While famous for many things, from its canals to its red light district, Amsterdam is one of Europes most impressive centers for art. Even with the main museum, the Rijksmuseum, under a seemingly never-ending renovation, the city will wow you with museums devoted its biggest luminaries – Van Gogh and Rembrandt.
Museumplein, Jan Luijkenstraat 1, +31 (0)20 6747000
First opened in 1885 in a building designed by architect Pierre Cuypers, the Rijksmuseum remains open with a collection called “Rijksmuseum, The Masterpieces” even as it undergoes a complete rebuilding, with the current timeline for re-opening extending to 2012/13. The highlights of the collection include several paintings by Johannes Vermeer and works by Rembrandt, including his famous “Night Watch.” The museum also holds historical pieces recounting the Netherlands at the height of its power. Select special exhibits are also open in the renovated gallery spaces.
Hours: Daily except January 1, 9am to 6pm (Fridays until 8:30pm). Ticket counter closes ½ hour prior to close.
Admission: Adults €11, 18 and under free
Van Gogh Museum
Paulus Potterstraat 7 (at the Museumplein), +31 (0)20 570 5200
This impressive museum is devoted not only to its namesake, Vincent Van Gogh, but to 19th Century art in general. The emphasis is on Van Gogh’s development, especially in relation to those who inspired him and worked during the same periods. The modern building is a large and comfortable space, allowing for crowds to flow freely. A sweeping new wing is adjacent to the original building and hosts special exhibitions.
Hours: Daily 10am – 6pm (except Jan 1st) daily, Friday open until 10pm
Admission: Adults € 15, 17 years and under free admission
Jodenbreestraat 4, +31 (0)20 5200 400
Located very close to Central Station, this museum includes the actual house where famed painter Rembrandt lived. While the collection itself is now housed in an adjacent wing, the museum has quite successfully restored the house itself to the time when Rembrandt lived. The bulk of the collection is the 260 etchings by the artist himself, plus his drawings and copper plates. A number of other artists are represented, including Rembrandt’s teacher, contemporaries and his students.
Hours: Open daily (except Jan 1st) from 10am – 5pm
Admission: Adults €12.50, Youth (6 – 15) €1.50, Children are free. Note there is a small surcharge for special exhibits
The home of this modern art museum is being renovated and it is temporarily hosting special exhibits and events around the city. Plans are for the museum to return to its home at Museumplein sometime in March or April 2010. Check the website for ongoing events and exhibitions around Amsterdam.
Civic Guards Gallery (Schuttersgalerij)
This gallery features portraits of wealthy Dutch residents from the 17th Century. Enter the Gallery from Kalverstraat 92, Sint Luciensteeg 27 or from the Begijnhof.
Hours: Daily 10am – 5pm. Closed January 1, April 30 and December 25.
The Museumkaart allows you to visit 29 museums in Amsterdam (400 in the Netherlands altogether) for only €39.95. The card includes admission to each of the museums included in this article and many more.
Available at select museums or Uitburo (AUB) (Leidseplein 26) Monday to Saturday 10am – 6pm (Thursday until 21:00), Sundays and Holidays 12pm – 6pm