Museums in Amsterdam are popular tourist attractions. The Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank house are probably the most popular, but there are many, many more. Amsterdam has over fifty museums with collections ranging from Golden Age paintings, modern art, handbags, film, theatre and photography. There’s even a Houseboat museum. And yes, there are Sex and Cannabis museums too.
Planning on visiting a lot of Museums while you’re here? A MuseumJaarkaart gives you free entrance to more than 400 museums in The Netherlands. And the Amsterdam Holland Pass offers free tickets and discounts on admission to over 100 museum and tourist attractions in Amsterdam and major cities of the Netherlands.
The Rijksmuseum is an absolute must see. The Rijksmuseum’s internationally revered collection features some of the nation’s most famous works, including historic art by Vermeer, Frans Hals, and perhaps most notably Rembrandt’s ‘The Night Watch’, which once again has pride of place in a beautifully lit hall.
Every day from 9:00 to 18:00, on Fridays from 9:00 to 20:30 , Adults: € 11,-, 18 and under: free, Stadhouderskade 42, www.rijksmuseum.nl
Did you miss the Rijksmuseum during your stay in the city? The Rijksmuseum has an annexe at Schiphol Airport, with changing exhibitions. The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Schiphol is located on Holland Boulevard, in the area behind passport control between the E and F Pier. The museum is open every day from 7:00 until 20:00 and admission is free. Check out the museum shop for last minute souvenirs!
Van Gogh Museum
Paulus Potterstraat 7, daily 10am – 6pm, www.vangoghmuseum.nl fridays till 10pm. Adults € 12,50 13-17 years old: € 2,50 , under 13s free
The van Gogh museum houses the biggest collection of van Gogh’s paintings in the world. The museum has more than 200 paintings and 550 sketches by Vincent van Gogh. The collection also includes also hundreds of letters by Van Gogh to his brother Theo, and selected works by his friends and contemporaries. The Van Gogh Museum is closed for renovations, and has a temporary space at the Hermitage.
Nieuwe Herengracht 14, www.hermitage.nl. Open daily 10 a.m.-5 pm, Wednesdays to 8 pm. Adults € 15, children up to 16 : free
The Hermitage Amsterdam is a branch of the Russian State Museum Hermitage in St. Petersburg. The Hermitage Amsterdam organizes temporary exhibitions chosen from the collections of the Hermitage and other Russian museums.It is housed in the 17th century Amstelhof and its 9,000 m2 (nearly 96,000 square feet) consists of two large galleries, cabinets, an old chapel, regents’ rooms and an enclosed garden.
Museumplein 10, www.stedelijk.nl Tuesday, Wednesday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm Thursday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Monday: closed, except on national holidays. Adults € 15, children free, teenager and students €7,50
The stedelijk museum houses the municipial collection of modern and contemporary art. Not afraid of controversy, the collection includes everything from applied art, graphic design, sculpture, furniture, to installations and video. The Museum reopened this September after extensive renovations and it is definitely worth a visit.
Keizersgracht 609, www.foam.nl .Adults €8,00 age 0-12: free. Open daily 10am-18pm, thursdays and fridays 10am-21pm.
Foam (Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam) exhibits all genres of photography: fine art, documentary, historical and contemporary. Along with large exhibitions of established photographers, Foam also exhibits emerging young talent in smaller short-term shows.
Keizersgracht 401, Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm
, adults € 5,-, children free. www.huismarseille.nl
The Huis Marseille hosts an extensive collection of international photographs by contemporary artists. The museum has exhibitions on artistic as well as documentary photography, with a focus on European photographers.
IJpromenade 1, www.filmmuseum.nl, €10 for screenings (tickets are cheaper online), € 8- for the exhbitions. Take the ferry behind Central Station to the Buiksloterweg
In the spring of 2012 EYE moved into its new location on the northern bank of the river IJ. EYE intends to be a gateway to the world of the moving image, a modern museum where you can see and do all kinds of things related to film. From silent movies from the early days of cinema up to the latest digital productions, you can find it all at the Filmmuseum.
Anne Frank House
Prinsengracht 267, Adults € 8,50, Age 10-17: euro 4,- 0-9: free open from 9am to 7pm from september 15th to march 14th, from march 15th to september 14th 9am to 9pm. www.annefrank.org
Anne Frank’s former hiding place where she wrote her diary, is now one of the most popular museums in Amsterdam. The museum tells the history of the eight people in hiding and those who helped them during the war. Anne Frank’s diary and the pictures she stuck to the wall are among the original objects on display.
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 357, Adults 10,-, age 0-6;free, 6-18 5,00. open mon-fri 10am-17pm sat-sun 11am-17pm www.ahm.nl
The history museum tells the story of Amsterdam and all its inhabits throughout the ages. It has a fantastic collection of art, objects and archaeological finds that bring to life the fortunes of Amsterdammers of days gone by. The museum gives you a great idea of what Amsterdam looked like through the ages and is housed in the former Municipial Orphanage. A must see for history lovers.
