Amsterdam is a city of architectural wonders and beautiful art museums. If you are planning a trip, here are the best museums in Amsterdam for art and history fanatics.
Are you planning to go to Amsterdam with your girlfriends? Create a plan or an itinerary on your whereabouts to achieve a smooth sailing vacation around the place. Amsterdam is a historically significant place with some of the best museums in the Netherlands that are adored by art and history fans far and wide.
A good plus is that Amsterdam also offers various cheap flights to travel globally. From Gothic architectural cathedrals to the museums of Dutch Masters, these are some of the best museums in Amsterdam for every art and history genre.
The Dutch Capital has some of the best vacation packages, tours, museums, and galleries in Europe, as this city is like a walking exhibit inside a museum and out.
Amsterdam Essentials 🌷
Our Editor-in-Chief lives in Amsterdam and spends much time exploring every district (you may even see him on his bike). Here are some tips for your trip:
Best Things To Do: Be sure to buy a I Amsterdam City Card to make the most of your trip. If you want to see the city the way locals do, take a canal cruise and rent a bike. The Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Anne Frank House need to be on your list. Read our full Amsterdam guide
Where to Stay: For a luxury experience, you can't top the Conservatorium Hotel. Its design and elegance is unmatched! If you'd rather save your money for experiences, INK Hotel Amsterdam is a more budget-friendly option. For families visiting Amsterdam, check out the Pulitzer Amsterdam.
Best Time To Visit: If you want to see tulips, you'll have to come by in the early spring. By April, they're in full bloom! We recommend avoiding the peak summer season or drab winter. Visit in May or September. You'll get good weather, beautiful scenery, and fewer crowds.
How to Get Around: It wouldn't be a Dutch vacation without some time on a bike, and pedaling is the most popular way to explore the city. The GVB network of metros, buses, trams, ferries, and trains are free to anyone when you purchase an I Amsterdam City Card.
How to Get Here: International visitors typically fly into Schiphol Airport. For European travelers, Amsterdam is conveniently connected to other cities via rail. Use Omio compare prices on train travel in Europe.
Show Table of Contents
- Best Museums in Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Van Gogh Museum
- Anne Frank House
- Stedelijk Museum
- NEMO Science Museum
- Rembrandt House Museum
- Jewish Historical Museum
- Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic Museum)
- Dutch Resistance Museum
- National Maritime Museum
- The Upside Down Museum
- Moco Museum
- Body Worlds Amsterdam: The Happiness Project
- Our House Amsterdam
- Best Art and History Tours in Amsterdam
- Rembrandt’s Art: Private Guided Tour in Amsterdam & Rijksmuseum
- Private Art Walk in Amsterdam
- Madame Tussauds & Amsterdam Dungeon Combo Ticket
- Canal Cruise Including Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
- What are the best family-friendly museums in Amsterdam?
- Are there any guided tours of the famous museums in Amsterdam?
- How do I plan museum visits in Amsterdam?
Best Museums in Amsterdam, Netherlands
If you’re a fan of art or history, Amsterdam is the perfect place for a vacation. The city is a haven for the best museums in the world, covering many topics. Here are our top picks.
Van Gogh Museum
Many people may ask how many museums are in Amsterdam. The answer is countless. Some museums are created based on specific interests, but numerous art museums exist.
Every year, art fanatics flock to see some of the most famous artwork created by Dutch artists. This 1.5-hour museum tour is perfect for all Van Gogh art aficionados. You will see the physical paintings and letters from the famous Dutch artist.
The tour is most famous for housing over 500 drawings and 200 personalized letters in the Vincent Van Gogh exhibition. The Van Gogh is the best museum in Amsterdam and is famous for being one of “the big three” in the city.
The multimedia guide will share stories and formulate the best behind-the-scenes experience, which will help you understand the history behind each famous art piece. The self-portrait exhibition is a beautiful sight as it is thought-provoking and significant.
