Hear The Sound Of History At The Speelklok Museum

Speelklok Violin

Automated Melodies: The Art Of Self-Playing Instruments

A Collection 500 Years in the Making

The Speelklok Museum, located in the heart of Utrecht, is a unique museum dedicated to self-playing musical instruments. It houses an extensive collection of music boxes, antique clocks, pianolas, barrel organs (including the typically Dutch large street organs), and a rare turret clock with the original carillon. The museum’s exhibits span several centuries, showcasing the evolution of automated music from the 16th century to the present – including new hologram-based AI exhibits. Most of these relics are still able to be played for visitors, so it’s essential to take a guided tour to fully experience the sound of history.

Take a Musical Tour through the centuries

You can enjoy a free Musical Tour every day in the Museum Speelklok! Roam the gallery as part of an interactive English excursion and sing along with your guide for nearly an hour. You’ll marvel at the complex barrel organs from the collection and with luck you might even get to play one! These antique musical instruments play as they once did, sometimes hundreds of years ago. But be assured these antiques have not lost their charm.

Several tours are given daily, with the first tour starting at 10:30 am. They then continue every hour, on the half-hour for the rest of the day, with the last tour at 3:30 PM. Expect the talk to last less than an hour, then check out the museum cafe for a refresher.

Speelklok Tour
Interior Musical clock museum

The Café Klok restaurant is accessible to everyone: even if you do not have an entrance ticket to the museum, you are still very welcome to take a break here! The menu includes tasty sandwiches and snacks for both small and large appetites. And while you’re enjoying lunch or a cup of coffee, the self-playing instruments play live music for your consideration.

speelklok cafe Klok

Ticket Prices

  • Children aged 0 to 3 years: Free.
  • Children aged 4 to 12 years: €8.
  • Children aged 13 to 17 years: €12.
  • Adults and Seniors: €15.50.
  • Museumkaart: Free

Open Tuesday thru Sunday 10am to 5pm

Getting There

By Foot or Bike : The museum is just a ten-minute walk from Utrecht Centraal if you stroll through the mall or a five-minute bicycle ride from the back of the station.

By Public Transport : The #2 bus, which leaves from Centraal Station platform “A”, stops at the nearby Dom Toren (Bell Tower) and from there it’s a 3-minute walk.

By Car : Not recommended. Public parking is extremely limited in the city center. From the Vaartsche Rijn and Springweg parking garages, it’s a 12-minute walk to the venue. Also, consider using the Park & Ride facilities in Utrecht. A day ticket costs €5, and it’s valid for up to 5 people. Find more information at Goedopweg.nl.

Address : Steenweg 6, Utrecht, 3511JP Phone: 030 231 2789

The History of the Speelklok Museum

The museum had its origins in 1956 as an exhibition of street organs and other musical automata. The great success of this led to the creation of a permanent national museum dedicated to these charming mechanical music makers. Since 1984, it has been housed in a former church called the Buurkerk, and over the last half-century it has become a popular international attraction – because the language of music speaks to everybody!

The museum’s restoration workshops are renowned for their expertise in repairing and refurbishing these uncommon instruments, which are becoming increasingly rare. They are recognized as a leader in their field and known industrywide for their exacting standards.

Street Organ

To ensure a smooth visit, it’s recommended to book tickets in advance. You can do so on the museum’s official website (Book Your Visit) or find more information about current exhibitions and events (Learn More).

As mentioned before, visitors can enjoy hourly tours that demonstrate the instruments in action, providing a lively auditory experience. The museum also offers a Museum Expedition, allowing guests to explore the collection at their own pace and discover the stories behind these fascinating instruments.

For families, the museum is child-friendly, with activities like a treasure hunt led by an organ monkey named “Tune”.  There are also workshops and interactive exhibits to explore.

A Video about the Speelklok Collection

The Speelklok Museum is not only a testament to musical history but also a celebration of craftsmanship and ingenuity. It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in music, history, or technology. Enjoy your visit to this most melodious corner of Utrecht!