

A free ferry ride from Amsterdam Central Station takes culture enthusiasts to this enigmatic area known for its industrial charm.

STRAAT’s Vision and Identity

STRAAT Museum entrance with vibrant street art mural in Noord-Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

STRAAT was born from a bold vision to legitimatize street art and graffiti as influential art forms. By crafting an identity intertwined with the urban culture, STRAAT has created a space where the spontaneity and vibrancy of street art can be appreciated as fine art, much like the offerings of more traditional Amsterdam museums like the Rijks or the Van Gogh Museum.

STRAAT museum distinguishes itself from other notable Amsterdam counterparts—such as Moco, Stedelijk, or Anne Frank House—by focusing solely on street art. While its foundations are in history, like the Rijksmuseum, STRAAT’s content is ever-evolving, reflecting the transient nature of street art itself.

The museum reflects its industrial origins with a spacious interior accommodating large-scale artworks and an indoor panorama deck. It is equipped with a platform lift, ensuring it is wheelchair accessible, and facilities to enhance visitors’ experiences. This symbiosis of industrial setting and art creates an unparalleled atmosphere for experiencing the power of street art.

Sustainability and Social Responsibility

My visits to STRAAT revealed a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. The museum structures its events and exhibitions with an eco-conscious mindset, adapting the old industrial facility to modern standards. Initiatives include recycling programs and employing a socially inclusive hiring policy.

Permanent Collection

STRAAT Museum, Amsterdam Noord
Kyle Kroeger / Via Travelers

As a seasoned travel writer and Amsterdam local, I’ve grown to appreciate the mastery of street art within the STRAAT Museum. Here, the permanent collection proudly showcases over 150 painstakingly curated artworks, reflecting street art culture’s raw energy and diverse narratives.

Featured Artists and Artworks

Vibrant blue street art mural at STRAAT Museum, Amsterdam Noord
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Artists: STRAAT houses creations from more than 130 international artists, offering a tapestry of styles. Among these, prominent names and emerging talents intermingle with pieces ranging from large-scale paintings to intricate installations.

Artworks: Each piece in the museum’s collection channels the unique aesthetic of street art, often characterized by a blend of graffiti and contemporary visual art traditions. Visitors can explore towering murals and skillfully executed installations, each resonating with a potent creative spirit.

Unique Experience of the Exhibits

The museum’s spatial layout is tailored to forge an immersive experience, enabling visitors to navigate the exhibits while wandering the streets. This design choice amplifies the visual impact and helps convey the artwork’s authenticity.

Interactive stations are peppered throughout the space to enhance this journey, inviting personal engagement. The museum is not static but alive with the essence of street culture.

Themes and Narratives

Five Different Themes: STRAAT’s collection is organized into five themes, providing the context of the street art movement. These themes delve into cultural, social, and historical dimensions, offering visitors a more profound understanding of the art form.

Narrative Depth: Beyond aesthetics, each artwork serves as a narrative vessel, embodying the voice and the silent whisper of communities that birthed them. They tell tales that are at once deeply personal and universally resonant.

Significance of Street Art

Cultural Relevance: The museum underscores street art as a significant cultural and historical milestone through carefully selected works. The curation highlights how these public art forms capture the zeitgeist, often challenging societal norms.

Creative Impact: The exhibition celebrates the creative innovativeness of street and graffiti artists, marking them not as vandals but as legitimate and influential contributors to the art world.

Visitor Engagement

Guided Tours: For those eager to unearth deeper insight, guided tours are available, led by knowledgeable guides adept at unraveling the intricate layers of street art stories.

Audio Tours: Alternatively, visitors can opt for an audio tour, narrated by experts and sometimes the artists themselves, which can transform the museum visit into a more personal dialogue with the art.

Accessibility and Visitor Support

Physical Access: Knowing that art should be accessible to all, the museum is wheelchair friendly, and a ferry service is available for a convenient commute from Central Station.

Visitor Facilities: Besides accessibility, amenities such as lockers and seating areas are thoughtfully positioned to support a comfortable visit, ensuring all energies can be devoted to the immersive experience that STRAAT offers.

