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Top 4 Must-See Museums in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is well known throughout the world as being the “naughty” centre of Europe for many reasons that I’m sure you’ve already heard about! For those of you that know of Amsterdam’s infamous reputation, you’ll probably be surprised to know that it is home to over 50 museums in just this one city.

Amsterdam has a Museum on just about everything and having visited a fair few (!) whilst spending three days there I can save you some time and give you the low down on the top four. So here we go!

1) Anne Frank House 

Why visit? The Anne Frank House is definitely at the top of my list because of the impact it has on those that visit. It is a historic house and biographical museum dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. She went into hiding during World War Two to avoid the Nazis with her family and four others in a secret annex on the Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam where he father owned a business.

After almost two years in hiding they were discovered and deported to concentration camps. Anne’s father, Otto Frank, is the only one of the eight people to survive. He returned to Amsterdam after the war and opened the secret Annex as a Museum in 1960.

Together with the publishing of her diary detailing her time in hiding and her experience of the war, the story of the secret annex has made her one of the most inspiring figures of the 20th Century. The ever-popular museum attracts more than a million visitors each year and is a must see if you go to Amsterdam. Be sure to book tickets in advance as even in winter the line to get in snakes around the building with people waiting for over an hour.

The visit is a moving experience so plan something contemplative afterwards, climb the Westerkerk spire or have a look around the tulip shop and museum, which is just across the road from the Anne Frank House.

Price: €14.50 (or approx. £10.46)

Duration: 1.5-2hours (2 hours with a 30 minute introduction)

Anne Frank House

Anne Frank Statue

Tulip Museum

2) Van Goph Museum 

Why visit? Vincent van Goph is one of the Netherland’s most famous artists. The Museum, which opened in 1973, holds the most comprehensive collection of his work in the world. It includes more than 200 of his paintings, over 500 drawings and hundreds of letters, as well as his Japanese prints and works by contemporaries.

What’s surprising about this Museum is that you don’t actually need to be a fan of Van Goph’s work to enjoy it! Without knowing a lot about art, his work is genuinely very interesting even to an untrained eye and somewhat odd at times which just makes his work that more fascinating. Check out “The Potato Eaters” and you’ll understand what I mean. Some of his most famous pieces work include, “Sunflowers” and “The Bedroom”.

The Van Goph Museum is also conveniently located by the famous “Iamsterdam” sign and equally famous Rijks Mueum so you can do all these iconic tourist spots in one day without worrying about wasting time on travel.

Price: €15,00 (or approx. £10.82)

Duration: 1.5-2 hours

Van Goph

Sunflowers

3) Rijks Museum 

Why visit? The Rijks Museum (note that the ‘j’ is silent!) is a magnificient national museum of the Netherlands housing nearly one million (!) works of art. Originally opened by King Louis Napoleon in 1808 in the Royal Palace on the Dam, the Rijks Museum has more than 8,000 items of Dutch art dating from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century. With 80 rooms spread over four floors don’t expect to see everything in a single visit. By breezing through all the floors and only stopping on occasion at points of interest I got round the museum in 2 hours and got hungry! So either spend a couple of hours walking round or take a snack and spend the day taking your time.

Although it’s more expensive than other museums in Amsterdam, even just going to see the inside of the building will be worth the price of the entrance fee because it is breathtakingly beautiful and huge!

Price: €25,00 (or approx. £18.03)

Duration: Up to 4 hours

Rijks Museum

Inside Rijks Museum

Ship in the Rijks Museum

Violin

Rijks Museum Statue

4) Amsterdam Museum 

Why visit? Amsterdam has a long history with a strong focus on entrepreneurship, creativity, citizenship and free-thinking. In the museum building you will discover the story of Amsterdam through a large number of masterpieces, such as an aerial map from the Middle Ages and Breitner’s The Dam. See, read about, hear and experience how the city has developed showing the story of the city from its beginnings as a trading port to the modern day.

The building itself has a long and interesting history as in the Middle Ages, Saint Lucien’s Monastery was situated there and in 1578 the City Orphanage (Burgerweeshuis) was established.

Although last on the list, make Amsterdam Museum your first museum stop as it’ll give you the background of Amsterdam and you’ll understand much more about the culture as you tour around the city afterwards. It’s really interactive and the different exhibition rooms make it a really interesting and refreshing visit from your usual history/art museum.

Price: €12 (or approx. £8.65)

Duration: 2 hours

Amsterdam Museum

Goliath Statue

Depending on how long you have in Amsterdam, do make sure you visit these museums as they all have something different to offer and show you something unique about Amsterdam in each one.

Mel x

About the author

Hi! I'm Mel a full-time Marketeer and part-time adventurer. I’m a British travel blogger who loves nothing more than immersing myself in different cultures and exploring new places. My goal is to inspire all of you office dwellers to follow your travel dreams whilst still working your 9-5.