The city of Amsterdam sets itself apart with the carefree air it oozes. The Venice of the North knows its way around the melancholy of daily life. Perhaps the city has acquired this talent from years of experience. Amsterdam was established in the early 14th century. It has seen the Spanish, the French, and the English inquisition arrive and withdraw. It has seen the Golden Age come, leave, and come back again. All of this has left Amsterdam with plenty of history that demands to be explored. And, the Dutch have packed all of it in more than 75 museums within the city. From the canal-side Photography Museum, FOAM, to the lavish Rijksmuseum, the city has it all. Here's our pick of the 11 Best Museums in Amsterdam.
With the vision of connecting individuals with art and history, Rijksmuseum welcomed its first visitors in 1800 and eventually moved to Amsterdam in 1808. The then collection mostly had paintings and articles of historical significance. Currently, Rijksmuseum is home to some of the most prominent European and international works of art. Rembrandt’s Night Watch is a prized possession of the Rijksmuseum. You will also see some of the best works of Vermeer, van Dyck, and Jan Steen. Rijksmuseum also features a wide array of photographs, prints, drawings, and antique objects. Make sure you get the audioguide for your tour.
Daily 9 AM to 5 PM Address
Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Van Gogh Museum
Vincent Van Gogh is arguably the most popular artist in the history of mankind. Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum holds the largest collection of his works. This makes the Van Gogh Museum one of the 25 most-visited museums in the world. The collection at the museum includes his paintings, drawings, and letters, along with the notable works of his contemporaries. It is quite simple to navigate through Van Gogh’s works at the museum because of the chronological arrangement. The museum is worth the visit, not just for the collection, but also because of the grandeur of the building itself. It is spacious enough to house the vast collection and its admirers, without the imminent danger of asphyxiation.
2 Mar to 20 Jun, 2 Sep to 27 Oct 9 AM to 6 PM, Friday 9 AM to 9 PM;
21 Jun to 1 Sep, 23 Dec to 31 Dec 9 AM to 7 PM, Fri and Sat 9 AM to 9 PM;
28 Oct to 22 Dec 9 AM to 5 PM, Fri 9 AM to 9 PM;
25 Dec and 31 Dec 9 AM to 5 PM, 1 Jan 11 AM to 7 PM Address
Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is truly a city in mottled garb. Right from its establishment, the city has experienced history from its own unique perspective. The Amsterdam Museum aims to bring this perspective to the light. Nestled in the center of the city, the Amsterdam Museum was established in 1975 in a building that has previously served as a convent and then an orphanage. It is the home to Amsterdam DNA, a captivating multimedia display that charts the development of Amsterdam from a fishing village to a world city. It is definitely worth a few hours of your time in the city.
Daily 10 AM to 5 PM Address
Kalverstraat 92, 1012 PH Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Stedelijk Museum has added an interesting color to Amsterdam. When it was first established over a hundred years ago, the museum was the center of controversy. History repeated itself when the museum underwent an eight-year-long renovation in 2012. However, every time the Stedelijk Museum has opened its doors for the visitors, it has gifted them an experience worth remembering. It is one of the most fascinating museums of modern art in the world. It is known for its extensive collection depicting Impressionism, Expressionism, Fauvism, and Cubism. The walls and halls of Stedelijk Museum are adorned with the works of Picasso, Newman, Matisse, Rauschenberg, and Warhol.
Sunday to Thursday and Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM, Friday 10 AM to 10 PM Address
Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Abraham Willet and his wife Sandrina Louisa Geertruyda Holthuysen used to live in this 1687-built townhouse. This was later handed over to the city of Amsterdam after their death. The Willet-Holthuysen Museum has since occupied this house. The collection of art acquired by Abraham Willet is on display at the Willet-Holthuysen Museum. Additionally, the rooms itself are a specimen of 18th-century architecture. While some rooms have been restored to their original condition, the others lay in a worn out state.
Daily 10 AM to 5 PM Address
Herengracht 605, 1017 CE Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Hermitage Amsterdam is a branch of the famous Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg in Russia. The museum mainly focuses on educating the masses about Russian culture and history. Hermitage Amsterdam features a rotating collection of artwork and archaeological artifacts from its Russian collection. Apart from exploring these, you can also catch classical concerts and seminars centered around Russian culture at the Hermitage. The museum is known for holding some of the most successful exhibitions on a regular basis.
