Last Updated on 2023-09-16
If you want to know which are the must-see museums in Amsterdam to include in your itinerary, then continue reading this article!
Amsterdam is known for its numerous museums, some of which are considered the most important in the world, however, with so much on offer, it is natural that you have doubts about which museums to visit.
These museums are of enormous importance to the city, not only from a cultural point of view, but are also fundamental to the city’s economy, attracting millions of visitors every year.
In addition, they play a key role in educating and preserving Dutch history and culture by offering educational programs and exhibitions that help spread knowledge and increase an appreciation for the arts.
With such important museums, it’s no surprise that Amsterdam is one of the most visited cities in the world by tourists in search of art and culture.
So, in this article I will give you tips and suggestions of what are, in my opinion, the must-see museums in Amsterdam: the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank House Museum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Rembrandt House.
I’ll include information about their collections, opening hours, ticket prices, tips for avoiding queues, and suggestions to make your visit even more enjoyable.
However, as this is a list based on my personal taste, I also include a list of the other museums in the city, so that you can choose the museums that suit you best.
5 must-see museums in Amsterdam
The Rijksmuseum, located in Amsterdam, is one of the most important and visited in the Netherlands, that is, it is one of the must-see museums in Amsterdam!
Founded in 1800, the museum has one of the most important art and history collections in the nation, with more than 1 million objects in its permanent and temporary collections.
The Rijksmuseum’s permanent collections are divided into 80 galleries, covering Dutch art and history from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, porcelain and glass artifacts, photographs, musical instruments, clothing and furniture.
One of the most famous works in the museum is the painting “The Night Watch” by Rembrandt, which is in a gallery dedicated entirely to the work of the Dutch artist. Other notable paintings include “The Milkmaid” by Johannes Vermeer, “The Battle of Waterloo” by Jan Willem Pieneman and “The Baptism of Christ” by Aert de Gelder.
In addition, the museum’s collection of Asian art is one of the most important in Europe, with an impressive selection of porcelain, jade and ivory objects from the Far East, as well as one of the largest collections of Indonesian art in the world.
The Rijksmuseum also has a series of temporary exhibitions, which change regularly and present a wide variety of subjects and art styles.
In addition to the art collections and exhibitions, the museum has activities for visitors, including lectures, guided tours, workshops and concerts, making the Rijksmuseum a treasure trove of Dutch culture and a must-visit for anyone visiting Amsterdam.
Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands.
How to get there by tram: lines 2 and 5 (Hobbemastraat) and line 12 (Concertgebouw).
Rijksmuseum opening hours
The Rijksmuseum is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm.
Rijksmuseum ticket prices
Tickets for the Rijksmuseum at the ticket office cost €2.50 for adults, and are free for those under 18 years of age.
However, visitors need to book an entry time, meaning you can arrive at the ticket office and only have tickets available for two or three hours later.
Therefore, it is a good idea to book the entrance to the Rijksmuseum online in advance, even if it is a little more expensive (about 1€).
Other tips: the Rijksmuseum museum has free wi-fi, lockers to store backpacks and it is allowed to take pictures of the works. Also, cash payments are not accepted.
The Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum is dedicated to the life and work of the famous artist Vincent van Gogh. It has the world’s largest collection of works by the author, with more than 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 700 letters written by him.
In addition, the museum has temporary exhibitions that feature works by contemporary artists inspired by the work of Van Gogh.
The Van Gogh Museum’s permanent collection is organized chronologically and thematically, allowing visitors to explore the evolution of the artist’s style and technique throughout his career. It begins with Van Gogh’s earliest paintings, including his realistic works such as “The Potato Eaters” and “The Bedroom”, which are widely regarded as some of his finest works.
The next section of the collection highlights the period when Van Gogh lived in Paris and began to explore impressionism and pointillism. Van Gohn Museum displays several of his masterpieces, including “Sunflowers”, “Starry Night Over the Rhone” and “Irises”.
