The Miffy Museum (Nijntje Museum)

Find out more about Dick Bruna and the story behind his famous cartoon rabbit at the wonderful Miffy Museum.

Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle. A journalist for more than 20 years, he's been travelling the world since 2011.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle and has been travelling full time for a decade.


The Miffy Museum (Nijntjne Museum)

With just a few simple lines, the famous cartoon rabbit known as Miffy is able to project a masterful range of emotions that speak right to our inner child.

It's one of the reasons Miffy (or Nijntjne in Dutch) has become so popular around the world, a phenomenon you can explore at the Miffy Museum (Nijntjne Museum) in Utrecht.

Who would have thought that such a simple design would prove to be so popular for so long?

Miffy is a rabbit – that is clear from immediately looking at her. But you might not realise that she is the world’s most successful rabbit, at the head of a US$250 million empire.

And that fortune has come about despite (or, perhaps, because of) a sterile simplicity.

Miffy, Dick Bruna House, Utrecht, Netherlands

Dick Bruna created her with just a few shapes and one colour. There’s no intricate detail or deep expression on her face but Miffy has managed to capture the hearts of children across the world.

The cartoon character was created by Dutch artist Dick Bruna, who has made about 30 books based on Miffy’s adventures. (If you can call going to school or going to the doctor an ‘adventure’.)

Together they have been translated into more than 50 different languages and sold over 100 million copies. The books have bred even faster than a real rabbit could!

Miffy, Dick Bruna House, Utrecht, Netherlands

Now, Miffy’s popularity is celebrated at a permanent exhibition in the Dutch city of Utrecht, where Bruna lived.

The Miffy Museum (or Nijntje Museum, in Dutch) is aimed at children but there’s also probable enough here to amuse adults and introduce them to this famous-multimillion dollar rabbit.

What’s the difference between Miffy and Nijntje?

Miffy and Nijntje are just different names for the same famous cartoon rabbit. The original Dutch name is Nijntje but it was considered to be too difficult for a foreign audience, so the rabbit was given the name Miffy for international publication.

Who was Dick Bruna?

Dick Bruna was a Dutch author and artist who is most famous for creating the cartoon rabbit called Miffy (Nijntje in Dutch). He also published about 200 other children’s books as well as plenty of mainstream illustrations. He lived in Utrecht and passed away in 2017.

Why is Miffy so famous?

Although Miffy’s appearance is quite simplistic with relatively few features, the cartoon rabbit manages to capture of sense of innocence blended with curiosity and optimism. Miffy features in about 30 books that have sold more than 100 million copies.

Even if you’re visiting the Miffy Museum with children who know the stories well, it’s worth knowing a little bit about the background before you arrive.

The story of Miffy

The first Miffy book was published in 1955, with the character based on a real rabbit that Dick Bruna had seen with his young son on holidays.

He used the memory of that rabbit to create simple stories about familiar routines – visiting friends at school, sharing meals with the family, playing outside. But within these everyday moments, Bruna weaves threads of magic.

A puddle transforms into a shimmering ocean, a walk in the park becomes a grand safari, and a shared pancake becomes a celebration of friendship. This is what is so enchanting about the books, why they have become so timeless.

Miffy, Dick Bruna House, Utrecht, Netherlands

Even though the drawings look simple, there was a very precise and special technique used to make the images in the books. Dick Bruna spent about a day on each full-page picture, trying different colours and shapes until he was completely happy.

Sometimes he would even revisit the result and make small changes – taking away a single tear from a crying Miffy, for instance.

Each book has only sixteen pages, so making each one perfect is important.

Miffy, Dick Bruna House, Utrecht, Netherlands

Miffy’s world, though idyllic, is not without its challenges, and she faces small disappointments like losing a toy or missing a friend’s birthday party.

But the way she handles these with resilience and the support of her family is another key to Miffy’s appeal. Bruna masterfully conveyed an incredible range of emotions through her expressive eyes and simple gestures.

