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Kroller Muller/Arnhem

I am going to the Netherlands in early July and our home base is Amsterdam for a week. We would like to head out to the Kroller Muller museum for a day. I hear that it is easier to travel from Amsterdam to the Kroller Muller museum on the weekends. Is Sunday a good day to do this day trip or is Saturday better because of more options of buses? (We were going to spend Saturday in Delft.)
Is it doable to combine both the open air museum at Arnhem and Kroller Muller in one day?

Posted by
2031 posts

When we visited these places, we stayed overnight in Otterlo and devoted a day to each. The KM museum sits in a national park and free bikes are available. Between the museum with its exhibits and sculpture garden and the bike riding we spent a full day. We spent several hours at the open air museum. We rode public bus back and forth. All told, I believe it would be difficult at best to do both in the same day, but others who have done this may not agree. Both close around 5 pm I think. Factor in transportation between the two and early closing times and it looks tricky to me. We went during the week so no idea about weekend logistics. I would only guess they would be popular sights for weekend outings. Good luck.

Posted by
7506 posts

While I am not urging you to rent a car, things always take longer when you use public transportation. I love up-to-one-hour train daytrips from Amsterdam. But Otterlo is nowhere close to Amsterdam. Have you looked at Google Maps or the rail company website? It looks like you have to allow two hours to step in the door of the museum. Note that I have been to Amersfoort for the day, twice. But even that is over an hour on the train. Have you already been to Leiden and Utrecht?

The park itself is beautiful, with some period lodge/mansions (some exterior-only) to look at. The bicycling is pretty much level, but of course weather is a major factor - the museum has a very large, exceptionally good sculpture park surrounding it. If you love art, this might take the whole day as a runout from Amsterdam by public transportation. When researching busses, pay attention (just for organization, it doesn't matter that much if you're planning to bike anyway) whether the bus stops deep in the park at the museum, or actually goes only to one of the entry points to the park, with a "white-bike" ride ahead of you. Just to show that our car wasn't everyone's perfect solution, we had to park at the perimeter of the park, like any private car. But it was a beautiful day, and we enjoyed the biking.

It's not a must, but you haven't mentioned the Royal Palace in Apeldoorn. Deventer, a Hanseatic League town is in this area too, but it's a small historic center, and you don't have time for it.

Posted by
2487 posts

Use this public transport planner or the museum's website for the connections to the Kröller Müller (the museum itself or the nearby village of Otterlo). I'm afraid it takes close to two hours, involves some changes of train and bus, and in the weekends not better than on weekdays. I think it's only worth all the effort if you plan to make it a full day trip, or are prepared to rent a car.

Posted by
1005 posts

For a day trip, I would just do the Kroller Muller and pass on the open-air museum. The museum has the second largest collection of Van Goghs in the world--and about one-tenth of the crowds compared to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The collection has masterpieces by other artists as well, and it was fun biking around the national park. I don't think it makes a difference traveling during the week or the weekend. I was impressed how well the train and bus schedules were connected--there was practically no waiting when I took the train to Ede-Wangeningen and then the buses to the museum.

Posted by
2829 posts

No such thing as easier travel on weekends. They completely reorganized bus services in the area, now there are timed connections to the museum and the national park, usually from Ede-Wageningen railway station. You take one bus to Otterlo, where you then change to a secondary mini-bus. Transfer times are tight but the system is organized so that you can easily transfer between buses. Check on - barring some scheduled work, you will have hourly options to travel there from Amsterdam.

With just one day available, I'd devote it entirely to the Kröller-Muller museum. Between its huge permanent collection and the very large sculpture garden (that many hasty visitors barely see), it makes for some good 4h or 5h. The park is also very pretty if you want to cycle around on free bikes.

Posted by
118 posts

Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'm going to do some more research on public transportation and I'm also going to look into maybe renting a car to get there instead of the buses/trains. There will be four of us so maybe the car is the way to go. Google maps says that the drive is about 1 hr, 10 mins.

Posted by
33142 posts

Remember that the Dutch invented the speed camera. I was on that highway last week. Long stretches of it are restricted to 100kph. If you exceed the variable speed limit they will take your picture automatically and send you a souvenir.