The permanent collection also includes a selection of works by Van Gogh’s contemporaries, such as Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who were influenced by his work. In addition, the museum has a section dedicated to Van Gogh’s letters, showing a unique insight into his life and his relationship with art.
To make visiting the Van Gogh museum more enjoyable, it is recommended to plan ahead and buy tickets online to avoid queues at the ticket office. If you want, you can download the museum app for additional information.
If you want to take a break during your visit, head to the café which has a beautiful view of the garden, or stop by the shop for souvenirs.
Location of the Van Gogh Museum
Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands.
How to get there by bus: lines N84, 347, 357, 397, N47, N57 and N97.
Opening hours of the Van Gogh Museum
From 25 February – 5 November 2023
Open daily every day from 9:00-18:00.
From 6 November – 15 December 2023
Monday to Friday: 9:00-17:00
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00-18:00.
From 16 – 31 December 2023
Open daily everyday from 9:00-18:00, except 24, 25, 26 e 31 Decenber: 9:00-17:00
Van Gogh Museum ticket prices
Tickets for the Van Gogh Museum at the ticket office cost €20 for adults, and are free for those under 18 years of age.
However, visitors need to book an entry time, which means you can arrive at the ticket office and only have tickets available for two or three hours later.
Therefore, it is a good idea to book the Van Gogh Museum ticket online in advance, even if it is a little more expensive (about 2€).
Also, please note that the Van Gogn Museum is not part of the list of museums included in the I amsterdam City Card.
Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House, located in the center of Amsterdam, is one of the city’s most popular attractions.
It is a historic house that has been turned into a museum, thus preserving the memory of Anne Frank and her family during the Second World War.
Anne Frank’s diary, written while the family was in hiding from the Nazi occupation of Holland, has become a powerful testament to the horror of the Holocaust and the perseverance of the human condition.
The rooms where Anne and her family hid are as they were during the period of hiding, which is to say, it’s a fascinating / terrifying look at life in times of war. You can also see photographs and pieces that document the life of the Frank family before and during their time in hiding.
It is important to remember that visiting the museum can be emotionally challenging, so visitors should be prepared to deal with the emotional impact of the Frank family story.
Anne Frank’s story resonates with people around the world and is a powerful testament to the human ability to resist oppression and maintain hope in difficult times. The Anne Frank House is a place of reflection and learning, helping to keep alive the memory of those who suffered and died during World War II.
For all these reasons, the Anne Frank House must be included in your list of must-see museums in Amsterdam!
Location of the Anne Frank House
Anne Frank House, Westermarkt 20, 1016 DK Amsterdão, Netherlands.
How to get there by public transport: line 13 or 17 (tram); line 18, N82, N84 or N88 (bus).
Opening hours of the Anne Frank House
The museum is open every day of the week, except on national holidays, and opening hours vary, so I suggest you confirm the opening hours on your ticket.
Anne Frank House ticket prices
Tickets for the Case of Anne Frank can only be purchased online, directly at the Anne Frank Museum , as the on-site ticket office is not open.
The normal ticket price is €16, €7 for those aged 10-17 and €1 for those aged 0-9. If you want an introductory explanation 30 minutes before the visit (in English), you need to buy the extra ticket which costs 7€.
Travel tip: Check out the Anne Frank and the Jewish Quarte tour to see what Amsterdam was like during the Second World War and discover the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam. This tour does not include a visit to the Anne Frank Museum.
The Stedelijk Museum
The Stedelijk Museum is a modern and contemporary art museum with a collection of over 90,000 works of art.
It includes works by artists such as Piet Mondrian, Kazimir Malevich, Matisse, Chagall, Picasso and Andy Warhol.
The collection also features contemporary art pieces by renowned contemporary artists such as Marlene Dumas and Jeff Koons.
In addition, the museum has a design collection that includes furniture, objects and graphic pieces, and a photography collection that spans from the 19th century to the present day.