There are pieces displayed by other artists inspired by the significant impact of Van Gogh’s paintings. The Van Gogh Museum gives an overview of the great artist’s life; paintings like Sunflowers, The Potato Eaters, Almond Blossom, and many more—countless 19th-century art pieces on display in the exhibition. Finish the day with a lovely Dutch beer as you return to your hotel.
- The organization of the museum is highly rated. There are timed specified entry tickets so you can visit the museum at your convenience. The tour is available in 11 languages
- The Van Gogh Museum is open throughout the year except on Mondays.
- There may be a booking fee of 2 euros at the entrance.
- Only features Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings and his contemporaries.
Rijksmuseum is the national museum of the Netherlands, located in Amsterdam. The Rijksmuseum was established by King William I in 1885. The Rijksmuseum’s name means “national museum” in Dutch.
Rijksmuseum is known for its extensive collection of paintings by Dutch Masters like Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, and Frans Hals; prints by Albrecht Dürer and Hieronymus Bosch; sculptures by Peter Paul Rubens; an extensive collection of Asian art; and much more.
This world-famous museum shouldn’t be missed by anyone interested in art and history. Notable pieces at Rijksmuseum include Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” and other masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age. Rijksmuseum is one of the most popular attractions in Amsterdam.
Anne Frank House
Anne Frank House is a moving testament to Anne Frank, the young girl who hid with her family for two years during World War II before being discovered and sent to concentration camps. This is where Anne Frank and her family truly hid from the Nazis.
It’s a moving experience to walk through the house and see where Anne and her family lived during this difficult time, while Anne wrote an account of their time there while they were hiding from Nazi persecution. Her diary has since become one of the most famous Holocaust memoirs.
Stedelijk Museum is devoted to modern and contemporary art, with a collection that includes works by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Van Gogh, and Piet Mondrian. The Stedelijk Museum is a famous art gallery in Museumplein of Amsterdam, with pieces from contemporary to minimalist art showcasing beautiful designs.
Stedelijk Museum is situated in Museumplein and is considered one of “the big three” museums in the Netherlands. A new addition to the art museum with a futuristic vibe was added to the gallery in 2012.
In addition, nearly 90,000 magnificent artifacts are on display, all created by 20th-century Dutch artists. The display of Dutch artworks and an impressive array of modern art makes it one of Amsterdam’s most exciting art museums.
- You will have access to a skip-the-line entry ticket to the museum to avoid queuing.
- The audio guides are available in Dutch, English, French, and German
- This museum tour will grant access to temporary displays
- Since it is one of many museums to visit in Amsterdam due to its priceless works of art, a security guard may follow your group throughout the visit.
NEMO Science Museum
The NEMO Science Museum is boat-shaped in Amsterdam North, overlooking the IJ River. The museum has five levels of interactive exhibitions that are great for kids (and adults) to explore. For instance, on the top level, visitors can view the city from the free panoramic rooftop terrace while learning about solar and renewable energy.
The NEMO Science Museum was designed by Delft architects OMA and opened its doors in 2013. If you’re looking for a fun and educational activity during your stay in Amsterdam, check out the NEMO Science Museum.
Rembrandt House Museum
Rembrandt House Museum is a great place to learn about the life of Rembrandt and his wife, Saskia. The museum is located in the house where Rembrandt lived and worked, providing visitors with an overview of Dutch history.
This cultural institution was established by Johannes van Loon (1906-1982), a Jan Jansz van der Burch descendant who bought the house from Rembrandt in 1654. Van Loon wanted to preserve this historic building and establish an exhibition space to provide insight into life during the Golden Age (1585–1795).
Rembrandt’s house is a highly recommended destination for any culture lover visiting Amsterdam for the first time. You’ll get a sense of what Rembrandt’s life was like and how he changed the course of art history.
