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Museum Pass: Little More than a Pain in the ...

We are two adults visiting Netherlands for 22 days, then leaving the country for 11 days, then returning for 2 more. The temporary museum card is good for only 31 days, so it cannot be used when we return. We plan to visit Jewish Museum, Kroller-Muller, Mauritshuis, and OpenAir Museum during the first 22 days and want to visit Van Gogh in the last two. Visiting only the first four museums results in a savings of about 5 euros per person from the card - not bad but not great - and somewhat more if we later visit Van Gogh. But to visit Van Gogh, we would need to register the card, have the permanent card sent to a Netherlands address, and once we register, the temporary card is immediately no good anymore. You need a digital photo to register. There’s even more bureaucracy for two people. Van Gogh requires timed entry that you have to purchase well in advance (so as to be assured a spot) but not before you get the card! I guess this card is really meant just for Netherlands residents. The organization that sponsors the card “aim[s] to create a positive image of museums and to encourage a greater and more diverse public interest in museums” but their policies don’t seem to do that.

Posted by
1160 posts

“ I guess this card is really meant just for Netherlands residents.”

You guessed correctly. The purpose of the museumkaart is not for tourists to save money when they’re visiting the most popular and most expensive museums of the country.
The purpose is to facilitate and promote museum visit especially visits to museums that are a bit off the beaten track. I have a museumkaart for as long as I can remember and while I do occasionally visit the blockbuster museums like the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum, what I like about the museumkaart is that it makes it easy to visit an unknown or lesser known museum. For instance when I was in Amsterdam recently to see the Vermeer exhibit in the Rijksmuseum, I walked past the Museum van Loon. It looked interesting, so I went in and visited. I’ve had similar experiences in other cities.
In some years I get my money out of it, in some years I don’t, but that’s not what matters to me.

Posted by
35 posts

Yes, I understand all that; I just wish they’d make it a little easier for tourists to use. After all, what you say about facilitating and promoting museum visits applies to tourists, also. (Grumble, Grumble).

While I’ve got you on the horn, could you please help with a transit question? Following the advice of ... I can no longer remember who ... I have now downloaded four transit apps to my mobile: 9292, glimble, NS, and GVB. Do you have any advice on which might be best or are they basically equivalent? One thing I noticed is that the map in glimble seems very precise for transfers, meaning it shows exactly where you’ll get off one ride and where to walk to find the next. Thanks in advance.

Posted by
1160 posts

9292 is an independent travel planner that’s not owned by or part of one of the public transport companies in the Netherlands. Their planner allows you to plan public transport throughout the entire country.
NS is the national railway company of the company. Their planner also gives options for busses, trams and metros throughout the entire country.
GVB is the company that operates busses, trams and metros in Amsterdam and immediate surrounding area. I don’t use their app, so I don’t know if you can use it to plan public transport outside of the Amsterdam region.
Glimble? I have never heard of them and have no idea how reliable they are.

So bottomline; 9292 and NS work throughout the entire country and for all forms of public transport.