Best Museums Amsterdam
If you are a museum fan, there are about 50 museums Amsterdam has in story for you. We created a list of the best museums amsterdam has, the must see museums in Amsterdam.
1. Amsterdam Museum – The History of Amsterdam
Did you know that Amsterdam was first named Amestelledam? And that the whole city was built on thousands of poles to protect it from sinking into the wet soil? Not only was the city in danger of sinking but so were their horses, so much so that a butcher invented a mechanical hoist to pull horses out of the canal. If that makes you curious about the history of this amazing city, start your trip with a visit to the Amsterdam Museum! The Amsterdam museum also provides additional galleries with paintings and other pieces of history. The Amsterdam museum also offers a free section.
#2. Best museums Amsterdam – Jewish Historical Museum
In the 17th century, the golden age of the Netherlands, Jewish culture flourished in Amsterdam because Jews were allowed to build synagogues and practice Judaism. Most Jews settled in the same district and formed the Jewish quarter, which today is located near Waterlooplein where the Jewish Historical Museum (Joods Historisch Museum) stands. The museum is structured into three permanent exhibitions and two rotating ones. The main goal is to inform visitors about the history, the culture, and the beliefs of the Dutch Jews.
3. Stedelijk Museum – Contemporary and Modern Art
For anyone interested in artists like Van Gogh, Monet, Chagall, Picasso, and Kandinsky, a visit to the fourth most-visited Museum in Amsterdam, the Stedelijk Museum, is definitely a must. Aside from the more typical displays like paintings, photographs, and sculptures, posters, furniture, and amazing 3D printer designs are also displayed in this museum. To top it all of the architecture of the museum itself is also breathtaking.
After your visit you can rest in the cafe, look around the Museum Shop, or you can easily visit the Van Gogh Museum right next to the Stedelijk Museum, and/or the Rijksmuseum on the other side of Museumplein. You can also go for a walk in Vondelpark, which is five minutes away,
4. The Van Gogh Museum
Vincent Van Gogh, one of the world’s most famous artists, was Dutch and as is fitting the largest collection of his works are found at the Van Gogh museum right here in Amsterdam. It is the most popular and most visited museums Amsterdam has. This museum allows you to understand Van Gogh’s personal and public life. Not only are his paintings and sketches displayed there are also his letters which range from ones Van Gogh wrote to his brother to ones he wrote to his fellow contemporaries. These shine light on Van Gogh’s artistic development and post impressionism, a period of art largely shaped by how he worked with colours, light, movement and form. The Van Gogh Museum also offers guided tours, a special evening program on Friday nights, and workshops.
5. Royal of Palace Amsterdam
The Royal Palace of Amsterdam is a public building and museum open for everyone. Restoration work was done between 2005 and 2009 and it is now one of the top places to go to learn about Dutch pride, Amsterdam’s history, classicist architecture, and art from the last three centuries. Occasionally the Royal Palace of Amsterdam is actually used as a palace on Koningsdag King’s Day), Dodenherdenking (Remembrance Day), or when the Royal Family is expecting high guests. Though most of the time there is no official business to be done, and the palace is open to everyone. Want to know more or get some tickets? Check out paleisamsterdam.nl/en.
6. Rembrandt Museum
When you walk into the Rembrandt Museum you feel as though you stepped back in time due to the layout of the house, the furniture, and the bizarre collection of trinkets from around the world. From this you can experience how Rembrandt lived and see where he created so many of his world famous paintings. At the Rembrandt Museum you can see, the original studio Rembrandt worked in, Rembrandt’s small box bed, and Rembrandt’s assortment of rarities like butterflies or crocodile heads, from all over the globe. To get a true glimpse of Rembrandt’s life and the Dutch golden age of art, pay the Rembrandt Museum a visit!
