The Dutch capital is a great destination for art lovers. Here’s a look at five fascinating museums in Amsterdam that you should visit when you’re in town.
Holland has always been a center for art in Northern Europe, giving birth to artists like Rembrandt and Van Gogh. So, it should come as no surprise that the city so strongly associated with these artists has a solid showing on the art front.
For culture vultures looking for an art fix, Amsterdam boasts some incredible museums. Here are five that you shouldn’t miss.
1. The Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum is the perfect place to follow the artistic journey of one of the world’s most famous painters. Start with a glimpse of Van Gogh’s early years as a young artist painting the sad realities of the countryside and peasant life. As you move from room to room, you can see Van Gogh’s work evolve into brighter more joyous paintings like the world famous Sunflowers. The museum houses one of the three versions of that painting along with more than 200 other works that span the artist’s decade-long art career. (Museumplein; Open daily: 9am to 6pm)
2. Moco Museum
Having only opened in April 2016, the Moco Museum (Modern Contemporary Museum), has already left a distinct mark on the city’s cultural landscape. Located just off Museum Square in Villa Alsberg, a historic turn-of-the-twentieth-century mansion, Moco offers an exciting experience for locals and visitors alike. Owned by local art gallerists Lionel and Kim Logchies, Moco displays art from Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Demien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Picasso, iconic street artist Banksy and more. (Honthorststraat 20; open daily, hours are seasonal so check their website)
Rijksmuseum has a jaw-dropping collection of more than 90,000 pieces that have been amassed over its two-hundred-year history. The museum first opened in the 1800s but didn’t find its permanent home until 1975. Today, the building’s Dutch Renaissance-style architecture is as gorgeous as the art collection found inside. Amsterdam DNA, the museum’s permanent exhibition, tells the story of the city from the Middle Ages to today through a series of interactive images, sounds, photos and playable musical instruments. Art lovers can immerse themselves in the vibrant temporary exhibitions, while the museum’s youngest visitors can explore learn more about being in a child in Amsterdam in The Little Orphanage exhibition. If it all sounds like too much to take in on one day, take a break at the Mokum Museum Café in the beautiful courtyard. (Museumstraat 1; Open daily 9am to 5pm)
4. Willet-Holthuysen Museum
This exquisite 17th-century mansion was once the sumptuous abode of Louisa and Abraham Willet, members of Holland’s 19th-century aristocracy. The museum showcases their striking collection of priceless paintings, crystals and art in a series of rooms decorated in the extravagant Louis XVI style. The Collection Room contains Abraham’s most beloved art pieces while the Ballroom features an extremely expensive collection of Parisian upholstery. All the rooms are furnished with antiques, looking just as they did when Louisa and Abraham lived there. (Herengracht 605; daily, 10am to 5pm, opening at 11am on Saturday and Sunday)
Designed by 17-century Dutch architect Philip Vingboons, Cromhout House is another breathtaking example showcasing how Amsterdam’s high society lived. The house belonged to Jacob Cromhout and after 300 years, still inspires visitors with its beautifully preserved kitchens, lavish salons and lovely little details like the English-style staircase and plasterwork ceilings. Whatever you do, don’t miss the Cabinet of Curiosities – a collection of weird and wonderful trinkets brought back to Amsterdam by 17th and 18th-century travelers from all over the globe. Cromhout House is also home to the Biblical Museum with its collection of religious artifacts, antique Bibles and Egyptian antiquities. (Herengracht 366-368; Tuesday to Friday, 10am-5pm. Saturday and Sunday 11am to 5pm)