The versatile Amsterdam is able to surprise and delight travelers with a wide variety of tastes and interests. Here you can find cozy canals and romantic streets, old houses, unusual sights, all kinds of entertainment, and a special atmosphere…. Well, connoisseurs of art and those who love educational recreation will certainly be interested in the numerous museums of Amsterdam. Among them there are unique art exhibitions, scientific and historical collections, and unusual museums, some of which have no analogues. Our selection contains the most interesting museums in Amsterdam.
Getting Started: Art Collections
Studying history and travel in time
Unusual museums in Amsterdam
The Museum Quarter deserves a separate story, which houses several of the most popular museums in Amsterdam – the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh, Stedelek, the Diamond Museum and some others.
The Museumsplein was once the site of a candle factory and swampy meadows, but the area began to develop with the appearance of the Rijksmuseum here in 1885. In 1999, a major reconstruction of the quarter was carried out, and now there is an underground parking and a supermarket, and the local pond turns into an ice rink in winter.
In general, the Museumsplein looks like a wide square with flower beds and lawns, surrounded by cafes, museum shops, as well as monuments of modern art. Among the latter, attention is drawn to the sculptural composition-monument to the women of Ravensbrück, reminiscent of the prisoners who died in the concentration camp.
Next to the block is another attraction of Amsterdam – the largest Vondel park in the city. It appeared in 1865 and was initially named “New Park”. But already in 1888 it received its current name – in honor of Jost van den Vondel, the Dutch poet of the 17th century. The park, created in the English style, beckons with silence and solitude, shady paths, ponds and green forest. There are also several very popular cafes and pubs, and the park itself hosts cultural and sports events all year round.
Getting Started: Art Museums
State Museum (Rijksmuseum)
The National Museum of Art, or Rijksmuseum, is one of the most visited in the world. It was founded by the brother of Napoleon I, King of Holland Louis Bonaparte. After wandering around different buildings and even cities (initially the museum was located in The Hague), the museum ended up in a mansion specially built for it. It was opened for public visits in 1885, but since then the building has been rebuilt many times, in particular, a hall has been added to house the most famous exhibit of the museum – Rembrandt’s painting “Night Watch”.
The Rijksmuseum collection allows visitors to see the works of the best Dutch painters and travel through different eras of the history of the Netherlands. The exhibition includes a wide range of works by Dutch masters-painters of the 15th-19th centuries, including Vermeer, Hals, Sten, van der Gelst and many others. In addition, there are a great many exhibits of the past almost from all over the world – from ancient art objects of Asia to the first photographs, from royal dishes to luxurious doll houses of the 17th century, from archaeological sites, jewelry, vases, ornaments to the piano of Napoleon’s wife .
Address: Museumstraat 1.
Official site of the museum (buying tickets in English).
Buying tickets in Russian
Van Gogh Museum
The museum was opened in 1973 by the wife of Van Gogh’s brother, Johann Gezin Van Gogh. Bonger – she inherited the artist’s work after his death and the death of her husband and in every possible way popularized the work of Van Gogh.
The Museum will not leave anyone indifferent. It displays the largest collection of paintings and drawings by the artist – more than 200 works by the master, and also tells about all stages of the artist’s development. In addition, the museum also contains the works of his famous contemporaries, including Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec.
Good to know:
Children can take part in a “treasure hunt” – at the information desk, receive a questionnaire with questions, the answers to which are hidden among the exhibits of the museum. At the end of the “hunt” the young Van Gogh connoisseur gets a small souvenir, even if the questionnaire is only partially filled out.
Address: Museumplein 6.
Please note: from September 2018, museum tickets are sold online only.
Official site where tickets can be purchased.
Purchase tickets in Russian.
City Museum (Stedelijk Museum) – Museum of Contemporary Art in Amsterdam
The City Museum was opened in 1895. Initially it was a museum of the history of the city, but since 1972 it has become the first museum of modern art in Amsterdam. Here is one of the richest collections in the world, which includes paintings, drawings, photographs, videos, sculptures. In addition to the exhibits, the architecture of the building also deserves attention – the new wing of the museum building is made in the form of a giant bathtub.
In the City Museum of Amsterdam, you can see the works of Picasso, Monet, Paul Cezanne, Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall. It also houses the largest collection of works by Kazimir Malevich outside the former USSR – the artist left them for temporary storage to the architect Hugo Goering in 1927, during an exhibition of his works in Berlin, and could not return.
Address: Museumplein 10.
