If you love museum-hopping, you’re in for a treat! With over a thousand* museums located all around the country, you’ll probably never run out of museums to visit in the Netherlands.
In general, Dutch museums are known for their interactive, well-organised exhibitions with varied themes that cater to all interests, including fine art, history, culture and more.
Without further ado, let’s dive right into our list of museums that we think you should not miss during your stay in the Netherlands.
The Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam)
Opened in 1885, The Rijksmuseum is by far one of the most important museums in the Netherlands. It covers over 800 years of Dutch art and history.
Although must-sees of the Rijksmuseum often include paintings of Dutch Masters from the Golden Ages such as Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch’, visitors should expect to engage deeply with the colonial history of the Netherlands.
The rich collection of the museum features Delftware (Dutch tin-glazed earthenware, a form of faience produced especially in Delft, the Netherlands), sculptures, archaeological artefacts, clothing and Asian art.
Other recommendations on our not-to-miss list are the three 17th century dolls’ houses, The Cuypers Library and ‘The Milkmaid’ by Johannes Vermeer. You could also wander around the spectacular gardens or visit the restaurants in and around the complex.
Located in the city centre of Amsterdam, you can easily reach the Rijksmuseum via tram line 2 or 12, or metro line 52 in around 15 minutes.
From Amsterdam Centraal Station, the trip to the museum will take about 11 minutes by car or 15 minutes by bike.
Make sure to check our guide on the different modes of transportation in the Netherlands for a smoother journey.
Tickets and Timetable
The tickets to the Rijksmuseum cost €20 for visitors who are over 18 years old. Young children and teenagers below 18 can enter for free. However, if you own an EYCA card, you only pay €9.50.
The museum opens daily between 09:00 and 17:00, but you should know that you are required to book the start time of your visit online in advance.
Tip: If you want to avoid interminable waiting lines at the ticket desk, you do have the option to buy your ticket online!
The Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam)
Another popular museum among tourists is the Van Gogh Museum. Opened in 1973, the Van Gogh Museum houses over 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 700 letters of one of the most famous Dutch artists and probably one of the most influential impressionist painters in the world – Vincent van Gogh.
Even if one has never set foot in the Van Gogh Museum before, they’re likely to instantly recognise Van Gogh’s famous paintings, such as the ‘Sunflowers’.
One may also be acquainted with his eclectic landscapes (for instance, ‘Starry Night’ with its bewitching hues of blue) or his haunting self-portraits.
The administrators of the Van Gogh Museum try to offer their visitors the full experience of a state-of-the-art exhibition. Thus, from an online shop with fashionable clothing pieces inspired by Van Gogh’s paintings to Friday nights with live music, the Van Gogh Museum caters to a wide range of interests and expectations.
The Van Gogh Museum is located in the heart of the capital, near the Rijksmuseum, so your transport options are similar. That is around 15 minutes on tram line 2 or 12 or metro line 52 if you decide not to bike or take a car.
Tickets and Timetable
The museum opens daily from 09:00 to 18:00. The entrance fee is €19 for adults, €10 (until the 30th of September 2020) for students and free of charge for children under 18.
Furthermore, if you own special cards like the Amsterdam City Pass you can get skip-the-line tickets. You are of course encouraged to book your tickets online.
Anne Frank Huis (Amsterdam)
The renowned German-Dutch Jewish diarist Anne Frank, who has posthumously brought massive contributions to the historical and psychological aspects of the horrors of the Holocaust, has lived for around two years in the house on the Prinsengracht 263.
Later on the 3rd of May, 1960 this house will be known to the public as the Anne Frank Huis, a memorial museum dedicated to her.
Aside from original documents of hers and the family, visitors have the chance to experience the oppressive atmosphere of the war by stepping inside Anne’s room to see her famous original diary or the hinged bookcase that opened up the door to the secret annexe where her and her family hid.
The Anne Frank Museum is located about 20 minutes’ walk from the Amsterdam Central Station. You also have the option to take the trams 13, 14 and 17 or the buses 170, 172 and 174 stop nearby, at the stop ‘Westermarkt’.
Of course, you always have the option to travel by bike.
Tickets and Timetable
The Anne Frank Huis opens daily from 09:00 to 19:00 in July, August and September. From October to December, tourists can visit the museum from 12:00 to 19:00 on weekdays and 09:00 to 19:00 on weekends.
Like a good many other museums in Amsterdam, you must buy your tickets online for a specific time slot to enter the Anne Frank Huis.