See Related: Best Irish Pubs in Amsterdam
Jewish Historical Museum
The Jewish Historical Museum is located in the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam, in a former synagogue on Oudezijds Voorburgwal. The building was designed by the architect Jacob Otten Husly in 1675 and was built by Jews who were forced to leave Portugal because of religious persecution.
The exhibition center tells the story of the old Jewish quarter in Amsterdam, from its early days in the city’s medieval ghetto to its recent history. On display are artifacts that tell the story of the old Jewish Quarter from its beginnings until today, along with works by Rembrandt, Rubens, and Vermeer. If you’re interested in learning about the history of the Jewish people in Amsterdam, this Amsterdam museum the place to go.
Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic Museum)
Our Lord in the Attic Museum (Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder) is a lesser-known treasure of Amsterdam. Located at a 17th-century canal house, its exhibits include the faithful Catholic church in the attic of a wealthy merchant who lived and worked and paintings by other artists.
There’s also a museum shop, cafe, gift shop, and restaurant — so you can make it your first stop when visiting Amsterdam. The museum was selected as one of Europe’s top museums (and noted for its innovative approach to visitor experience).
Our Lord in the Attic is a highly recommended destination for anyone interested in hidden history or Churches. The museum gives excellent context to the Dutch Golden Age and the European counter-reformation.
Our Lord is also unique because it is one of the few museums that aren’t just a bunch of boring old things behind glass cases – the whole space is an exhibit itself. Immerse yourself in every nook and cranny of this 17th-century canal house, from the grand merchant’s rooms to the small confession rooms.
Whether you’re looking to escape the rain for a few hours or want to supplement your knowledge of European history, Our Lord in the Attic Museum should be at the top of your list.
Dutch Resistance Museum
The Dutch Resistance Museum is centrally located in Amsterdam and houses an extensive World War II artifacts collection. The exhibition center focuses on the resistance against Nazi Germany but includes a section on pre-war history and how it affected the Netherlands.
The exhibitions are spread over two floors; visitors can explore them at their own pace or by following a multimedia guide. If you’re interested in World War II history, this museum deserves your time. It’s a moving and inspiring tribute to those who risked their lives for freedom.
You’ll learn about the Dutch people who fought against Nazi occupation during World War II and see an extensive collection of artifacts from the war. This Amsterdam museum is located in a convenient location, so it’s easy to fit into your itinerary.
National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum is one of the best history museums in the city, and it’s located right on the Ij River. This museum on maritime history is unique because you can learn about how people lived on ships in the Netherlands and other countries around Europe and the rest of the world.
You can even see a replica of an 18th-century ship used for trade. Consider visiting this museum if you’re in Amsterdam with your family or friends and need something fun together.
It has many exhibits and activities for kids, including an interactive gallery where children can play games with boats like those used by Dutch sailors hundreds of years ago.
If you’re visiting Amsterdam as part of your studies, consider taking some time out from sightseeing to check out this museum’s exhibits about marine life conservation efforts (especially if you’re interested in environmental science or policy).
The Upside Down Museum
This interactive museum is a fun experience you can enjoy with your friends and family on a budget. There are 25 different illusion collections spanning over 1,500 square meters for you to explore. This interactive museum is one of Amsterdam’s most exciting museums and galleries.
It is one of the largest interactive Instagram-worthy museums in Europe. They have many exhibitions with mind-bending illusions for you to discover and enjoy. Strike a pose and take as many pictures as you want at your own pace on this creative art museum journey. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the modern take on 21st-century art with its new dimensions and illusions, which can be mind-boggling.
The collection features a nightclub, an amusement park, and futuristic backdrops for that perfect Instagram picture.
- You will be accompanied by a greeter at the entrance of the Upside Down Museum.
- You can have fun at your own pace once you arrive at the time of your ticket booking.
- Each of the 25 rooms will have a different backdrop.
- The Upside Down Amsterdam company will not provide photo prints.