Website : https://www.stedelijk.nl/en
Buy tickets: https://reserveringen.stedelijk.nl/en/tickets
Purchase tickets in Russian
House-Museum of Rembrandt
Rembrandt lived in this house for almost twenty years – from 1639 to 1656, which contained many happy and sad moments. The artist was forced to leave the house – creditors took him away for debts.
Until the end of the 19th century, the house changed several owners, and in 1906 the authorities bought it out and transferred it to the Rembrandt Foundation. This is how the house-museum of the painter became here.
The living environment and workshop have been carefully restored in it. In addition, the museum possesses an invaluable collection of the artist’s works – the largest collection of his engravings is kept here, as well as several original works of the master. You can also see paintings by Rembrandt’s contemporaries, his teacher Peter Lastman and his students.
Official site: https://www.rembrandthuis.nl/?lang=en
This museum is a branch of the famous Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Opened in 2009, it acquaints its guests with works of art from the Hermitage storerooms. The building of the museum itself is also noteworthy – a former nursing home, built in 1681. It is quite possible that Emperor Peter I himself saw him, who visited Holland in 1697-1698.
The building was specially rebuilt into a museum, and some of its premises (for example, the church, the kitchen and the rooms of the foremen) were restored to their original form.
Address: Amstel 51.
Official site: https://hermitage.nl/en/
Purchase a ticket to the exhibition of portraits
Museum Frans Hals (Frans Hals Museum)
This art museum is located not in Amsterdam itself, but in Haarlem, 20 kilometers from the capital of the Netherlands. But, if you can get there, and if you are interested in Dutch art of the 17th century, pay attention to this place.
The Frans Hals Museum has a rich collection of Dutch painting from the Golden Age period. The history of the museum dates back to 1862, and its classic collection today is housed in an old complex of buildings from the 17th century. Since 1609, the Haarlem almshouse was located here, and later – an orphanage.
Well, today this place attracts art lovers. And every spring this art museum is transformed – volunteers decorate its halls with numerous bouquets of fresh tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and other spring flowers.
Address: Groot Heiligland 62, 2011 ES Haarlem
The Museum of Contemporary Art is still very young – it opened in 2016, but has always attracted attention. Its exposition presents the works of many famous contemporary artists – Dali, Picasso, Miro, Koons, Richter, Opie, Hirst, Roy Lichtenstein, Os Gemeos duo, Mark Jenkins, Daniel Arsham, Khan Ho. There is no permanent collection as such, but paintings by the founder of pop art Andy Warhol, as well as the mysterious representative of street art Banksy, are always on display here.
The Moco Museum is private, opened by Dutch gallerists Lionel and Kim Logchis and is located on Museum Square, surrounded by the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. The building itself is also a kind of exhibit – it was built in 1904 by the famous architect Eduard Kuypers. This townhouse was one of the first private residences on the Museumplein.
Museum website: https://mocomuseum.com/
Banksy Exhibition Tickets
Moco Museum Ticket + Amsterdam Canal Cruise
Studying history and travel in time in the museums of Amsterdam
This is one of the world’s best local history museums. The huge collection (which has been collected since 1926, the time the museum was founded) tells about the history of Amsterdam, starting from the moment life was born here. Archaeological artifacts, paintings, prints, sculptures, drawings, household items, furniture, textiles and much more can bring the paintings of the past to life.
The history of the museum building itself, located in a restored 17th century orphanage, has not been forgotten – you will find recreated bedrooms and dining rooms, classrooms, kitchens, a toilet and even a cow shed.
Address: Kalverstraat 92.
Official site of the museum: https://www.amsterdammuseum.nl/ru
Museum tickets and audio guide
House Anne Frank (Anne Frank House)
In this house for two years, from 1942 to 1944, a teenage girl Anne Frank hid from the Nazis with her relatives, as well as with another Jewish family. Here Anna wrote a diary, which became a poignant document denouncing Nazism. In August 1944, all eight people hiding here were arrested. Anna, her mother and sister died in a concentration camp, only her father survived.
In 1960, a museum was opened in the house, where the previous furnishings were carefully restored, and numerous documents and photographs belonging to the Frank family were collected.
Address: Westermarkt 20.
Website : https://www.annefrank.org/en/
National Maritime Museum, or Museum of Shipping (Scheepvaartmuseum)
The museum contains 500 years of Dutch maritime history. It seems that the wind of distant wanderings has firmly settled within its walls. Old maps, atlases and globes, many ship models, weapons, portraits of sailors and pictures of naval battles and much more tell about how the Dutch seafaring and river navigation developed, about the Dutch East India Company and how Holland reclaimed land from the sea .