The entrance fee is €12.50 for adults, €6.50 for children aged 10-17 and €1.00 for children aged 0-9 with the booking fee included.
Nijntje Museum (Utrecht)
The Nijntje Museum is dedicated to the adorable bunny-life character known as Nijntje or Miffy, created by the famous Dutch author and illustrator, Dick Bruna in 1955.
The museum was opened in 2006 and is, in fact, part of the Centraal Museum in Utrecht, the latter containing a varied collection of art and historical objects.
Although more popular with children, this museum is worth visiting as an adult as well, primarily because one can better engage with the Dutch pop culture while also reliving the cherished moments of childhood.
Once you enter the Nijntje Museum, expect to land in a fairytale-like world and be surrounded by dozens of illustrations of the famed illustrator.
The Centraal Museum also features Studio Dick Bruna, a broader exhibition about the artist’s work, worth visiting if you are passionate about arts and illustrations. You should also stop by the Centraal café to taste one of their Nijntje-shaped pancakes.
If you do not live in Utrecht, you can easily reach this city by train. You can stop at the Utrecht Central Station and then cycle or take bus line 12 to the ‘Centraal Museum’ stop.
The Nijntje Museum is open from Tuesdays to Sundays between 10:00 and 17:00. The entrance fee is free for children aged 0-2, €10 for children aged 2-6 and €6.50 for children aged 7-17 and adults. You should also buy your tickets online for a specific time slot.
The Netherlands Open Air Museum (Arnhem)
Opened in 1918, the Netherlands Open Air Museum located in Arnhem features about eighty historic houses, farms and windmills, all meant to represent a hallmark of the Dutch culture and life of the mundane in the Netherlands.
By far, the most attractive aspect of this museum is that tourists are often invited to help historical reenactors participate in the everyday labours of blacksmiths, millers or farmers.
Thus, tourists can envision how people of the past used to live and manufacture different products which now are at our fingertips.
Aside from the paper-mill and the heritage tramway do not forget to pay a visit to the marvellous collection of historical clothing and jewellery held by the Netherlands Open Air Museum.
Although not located in the proximity of the city centre of Arnhem, you can choose between bus lines 3, 8 or 231 to reach the Netherlands Open Air Museum.
Do note that you will still need to hail a ride, cycle or walk to the destination after taking the bus as it does not bring you directly to the museum.
Tickets and Timetable
The museum is open from 10:00 to 17:00 from the 1st of June 2020 until the 25th of October 2020 daily. From the 26th of October to the 6th of December 2020 the museum opens daily (except Monday) at 11:00 and closes at 16:00.
The admission fee during high season is €19.50 for adults and children over age 13, €16.50 for children between age 4 to 12 and free for children below age 4.
During low season the prices are cheaper by €10. Therefore, if you want to save money, you can plan your trip somewhere during the cold season.
Furthermore, keep in mind that if you book your tickets online, you get a discount regardless of the season.
Kunstmuseum (Den Haag)
Located in the city of Den Haag, the Kunstmuseum, founded in 1866, is a modern art museum widely known for its largest collection of Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan’s paintings, one of the most influential Dutch artists of the 20th century.
Therefore, must-sees of the Kunstmuseum Den Haag include Mondriaan’s ‘Composition No. IV’, a gem of the neoplasticism movement and his other famous paintings such as ‘Farm near Duivendrecht’ and ‘Dune II’.
Moreover, you have the chance to admire original paintings of Claude Monet or Vincent van Gogh, statues of Rik Wouters and Auguste Rodin, interesting interior design arrangements and timeless fashion pieces.
Aside from modern art, Kunstmuseum Den Haag features the largest collection of Dutch Delftware in the world and an impressive collection of musical instruments and even a music library.
Direct trains run from Amsterdam Central Station to The Hague Central Station and The Hague HS every 30 minutes, with journeys taking a little under an hour.
Other trains are available, though they may require you to transfer in Leiden, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, or both.
Once you make it to The Hague Central station, you can cycle or take bus line 24 in the direction of ‘Kijkduin’ or tram line 16 in the direction of ‘Statenkwartier’ and get off at stop ‘Kunstmuseum/Museon’.
Tickets and Timetable
The Kunstmuseum is open from Tuesdays to Sundays between 10:00 and 17:00. The entrance fee is €16.00 for adults, € 12.50 for students and free of charge for children under 18. As usual, buy your ticket online for a specific time slot. What do you think about our compilation? Let us know your thoughts! In the meantime, if you’ve enjoyed reading this article, make sure to check out our guide on the best outdoor activities in the Netherlands.