Netherlands

The coolest museums for modern art in the Netherlands

How we love modern art! We love to visit museums and although we admire the old masters a lot, we prefer modern art. I love artists like Van Gogh, Picasso, Magritte and Escher. You can make Sebastiaan especially happy with experimental contemporary art. These are our top choices for modern art in the Netherlands!

Kroller-Muller | Veluwe | The Orange Backpack
Voorlinden | Moderne kunst museum | The Orange Backpack
Kunsthal | Moderne kunst museum | Rotterdam | The Orange Backpack
Boijmans | Moderne kunst museum | The Orange Backpack

#1 Museum Voorlinden

Wassenaar | Website | This is without any doubt our favourite. This private museum with mainly contemporary art is located on a beautiful estate near Wassenaar. It has changing exhibitions, but also a permanent collection with amazing works of art. How about a huge but lifelike sculpture of an older couple on the beach? Or Leandro Erlich’s Swimming Pool where you can go underwater without getting your clothes wet? On a beautiful day, don’t forget to take a walk through the beautiful park. Tip: rent a (public transport) bicycle from The Hague Central Station and cycle along a beautiful route to this museum!

#2 Van Gogh Museum

Amsterdam 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!

#3 Kröller-Müller

VeluweWebsite | One of the most beautiful museums in the Netherlands! It is named after Anton and Helene Kröller-Müller, the founders of the National Park De Hoge Veluwe and the most remarkable couple of their time. More than a hundred years ago they founded the national park, where he liked to hunt and she wanted to house her modern art collection. Her museum wasn’t built until after the couple was forced by debt to give their collection to the Dutch state. On one condition: it had to be housed in a museum in the park.

Tip: If you are visiting more then two attractions, you might want to consider a discount card. These are two great options for The Netherlands and Amsterdam:

This museum is now one of the most important in the country. With almost 90 paintings and more than 180 drawings by Vincent van Gogh, Kröller-Müller has the second largest collection of his work. The museum therefore gives a good impression of the work and life of the famous and troubled artist. Do not forget to visit the sculpture garden and the other exhibitions with modern art as well. Tip: buy a combination card 
online for both the park and the museum. Do you want to know more about the Veluwe? In this blog we give you the best tips for a weekend trip!

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#4 Escher in het Paleis

Den Haag | Website | M.C. Escher is one of the best known graphic artists of the Netherlands. His work in which he plays with perspective and reality, is extremely fascinating! The masterpieces of his work can be found in this museum in The Hague. The location itself is beautiful as well: the eighteenth-century palace on Lange Voorhout where Queen Mother Emma lived for years. The queens Wilhelmina, Juliana and Beatrix also used it as their work palace. It was quite recently sold to the municipality of The Hague in the 1990s. After that, changing exhibitions were organised here and in 2002 the Escher collection was given a home in the palace.

#5 Kunsthal

Rotterdam | Website | In an iconic design by the famous architect Rem Koolhaas, changing exhibitions with mainly modern and contemporary art are shown. There are different exhibition halls, so there are always several large and smaller exhibitions. As Rotterdam inhabitants we come here quite often and we have seen for example exhibitions with the clothing designs of Victor & Rolf, impressive hyper-realistic sculptures and paintings and unknown works by Picasso.

#6 Haags Gemeentemuseum

Den Haag | Website | In changing and permanent exhibitions you will be offered a diverse look at modern art. The highlight of the collection is the permanent exhibition with the largest collection of works by the famous painter Piet Mondriaan.

#7 Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Moderne kunst 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.

#8 Museum MORE

Moderne kunst | Website | There is a fairly new museum in the small town of Gorssel. The museum has the largest collection of the Dutch art movement Modern Realism. It was founded in 2015 to host the private collection of collectors Hans and Monique Melchers. The permanent collection shows works by well-known Dutch artists such as Charley Toorop, Carel Willink and Erwin Olaf, but there are also changing exhibitions.

#9 Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art

Rotterdam | Website | This museum in Rotterdam’s most popular entertainment street is Sebastiaan’s favourite. A changing exhibition shows a diversity of contemporary art. Contemporary art can be quite inaccessible and that is certainly the case here. This museum is therefore especially recommended for true contemporary art lovers.

#10 MOCO Museum

Amsterdam | Website | This self-proclaimed ’boutique museum’ on the Museumplein has changing exhibitions with modern and contemporary art. With works by famous artists such as Banksy, Arsham and Warhol, this private museum has been a major crowd puller since its opening. The museum is located in a beautiful building on the Museumplein. It is a design by the well-known architect Cuijpers who also designed the Rijksmuseum and Amsterdam Central Station.

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#11 Groninger Museum

Groningen | Website |In the north of the country you should go to the Groninger Museum for modern art. The museum is located in an eccentric structure from the 90s that immediately sets the tone for your museum visit. The building itself is seen as one of the highlights of the post-modern architecture. In addition to the permanent collection, there are changing exhibitions.

#12 Boijmans Van Beuningen

Rotterdam | Website | The Boijmans museum has many old masters, but even more modern art. From pop art and impressionism to surrealism with masterpieces by famous artists such as Dali, Van Gogh, Picasso, Degas and Magritte. There are also changing exhibitions, many with modern and contemporary art. For example, we walked here once during a temporary exhibition between huge turds in pink suits. Yes really.

#13 Rijksmuseum

Amsterdam Website | The Rijksmuseum is probably the most famous and most visited museum in the Netherlands. The building itself is a work of art, but the most famous works are of course the Night Watch, The Milkmaid and the Girl with the pearl earring. But did you know that the Rijks also has an impressive collection of modern art? For this you should go to the top floor. The rest of the museum can be quite busy, but here you can look at a completely different side of the art collection without any crowd.

#14 Bonnefantenmuseum

Maastricht | Website | The highlight of Maastricht for art lovers is the Bonnefanten Museum. The modern building with its rocket-shaped tower is a work of art itself and houses an impressive collection of early European and contemporary art.

#15 Van Abbemuseum

Eindhoven | Website| This museum for modern and contemporary art in Brabant is named after founder Henri van Abbe. His private collection formed the basis for the current museum that has thousands of works by international artists, including Picasso, Braque, Chagall, Mondriaan and Kandinsky. In addition to the permanent exhibition, there are changing exhibitions.

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!