For those of us with an interest in culture, Amsterdam is one of Europe’s must-see cities as it is filled with memorable museums. Such is the scope of Amsterdam’s cultural heritage that you might not have the time to visit as many exhibits as you would like. There are more than 50 museums to be found in Amsterdam. Choosing the most renowned and memorable ones will give you a terrific insight into all that this exciting city has to offer culturally. The following are some of Amsterdam’s most memorable museums.
One of the city’s most iconic sights, this grand institution is dedicated to showcasing Dutch and global history, spanning a period of more than 800 years, with a vast collection of art and other artifacts. Visitors will be wowed by the collection of famous Rembrandts, including The Night Watch. Other Old Masters housed here include Frans Hals and Jan Vermeer. The building also boasts fine collections of Delftware, clothing, sculptures, and Asian art. The finely landscaped gardens are ideal for relaxing in. Based in Museum Square, the Rijksmuseum was opened in 1885 and reopened again in 2013 after extensive renovations.
Van Gogh Museum
In the same part of the city as the Rijksmuseum, this building is dedicated to the work of Vincent Van Gogh, the 19th-century post-impressionist painter and one of the most influential artists ever. It is home to many of his most famous paintings, including the iconic Sunflowers. There are also drawings, letters, and other items from Van Gogh’s life, as well as works by artists inspired by him. You are advised to pre-book entry online because the queues to get in can be long.
Anne Frank House
Another museum that you should pre-book online, the Anne Frank House is dedicated to the story of the eponymous Dutch teenager who hid with her family from the occupying Nazis in World War II before they were discovered and sent to concentration camps, where Anne died aged just 15. The house is a poignant reminder of the Jewish Holocaust and features rooms restored in period style as well as Anne’s original diary, made famous on publication after the war had ended.
Woonbootmuseum (Houseboat Museum)
One thing that you are sure to notice on your visit to Amsterdam is the houseboats on the city’s canals and waterways. What better way to learn about life on a houseboat than by visiting the city’s Houseboat Museum? It is on the Hendrika Maria, a one-time freighter that was converted for living purposes in the 1960s and was subsequently turned into a visitor exhibit in 1997. The boat still gives a sense of being lived in, and visitors will learn all about life on a houseboat, including what to do about sewage and electricity.
Scheepvaartmuseum (National Maritime Museum)
Amsterdam and the Netherlands have a long maritime history, and this is depicted in the museum housed in the former Admiralty Arsenal, built in 1655 to supply Dutch vessels that sailed the high seas during the Golden Age. From old maps and globes to maritime paintings and models of boats, the museum showcases the country’s rich maritime history in great detail. In the harbor found alongside the arsenal building is a reproduction of the Dutch East Indiaman ship. Following recent renovations, much of the building’s inner courtyard is now covered by a glass roof, on which hundreds of tiny LED lights have been installed between shields of glass. They are lit up in the evening to create the impression of a starry sky.
Kattenkabinet (Cat Cabinet)
No tour of Amsterdam’s cultural heritage is complete without something offbeat and quirky, and Cat Cabinet fits the bill. It was founded to memorialize a red tomcat called John Pierpont Morgan, companion to the museum’s founder Bob Meijer, and showcases the role of cats in art and culture. It is based in a canal house that visitors might remember was featured in the movie Ocean’s Twelve.
With so much to do, you will want accommodation in Amsterdam that is convenient to all the sights and allows you to come and go as you please. Amsterdam vacation apartments for holiday stays offer flexible accommodation options, whether you are traveling solo or as part of a couple or group. Getting to Amsterdam could not be easier. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is a major international hub and has excellent road and rail links. The city is easy to get around, and there is a particular emphasis on being bicycle-friendly, including dedicated cycle lanes and road rules.
Amsterdam’s world-class museums offer something for everyone and make for a memorable visit when combined with the city’s historic neighborhoods and more modern features.