See Related: How to Find Cheap Amsterdam Trips
Art fanatics will go crazy over the Moco Museum as it showcases street, contemporary, and modern art pieces all in one collection. Moco made its displays public in 2016, creating a memorable encounter for an art lover. There are pieces from Banksy, Haring, Hirst, and the famous British artist Banksy.
Admire each section of the exhibition center as you stroll through the collection. Through this tour, you will gain complete access to current and temporary exhibitions like Studio Irma, which uses digital art to create mesmerizing illuminations.
The Adam Parker Smith exhibition has many installments making it an exciting museum in Amsterdam. You will be mesmerized for hours with the Banksy and JR Room which all have deep meanings behind each piece.
- The tour is cost-efficient as its incredibly engaging and interactive.
- This is the best museum in Amsterdam for Banksy fans.
- Although there is no brochure, there is access to an audio system available in multiple languages.
- Make sure to visit the exhibition early as it can get crowded during peak hours.
See Related: Things Amsterdam is Famous For
Body Worlds Amsterdam: The Happiness Project
The Body Worlds Amsterdam museum is a sight for all types of people. Explore the new Happiness Project exhibition as you see anatomical figures and the evolution of human life. This collection is perfect as it combines science and art, making it an educational and exciting experience. The fascinating work of Dr. Gunther von Hagens brings to life the complexity of the human form.
This tour is a great learning experience for all art fanatics as it gives you the artists’ view on human subjects. The theme of this project unites all viewers and offers an exciting experience making it one of the unique museums in Amsterdam.
The gallery is on each of 7 different floors, and it will take approximately 2 hours to explore each exhibit. Body Worlds annually attracts 40 million tourists and deeply explains how happiness can affect the mind and body.
- This tour covers the skip-the-line entrance ticket to the Body Worlds gallery.
- The tour is accessible in over six different languages.
- The ticket is valid for 24 hours.
- Children might find this exhibit scary as it uses body donors.
- The Art of Play Wondr Experience
This tour is another Instagram-worthy adventure; you can take amazing pictures in front of colorful backgrounds, a confetti shower, and a pink marshmallow pool. As the name suggests, it is an interactive exhibition space for adults. There are 15 exhibits and a 100-square-meter ball pit.
Art fanatics would love this experience as it opens a new art world. There is a karaoke room for music lovers to enjoy their favorite songs with friends and family.
- The rooms are nicely decorated, and you can have a fun experience with this new art museum concept in Amsterdam.
- The staff is accommodating and will lead you to every exhibit.
- There is a cafe at the end of the art tour that you need to try
- There is a vast selection of different cupcakes and coffee.
- You can also try the mouth-watering local dishes around the place and taste Amsterdam food. It sure is delicious.
- At peak hours, the karaoke room is hard to get for your group.
See Related: 2 Days in Amsterdam Itinerary
Our House Amsterdam
If you love electronic music, you must visit this museum as it’s the only one dedicated to electronic dance music. Our House Amsterdam is a unique experience – you’ll be able to explore the history of modern dance music and get up close and personal with artifacts from such legendary figures as Deadmau5, Armin Van Buuren, and Paul Oakenfold.
Plus, you can attend one of our special events or workshops to learn about the culture and techniques that made electronic music what it is today. At night, this museum turns into one of the most famous nightclubs in Amsterdam, Club Air.
Watch a video of our visit to the museum here:
Best Art and History Tours in Amsterdam
Amsterdam museums are exceptional, but if you’ve ever visited this city, you’ll quickly find it is a walking art and history museum. Here are some tours to see and experience the history outside the collections and galleries.
Rembrandt’s Art: Private Guided Tour in Amsterdam & Rijksmuseum
Discover Rembrandt’s famous art in Amsterdam. The famous painter revolutionized art through his techniques in the Dutch Golden Age. Follow the footsteps of this renowned painter as you get a once-in-a-lifetime experience roaming the neighborhood where he lived with his wife, Saskia.