Exploring NDSM Wharf

Ijver at NDSM, Amsterdam-Noord
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The NDSM Wharf, a hub of creativity in the Noord district of Amsterdam, is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and culture seekers. As a center for the local art scene and a significant piece of Dutch culture, it balances contemporary creativity with rich historical significance and offers abundant attractions.

Local Art Scene

The NDSM Wharf blossoms with an eclectic mix of artists’ studios, colorful murals, and innovative installations, cultivating a thriving community brimming with creativity.

The transformation of industrial spaces into areas dedicated to artistic expression is profoundly evident at STRAAT Museum, which displays an extensive collection of street art, solidifying NDSM’s status as a beacon for urban art in Amsterdam.

Relevance to Dutch Culture

Ij-Hallen at NDSM, Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

NDSM Wharf isn’t just an art space. It’s a cultural component of Dutch culture that reflects the innovative and liberal spirit of the society. It’s a testament to the Netherlands‘ commitment to artistic freedom and an interactive cultural archive that connects visitors with contemporary Dutch narratives through visual stories.

Another great testament to the area is the iconic Ij-Hallen, Europe’s largest flea market, which is also a part of Dutch culture, their love for thrifty shopping, and finding a great deal.

Nearby Attractions and Activities

Beyond the art, NDSM Wharf hosts diverse events, from music festivals to flea markets, encapsulating the essence of Amsterdam’s thriving community.

GVB Ferry in Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Visitors can explore an array of cafés and restaurants or indulge in some shopping at unique local stores. The surroundings of the Wharf are easily accessible via the free ferry service from Central Station, inviting locals and tourists to immerse themselves in this cultural playground.

  • How to Get There: Take the free ferry from Central Station to NDSM, which offers a short and scenic route.
  • Nearby Eateries: Enjoy a variety of dining options, from casual cafés to waterfront restaurants, that reflect Amsterdam’s culinary diversity.
  • Events: Check the local calendar for events during your visit; there’s often something exciting happening at NDSM.

Educational Offerings

Vibrant mural at STRAAT Museum, Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

From my firsthand experiences at the STRAAT museum in Amsterdam, I can affirm it’s an eclectic hub for viewing street art and immersive learning. Art enthusiasts and newcomers can dive into educational programs tailored to different interests and skill levels.

Guided Tours and Workshops

STRRAAT offers guided tours that give attendees a deeper understanding of the street art on display, the stories of the artists behind them, and the museum’s historical context.

The museum’s workshops are especially hands-on, with opportunities for participants to create stencil art under the guidance of seasoned artists. These experiences are crucial for a deeper appreciation of the genre.

Educational programs at STRAAT are rich with information and often include curator talks, which give insights into the curatorial process and exhibition selection. As an attendee, you’ll find these talks an invaluable opportunity to gain context and explore the nuances of street art.

Outreach and Community Involvement

This museum doesn’t stop at its walls; its community involvement is remarkable. STRAAT organizes events and projects that challenge and engage local communities, fostering a broader understanding and appreciation of street art culture.

For young adults and students keen on exploring contemporary art, STRAAT offers student discounts on entry. This initiative supports education and engagement among the younger audience, encouraging them to explore this dynamic art form.

Language and Accessibility Options

Understanding the diversity of its visitors, the museum provides information in English as well as other languages, ensuring inclusivity. It has also taken steps to be wheelchair accessible, reflecting its commitment to accessibility for all visitors.

Amenities and Visitor Information

STRAAT Museum entrance with vibrant street art mural in Noord-Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Cafe and Culinary Offerings

STRAAT museum features a cafe that delivers a taste of local cuisine with a variety of culinary options for patrons. Visitors can enjoy a casual coffee or indulge in a delightful meal, making it an ideal spot to relax amidst a day of art exploration.

Museum Shop and Merchandise

Merchandise at the STRAAT museum is as unique as the art on the walls. Visit the museum shop to find one-of-a-kind gifts and souvenirs that reflect the distinctiveness of street art culture. Items range from affordable keepsakes to exclusive artist collaborations.

Ticketing and Admission Information

Admission to the museum can be obtained through several avenues:

  • Online booking is recommended to ensure entry.
  • Ticket prices are competitively set.
  • Last-minute tickets may be available on-site but come with the risk of sold-out time slots.
Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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