The building of the museum itself helps to create the right atmosphere – this is the former naval warehouse of the Amsterdam Admiralty, which was built in 1656. A replica of the sailing ship Amsterdam sways on the waves nearby.
And the exhibits here are not only visual, but mostly interactive. Touch screens next to the paintings allow you to learn more about the plot that is depicted on the canvas, and
For example, pictures, with one light tap on the touch screen next to them, allow you to learn more about the plot, and atlases – to get a map of a particular area and an atlas. And children, for example, can fall into the “mouth of a whale”.
Address: Kattenburgerplein 1.
Tickets with audio guide
Home of the Cromhouthuis family
The museum tells about the life of seven generations of the wealthy Kromhout family and allows you to travel back to the Golden Age of the Netherlands. Within its walls, among luxury items, paintings, furniture, expensive dishes, the history of this family comes to life, full of ups and downs. Among the premises of the museum there are two kitchens, considered the oldest in Holland.
Separately, it is worth mentioning the museum garden – a wonderful cozy place in the very center of the city, where you can enjoy peace and quiet.
Museum website: https://www.cromhouthuis.nl/en
Cromhouse Museum and Bible Museum Combined Ticket
Science Museums in Amsterdam
Museum NEMO (NEMO Science Museum)
A museum that proves science can be very exciting. No boring lectures or brochures, just demonstrations, experiments, interesting presentations and discussions.
Most of the exhibits can and should be touched – they are created specifically to help visitors understand how the world works. Getting inside a soap bubble, doing chemical experiments, painting, creating electricity, whispering to the whole room, erecting a building from plastic cocktail tubes – it is simply impossible to get bored in this science museum. There is also a section dedicated to sex, adolescence and various physiological processes.
And from the roof of the museum, where you can have a snack, a wonderful view of the old town, the Osterdock maritime quarter and the Maritime Museum located in it opens.
Website (in English): https://www.nemosciencemuseum.nl/en/
Ons ’Lieve Heer op Solder Museum
A seemingly ordinary canal house in the Red Light District hides a real church inside. It was located on the upper floors of a residential building back in 1663, during the Reformation and the persecution of Catholics. The merchant Jan Hartmann lived on the lower floors with his family, and on the upper three he built a church that could simultaneously accommodate 150 people. She has served parishioners for 200 years.
Today you can explore all seven or eight (including the basement) floors of this old house, which, of course, keeps many secrets. There is a chapel, a confessional, and even its own organ. In the living quarters, everything is the same as it was before – the kitchen, the dining room, there is even a laundry room. And in the attic there was a mechanism that made it possible to lift furniture and loads.
Museum ticket with audio guide
The Biblical Museum of Amsterdam is located at the same address as the home of the Kromhout family, which we mentioned above. This museum complex occupies four adjacent houses on the banks of the Herengracht Canal.The houses were built in 1662 for the Kromhout family. And since 1975, the Bible Museum has been located on the upper floors.
But it was founded long before moving to these buildings, back in 1852. The exposition of the museum acquaints visitors with the biblical history, as well as the history of Judaism and Christianity. Among the exhibits of this museum is the so-called “Delft Bible” 1477, the very first Dutch Bible. Also in the museum you can see artifacts from ancient Egypt that give an idea of the religion of the Egyptians, models of the Temple of Solomon and the Temple of Herod, reconstruction of the Ark of the Covenant.
Part of the exhibition was created especially for children – with the help of light and sound, they tell biblical stories that unfold in Egypt, Jerusalem or the desert.
Address : Herengracht 366-368
Website : https://www.bijbelsmuseum.nl/en
Cromhouse Museum and Bible Museum Combined Ticket
Unusual museums in Amsterdam
Well, what is Holland without beer? The famous Heineken beer is presented in all its glory in this museum on all 4 floors and 3000 meters of exhibition space. The museum is located in the former Heineken Brewery, built in 1867. In 1991, it was converted into a museum that combines an interactive platform, a modern attraction and an exhibition center.
Historical expositions and fascinating interactions are largely centered around the main, most recognizable brand attribute – the green Heineken bottle. Guests can not only learn the history of the Heineken company and trace the evolution of the bottle itself, but also participate in the creation of the label or even be the bottle itself – in a 5D cinema that imitates the path of a bottle along a conveyor belt.
Here you can also taste beer for free, and even watch a football match, because Heineken has been a sponsor of big football leagues for many years.
Address: Stadhouderskade 78
Booking tickets (in Russian)
Amsterdam is a canal city with over 2,500 floating residential buildings. So why not find out how the houseboats live? On the Prinsengracht Canal, not far from the Anne Frank House, there is the world’s only floating house museum.