You can see his home, where he was inspired to paint the Night Watch. The Rijksmuseum is one of “the big three” and has one of the most significant Rembrandt paintings, the Jewish Bride, and self-portraits. This tour is perfect for everyone who loves Rembrandts’ work. The private tour is available in multiple languages and provides entrance tickets to the Rijksmuseum.
- Your guide will give you anecdotes and stories about Rembrandt’s life in one of the best art museums in Europe.
- This art tour is conducted in a small group setting with a highly-rated organization.
Private Art Walk in Amsterdam
Starting in the morning at a famous corner cafe, your 3-hour tour will include a private history session with your guide, which will retell stories and anecdotes about Dutch art history.
On this trip, discover new exhibitions and contemporary art. The museums cater mainly to famous artists like Rembrandt, Vermeer, Fran Hals, and Jan Steen. Nonetheless, these artists were drawn to create art from different perspectives giving each piece a deeper meaning.
Experience the different artifacts with rich cultural history and meaning behind each piece. P paintings such as the Dutch trade post in India inspired Dutch artists.
From porcelain violins to pots, you will see all the significant artifacts that wealthy traders left behind in Amsterdam. The main aim of the tour is to help you understand the livelihood of the culture of the people of Holland during the Middle Ages.
- The tour is offered in English, Dutch, and German.
- The guide will be with you throughout your journey so that you can learn all about art history.
- If walking is hard, you can switch to a taxi which will be a quicker way to visit the museums.
- This tour is not suitable for people with motor disabilities.
Madame Tussauds & Amsterdam Dungeon Combo Ticket
Madame Tussauds is a famous branch of wax museums. The collection houses many wax statues of celebrities, politicians, and music artists. Art fanatics can take pictures with life-like models created with the finest details to give a realistic appearance. Get to see your favorite movie, music, or even artists like Vincent Van Gogh in this interactive experience.
The tour continues at the Amsterdam Dungeon, where you can explore and learn about Amsterdam’s 500-year dark history. The Dungeon is a theatrical performance requiring audience interaction, making it a fun experience for everyone.
A set of 10 professional actors gives a mind-blowing performance where you will witness simultaneously terrifying and funny features. There are new shows such as Forest of the Dead, where you can see Amsterdam’s Fallowfield.
- This tour is one of the best in Amsterdam and has excellent value for money. Tickets are available for purchase on GetYourGuide.
- Booklets are provided at the entrance and are available in several languages.
- You will get a fast-track ticket to the Amsterdam Dungeon.
Canal Cruise Including Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Explore the Canal Ring of Amsterdam on a 1-hour cruise trip. Admire the views of the bridges, ancient bricked houses, and churches. Visitors can experience the waterways view from the early 17th century houses in the Golden Age.
After the cruise, stop by the famous Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, which showcases artistic and scientific collections that explore the ancient civilizations in Amsterdam. Although this museum has many branches across the globe, people and kids seem to like it as it is an exciting and informative experience.
- The audio tour is available in several languages.
- You can discover the beauty of bustling Amsterdam from the Canal Ring.
- Children below the age of 3 are free of charge for this tour.
- You can take as many pictures as you like in this interactive space.
What are the best family-friendly museums in Amsterdam?
There are plenty of great museums for the whole family clan, including NEMO Science Museum, Tropenmuseum, and Micropia are all perfect for curious little minds. They’ll have a blast while learning a thing or two.
Are there any guided tours of the famous museums in Amsterdam?
Absolutely. Many of these museums offer expert-led tours that’ll take you through the highlights and give you the inside scoop. Don’t be shy – it’s worth the extra cash.
How do I plan museum visits in Amsterdam?
Plan your museum-hopping like a pro. Group them by location, prioritize your interests, and give yourself time to soak it all in. Amsterdam’s got a lot to offer, so don’t rush it.
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- About the Author
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a seasoned traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers find their next adventure, whether it’s exploring new places or revisiting old favorites.
He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wonderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). He loves listening to people’s stories from around the world as well as sharing his own experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.