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Just back from Amsterdam -- Museumkaart info

Hi. We just returned from a trip to Amsterdam. Here's what happened with Museumkaarts. We bought them at the Amsterdam City Museum on Monday, June 4. At that time they still had a stock of the old unlimited Museumkaarts, so that is what they sold us. They said that they would continue selling the old-style cards until they run out. At that point, they will switch to the new cards which are limited to 5 museum visits.

Just a couple of other pieces of advice. Rick Steves' book recommends the cafe on the roof of the public library near Centraal Station. Unfortunately, it is currently closed for renovations.

The temporary exhibit at the Van Gogh Museum about Van Gogh and Japan is well worth seeing. I recommend the 5 euro audio guide, which covers both the permanent and temporary exhibit.

For the Rijksmuseum, you can now get the multimedia guide for free if you download the museum app and play the guide on your smartphone. (It still costs 5 euros to rent a player).

If your looking for good chocolate, I recommend Puccini Bomboni, which has 2 locations in Central Amsterdam.

And, if you're willing to venture out of the central tourist district for Rijstaffel, I recommend Djago, a low key place out by the RAI convention center

Posted by
142 posts

At that time they still had a stock of the old unlimited Museumkaarts,
so that is what they sold us.

Interesting... Did they tell you that or did you use it at more than 5 museums? I would have thought that this was not a limitation on the physical card, but a limitation on the back-end/server-side.

Posted by
286 posts

Thanks for the update on the Museumkaart - that's very good to know. And I agree with you about the temporary exhibit at the Van Gogh - he's one of my favorite painters, but I also love Japanese art, so it was fascinating.

Posted by
1 posts

I thought I'd add one further update as to the Museuumkaart. I bought one today at the Dutch Resistance (Verzets) Museum. They still have the old card which allows unlimited visits for a month! So happy we didn't go to art museums yet! I strongly recommend going to a smaller / less popular site first to buy the card - they may have not run out of the old, unlimited, versions yet.

The Museum is great, by the way. We also made it to nearby Micropia, the zoo of micro organisms - a must for those who love science, science education, and those who want to foster an interest in science in their children. Great interactive exhibits. Well thought out. Maybe not what you came to Amsterdam for, but a great addition and the only zoo/museum of it's kind (so far).

Posted by
56 posts

Thank you for the helpful updates on both the Museumkaart and the Library roof cafe. I’m so disappointed about the change in the Museumkaart. We definitely planned to use it for more than five museums. Unfortunately, I had already made a couple of reservations, specifying that we’d be using the card before I learned of the new limits. Maybe we’ll luck out and get some if the old ones. I’m also disappointed that the Library cafe is still closed. I’m a librarian and have been looking forward to stopping there for lunch.

Posted by
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Just got back from Amsterdam post-change to the Museumkaart policy.
Here is what worked (if you're in town long enough - but also see below for a hack)

1) Buy the Museumkaart at a participating museum right when you get to town. This gives you 5 visits for your 60E in any case - which you'll break even on with 4 visits to top museums, all of which are 15E and above.

2) Right then and there, fill out the Dutch form to register your Kaart based on its ID. Use Google Chrome with Google Translate (even on your smartphone or tablet) and it won't be a problem. You don't have to pay anything so not having a Dutch bank account (as the EU version of the page assumes) is not a problem. See more detailed comments below.

3) Visit nice museums with your temporary card while you wait. The Dutch mail delivers 86% of letters within 24h, so it's really down to how fast the Museumkaart folks turn around. I registered on a Tue night and got the unlimited card on Friday, meaning in all likelihood, they processed it Wed and put it in the mail Thur.

4) Now you have an unlimited Kaart, good for one year

Misc comments:
Use the address of your hotel (let the front desk know) or your AirBnB (put a sticker with your name on the mailbox and get the key from your host). If the mail carrier bounces the card back, you lose.

In the address form, there is no place for the street - the Netherlands have this postal code overlay with 4 digits+2 letters that goes down to street level. Your house# goes into the second box. Your floor/apartment number goes in the 3rd box. For AirBnB situations I highly recommend the sticker on the mailbox to make sure the mail carrier actually drop.

You need a picture of yourself for the form. Just take a picture of your passport image with your phone and submit that.

Speed hack: IF you can talk someone in Amsterdam (e.g. your AirBnB host) into getting a temp card for you and send you the number you need for registering it, you can cut the wait time to zero and have a registered card on day one

Tip on the EU version ( Maybe you're spending time in elsewhere in Europe and can pick up the card at that address to cut the lead time to zero. But you don't have a bank account with an IBAN and a BIC to pay the admin fee of 3.25E. In that case, consider using TransferWise (I'm not getting paid by them nor do I guarantee anything about that service BUT it's worked for me). They offer a socalled borderless account that comes with an IBAN and a BIC and you can deposit a few euros from your non-EU credit card in the account in under 5 minutes.

Hope this helps.

Posted by
1005 posts

Thanks GS. These are great tips. Looks like you need to at least 4-5 days in the Netherlands to make this work--and weekends don't count!

Posted by
142 posts

For AirBnB situations I highly recommend the sticker on the mailbox to make sure the mail carrier actually drop.

Not really necessary. A mailman (at least in NL) wont look at the name, just the address. If the address is right he will deliver it.