It is not allowed to take backpacks or bags inside the museum, that is, the authorized volumes are of the maximum size A5.
I recommend arriving at the museum early in the morning or at the end of the day, when the number of visitors is lower. Another option is to visit the museum during the week, when there are fewer tourists in town.
It’s one of the must-see museums in Amsterdam, so don’t forget to include it in your itinerary.
Location of the Stedelijk Museum
Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands.
How to get there by public transport: Line 2 and 12 (tram) or N97 (bus).
Opening hours of the Stedelijk Museum
The museum is open every day of the week except Mondays.
Opening times depend on the day of the week, but generally the museum opens at 10am and closes at 6pm.
Stedelijk Museum ticket prices
Ticket prices for adults are €22.50, young people up to 18 years old have free entry.
As the Stedelijk Museum is one of the most popular museums in Amsterdam, queues to buy tickets and enter the museum can be long, especially during peak hours.
Therefore, buy tickets tickets online in advance.
The Sex Museum
The Museum of Sex in Amsterdam is one of the most unique and controversial museums in the city. This museum is dedicated to exploring human sexuality in all its forms and features an impressive collection of interactive pieces and exhibits.
Visitors can expect an educational and provocative experience when visiting the Museum of Sex. Exhibits include erotic art from around the world, historic sex toys, educational videos and much more.
As you can imagine, visitors should be prepared for an open and explicit environment, and it is important to remember that this is a museum for adults (+16 years old).
At the end of your visit to the Museum of Sex, go to the bar on the terrace and try the themed cocktails such as “Sex on the Beach”.
The Museum of Sex is a major attraction for tourism in Amsterdam, and is one of the most visited museums in the city. While controversial and may not be for everyone, the museum is a unique and educational experience that challenges societal norms around sexuality. For those looking for a different and provocative experience, the Museum of Sex is a must-visit in Amsterdam.
Location of the Sex Museum
Damrak 18, 1012 LH Amsterdam, Netherlands.
How to get there: Central Station is a short walk away, so you can take the following public transport: 51, 52, 53 and 54 (metro), 1, 4, 14, 18, 21, 22, 43, 48 , 305, 306, 314, 316, 394, N23, N47, N51, N81, N82, N83… (bus).
Sex Museum opening hours
The Sex Museum is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm.
Sex Museum ticket prices
The price of tickets for the Sex Museum in Amsterdam is €9.
Other Museums in Amsterdam
Although the following museums are not part of my list of must-see museums in Amsterdam, they may certainly pique your interest.
So, here you go, check out other museums that may well be must-see museums in Amsterdam!
- Museum of Resistance (Plantage Kerklaan 61, 1018 CX Amsterdam)
- Moco Museum (Honthorststraat 20, 1071 DE Amsterdam)
- Museu Vrolik (Meibergdreef 15, 1105 AZ Amsterdam)
- Dutch Historical Maritime Museum (Kattenburgerplein 1, 1018 KK Amsterdam)
- Museum Van Loon (Keizersgracht 672, 1017 ET Amsterdam)
- Museum of Photography Foam (Keizersgracht 609, 1017 DS Amsterdam)
- ARTIS – Micropia Museum (Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, 1018 CZ Amsterdam)
- Tropenmuseum (Linnaeusstraat 2, 1092 CK Amsterdam)
- Museum of Cinema after Holanda (IJpromenade 1, 1031 KT Amsterdam)
- Museu Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder (Oudezijds Voorburgwal 38-40, 1012 EH Amsterdam)
- NEMO (Oosterdok 2, 1011 VX Amsterdam)
- Amsterdam Museum (Amstel 51, 1018 EJ Amsterdam)
- Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum (Oudezijds Achterburgwal 148, 1012 DV Amsterdam)
- Hermitage de Amsterdam (Amstel 51, 1018 DR Amsterdam)
- Madame Tussauds de Armsterdão (Dam 20, 1012 NP Amsterdam)
- Torture Museum (Singel 449, 1012 WP Amsterdam)
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