For me the four most important museums in Amsterdam are the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Amsterdam Museum and the Maritime Museum.
You will find my reviews for the Rijksmuseum under: "Rijksmuseum-Practical Info" and The Gouden Eeuw or "Night Watch" and more reviews inspired by the different genre of paintings. If the largest part of the collections is composed of Dutch paintings there are also Dutch historical objects and works of decorative arts on display.
Not visiting the Rijksmuseum would be like going to Paris and not visiting Le Louvre.
The Van Gogh Museum shows a large number of his paintings as well as some other impressionists. I reviewed this museum "From a Novice to a Master".
The Amsterdam Museum shows the history of Amsterdam through many historical objects and works of art. I wrote several reviews "Amsterdam Historisch Museum - Generalities"and others.
The Maritime Museum - Scheepvaartmuseum was somewhat disappointing for me
Disappointing but is appreciated by children "Bad VOC replica but fun for children"
-“the night watch”
-“the jewish pride”
- "various drinkers"
At Van Gogh Musuem
-“sun-flowers & wheat fields"
visit the Rijksmuseum.
A large museum dedicated to painting and Netherland history.
Open : 10AM - 5PM.
Price : 15G.
The East entry is for the 15° Century : the most famous period of the Ducht painting.
If there is a queue, try the entry 19 Hobbermastraat. It is less known and consequently less crowded...
Fondest memory: The main part of the Vermeer's paintings are here.
There is also the 'Nachtwatch', the most famous painting (and the largest) of Rembrandt. A part of the work had been cut during the 18° Century to place the frame between two columns of the city hall. You can see a reduced copy at the left of the painting showing the original image.
See 2 paintings on display at the Museum, on the Travelogue.
The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, set in its historic home designed by P.J.H. Cuypers, houses the largest collection of art and history in the Netherlands. The museum has an internationally renowned collection based around the paintings of the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic, the Golden Age, including twenty works by Rembrandt, four by Vermeer and numerous other paintings by artists such as Frans Hals and Jan Steen. Displayed at the very heart of the museum is Rembrandt’s Night Watch. But the museum houses more than just paintings: there are superb collections of silver, delftware, doll’s houses, prints, drawings, the mysterious Asiatic art and a recent completely renovated presentation on Dutch history. Works of art on paper, prints and drawings and since 1996 the photographic collection, are shown four times a year in different exhibitions.
Fondest memory: Prices:
Adults (from 19): € 9
Entrance free: museum pass holders (Rijksmuseum Year Card, National Museum Year Card/MJK, ICOM, ICOMUS), members of Vereniging Rembrandt, members KOG, members Vrienden van de Aziatische Kunst, UNESCO.
Reduction 50 %: Rabo/MJK, NS/MJK.
Stadspas holders pay € 7,20
For some exhibitions there is an additional surcharge.
Ahhh, this was the day of my arrival....
Just imagine, from Moscow, where it was -24C (!) in the early morning, in 3 something hours got to Amsterdam, where it was +10C.... no comments :)))
Evening... 1st strall around the neighbourhood... just refreshing my memory and testing my new digi cam... No rain, lucky I am....
This is a corner of Rijksmuseum with a nice lighted X-mas tree....
I am low on energy today so we decide to check out the millions of interesting things near our hotel. First a quick breakfast at the hotel (they don't call it a Continental breakfast here). We bought our Museumjaarkaart when we went to visit the Rijksmuseum, a few blocks from the hotel. The Museumjaarkaart is a year-long pass to a selected 30 museums in Amsterdam. After a week of use we pretty much broke even on this purchase, i.e. if you are going for more than a week, or are going to focus on the art museums exclusively, buy one. It's nice to be able to re-visit your favorite museum also. If you are going for a week or less, and plan to spend a lot of time doing other things, pay for the museums separately. That's my advice.
We spent several hours in the Rijksmuseum. We vowed to return, it is tied for my favorite w/ the Van Gogh museum. The Rijksmuseum could easily take days to cover. We spent most of our time looking at the Dutch masters--Rembrandt's "The Night Watch", etc. Incredible! We got hungry and planned to return (never did), so we left for lunch.
Fondest memory: I never did get my sleep cycle straightened out until I returned to CA. My wife had no problem with it, which was great, nice to have one in the party who can sleep. I have had this problem before, even when travelling to the East Coast. I recommend taking some sleep medication that works for you along on the trip, I will do so next time. We found it impossible to find over the counter sleep medication like we have in the States. They did have a tryptophan/melotonin product I considered trying tho. I learned to enjoy myself with less sleep, and my wife let me nap occasionally (not much tho!). Too much fun to have!!!
The Rijksmuseum is so cool on so many levels. It was built to be a museum by the same dude who built Centraal Station. Underneath the building is a big thoroughfare for pedestrians and bicycles where street musicians hang out (it rains here a lot). On this day there was a steel drum player producing eerily echoing music down here under the beautifully tiled architecture.
Fondest memory: Take your time, look around!
First day, we spent most of our time enjoying Amsterdam, its musseums, walking through most of the streets and canals.
