We're confused: our tour company told us to buy "timed tickets" to Van Gogh and Rijksmusuem, but we're spending an extra 2 days in Amsterdam after the tour and planned to get a MuseumKart. Question: should buy MuseumKart AND timed tickets for Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum? Or does the MuseumKart mean it doesn't matter when we go to the museums?
You only need one or the other - MuseumKart or advance tickets. Both let you skip the ticket-buying line (but not any security line). MuseumKart holders can buy separate reservations for Anne Frank House, where they don't otherwise skip the line. Rick's guidebook says that the Van Gogh and Rijksmusuem advance tickets do not require entry at a specific time.
Timed tickets are available at the VG Museum's website. At my last visit to the Rijksmuseum, there was a line outside the building in the park area just to get inside to the lobby area. The security folks weren't letting anybody bypass this line even if they had one of the cards or purchased tickets via their website. Best to arrive at the Rijks at 9am when it open to avoid waiting around.
Are you going to other locations in the Netherlands or only Amsterdam?
Please note that the MuseumKaart is an annual pass for over 400 museums in the country -- http://www.amsterdam.info/museums/museumkaart/. If you use it enough, it might even pay for itself in only 2 days in Amsterdam. It doesn't matter when you use it, but you will have to go through security.
There is also the I amsterdam City Card that works for a short stay and includes some transportation and some museums, but not the Rijksmuseum -- http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting/i-amsterdam-city-card/benefits-of-the-i-amsterdam-city-card.
You might want to weigh the costs of these cards compared to their benefits and the costs of what you want to see to learn if they are worth the cost.
We got the MuseumKaart in Haarlem at the beginning of a trip in 2013 and were amazed at how many places we were able to use it. We really got our money's worth out of it in Arnhem and Leiden as well as Haarlem and Amsterdam. But we were in Amsterdam for a week, not just 2 days.
There are lots of options for ground transport as well from the GVB -- http://www.amsterdamtips.com/tips/transport-tickets.php. We got multi-day tickets of some kind, not an OV-chip-card, but either of those could work for you, as could just buying individual tickets.
Although the website says you can buy some of the tram/bus/metro options from the conductor on the tram, we were not able to do that. We got on to go downtown near the Museumplein area where we stayed. He let us stay on the tram for free all the way downtown where we bought the tickets across the street from the train station. One night we waited forever for a tram to go home after dinner. Then it became obvious that there was some tram construction snafu, so we walked across the street to where the bus was and took the bus home. The driver was not really going exactly where we needed to go but he deviated a bit so we didn't have to walk too far. That's Amsterdam!
I have read that the VG museum allows you to skip the queue w/ the mus card. Correct?
The museumkaart allows you to skip the ticket buying line at the Van Gogh museum, but you'll still be standing in line to get into the museum. You will get into the "yellow" line, which is for museum card holders as well as Iamsterdam card holders. The line to your right is for timed entry ticket holders, and they get priority. The line to your left, which will be snaking down the street, is for people who have to buy tickets.
I went last month on a Friday evening when it was open late. I arrived about 6:30 and stood in the museum card line for about 15-20 minutes.
The museum is fantastic - you'll love it!
I'm still a little confused about entrance to the Anne Frank House. The MuseumKart website says that entrance is included in the 32 museums. Why do we need to go to the Anne Frank website to buy tickets? I Just went there and they are sold out until early August. What's the deal here?
The Anne Frank House offers a limited number of time-specific online tickets (including at the 50-cent price for MuseumKart holders), and those are sold out through mid-August, unless a few more get released in the week before your visit. Visitors with a timed ticket use a separate, reservations-only entrance.
Without a timed reservation, both MuseumKart holders and people who bought tickets there in person will stand in a general entry line until they have room to let you in. The MuseumKart offers free entrance but does not skip this line, which could take up to an hour.
Check the Anne Frank website a day or two before you want to go and if you are lucky they may release just a very few tickets. We were not that lucky and had to stand in line for about 75 minutes, but it was worth the wait!
get the museumkaart, you will use it.
museum cart will let you cut the queue at Van Gogh, but not Anne Frank if you do not have a pre purchased tix.
a lot of the other museums (rijks) have special entrances for museumkaart holders
(we are selling ours (expire 06/16) for discount price)
We have been to Amsterdam several times and love it. The Museumkaart is a great value, and pays for itself the more you use it. At the Van Gogh museum on our last trip in May the line was horrendous; we breezed in in under 10 minutes. Please consider seeing the Anne Frank house. We found it to be one of the most moving experiences we have ever had. I don't want to sound preachy, but when you consider what these people endured and the horrible fate that befell them, an hour more or less in a line isn't that much.
Was just in Amsterdam a couple weeks ago and went to all the museums you're asking about. Rijksmuseum was no problem, no lines, just hand your MuseumKart to the attendant at the entrance to the exhibitions. Van Gogh museum- get there early as lines can form (although I don't think the wait would be more than 15-20 minutes). Anne Frank House-we never went because the lines we SOOOO long and as far as we could see on the website, there we no more timed entry tickets available at all during our stay. Perhaps the AFH is something you have to book months in advance? Anyway, hope this helps!!