Amsterdam has been an Art Lover’s haven for centuries. Home to some of the world’s most celebrated museums, there’s plenty of choice for a culture-filled day out. But where to start? Below we’ve gathered together seven of the best museums in the city to explore on your next visit.
No trip to Amsterdam would be complete without a visit to one of the world’s best museums. Here one million objects span over eight hundred years of history. It’s especially known for its collection of Dutch Golden Age paintings, with big-name works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Hals. A recent renovation has updated the museum and restored some of the building’s original features. Another must-see here is the library, which contains over 400,000 documents.
2. Anne Frank Huis
Explore the darkest period in Amsterdam’s history in this moving museum. This house contains the attic where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis during their occupation of Holland. It was opened in the 1960s as a permanent memorial to the diarist and the Jewish population of Amsterdam. The museum remains a powerful reminder of the horrors of the Second World War, and is a site of worldwide importance.
3. Van Gogh Museum
Perhaps one of the most famous Dutch artists of all time, Vincent Van Gogh has become a global icon. Celebrate his life and work at this museum, which contains over 1,400 pieces of his art. Discover his most famous paintings, such as the iconic Sunflowes, and some lesser known gems. It’s frequently listed amongst the most visited museums in the Netherlands, and it’s easy to see why. A must-visit for art lovers everywhere.
4. Hermitage Amsterdam
A little slice of Russia can be found right in the heart of Amsterdam. As a satellite of St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, there’s a wide selection of objects and curios from the collection. In addition to stand alone displays, many of the exhibitions focus on the relationship of the Netherlands and Russia. The building itself is an impressive sight, and was originally built in the 1600s as a retirement home.
5. Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder
Behind the unassuming exterior of this canal house hides a secret world. This building contains one of the best surviving examples of a ‘schuilkerk,’ or clandestine church. It was built on the top three floors of the house during the 1600s, when the Netherlands introduced religious restrictions. The name of the museum translates to ‘Our Lord in the Attic.’ This unusual building is a real hidden gem within the city, and a must-visit for history buffs.
6. Netherlands Scheepvaartmuseum
Amsterdam is a city with a strong maritime heritage, and contains more canals than Venice. Explore the Netherland’s relationship to the sea at this museum, which charts the history of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The building itself is well worth a visit, especially for its glazed courtyard. Afterwards make sure to check out the replica VOC ship that’s docked outside too.
7. Electric Ladyland
Old Masters not for you? Then take a trip to the most unique museum in Amsterdam. Dedicated to all things neon, the museum celebrates fluorescent art in all its forms. This location is packed with curios, from man-made sculptures to fluorescing minerals. It’s also amongst Amsterdam’s most instagrammable attractions, with plenty of psychedelic photo opportunities. However, be aware that opening times do vary, so check ahead before visiting.