There is hardly any place with more museums than Amsterdam. We love it! While many tourists probably visit the Dutch capital for its coffee shops and the Red Light District, we love to go on a weekend trip to dive into the Amsterdam museums. Where we like to go? These are our absolute favorites!
Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder
Historical| Website | When the Protestant Netherlands would not allow Catholics to pratice their religion in pubic, they built hidden churches in the canal houses. Many of them have disappeared with the return of real Catholic churches, but not this hidden church in the Red Light district. The museum does not only bring you to the unique church in the attic of the canal house, but also gives you a glimpse of the city life in the Golden Age.
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Modern art| Website | The Stedelijk is the largest museum for modern and contemporary art in the country. ‘De Badkuip’ (‘The Bathtub’) – as the Amsterdam people call the futuristic annex at the historic museum building – can be found among the other big musea at Museumplein. It shows an impressive permanent collection, but there are also changing exhibitions.
Historical art| Website | The Amsterdam Hermitage is a dependance of the world-famous museum from Saint Petersburg. Changing exhibitions offer a glimpse into the endless Russian depots. There are always at least two large exhibitions on show, changing every half year. The Hermitage is also located in a beautiful historical building that used to be a rest home for the elderly. Those who search well will also find the old kitchen and director’s room!
Historical and modern art | Website | The Rijksmuseum is probably the most famous and most visited museum in the Netherlands. The building itself is a work of art in itself, but what about the world famous Nachtwacht (Night Watch)? The Melkmeisje (Milkmaid) or Het meisje met de parel (The girl with the pearl earring)? The enormous art collection is impressive. A guide or audio tour can lead you through it, but much more unique is the
Teekentour (drawing tour) during which you immerse yourself into the Rijksmuseum art during a drawing workshop. Find all the tours.
Royal Palace at the Dam square
Historical | Website | Do you remember the abdication of (then still) Queen Beatrix? Or The Kiss of Máxima and Willem-Alexander? The Royal Palace has been the backdrop for many historical events. If the palace atthe Dam square is not used by the royal family for state visits or other official events, you can pay it a visit. Marvel at the impressive architecture and let the audio tour catch you up on the history of Amsterdam and the Oranges!
Historical | Website | Are the beautiful canal houses drawing you in? And are you wondering what the canals have looked like in the time they were built? There are a few canal houses open for visits the Museum Willet-Holthuysen is perhaps one of the most beautiful of them. The seventeenth-century building at the Herengracht 605 is completely decorated as it was back in the old days, when it was still inhabited by one of the richest families in Amsterdam. Tip: the museum also has a beautiful city garden, wonderful on sunny days!
Fashion, historical | Website | Are you a fashion lover? Then you will love this museum of bags and purses! In an exhibition with hundreds of historical and modern bags and purses you will learn all about the history of this fashion item. In addition to the permanent collection of antique bags and purses with famous owners and designers, there is also a changing exhibition in which new designers can showcase their talents. The museum is located in one of the oldest and most beautiful canal houses in the city. And there is a very nice museum café that is really worth a visit.
Museum Van Loon
Historical| Website | In this museum you can also see what was behind the façades of the monumental canal houses back in the Golden Age. The rich Van Loon family once lived in this building. It’s wealth can still be admired in the beautiful decorated rooms. You can see how the richest Dutchmen lived with all it’s luxurious furniture and majestic artwork. Tip: the house also has a beautiful garden with a coach house in the back. There you will not only find antique carriages, but also a cute museum café.
Van Gogh Museum
Modern art| Website | Of course, one of the most famous Dutch painters has its own museum in the capital. Nowhere will you find more Van Goghs than in this museum! From the Aardappeleters (Potato Eaters) to the Zonnebloemen (Sunflowers), you can admire them all here. Make sure you are there very early or late to avoid the crowds, as it can get so crowded here that it is difficult to view a painting at ease. Tip: Friday evening the museum is open until 9 pm and it is a lot quieter!
Geelvinck Hinlopen Huis
Historical| Website | Can you not get enough of the Amsterdam canals? Then add Geelvinck to your museum wish list. The old monument still has much of it’s original interior. A nice extra: it is also a music museum for old musical instruments, because of which every Sunday afternoon a concert is hosted. How unique!
The My Maps map above summarizes all our tips. The menu on the menu has separate layers that mark the best coffee spots, sleeping places and highlights. Click on the star to save the map to your own Google Maps or open the map in a new window for a larger version. Enjoy!