Here is the Museumplein with the Rijksmuseum at the end, the Van Gogh and the Stedelijk Museum
Fondest memory: Amsterdam has 42 museums, the most famous ones are the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, that you can see on the photo.
The Rijksmuseum is the largest museum for art and history in the Netherlands.
A visit to the Van Gogh Museum is a must do activity.
The Stedelijk Museum is one of Europe's most important museums for modern and contemporary art.
Amsterdam has some great museums, really worth while going to. I am not such a museum person, but I thouroughly enjoyed my visit to the 'Rijksmuseum' in 2001. And since than I've been back for another visit to the Rijksmuseum and also to the Van Gogh museum.
Here are the links to three well-known musea in Amsterdam :
In these general tips I want to tell you a bit more about these museums.
Jan Abrahamsz Beerstraten (1622-1666)
The battle of Terheide
This is one of the pictures I took myself in the museum. You are allowed to take pictures here, but it is not allowed to use a flash or a tripod.
Opening times of the Rijksmuseum:
Daily 10.00 - 17.00 Closed on 1 January
Ticket prices :
Adults (from 19): euro 8,-
How to get here :
- From Central Station: tram 2, 5 or circletram 20 (to Hobbemastraat)
- From Zuid/WTC Station: tram 5 (to Hobbemastraat)
- From Sloterdijk Station: tram 12 (to Concertgebouw)
- From Amstel Station: Metro to Weesperplein, from there tram 6, 7 or 10 (to Spiegelgracht)
- From regional bus terminal on Marnixstraat: bus 26, 65, 66 or 170 (or a 10-minute walk).
Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675)
The Little Street
In a cobblestone street are two houses with a gate opening onto the passageway between them. A woman sits in an open doorway, busy sewing; two children are playing on the stoop. Soapy water is washing down a small runnel between the paving stones - probably the woman in the passageway has just scrubbed her part of the stoop. Vermeer has recorded this everyday scene with apparent casualness. Although world-famous, not much is known about Vermeer's Little Street. In fact the original location has never been identified, and indeed may never have existed. But more significant is the atmosphere of the picture. The women are diligently employed while the children are absorbed at play. The scene emanates tranquillity and security.
Jan Havicksz. Steen (1626-1679)
painting : 'Prince's Day'
'in one hand a rapier (sword) in the other hand the glass.' This rhyme, with a little effort and a magnifying glass, can be read on the piece of paper on the floor against the table leg. The inscription and the work's title 'Prince's Day' explains the occasion behind this painting: the tenth birthday of Prince William III of the house of Orange-Nassau, on 14 November 1660. This feast was not celebrated by everybody because, at the time, the Republic was divided between those for and against the prince. Jan Steen painted this tavern scene on a relatively small format in around 1665, five years after the event.
A closer look of the painting :
Jan Havicksz. Steen (1626-1679)
This is a self-portrait from 1670, and it is Jan Steen's only serious self-portrait. He regularly depicted himself in his own paintings, usually in company, in a comical role, as a drunkard, a victim of deception or - as in the 'Merry family' - playing the bagpipes.
You can view the painting more closely on :
Rembrandt van Rijn (1606 - 1669)
This is the most famous painting in the Rijksmuseum, The Nightwatch. But it actually has another title: the 'Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch'. The picture is a militia painting: a group portrait of a division of the civic guard. Rembrandt depicted the group of militiamen in an original way. He did not paint them in neat row or sitting at their annual banquet, rather, he recorded a moment: a group of militiamen have just moved into action and are about to march off.
Here is a link to the website of the Rijksmuseum which shows you the painting in a much larger size. It's wonderful to view the painting like that, and see all the details. It is big, so it will probably take some time to load :
I loved my visits to the Rijksmuseum and I would love to tell you a bit more about it, and give an impression of the collection. The information, and pictures of the paintings are from the website of the museum : http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/
The Rijksmuseum :
'With close on one million objects and 1.2 million visitors a year, Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum is the largest museum of art and history in the Netherlands. It is perhaps best known for its collection of 17th-century Dutch masters, with twenty Rembrandts and many other highlights of the period, including works by Vermeer, Frans Hals and Jan Steen. But the museum also houses art from the Middle Ages and from the 18th and 19th centuries. Another area of interest is the museum's collection of sculpture and applied art: furniture, glass, silver, delftware, busts, dolls' houses, tapestries, fashion and other decorative objects made in the Netherlands and Europe between the medieval period and the early 20th century. The Print Room (Prentenkabinet) regularly presents selections from the museum's vast, internationally famous collection of prints, drawings and photos. The Asiatic Art rooms contain objects from countries such as Indonesia, China, Japan and India. On Dutch history, the museum provides a survey of developments in the Low Countries from the 15th century to the Second World War, featuring items of historical interest, portraits, ship models as well as associated objects and works of art.
As you can see, there is a lot to see in this museum. So take enough time to enjoy it. I loved the 17th century Dutch masters, so that is the part of them museum I want to show you a bit more of.