When Dick Bruna died in 2017 at the age of 89, he had published more than 200 children’s books. But it is the 30 or so featuring Miffy that have gone on to be his greatest legacy.

Things to see at the Miffy Museum

Originally, the museum was called the Dick Bruna House and it focused a lot more on the author’s own story and the history of Miffy as a cultural force.

But after about a decade, the space was remodelled into the Miffy Museum (Nijntje Museum) and became all about the rabbit.

Miffy, Dick Bruna House, Utrecht, Netherlands

Aimed at toddlers and pre-schoolers, there are 12 different learning environments based on stories from the books. The house, the traffic square, the farm, just to name a few.

Kids are able to interact in these spaces, with toys and props and other surprises.

There are also events that take place, like workshops and storytelling sessions.

Miffy, Dick Bruna House, Utrecht, Netherlands

Many of the exhibitions that existed in the old Dick Bruna House have now been moved, including photos and other documents.

Across the road, in the Centraal Museum, you can see a recreation of Dick Bruna’s studio, with the same arrangement as his original one, including a drawing and writing table, a place for rest and inspiration, a meeting place and bookshelves.

Miffy, Dick Bruna House, Utrecht, Netherlands

Utrecht is a beautiful city based around canals and small friendly streets. It has a lot more visual noise to it than a Miffy book but it shares a humble and unassuming attitude.

By the end of his life, Dick Bruna was like a grandfather to the people of Utrecht and it made sense for them to honour him with a museum. Now, with the house’s focus on young children, future generations are able to experience a whole new way to enjoy the Miffy story.

Visiting the Miffy Museum

If you’re planning a visit to the Miffy Museum, just a reminder that it’s officially called the Nijntje Museum, so those are the signs you’re looking for.

There are no entrance tickets for sale at the museum so you’ll need to book in advance for a specific time.

Unlike most other places, tickets for children are more expensive than those for adults, so don’t be surprised when you see that.

Miffy, Dick Bruna House, Utrecht, Netherlands

A visit will take as long or as little as you like, because there are areas for children to play. But I would suggest about an hour or so is a good length of time.

A few other things to note for visitors:

  • The Miffy Museum is accessible by prams and standard wheelchairs.
  • The museum is family-friendly and has baby and children’s toilet facilities.
  • Service animals and guide dogs are allowed.
  • Employees have a good knowledge of the Sunflower Keycord.
  • Visitors with special needs can bring a carer or companion for free
  • Children who have a physical disability can access educational materials that have tactile, relief, colour contrast, scent and sign language features.

Where is the Miffy Museum?

The Miffy Museum (Nijntje Museum) is located in the centre of Utrecht’s museum district in the Netherlands.
The address is Agnietenstraat 2, 3512 XB Utrecht, Netherlands.
You can see it on a map here.

How do you get to the Miffy Museum?

You can conveniently reach the museum by public transport.
By bus, take bus 2 from Utrecht Central Station towards the museum quarter and get off at the Central Museum stop right in front of the door.
Another option is to take the train to Utrecht Vaartsche Rijn station and the Miffy Museum is about 10 minutes walk from the station.
If you are coming by car, there are parking areas Vaartsche Rijn, Lange Nieuwstraat or parking garage Springweg, and take a 10-minute walk to the museum.

When is the Miffy Museum open?

The Miffy Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 until 17:00.
It is also open on Easter Monday, White Monday, and Boxing Day.
The museum is closed on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and King’s Day.

What is the Miffy Museum entrance fee?

The entrance fees for the Miffy Museum are:
Adults, students, and children 7-17 years: €8
Children 2-6 years: €12
Children under 2: free
Free entry is also included in passes like the Netherlands Museum Card and the Rembrandt Card.

For more information, see the official website of the Miffy Museum.

For food, there’s a cafe at the Miffy Museum that serves a wide range of food including gluten/lactose-free, vegan and vegetarian options.

