The Best Museums In Amsterdam

The Dutch have quite a rich history when it comes to art. Much of this has been seen in the painting world, with illustrious names such as Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn, and Vincent van Gogh all stemming from the country.

As such, it should be no surprise that there’s quite a large selection of museums to visit across the country. This is quite true in Amsterdam, which has many more museums than you might have thought.

Because of this wealth of choice, many people may struggle to find the best museums in Amsterdam to visit, especially if they’re only visiting for a short time. However, this doesn’t need to be too difficult, as there are a few prominent ones that every tourist should visit.

Amsterdam Rijksmuseum

There’s a variety of reasons to visit the Rijkmuseum, with the museum acting as a one-stop-shop for any history and art buffs in the city. This is seen through the wealth of different artifacts and paintings that are on display throughout the premises, each of which could give you a glimpse back in time.

There are a variety of ancient sculptures to view, as well as artwork from Johannes Vermeer, and much more, as well as a special display of Rembrandt’s ‘The Night Watch.’ The Rijksmuseum also features a propeller plane on top.

The museum has recently undergone a renovation, which has modernized its appearance without sacrificing any of its charm. As such, you’ll be able to enjoy it in style.

Amsterdam Maritime Museum

The Amsterdam Maritime Museum, also called the Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum, is quite a unique place to visit when you’re in the city. This is because it focuses on celebrating the country’s rich water-focused history. Much of this has been by necessity, chiefly because Amsterdam is at sea level.

However, much of it has also been because it’s entrepreneurial, with there being quite a significant number of Dutch maritime companies throughout history. The East India Company and VOC are both prime examples of this.

This could be quite an impressive option for families, as it features exhibits that should please the majority of the family, with this being available year-round. As such, it should be quite an enjoyable experience.

Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh museum may be the most visited one in all of Amsterdam, thanks to its impressive collection of the painter’s pieces. All told, there are over 1,400 pieces of the artist’s work, including over 200 paintings.

These include some of Van Gogh’s more known works, although it mainly consists of some of his lesser-known art. Despite this, it could still be a recommended choice for anybody who wants to learn more about Van Gogh.

This also includes a variety of details about his private life and how he worked. As such, it’s a must-visit for any of his fans. Alongside this is that the Van Gogh museum also includes his ‘Sunflowers,’ which is arguably one of his better-known paintings.

Amsterdam Historical Museum

There can be quite a large range of reasons why you may want to visit the Amsterdam Historical Museum. The majority of this attraction will be for history buffs, as there’s quite a large range of things to see. While many of these focus on Dutch history, there’s quite a significant amount from other countries.

There’s a broad range of exhibits to see here, which means that you may want to set aside a significant amount of time so that you can take the time to enjoy them. This should be time well spent.

Hermitage Museum Amsterdam

This is an offshoot of the Hermitage museum in St. Petersberg, which means that you could be able to check out a variety of Russian art and culture too. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a significant amount of Dutch art and history to take advantage of it.

There are many other reasons that you may want to take advantage of if you visit the Hermitage museum. Much of this could be because of the weight that the St. Petersberg-based museum has, which has meant that there’s a significant number of notable exhibits.

This includes a variety of Dutch Golden Age portraits, as well as exhibitions focusing on Italian neoclassical works.

Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum

The Stedelijk is a much more modern museum, though it houses over 90,000 eclectic pieces. These span quite a broad range of areas and can often be seen as quite thought-provoking. This is especially through given its rotating exhibitions.

Alongside this are a variety of somewhat modern classics, such as works by Lichtenstein, Koons, and Picasso, among others. There can be a variety of reasons why you might want to consider visiting Stedelijk, with its artwork being the most notable.

Coupled with this is that there’s much less foot traffic here than you might find in many other museums. This should mean that you’ll be able to spend much more time taking in the scenes. You could also feel much less rushed when you’re there.

De Appel

De Appel was established in 1975, since which it’s grown in popularity quite extensively. During this time, it’s become an international arts center that’s become known for its contemporary pieces. This has meant that it’s become one of the well-known museums in Amsterdam and the Netherlands.

If you’re a fan of contemporary arts, then this should be one of the first museums that you’ll want to visit. While many of these have been Dutch artists, it’s also become a central hub for a variety of international artists.

As a result, this could be one of the more notable places to visit when you’re visiting Amsterdam. Alongside this is that it has quite an awe-inspiring museums in terms of overall style, which could make it quite notable.

Eye Filmmuseum

Painting and sculpting aren’t the only art forms that the Dutch have formed an appreciation for. Instead, they’ve also developed quite an impressive history in film, which is exactly what the Eye Filmmuseum looks to celebrate. There’s a variety of things on show here.

The most notable of these is a permanent exhibition that details the history of film. Alongside this are a variety of rotating exhibits that focus on specific directors. There are also four on-site cinemas in which you’ll be able to enjoy many of the films that are on offer.

Eye Filmmuseum also has a breathtaking exterior, which reflects the approach that it takes to cinema. To get to the museum, you’ll also get to take the River IJ ferry, which could be quite a treat.

Looiersgracht 60

Based in the heart of Amsterdam’s early industrial center, the Looiersgracht 60 focuses on architecture, design, and different forms of art. Previously used as a factory, this has evolved significantly over the past few decades, with this now being a central hub for contemporary art.

There’s a broad range of exhibitions to take advantage of when here. While many of these are artist-driven, there are also a few collaborative projects that you should be able to see. Some of the more prominent areas that the museum focuses on include social and natural sciences, the humanities, and much more.

As such, this could make for an interesting visit.


Manifesta is quite a unique museum in Amsterdam, which could help to make it worth a visit. One of the more notable aspects of the museum is that it changes location on quite a regular basis, with Manifestas turning this into an artform in itself.

As such, they’ve been able to regularly create more innovative spaces with each of its exhibits. Alongside this, you should be able to view a significant amount of contemporary art, with there being a significant emphasis on up-and-coming artists.

This could make it one of the better-recommended options if you’re looking for new artists.

FOAM Amsterdam

FOAM is one of the more relatively unique museums in Amsterdam in that it primarily focuses on photography. However, this could make it a must-visit for anybody who’s interested in the art form.

One of the more attractive qualities here is that it features a variety of rotating exhibits, each of which highlight up-and-coming photographers. FOAM also has regular competitions featuring some of the best photographers in the country, as well as from around the world.

This could make a visit during certain parts of the year quite appealing. Further enhancing this is that it’s canal-side, which gives it quite an impressive outside view.

With the rich cultural and artistic history that Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands has, it’s no surprise that there’s quite a large number of museums to visit. This can often be overwhelming, especially for anybody who’s there for quite a short period of time.

However, all of the above are some of the better-recommended museums in Amsterdam. This could mean that they’re all well worth a visit the next time you’re in the city. While there may be a few others that you might want to see, you should start will each of the above and tick them off your list.