Amsterdam's Top 5 Art Art Galleries!
Updated: Feb 12, 2020
Amsterdam is chock full of world class art galleries! The Golden Age of Art was centred on Amsterdam. It is second only to Italy!
Before you get started, buy the Museum Card. Even if you are only in Amsterdam for a long weekend, this can be great value at 65 Euros but it can be used for a full year and all over The Netherlands. It can be purchased at a gallery and used 5 times before you need to register it and get a card posted to you. This is free to addresses in the Netherlands but there is a small postage fee to overseas. My daughter's card arrived without issue but mine didn't. I rang them and they send another but be warned because it takes a while. I rang again! After using the card many times it was suddenly blocked. I got the museum to ring the Museum Card Customer Service and they said it was because another card had been sent. I asked them to unblock it and they did this within 15 minutes.
A big bonus of the Museum Card is that you get a free audio tour included.
The Rijk Museum
This museum has one of the most famous paintings in the world, Rembrandt's Night Watchman. At the moment you can see the fascinating process of restoration in action. This gallery competes with the Louvre in Paris and the Uffici in Florence for world class art. You can only see the highlights in a single day so if you have the Museum Card, you can go back again and again. And it is not just incredible art, there is much more to see. Don't miss the Dolls Houses, Delft China Collection and 1st World War Plane on the top floor.
There are amazing exhibitions that are included but you need to book a time slot on arrival.
Get there early or late. It is packed most of the time!
The Van Gogh Museum
Book a time time slot online or you will not get in! If you are a Van Gogh fan, and let's face it, who isn't, this Gallery is heaven on earth. I spent an hour just in the gift shop. I couldn't afford to buy anything but it is a feast for the eyes!
There is are excellent exhibitions that link other artists to Van Gogh and these are included on the Museum Card.
This Modern Art Museum has much to compete with as it sits right next to the great Rijks and Van Gogh Museums but it is well worth a visit. I found art work from South America which is rare.
Don't miss the cafe/restaurant which has great views over the beautiful Museumplein Park. We had delicious vegan burgers and it is a great people watching spot.
Rembrandt House Musum
Ok, strictly speaking this isn't an art gallery but there is plenty of great art on the walls and it complements the other galleries, adding valuable background to Amsterdam's most famous son. Not only do you feel his presence as you tour his house, you learn more about his wider family and his roles as an artist, art dealer and art teacher. I highly recommend the 30 minute demonstration on how he did his copper prints. They only allow 15 in at a time so get there 5-10 minutes early.
This Modern Art Gallery is not on the Museum Card but it is still worth a visit if you are a modern art fan and have time. It is aimed at a broader and younger audience and has funky art from Banksy and Dali. In addition, it is interesting to see the early twentieth Century Mansion it is housed in and which is so much like all the private houses in the area.
Arrive early before the crowds.
Go off peak- even October was very crowded but January was bliss.
Try not to go in the European Summer- but if you do, see point one!
Buy a Museum Card
Have a break in the gorgeous cafe/restaurants half way through your time at the museum.
Do your research beforehand- look at images and videos of the art you are going to see and find out more about the artists. You will get more out of your visit!
Buy a few postcards at each museum. They make a great wall display and will impress you friends!