7. Tulip Museum Amsterdam – a Dream Come True
As you stroll the streets of Amsterdam, you might notice that there are tulips everywhere. They are the national flower of the Netherlands, even though they originated in the Ottoman Empire. The museum’s owner expressed his love of the national flower by opening a museum about them. Do you want to know more about Holland’s most famous flower? Take time and visit the Tulip Museum Amsterdam to see the history of the tulips here in the Netherlands. The museum is small and almost free. So it is definitely a must see museum in Amsterdam!
8. Resistance Museum Amsterdam
This museum creates a vivid and accurate chronological history of the 30s and the end of the war, by providing original artifacts, countless pictures, documents, sound clips, and film material that show how the Dutch colonies in the East Indies suffered during World War II, and how thousands of children had to be evacuated to Dutch farms to save them from starvation. There is also a special exhibition, which examines the lives of the children in that time. The permanent exhibition is presented in English and Dutch. If you are interested in World War or Jewish history this museum is definitely one of the must see museums in Amsterdam.
9. Heineken Experience
The former Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam, a national monument and listed in the European Route of Industrial Heritage, offers some 3000 square meters with machines that show how wheat, hops, and a few other ingredients are turned into beer. Millions of hectoliters of Heineken beer were brewed here until 1988, when the Heineken brewery in Zoeterwoude took over production from the Amsterdam brewer. If you’d like to learn more about how Heineken is made today, and how it was made in the past, of all museums Amsterdam, visit this one.
10. Anne Frank House
Prinsengracht 263, The Anne Frank House, is one of the most noteworthy museums Amsterdam has. It tells the story of Anne’s life, her family, and the heroes who helped them hide in the annex. Though there are original pictures and excerpts from Anne Frank’s diary that were left behind in the annex, Otto Frank intentionally didn’t refurnish the annex. His reason was so that he would remember the great emptiness which the Nazis caused in many lives. There are also stories from contemporary witnesses, the general story of the Jews in World War II, and so much more. So the Anne Frank House is more than just a museum, it is a symbol, and memorial for us all. It reminds us to be aware of how we treat those who are different and to ensure that another Holocaust will never happen.
11. Rijksmuseum – Exhibitions and Treasures
If you’re here in Amsterdam for a few days and want to learn about Dutch history, then the Rijksmuseum (the National Museum) will be the perfect place for you to visit. There you’ll find first-class paintings by Holland’s most famous artists, like Rembrandt and Vermeer, as well as an impressive collection of artifacts that tell about 800 years of Dutch history. All works have clear descriptions and explanations in Dutch and in English, and you can also get a multimedia guide.
Be aware that the Rijksmuseum is literally Holland’s largest museum, and you would need the whole day to get a good look around. To save time you can select sections you’re interested in before your tour! After an exciting and exhausting museum, a rest may be desired and the new garden, from which you have an excellent view of the impressive Rijksmuseum, is a good place to relax.
12. Zaanse Schans – A Must See museum right out of Amsterdam
This museum takes you back to the 18th and 19th century in Holland, and it’s an easy day trip from Amsterdam. The area around Zaanse Schans is the oldest industrial region, and was turned into a museum in 1994. Zaanse Schans is a popular spot in the Netherlands, and it’s located in a beautiful landscape just outside of Amsterdam – where you can easily spend your day exploring. In this open-air museum you will see typical Dutch wooden windmills, barns, houses, traditional cheese making, clog production, and the traditional process of grinding. The options don’t end there you can also take a boat tour there, eat in traditional restaurants and buy some souvenirs in the little shops.
That’s it we hope that this list has inspired you to experience some of what Amsterdam has to offer.
Must do if you love museums: Museum Night Amsterdam
Last but not least, we want to introduce a must do Amsterdam to you if you love museums! On the first Saturday in November the city organizes a very special night out: the Museum Night Amsterdam. Basically every year about 50 museums in Amsterdam open their doors from 19:00 to 02:00 and organize special events including workshops, concerts, special tours and performances. Tasty food and drink is also on hand to help keep your energy levels up. Welcome to Museum Night Amsterdam, or, as Amsterdammers simply know it, the ‘n8’! More information is found on their website: www.museumnacht.amsterdam.