The Rijksmuseum is one of Amsterdam’s grandest and most popular museums. Its vast collection showcases iconic art and a wide variety of artefacts that reflect more than 800 years of Dutch and global history, including jaw dropping paintings by the likes of Rembrandt, Van Gogh and countless more Dutch greats. With 80 galleries and 8000 objects on display, there’s never enough time to view the complete collection of treasures!
Before you’re even inside the museum, you can enjoy the artistic whimsy of the sculpture-filled garden designed by Pierre Cuypers in 1901. Among the intricate topiaries, water features and colourful flowerbeds, an enormous wingnut tree looks over the play areas, installations and temporary exhibitions in the summer.
And also its is only in Amsterdam would a national museum allow cyclists to speed right through it! The Rijksmuseum’s passageway connects the two halves of the atrium, with glass panels giving passers by a glimpse into the museum’s grand interior. The passage’s excellent acoustics make it popular among street musicians.
Anne Frank is one of Amsterdam’s most well known former residents. The Anne Frank House at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam is where she lived in hiding with her family for more than two years during World War II. Now converted into a museum it contains a sobering exhibition about the persecution of the Jews during the war, as well as discrimination in general.
The rooms at the Anne Frank House still portray the atmosphere of the period spent in hiding. Historical documents, photographs, film images and original objects that belonged to those in hiding and those who assisted them help illustrate the events that took place. Anne’s original diary and other notebooks are also on display in the museum.
Dam Square is Amsterdam’s beating heart. Nowadays Dam Square in contrast with the old days it is now a very peaceful square which is home to scores of pigeons and street performers.
Dam Square has had a turbulent history. Around 1270 a damn was constructed in this spot in the river Amstel. Dam Square was once the central marketplace of Amsterdam where literally everything under the moon was sold.
The Royal Palace and the Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam are also situated at Dam Square. Other nearby highlights are the red light district, the narrowest house in Amsterdam at Singel 7 and the shopping mall Magna Plaza.
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is one of the most popular museums in the world, attracting visitors from every corner of the globe. Naturally, this is in large part due to it housing the largest collection of works by Vincent van Gogh – more than 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 700 of his letters. Having originally opened on Museumplein in 1973, the Van Gogh Museum has been expanded and modernised over the years, ensuring it's a truly cutting-edge exhibition and visitor space.
For both locals and far-travelling visitors, the Van Gogh Museum is a unique and inspirational experience. Alongside the legacy of Vincent van Gogh's instantly recognisable impressionist works, such as his landscapes, self-portraits and still lifes – especially ‘Sunflowers’ – the museum provides opportunities to track the artist's development and compare his paintings to works by other artists from the 19th century – those who inspired him and those who drew inspiration from him.
The Jordaan is possibly the most famous neighbourhood in the Netherlands. Akin to the reputation enjoyed by London’s Cockneys, this once working-class bastion was renowned for tight community bonds, radical politics and a love for drink and over-the-top sing-a-longs. Gentrification of decades past has attracted more galleries, restaurants, specialty shops and upwardly-mobile residents to its scenic streets but there’s undeniably still a distinct atmosphere to be enjoyed here.
The Jordaan begins at Brouwersgracht, just west of the Amsterdam Central Station and arches around the western side of Canal Ring between Prinsengracht and Lijnbaansgracht before ending at Leidsegracht. The area north of Rozengracht is a more ‘touristy’ and commercial section, although the quieter area to the south is no less scenic.
The biggest branch of the world-famous Hermitage in Saint Petersburg can be found in Amsterdam. Discover top works from the Russian collection in changing exhibitions. The museum was established in the Amstelhof, a monumental building on the Amstel river, in 2009.
The art collection of the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg had become so extensive that the museum decided to put a range of works on display in branches. The biggest of these can be found in Amsterdam. The Russian art was initially on display in a small building but the Hermitage in the Amstelhof opened its doors in 2009. Just a year later, the museum welcomed its one millionth visitor. The Hermitage is one of the top attractions in Amsterdam.
A visit to the Stedelijk Museum takes the visitor on a journey through the last 150 years of art, presenting the best of modern art in Amsterdam. Iconic works by Karel Appel, Cézanne, Chagall, Marlene Dumas, Kandinsky, Edward Kienholz, De Kooning, Koons, Malevich, Matisse, Mondrian, Picasso, Pollock, Gerrit Rietveld, Warhol and many others are on show. The Stedelijk Museum’s design collection also traces the history of design from the turn of the last century to the present, showcasing furniture, ceramics, posters, jewellery and other objects.