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Crowds in Amsterdam in late August?

We are planning on being in Amsterdam in late August 2017 and also returning in mid-September (my wife has a medical conditions that forces us to avoid the cooler months with less crowds). I'm trying to get a picture of how crowded the tourist areas are and also for the popular sites like the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum (we both paint and enjoy art).

Are these museums as crowded as say the Louve in Paris which gets pretty bad towards the afternoon? We found Florence to be quite crowded; not too bad in the streets but the Uffici was really awful and we had reservations. The Florence restaurants were too crowded at lunch time in our opinion. We do try to get early starts and we read the RS book for tips.

We will also be going outside of Amsterdam, but I'm trying to assess how many days to spend using the city as a base starting late August.

I don't mean to be a complainer, just trying to be realistic.

Posted by
9079 posts

Rjks and VG are two of the most popular art museums in the world, so they will indeed be crowded. Best to visit right as it opens or a couple hours before closing to avoid crowds. The excellent Hermitage Museum is more manageable midday. Also be aware that Sept 14-19 each year Amsterdam hosts the International Broadcasters convention. It's one of the largest conventions in the world and hotel rates will be sky high.

Posted by
15316 posts

Also be aware that Sept 14-19 each year Amsterdam hosts the
International Broadcasters convention. It's one of the largest
conventions in the world and hotel rates will be sky high.

Very good advice from Michael. We ended up switching the order of our Paris-Amsterdam weeks a number of years ago precisely because of this issue. Hotel rates were just insane.

The museums/tourist areas were really busy the third week of Sept.

Posted by
1284 posts

Be sure that you order your timed entry tickets in advance and print them at home. The lines to buy tickets will be hours long and they could sell out by early afternoon. (There is some capacity control.)
I am embarrassed to say that I did not do this for my recent trip in late October (I did have reasons ... but still ...)
and I waited in line for over 1 1/2 hours for Van Gogh, although only half an hour for The Rijksmuseum.
Be smart!

Posted by
973 posts

There are so many rooms in the Rijksmuseum that you can get away from crowds except in the Dutch Masters rooms. Crowds there are inevitable, and you will see tours and cruise groups, so go there as soon after opening as you can. Buy your tickets online or from your hotel so you'll have one less line in which to stand.
Also, keep your ticket in your pocket or close at hand as you may have to show it as you go through the restrooms and the wings.
We left the museum, had a little lunch nearby, re-entered and finished- about 6 hours. The museum cafe had a long wait. This was my third visit to the Rijksmuseum and it was phenomenal.
I suppose some people could go to both the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh in one day, but it would be art overdose for me.

I like Amsterdam and have been there several times- but the crowds around the Dam and Centraal Station are a bit much; I hope you are staying in a lovely area. Five to seven days is not too long if you like museums and walking the canals and relaxing.
I second the Hermitage Museum recommendation, if you like the current exhibition- have only been mildly disappointed in one of them. You might enjoy Rembrandt's home- only an hour needed for it.

Posted by
130 posts

Thanks for the responses!

Michael, we'll avoid those September dates for staying in Amsterdam. We may be in the Netherlands then, but will probably stay in some town like Delft or Utrecht. Not sure just yet but the plan is to fly back into AMS and stay for a few more days in the Netherlands before winding up our trip.

Melissa, it sounds like the Rijksmuseum situation is much like the Louve in that the very popular art is most crowded. We'll definitely get there at the opening. You've motivated me to get accommodations in the quieter (perhaps pricier) neighborhoods. We may be in Amsterdam about 6 nights or so. Plenty to do there and on day trips out of Amsterdam according to the RS book.

Posted by
2487 posts

... but will probably stay in some town like Delft or Utrecht
Excellent suggestion. There is no need whatsoever to stay in crowded and overpriced Amsterdam. Haarlem is a beautiful city and only 15 minutes by very regular train from Amsterdam. Leiden is another historical city and only 35 minutes from Amsterdam with 4 direct trains per hour. Utrecht the same.

Posted by
1264 posts

Les - We did both the Rijks & Van Gogh museums this past June. I would highly recommend purchasing your tickets for the Van Gogh museum in advance and as early in the day as possible.