Built in 1914, this boat has been carrying cargo for a long time. And then its owner decided once and for all to answer numerous questions about how the sewerage system is arranged on board and where to get clean water and electricity. And turned the boat into a museum.
Living room, kitchen, bathroom – on an area of 80 m2 (which is comparable to the size of an average residential building in Amsterdam) there is everything you need for life – a bedroom, a kitchen, a children’s corner, a bathroom.
Museum website: https://houseboatmuseum.nl/
Diamond Museum (Diamant Museum Amsterdam)
Amsterdam has been famous for diamonds for over 400 years. This museum will tell you about diamonds, how to process them, determine their value and much more. You will receive information, one might say, first-hand – the diamond museum was created by a large Dutch company engaged in the processing and sale of diamonds – Coster Diamonds. Actually, the diamond factory itself and the museum are located in the same building, and you can also visit it at the same time as the museum.
The highlight of the collection is undoubtedly the diamonds themselves and jewelry made from them. The exhibits include a diamond-encrusted tennis racket. There are also products from famous jewelry houses such as Tiffany.
Address: Paulus Potterstraat 8.
Museum Madame Tussauds (Madame Tussauds Amsterdam)
The Museum opened in 1971 and became the first branch of the Tussauds Museum in London. Wax David Beckham, George Clooney, Charlie Chaplin, Princess Diana and many other world celebrities from the world of cinema, music, politics, sports, as well as movie characters will appear here as if they were alive. You can take a souvenir photo, for example, with Hannibal Lector or Spider-Man.
Tip: Take care of your tickets in advance – by buying your ticket online, you will save on cost and get to the museum without going through the queue.
Address: Dam 20.
Booking tickets in Russian
Bag Museum (Tassenmuseum Hendrijke)
It has the largest collection of bags and wallets in the world (about 4000 items). It began with a single turtle shell bag, which was acquired by Hendrickje Ivo, an antiques dealer, about 30 years ago. The woman liked the handbag so much that she decided to start collecting her like.
Today, here you can trace the history of the development of handbags, bags and suitcases, starting from the 17th century. The collection includes both chic modern Alexander McQueen and suitcases from the royal families, as well as such special things as a small Versace handbag, which Madonna took with her to the premiere of the movie “Evita”.
With the overwhelming quantitative advantage of women’s bags, it is noteworthy that the most expensive item of the collection is considered to be a goat leather belt wallet made in the 16th century.
Address: Herengracht 573.
Museum of Microbes (Micropia)
The museum will visually show you life, which is always hidden from our eyes. Do you know what happens to bread and other food left unattended? A mattress, an open jar of jam, a toothbrush – all these seemingly simple objects live, as it turns out, their own lives.
Within the walls of the museum, as if in a “zoo” of microorganisms, a huge number of microbes, viruses and bacteria live. Their life can be spied on through special microscopes. What the Ebola virus looks like, how many microbes are transmitted through a kiss, which microbes live in which parts of the human body, how the cold virus spreads – they will tell you about many different situations.
At the same time, the museum does not pursue the goal of scaring you – its task is to show how nature and human civilization are interconnected.
Address: Plantage Kerklaan 38-40.
Buy a ticket online
Founded in 1864, the museum sees its main task as a story about distant countries, other cultures of those places that were once the overseas colonies of Holland
Until recently, the main emphasis in the museum was on the graphic component. And since 2018, with the opening of the exhibition “Things that matter”, they began to pay more attention to universal themes that unite people around the world – topical social issues and problems.
The museum is interactive – here you can watch, touch the exhibits, participate in something and experience emotions.
Tropenmuseum Junior deserves special attention – this department is considered the oldest children’s museum in Holland and in Europe as a whole. Children will love it here – for example, you can “take a plane to Morocco” and go on an exciting excursion to a new, unknown world.
Address: Linnaeusstraat 2
The house was built around 1685 for the mayor of Amsterdam, for a long time the wealthy Willet-Holthausen family lived in it. In 1895, Louise Holthausen bequeathed the house to the city on the condition that it would house a museum.
Visitors can walk through the three floors of the house and its garden and seem to go back in time. Looking into the bedroom, study, ladies’ salon, ballroom, dining room, guests do not leave the feeling that the owners have left for a while and will be back soon.
Once here, do not forget to drink tea and coffee in the kitchen for a small additional fee and sit in the garden, among the greenery and flowers.
Address: Herengracht 605.
Amsterdam on its own: tips and secrets
Museum Quarter and around it
From Old Church to Skinny Bridge
On the “ring of channels” to the Flower Market
From Central Station to Herengracht Canal