The capital of The Netherlands Amsterdam has a lot of historical in museums. From modern art to contemporary science, paintings, and sculptures by old masters. There is always something for everyone. Since Amsterdam is a relatively small city with just over 800,000 inhabitants, most museums are within walking distance. Public transport is well organized and taxis are also affordable. Read more for information about some of the popular museums.
The Rijksmuseum displays art from around 1600 to the present day, as well as Asian and other European art. The Rijksmuseum became world famous for Rembrandt van Rijn's Night Watch, but located on Museumplein, the building itself is also impressive.
The Rijksmuseum's permanent collection includes paintings by Rembrandt van Rijn, Isaac Israels, Johannes Vermeer, and many other famous Dutch masters.
The Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum houses the largest collection of paintings by the painter of the same name, Vincent van Gogh, who only became known after his death. The Van Gogh Museum in The Netherlands has also researched all the letters he wrote to his brother Theo, his friend Paul Gauguin and many others. A visit to the museum provides insight into Van Gogh's life, his depression, attempted suicide and his sad love life. In a moment of bewilderment, Van Gogh also cut off part of his ear. It is suspected that he went mad because of syphilis.
The Anne Frank House
During the Second World War, Anne Frank and her Jewish family spent many years underground in a room in the back of a large canal house on the Prinsengracht. The entrance was a sliding bookcase and despite many raids, the Germans could not find the family in hiding. Anne kept an accurate diary about the life they lead, and a visit to the museum provides insight into the frightening and terrible circumstances in which they find themselves. Just before the end of the war, the hiding place was betrayed and she and her family were deported to a concentration camp where she died. The only survivor was her father Otto, who after the war took possession of Anne's famous diary and eventually had it produced.
The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam
The Stedelijk museum, which was founded in 1874 and owns a collection of more than 90,000 items, attracts around 700,000 visitors each year. With constantly changing exhibitions on art from 1880 to the present day. You will find art by Piet Mondrian, Gerrit Rietveld, Henri Matisse, Jeff Koons, Kazimir Malevich, Yayoi Kusama, and many more well-known and lesser-known artists.
In 2007, the building of the Stedelijk Museum was completely renovated and a new space was added. The design of this new part is so modern and contrasts so much with the old building that several people have protested against the design. This extension on its own is already very worthwhile to see.
The Nemo museum
The Nemo museum offers a playful insight into contemporary science. By experimenting yourself you discover how things work and especially for children this is a fun way to learn. But also for parents, there is a lot to see and discover. From space travel to electricity and from engines to optical illusions, there is always something to discover at the Nemo museum.
On top of the Nemo museum, there is a large terrace with a beautiful view of Amsterdam. You look out over the Maritime Museum where an old replica of a VOC ship from 1600 is located.
The Heineken Experience
At the end of 1800, Gerard Adriaan Heineken started a small brewery that opened its first factory on the Ruysdaelkade in Amsterdam. Just around the corner, a larger factory was later built that now serves as the Heineken Experience. The Heineken brand is with a global market share of more than 11% the number 2 largest beer brand in the world.
Everyone in the world recognizes Heineken by the green bottles and cans that when this was introduced were a true marketing hype. In order to distinguish itself from other beer brands, Heineken made its bottles green and with that difference, it managed to build up an empire. For many marketers, this is the history lesson when it comes to being distinctive. In The Heineken Experience, you will learn how beer is brewed, but also about the history of this originally local Amsterdam company.
In 1972, Madame Tussauds' son opened the first foreign branch of this famous wax museum in the Kalverstraat in Amsterdam. In 1991, the museum moved to De Dam, where it still is today. Various celebrities have been copied in lifelike detail and once they have been photographed they can hardly be distinguished from the real ones. On the top floor, there is a large window through which you can look out over the square De Dam. A popular place for photographers.
The Tropenmuseum wants to connect people from different cultures and backgrounds. Since 2018 the Tropenmuseum has had a permanent exhibition called "Things That Matter". Here, current themes such as migration, the pilgrimage to Mecca and life after slavery are highlighted. The exhibition "Cool Japan" remains the most popular, but also the youth program still attracts many visitors. Children are actively involved in this program and learn about different cultures in a playful way.
The Maritime Museum
The Netherlands has dominated the world's seas for decades and was one of the most powerful countries in the world in the golden age around 1600. The Maritime Museum takes you through 500 years of maritime history. Inside you can take a virtual reality tour to see how ships used to be built, but outside in the water, there is also a real replica of The Amsterdam. This was a VOC trading and warship.
Red Light secrets museum
Around the 'old church' is the red light district where one of the oldest professions in the world is practiced. From the very beginning of Amsterdam, this was the place where the ships moored and sailors spent their earned money after a long voyage on fun and entertainment. The Red Light secret museum gives you insight into what it takes to work here. You will learn how prostitution is a protected profession, what they earn and if you want you can take your own seat behind the window for a picture.
Rembrandt van Rijn is known as an artist who made many self-portraits and lived for art. He was a painter, etcher and draughtsman. The Rembrandt House is located in the Jodenbreestraat, where he himself lived for almost 20 years. Take a look at his Dutch art and discover all about his life and paintings.
Local guides in Amsterdam and museums
Most museums have long queues. Especially during holiday periods. It is therefore advisable to order tickets in advance, especially when you are on a day trip. This can be done at iAmsterdam, the official site of Amsterdam. You can also ask a local guide via TheONE to help you buy tickets. Once you're in Amsterdam, you can also ask the local guide to tell you more about the museums or to give you other tips.