Travel Blog: Body Worlds Amsterdam, the happiness project

This post contains images from the exhibition that some people may find disturbing.

On our recent trip to Amsterdam, an attraction I really wanted to go back to was the Body Worlds exhibition.

Located on one of the main strips in Amsterdam (where those good chips are at Mannekin Pis and the infamous Sex Museum), I went the last time I visited and was fascinated with the concept.

Taking another first-timer to Amsterdam, allowed me to visit again, and thankfully everyone I’ve been with so far finds it just as interesting as I do!

heart at body worlds amsterdam

What is Body Worlds?

Some may remember it from a series of TV shows on Channel 4 a few years ago. A chap called Dr. Gunther von Hagens invented the process of plastination at the University of Heidelberg in 1977. Plastination is the process where real human bodies are preserved for scientific research and medical education.

The exhibition contains real human ‘specimens’ that have been donated to the project. There are a few exhibitions around the world, with the Amsterdam leg being themed as ‘The Happiness Project’.

human body at body worlds amsterdam

The Happiness Project Amsterdam

The Happiness Project is an exploration of how happiness affects the human body and the impact our health and environment has on it.

Throughout the exhibition, there is a range of themes, from sex and relationships, through to diet and general health.

It’s a daunting experience at first and you go through a few emotions from start to finish.

At first, you don’t ‘realise’ that the bodies are real.

Then you come face to face with a full human head and notice the small details, such as fine facial hair and pores.

legs at body worlds amsterdam

It’s hard to describe how it feels until you experience it for yourself really!

There are over 200 ‘specimens’ on display. Some are fascinating and leave you questioning your own health and habits, whilst other parts can leave you feeling a little bit sad. There is one section, for example, that is a series of foetuses. When you realise these are real babies that someone has carried, it really does leave you feeling reflective over what you have been exploring.

Other aspects include brain specimens of healthy brains, compared to those that have suffered illnesses such as dementia.

body worlds amsterdam

The free InBody check…

At the end of the exhibition, you can thoroughly upset yourself by going on the free body check machines.

These will analyse your height, weight, body fat, balance and more to give you a general health report.

Needless to say, I’m regretting cancelling my gym membership after giving it a go myself…

Tickets cost around £20 and it’s well worth it. Take a look online here.


This post contains images from the exhibition that some people may find disturbing.