The museum also has a gift shop where you can get some Miffy memorabilia. It doesn’t require a museum ticket to visit.

While the Miffy Museum is aimed at children, across the road there’s something for the adults. Museum Centraal has a recreation of Dick Bruna’s original studio, with his drawing table and a collection of his work for adults.

It’s well worth visiting Museum Centraal when you’re in Utrecht and you can buy your ticket in advance here.

While you’re in Utrecht, you might also like to get the know the city a bit better with one of these great tours:

And, if you’re travelling with kids, let them run off their excess energy in the Servaasbolwerk/Sonnenborgh park before diving into stars and the universe at the Sonnenborgh Observatory.


Utrecht has a good range of accommodation and you should be able to find something in the city centre at a reasonable price.


For a good value hostel with a great vibe, I suggest Stayokay Utrecht Centrum.


Utrecht is an expensive city, but you can get reasonable private rooms at the cool Bunk Hotel.


When it comes to design hotels, I love what Hotel Beijers has done with the heritage building.


And with the best of modern luxury, Inntel Hotels Utrecht Centre also has a fantastic breakfast.

Time Travel Turtle was a guest of Visit Utrecht but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.

17 thoughts on “The Miffy Museum (Nijntje Museum)”

    • It’s also wonderful to see how much success you can have from a simple idea that people fall in love with. Dick Bruna obviously worked very hard for everything, but it was never a complicated story that he was sharing.

  1. I totally had a few Miffy books as a kid. But I always thought it was called Bruna Miffy, because the author’s last name (Bruna) was on the spine, without much to let a 5 year old know you weren’t supposed to stick the Miffy on the end. For some reason it’s still Bruna Miffy in my head, somewhat.

  2. MIFFY!! …Didn’t know Miffy was Dutch. She was somehow part of my childhood, but in a very vague way. A rabbit that always seemed strangely familiar. And I only learned her name when I was in my Twenties – but that sold it, man, that sold it. How is ‘Miffy’ not the best name EVER?! …And I would know because I can also tell you the crappiest name ever: Tiffy. Tiffy was a pink bird-thing in the German version of Sesame Street. She had potential but the name just killed it. I mean: TIFFY! What do you expect? Then again: Tiffy the Turtle would work. And you know why? Because a turtle is round and Tiffy sounds pointy, and it balances out. But a bird is pointy and Tiffy sounds pointy, and the pink colour can’t save this disaster. And that is my opinion on that. …There seems to be money in children books. I can draw a pretty good pig, but it’s a copy from a cartoon I saw somewhere. Should I write more? Probably not. Just don’t decide to nickname yourself ‘Tiffy the turtle’ now because you found it was brilliant as I will still just imagine the bloody pink bird and not the turtle. The name is totally spoiled. Sorry, Michael. But you could secretly call yourself ‘Tiffy the turtle’, of course. That’s up to you.

    • I think you could be on to something here, Vera! Perhaps you could start a series of books called Tiffy the Turtle but draw it like a pig. That would confuse people enough that they would look twice and by then they will want to buy the book because they’ll see how wonderfully the pig is drawn and want to know more about why it’s also a turtle. Genius!!

    • It was really interesting learning more about it. Although I knew about Miffy from my childhood, I certainly didn’t know anything about Dick Bruna. And you’re right – there’s a lot of work in making something look simple! Just ask any modern designer! 🙂

  3. Success stories behind the creation of such characters never fail to fascinate me. Whether it is the most famous cartoon character Mickey Mouse or the book character of Sherlock holmes, the stories behind their creation are as appealing as are the characters themselves.

    • You’re so right. The people that come up with these things have to be pretty interesting in their own right… or at least have an interesting story. The characters are an extension of them in some ways.

  4. I had no idea Miffy was Dutch! I had Miffy stuff as a kid and I would have loved to visit this exhibit had I known about it. That explains why I saw Miffy all over the airport in Amsterdam.


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