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Amsterdam: timing some museum visits

On one day of my upcoming trip, I made a reservation for the Van Gogh Museum at 15:00.

I'm not sure how much time to allow, and I know everyone visits museums at their own pace, but would it be folly to plan on an hour there and then head to the Rijksmuseum and see the collection there, or at least the highlights, before it closes at 17:00? If I can get an earlier reservation at the Van Gogh Museum, would that be a better plan?

Alternatively, I could visit the Rijksmuseum earlier and could do something else after the Van Gogh Museum. I have tickets that night to the Concertgebouw at 20:15, so I will need to end up back in Museumplein. I don't mind going elsewhere and coming back, but it would probably make more sense to plan to spend my evening activities before the concert in that vicinity. Any recommendations for how to do so (including any suggestions for dinner nearby) would be welcome.


Posted by
351 posts

DH is not keen on museums but with their audio guide we spent 2 1/2 hrs there & thoroughly enjoyed it. Fascinated by Van Gogh's brush strokes & history. Never made it to the Rijks.

Posted by
1976 posts

Are you a big museum person? If not, I think an hour for the Van Gogh Museum is enough. The Rijksmuseum is huge, though, and if you only have an hour, you might spend as much time running around trying to get to the different exhibits as you would to see them. I bought my ticket online in Amsterdam the morning of my visit there, and it was good for all day; I could come and go. You might consider that option: go to the Rijksmuseum earlier, then the Van Gogh, and then finish up at the Rijksmuseum. But if you aren't that into museums, that idea might be too museum-intense!

As far as places to eat, the Rijksmuseum has a sit-down restaurant that I considered expensive: about 20 euros for a meal. They might have a cafeteria but I couldn't find it if it exists. There's Cobra Cafe across the street from the Rijksmuseum. The prices there aren't too bad but the place can get crowded at mealtimes. That's about the limit of my knowledge of places to eat near there.

Posted by
214 posts

Lane: Use Trip Advisor for recent restaurant reviews. If you download the city guide for Amsterdam, you can access restaurant listings by neighborhood. We stayed at a hotel a block from the museums and enjoyed the local restaurants. There is an Indian restaurant within a few blocks called Anmol--it is a small local place but we enjoyed the food. Also, if you like Turkish food, there is the Levant restaurant which is close as well.

Posted by
1005 posts

Here's what I would do:

*Rijksmuseum in the late morning, eat in museum cafeteria
*Walk through Vondelpark to refresh my brain before tackling another museum
*Visit the Van Gogh Musuem at 15:00--two hours max
*Dinner in the Museumplein neighborhood
*Concertgebouw at 20:15

It's a long day, but it's doable.

Posted by
44 posts

I agree with T's very doable plan.
Van Gogh museum is fabulous. I have been 3 or 4 times but not to Rijks. The paintings look like they were painted yesterday. The paint itself so bright and alive.

Posted by
1580 posts

Thank you T. That sounds like a very sensible plan. And thanks all for your input.

Two museums and a concert? You call that a long day? Ha! ;)

Fortunately, the place where I'm staying is in Oud West, not far from Vondelpark, so if I need a break, I can always go back and take a nap.