City Archive Amsterdam
Vijzelstraat 32, tues-fri 10am–5pm, sat-sun 11am-5pm, www.stadsarchief.amsterdam.nl
The City Archives are housed in the De Bazel building, the former head office of the Nederlandsche Handelsmaatschappij (Dutch Trading Company). The collection consists of thirty-five kilometers of archives with millions of drawings, pictures, documents and topographical maps. There’s a permanent exhibition with the treasures from the Archive, there are free film shows and changing exhibitions. There’s a great gift shop for souvenirs.
Plantage Middenlaan 24, open daily 11 a.m. to 4 p.m, www.hollandscheschouwburg.nl
During World War II, this nineteenth century theatre in the middle of the Plantage neighbourhood was used as a collection area from which Jews were deported to the concentration camps. The Hollandsche Schouwburg houses an impressive exhibition about WWII. On the ground floor, there’s a memorial for the victims.
Jewish Historical Museum
Jonas Daniel Meijerplein 2-4, www.jhm.nl, open daily from 11am-5pm Adults: €9,-, Age 0-12: free, 13-17 €4,50
The museum is housed in four former Ashkenazi synagogues, the oldest dating back to 17th century and houses a rich collection of 30,000 objects, documents and photos. It illustrates 400 years of history, religion and culture of Jews in the Netherlands.
Prinsengracht, opposite 296, www.houseboatmuseum.nlOpen 11am-5pm on fri-sun in november-february, and tues-sun from march-october.
Ever wondered what it is like to live right on the canals of Amsterdam? Visit houseboat “Hendrika Maria” and find out. The boat is a former freighter, built in 1914. th Hendrika Maria functioned as a house boat for 20 years before it was turned into a museum in 1997.
Museum Het Schip
Spaarndammerplantsoan 140, www.hetschip.nl, € 7.50. Open: tuesday -sunday: 11 am- 5 pm
Three monumental working class building complexes by architect Michel de Klerk grace the Spaarndammerplantsoen. The most expressionistic block is affectionately called ‘The Ship’ by locals. Architecture enthusiasts will find everything here about the architectural movement called the Amsterdamse School. You can stroll along the unique buildings dating back to the twenties, and visit a labourer’s home from those days.
Korsjespoortsteeg 20, www.multatuli-museum.nl
Multatuli was one the most influential writers of the 19th century in the Netherlands. In his most famous novel “Max Havelaar” , Multatuli spoke out against the Dutch exploitation of the colonized people of the Dutch East Indies. There’s a small museum in the house of his birth about his life and his writings.
Museum Geelvinck Hinlopen Huis
Keizersgracht 633, www.museumgeelvinck.nl, open friday-monday 11 am- 5 pm, tickets: € 6,50
In 1687, for his marriage to the much younger Sara Hinlopen, the wealthy and influential merchant Albert Geelvinck built a mansion on the Keizersgracht. The period rooms and the rich garden between the main house and its former carriage house on Keizersgracht are open for the public. It hosts a permanent exhibition about the life of patricians in the 18th an early 19th century, and changing art exhibits all year round.
Museum Our Lord in the Attic
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 40, www.opsolder.nl. Mon to Sat 10-17, Sun and public holidays 13- 17. Closed on 1 January and 30 April
On the edge of the Red Light District, Our Lord in the Attic is one of the oldest and most remarkable museums in Amsterdam. Behind the characteristic facade of the house by the canal lies a largely original 17th-century home and a complete hidden church. This hidden church ‘in the attic’ was built during the Reformation, when Catholics were forbidden to hold public services. A must see for people interested in religious history!
Museum van Loon
Keizersgracht 672, www.museumvanloon.nl
Museum Van Loon is a magnificent private residence built in 1672. The interior of the house has remained largely intact during the last centuries and still evokes the splendor of the Golden Age. It’s named after the prominent van Loon family, the last owners of the house who turned it into a museum. If you want a glimpse of the world behind the façades of the world famous canals, a visit to Museum Van Loon is definitely worth your while.
Allard Pierson museum
Oude Turfmarkt 127,Tel.: +20-525 2556 www.allardpiersonmuseum.nl
The Allard Pierson Museum is the archaeological museum of the University of Amsterdam. It hosts a collection of art-objects and utensils from ancient Egypt, the Near East, the Greek World, Etruria and the Roman Empire dating from 4000 B.C. till 500 A.D.
Verzetsmuseum – Resistance Museum – WWII
Plantage Kerklaan 61. Tues to Fri 10 -17, Sat- Mon 11 – 17.00, Public Holidays 11- 17 Admission Adults: € 7,50 Children 0-6: Free www.verzetsmuseum.org
The main exhibition of this museum shows the work of the Dutch resistance during WWII, but it also makes the visitor think about the things we take for granted nowadays, like freedom.
