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Museums in Amsterdam

I am also traveling to Amsterdam the last week in May for 3 days. Since we're on vacation, we prefer to just wander and enjoy the city and not to be committed to many timed museum slots. I already missed purchasing tickets to Anne Frank Museum online, not realizing the deadline is at least 2 months before the date. Do they ever release more tickets online? Is it really worth my effort attempting to try online at different times? I heard the Dutch Resistance Museum is a good alternative if time permits. Can these tickets be purchased at entry without long lines?

I have not yet purchased advanced tickets to the Van Gogh Museum or the Rijksmuseum. I am confirming that online Rijksmuseum tickets (€17.50) can be used anytime, so I can order them ahead of time. I understand there is still a queue to get in even with tickets and earlier or later in the day are the best times to visit Rijksmuseum. It appears it is well-advised to purchase online tickets to the Van Gogh museum in advance as they are only valid for the selected time and date.

Can Blue Boat Canal cruise tickets be purchased at the dock, or is there an advantage to purchasing tickets ahead of time? Is it an open ticket?

Posted by
9556 posts

The Dutch Resistance Museum (Verzetsmuseum) is wonderful. Be sure to watch the intro film as you go in. There was not a line at all the day I went....just walked in and paid.

For people that do go to the Anne Frank House, I think the Dutch Resistance Museum gives a very good foundation for that visit, especially if you haven't read her Diary in a long time.

Posted by
1005 posts

The Anne Frank House sometimes releases extra tickets the night before and occasionally the day of your potential visit. Since you are going in late May, chances are slim that there are extra tickets. You might try visiting at 7 p.m., sometimes the lines are shorter in the evening, and the museum is open until 9 pm during the high season. You don't need to buy tickets for the Dutch Resistance Museum in advance, and I wouldn't bother with the Blue Boat either.

Posted by
29 posts

I was able to book our Van Gogh Museum tickets, but failed to purchase the museum guide. I understand it is quite worth it. Is it possible to purchase it at the museum when we arrive?

Posted by
2828 posts

Yes, they sell it at a desk past the entrance on the first floor.

Posted by
3923 posts

We were just in Amsterdam and bought the blue boat canal tickets at the dock. The first morning we went to try, they didn't have any slots until 11:45. We were heading for Haarlem, so had to pass. So we went the next morning and got one of the first ones. I think maybe you can book a time.

We also did the combo ticket with blue boat and got the rijksmuseum ticket at the same time for a little savings. They give you the ticket which doesn't have to be used that day, and you can skip the line. We went about 2:30-3pm and saw a few floors before it closed. No line to get in at the already have a ticket door.

For the record, rijksmuseum was the only one we visited in our 5 nights.

Posted by
292 posts

I was there in July and bought my boat ticket in advance (same day - not sure if you can buy for a future day or not), mainly because when I stopped by to ride, they were sold out till later in the day.

When I went to Rijksmuseum, around 13:30 if I recall, there was only a short wait (less than 5 minutes) to get in with advance tickets. The time-consuming line was at the bag check. If you have a small purse you can take it in but backpacks have to be checked.

Posted by
1167 posts

I was in Amsterdam end of June 2016 for a week with my 13yo daughter. I did not go to Anne Frank and did not miss it. I did go to the Rijks at 9a when they open and there was no line. I bought my Museumkaart there. I also went to the Van Gogh. I bought a ticket for opening, and there was already a line. I loved both museums. I did not get a guide for either (audio or other) and felt the information provided (placards) was plenty. The Rijks is huge and I could spend 2-3 visits (as I can only stand to immerse myself in museums for about 2 hours before I glaze over), whereas in 2 hours at Van Gogh I saw everything and felt very informed and satiated.

I highly recommend The Old Church in the Attic! Its in the center of town, which I otherwise avoided (stayed mostly in the outer rings). We also went to the FOAM photography museum, and enjoyed that a lot.

I also highly recommend biking. Im not sure why people ask about the trams. We rented bikes for the week, and kept them locked outside our rental apartment, and biked everywhere. You can cover the whole city in 10-15 minutes, and its a thrill, and you feel utterly immersed in the culture of the city. It can be stressful, but remember, bikes have the right of way before people and cars. You just have to be consistent. My 13yo did great. Truly the most unique and fun thing about Amsterdam, and the Netherlands for that matter is the biking! If only everywhere had that infrastructure.

One afternoon we spontaneously decided to ride out along the Amstel river (because I recalled reading about that in RS' guidebook). We started at 4p without a map, just following the canal, along which there is a continuous bike trail, and within 10 minutes we were surrounded by cows, a windmill, and rowers in skulls on the Amstel. It started pouring rain (remember the rains of 2016, when the Louve flooded) and we got soaked through as we rode back into the city. Everyone else was out on their bikes too, commuting here and there like the rain was nothing, which it wasn't. We dried off at our apartment quickly, and headed out to a Rijstaffel restaurant in the Leidseplein. Great day.

I also recommend the Foodhallen for a lunch or dinner. The food is amazing, and on weekend nights they have ping pong tables.

People get so hung up on Anne Frank. There are so many interesting things to do that, unless you can get quick entrance, I wouldn't budget time for the line.

Posted by
1506 posts

If you really want to see something like the Anne Frank House, you might try the Corrie Ten Boom House in Haarlem. You can buy tickets online and they do have a tour for English speakers. I don't know if there are any available tickets. They only allow about 10 people on the tours. Not sure if ten is the correct number but it is pretty close. Haarlem is about 20-30 minute train ride away. There is a bus also but I don't know anything other than there is one. Haarlem is a nice small town to visit. Not sure if you want to spend time there but it is an option. I thought Anne Frank House to be very interesting and so was Corrie Ten Boom's.