Daily 10 AM to 5 PM Address
Amstel 51, 1018 EJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Anne Frank House
Anne Frank is one of the most influential figures in European history. As such, the Frank House has been witness quite a few memorable incidents. These memories set Anne Frank House apart from most other museums. The Anne Frank House collection has been numbered at as many as 15000 documents and artifacts. There is a film which records the thoughts of researchers, historians, and civilians on Anne Frank. You must catch a glimpse of the hinged bookcase, Anne Frank’s first diary, the map of Normandy, and the height marks of Anne and Margot Frank at the Anne Frank House.
1 April to 1 November : Daily 9 AM to 10 PM,
1 November to 1 April : Sunday to Friday 9 AM to 7 PM, Saturday 9 AM to 10 PM Address
Prinsengracht 263-267, 1016 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands
Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam (Foam)
Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, better known as Foam, is a photography museum in Amsterdam that is known worldwide for its humongous collection. Its aim is to inspire and inform the visitor about all facets of the art of photography. The museum is located in a 19th-century structure by the central canal of Amsterdam. The museum displays both still photos and multimedia shows. The exhibitions and events at the Foam are regularly rotated. Apart from that, you can attend workshops organized by Foam and buy limited edition photographs that go on sale occasionally.
Monday to Wednesday 10 AM to 6 PM
Thursday to Friday 10 AM to 9 PM
Saturday to Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM Address
Keizersgracht 609, 1017 DS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Allard Pierson Museum
The Allard Pierson Museum is a part of the University of Amsterdam. It currently displays a vast collection of Mediterranean artifacts. The aim of the museum is to provide access to the historical sources that throw light upon the inception of Western civilization. There are objects such as pottery, sculpture, glassware, jewelry, coins, and household objects at the museum. Apart from the permanent display, the Allard Pierson Museum also houses a number of setups from other parts of the world. The Allard Pierson Museum is definitely worth the visit for a history buff.
Monday to Friday 10 AM to 5 PM
Saturday to Sunday 1 PM to 5 PM Address
Oude Turfmarkt 129, 1012 GC Amsterdam, Netherlands
Het Grachtenhuis, or the Canal House Museum, is a small museum housed in a canal house in Amsterdam. The house was built during the Golden Age of the city, and thus reflects the lavish decor of the time. Het Grachtenhuis depicts the construction of the canal ring area that has subsequently proven to be the city’s lifeline. Miniature model of the canal house along with multimedia content makes for a wonderful exhibit. The model of the canal ring area gives you an idea of the boundless of the canal network. If you are interested in the history of the city, Het Grachtenhuis is the place for you.
Tuesday to Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM Address
Herengracht 386, 1016 CJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Rembrandt House Museum
Rembrandt is another popular Dutch artist, and this museum is located right in his once residence and workshop. Rembrandt House Museum is a hot destination for art aficionados and researchers. The museum not only displays almost all of Rembrandt’s works, but it also traces the influence of the artist on his pupils and contemporaries. Some of the predecessors of Rembrandt who are believed to have impacted his school of thought are also included in the Rembrandt House Museum. The museum also presents a chance for budding artists to display their works.
Daily, 10 AM to 6 PM Address
Jodenbreestraat 4, 1011 NK Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tips For Visiting Museums In Amsterdam
- Pre-book your tickets for the museums as all of them are popular and a last-minute plan may not work out.
- Opt for either early or late time slots for your museum visit. The crowd is a lesser at this point in time and you could get more time to explore the artworks.
- Keep at least half a day aside for your visit to the Rijksmuseum. The museum is gigantic and you would be able to cover the highlights in about 6 hours.
- Enquire about audio guides at the museum. Although the artworks will be properly labeled and annotated, the extra nugget of information could enhance the quality of your trip.
- Get an I Amsterdam Pass if you are planning to visit a number of museums on your trip. A lot of museums allow free entry to I Amsterdam Pass holders.
More Amsterdam Guides
Looking for more things to do in Amsterdam? Here are a few detailed guides on essentials in Amsterdam that will help you plan your trip better.
Museum Quarter houses Amsterdam big three – Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art – showcasing the brilliance of Dutch masters, modern art and impressionists.
Amsterdam is home to a variety of world-famous museums. No trip to the city is complete without stopping by the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum or Stedelijk Museum, but the city also has a multitude of treasures outside of the Museum District.
Some museums in Amsterdam have sections that you can visit for free! Just minutes from the Begijnhof, the Schuttersgalerij (Civic Guards Gallery) is now officially part of the Amsterdam Museum but is still free for all visitors.
The I Amsterdam City Card gives you access to all major museums, public transportation and canal cruises. Passes can be bought online with 24-, 48-, 72-, 96-, and 120-hour options, saving you quite a few euros when venue-hopping and sometimes even letting you bypass the queue.