A Guide To The Best Museums In Amsterdam

Take a look at any tourist map of Amsterdam and you’ll spot at least a dozen notable museums. The scenic city is in fact home to hundreds of museums, which is an overwhelming amount to say the least. There are, however, a few places that stand out above the rest and together they hold a truly impressive and well-rounded collection of artwork and artefacts.

Rijksmuseum

Recently re-opened following years of refurbishment and renovation, the Rijksmuseum holds the most notable collection of artwork and artefacts in The Netherlands. Each hall in the museum is dedicated to a specific time period and filled with treasures of all mediums belonging to that period, including artwork, household items, sculptures and more. In total, the halls cover the history and story of The Netherlands from the Middle Ages until 1900. Notable museum pieces include works by Dutch masters like Vermeer, Rembrandt and Van Gogh. Vermeer’s ‘Milkmaid’ and Van Gogh’s ‘Self Portrait’ are just two examples of world famous paintings that call the Rijksmuseum home. The Rijksmuseum is conveniently located in central Amsterdam and is within walking distance from the city’s central rail station. The museum is open daily from 9:00 to 17:00, 365 days a year. Tickets are 15 Euros for visitors 19 and over. Visitors 18 and under will not be charged an admission fee. 

Stedelijk Museum

Amsterdam may be known for producing some of the best-known 19th century painters, but the city has an appreciation for modern art as well. The Stedelijk Museum is the city’s premiere modern art museum is home to over 90,000 works from the 20th and 21st centuries. The museum covers everything from furniture design to paintings, sculptures, textiles, photography and art installations ranging from Bauhaus to avant-garde. In addition to an extensive permanent collection, the Stedelijk Museum also hosts several rotating exhibits throughout the year. The Stedelijk Museum is located near the Museumplein in Amsterdam. It is open daily from 10:00 and closes at 18:00 each day except Thursday, when it closes at 22:00. Adult tickets are 15 Euros and child/youth tickets are 7.50 Euros. 

Van Gogh Museum

The Netherland’s most celebrated artist has his own museum located in the heart of Amsterdam. The Van Gogh Museum holds the largest collection of Van Gogh paintings in the world, but is much more than just an art museum. Through a series of exhibits combining Van Gogh’s artwork and artefacts from his life, the museum tells the story of Van Gogh starting from his early years and ending with his death. Along with a permanent collection that includes works like ‘Sunflowers’ and ‘The Yellow House’, The Van Gogh Museum is currently running a temporary exhibit called ‘Van Gogh at Work’, which examines Van Gogh’s painting technique and working conditions. The Van Gogh Museum is located just a few steps from The Rijksmuseum in central Amsterdam. It opens at 10:00 and closes at 18:00 every day except Friday, when it closes at 22:00. Tickets are 15 Euros for visitors 18 and over. Visitors 17 and under will not be charged an admission fee. 

FOAM

FOAM is a cutting edge museum in Amsterdam completely dedicated to photography. It hosts numerous temporary and rotating exhibits as well as a number of photography workshops throughout the year. ‘Bowie by Duffy’ is currently the museum’s major exhibit and includes portraits and photographs of David Bowie by celebrated fashion photographer Brian Duffy. FOAM is located on Keizersgracht, just opposite the Keizersgracht tram station in central Amsterdam. The museum opens at 10:00 and closes at 18:00 daily except Fridays and Thursdays, when it closes at 21:00. Tickets are 8.75 Euros for adults and 6.00 Euros for students and seniors. Visitors under 12 will not be charged an admission fee. 

The Rembrandt House Museum

The former home of the Dutch Golden Age painter Rembrandt van Rijn has been transformed into a fascinating museum dedicated to his life and artwork. Visitors can see Rembrandt’s studio and where he lived with his family. The house has been restored to its 17th century glory and includes period furniture and decor. Also on display at the museum is a collection of the artist’s etchings. Though not as famous as his paintings, they are still regarded as artistic treasures. Rembrandt’s home is located in central Amsterdam on Jodenbreestraat. The museum is open daily from 10:00 to 18:00. Tickets are 12.50 Euros for Adults, 4.00 Euros for children 6-17, and free for children under 6.  A visit to these five museums will add a dose of culture to your Amsterdam itinerary. They are all conveniently located in or around central Amsterdam and it is possible to visit several in one day. So why not check out some flights to Amsterdam and pop over for the perfect cultural city break. 

Paul Teale is a freelance writer and culture vulture. He likes nothing more than spending a day getting lost in a good museum.