The 10 Best Museums in Amsterdam To Visit in 2023
Explore this art-obsessed city by visiting the best museums in Amsterdam, including the Stedelijk and the Rijksmuseum.
Amsterdam excels at many things. But if we have to pick its crowning achievement, it has to be its museums. The Dutch capital is brimming with fantastic art and culture, ranging from fine art to photography, and from ancient history to Van Gogh. And so much more.
If you only have three days in Amsterdam, you’d better put on some comfortable shoes because there are a lot of galleries to see. If you prefer a slower pace, we’ve ranked the best in the city, so you’ll know what to prioritize. Continue reading to learn about the best museums in Amsterdam to visit right now.
What exactly is it? The world’s most famous museum, located in the heart of Amsterdam, is a sight to behold. Featuring 18th to 21st century sculptures, paintings, antique furniture, and more.
Why go? You come for the incredible art collections, ranging from Rembrandt to Frans Hals, but you stay for the magic of the venue itself. We’re talking about ornate stained glass windows here. We’re talking about meticulously manicured gardens. On-site, there is a Michelin-starred restaurant (yep, you heard us).
2. Anne Frank Huis
What exactly is it? One of the few museums in Amsterdam that requires a line, it’s well worth the wait to see not only the attic where Anne Frank and her family hid in Nazi-occupied Holland, but also the exhibition detailing Jewish wartime persecution.
Why go? On the picturesque Prinsengracht, next to the monumental Westerkerk, it’s a somber reminder of the horrors of WWII, but also a moving tribute to Frank’s unwavering optimism.
What exactly is it? A canal-side photography museum that hosts a rotating series of exhibitions and promotes the work of emerging photographers through its annual ‘Foam Talent’ event.
Why go? Have you had your fill of Dutch Masters? Have you had your fill of Van Gogh? Foam is the place to go when you want to change gears and see the world through new eyes.
4. Van Gogh Museum
What exactly is it? This is the most visited museum in town, with over 1,400 pieces of Vincent van Gogh’s work, including 200-odd paintings – ironic, given that the artist was never acclaimed in his own time.
Why go? If seeing the artist’s ‘Sunflowers’ paintings in person is on your bucket list, this is the place to go. It’s also worth a visit to learn more about van Gogh’s turbulent personal life and to discover some of his lesser-known works.
5. Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum
What exactly is it? The Dutch are masters of water, partly due to necessity (Amsterdam’s canals keep the sea-level city from sinking), but also due to their entrepreneurial spirit (see the Dutch East India Company, or VOC). Both sides of this obsession are reflected in the National Maritime Museum.
Why go? This one is great for families, with enough fascinating exhibits and installations to keep the kids entertained during the holidays. A replica VOC ship docked outside the main building is also open for exploration.
6. Stedelijk Museum
What exactly is it? A modern art museum with over 90,000 eclectic pieces. Stedelijk Base presents some of modern art’s greatest hits in addition to thought-provoking rotating exhibitions (think Picasso, Koons, Lichtenstein and more).
Why go? Despite its prime Museum Square location and eye-catching bathtub-shaped exterior, this museum sees far fewer visitors than the other major museums. It means no squeezing in to see Mondrian.
7. Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder
What exactly is it? In the attic of this unassuming house-turned-museum, which has been preserved to show visitors what a typical 17th-century Dutch house looked like, there is a highly Instagrammable pink Catholic church with epic views of the city center.
Why go? It’s a different kind of Amsterdam history lesson. Non-Calvinist public worship was illegal at the time, so while it’s not the only Dutch house with a hidden church, it’s easily the most beautiful.
8. Hermitage Amsterdam
What exactly is it? This museum, a satellite of the world-famous Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, hosts regular exhibitions focusing on Dutch art and history, as well as Russian culture.
Why go? This museum has a lot of clout because of the prestige of the Russian outpost. Previous successes have included exhibitions of Italian neoclassical works and Dutch Golden Age portraits.
9. EYE Filmmuseum
What exactly is it? This museum is a celebration of all things cinematic, with a permanent exhibition charting the history of film as well as rotating exhibits on acclaimed directors. It also has four on-site cinemas where films are shown.
Why go? The breathtaking exterior of the museum reflects its contemporary approach to art and cinema. It’s also a good time to take the free River IJ ferry to Amsterdam’s less touristy Noord neighborhood.
10. Electric Ladyland: the Museum of Fluorescent Art
What exactly is it? This museum, tucked down a quiet Jordaan street, pays homage to everything bright, brash, and technicolor. View 1950s fluorescent art and watch grey minerals light up in kaleidoscopic patterns under flashing lights.
Why go? Despite the odd opening hours and by-appointment-only tours, this is a one-of-a-kind chance to immerse yourself in what museum founder Nick Padalino calls ‘participatory art’.
Topic: The 10 Best Museums in Amsterdam To Visit in 2023
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By: Travel Pixy
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