Hortus Botanicus – the Botanical Garden
Plantage Midddenlaan 2a, www.dehortus.nl
This oasis in the centre of the city has always been called the jewel in the crown of Amsterdam. It was established in 1638 as an herb garden for Amsterdam doctors and chemists and has since developed into a living museum with plants from all continents.
Theo Thijssen Museum
Eerste Leliedwarsstraat 16, www.theothijssenmuseum.nl. Thurs to sun 12-17. €2,-
An old small house, typical for the Jordaan area of Amsterdam accommodates on its ground floor a museum of the popular Dutch writer, author of popular in the Netherlands books for children – Theo Thijssen. The sympathetic, very small museum with a strong local character.
Museum of Bags and Purses (Tassen Museum Hendrikje)
Herengracht 573, www.tassenmuseum.nl. Open daily from 10 to 17 hrs closed on 1 January, 30 April and 25 December. Adults: €7.50, 65+ and students: €6, Schoolchildren (13 till 18): €4 Children (up to age 12): free of charge.
Tassen Museum Hendrikje or in English: Museum of Bags and Purses is a private museum of ladies handbags. Hendrikje Ivo, an antique dealer from Amstelveen established this collection of more than 3000 handbags. All the big designers’ names are beautifully presented, with Dior, Chanel and Versace, as well as hundreds of bags from the past, the oldest pieces dating from the late Middle ages.
Westerstraat 106, www.pianola.nl
A small museum of pianolas displays automatic pianos form the beginning of the 20th century, which were reproducing music using the carton rolls with a hole for each music note. Pianolas were very popular until 1930’s. They had seemed to be an invention of the future. The later development of the phonographic industry made the pianolas obsolete. The museum has 15 original instruments and 20 000 paper music rolls. The Pianola Museum is located in the Jordaan, a short distance from the Anne Frank Museum.
ARCAM – Amsterdam Centre for Architecture
Prins Hendrikkade 600 (just in front of Nemo, low on the quayside) www.arcam.nl
The ARCAM foundation aims to show the public all aspects of Amsterdam’s architecture – future, present and historical. It is housed in a unique building designed by René van Zuuk. You can find there different exhibitions throughout the year, and once a month a distinguished architect is invited to talk about his or her work.
Vakbondsmuseum – Trade Unions Museum
Henri Polaklaan 9, www.deburcht.nl
Situated in one of the finest trade union buildings, called de Burcht (Stronghold) by famous Dutch architect Hendrik Berlage, build in 1900 for the Dutch diamond workers, the museum is documenting trade unions history in the Netherlands.
Persmuseum – Press museum
This museum guards over four centuries of journalistic heritage and has a large collection of newspapers and magazines, a unique collection of political images and an extensive library of the Dutch printer press.
Brilmuseum – National Museum of Spectacles
Gasthuismolensteeg 7, www.brilmuseumamsterdam.nl, wed-sat 12am-5pm
A small museum in an early 17th century town house with a collection that will take you through 700 years of the art, culture and history of spectacles.
Damrak 18, www.sexmuseumamsterdam.nl
The Venustemple houses an extensive collection of erotic paintings, pictures, objects and recordings from different ages and cultures all over the world
This little dark museum shows some of the most horrid and gruesome inventions to torture and execute people. Complete with straps, spikes, weights and blades.
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 54
Located right in the hart of the red-light district, this museum features five floors of erotic artwork.
www.heinekenexperience.com, Stadhouderskade 78
If you like Heineken, your visit isn’t complete without a visit to the Heineken Experience. Find out everything you wanted to know about the history of beer making and take a bottle ride to see the process of beer making from beginning until the end.
Damrak 33, www.vodkamuseum.com, open daily 9am-22pm, adults € 7,50.
The Vodka Museum is Amsterdam’s newest museum and features a small exhibit about the history of Russian Vodka. There is a timeline with some unique vodka bottles, hundreds of kinds of vodka from Russia and other countries, and some old Soviet anti-alcohol posters. And of course there’s a Museum Bar if you find yourself in the mood for some vodka.
Paulus Potterstraat 8, www.diamantmuseumamsterdam.nl
A small and elegant museum run by a prominent Amsterdam trader – Coster Diamonds. interesting multimedia exhibit. The Diamond Museum is right across the street from the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum.
De Kattenkabinet – The Cat Cabinet
Herengracht 497, www.kattenkabinet.nl
A small private art museum, established by its founder William Meijer in memory of his red cat John Pierpont Morgan. This extraordinary collection includes works by Picasso, Rembrandt, Toulouse-Lautrec, Corneille and Jože Ciuha. Located in an old patrician canal house.
The Hash, Marijuana and Hemp Museum
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 148, open every day 9 a.m. – 10 p.m, admission € 9, www.hashmuseum.com
This small museum, located on one of the old canals of the Red Light District shows you the history, present and future of the cannabis plant. The museum has a collection of objects and artifacts, paintings and photographs related to cannabis and its cousin the hemp plant and all of their uses.