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Which Amsterdam Museum?

If you had only a day in Amsterdam, near Christmas, which museum would you choose to tour, and why? And how much time should I plan to devote to it? I've already toured the fabulous Anne Frank House.

Posted by
489 posts

Okay, that is difficult! Before I went to Amsterdam, I watched many Youtube documentaries of the dutch artists. Van Gogh is a killer and that museum is truly awesome, but you can see Van Gogh in major museums and collections all over the world. The Rijksmuseum is absolutely amazing. Vermeer is an expert in light control. You will be able to get very close to the Vermeer's there. How could you not see Rembrandt??? You can easily see the museum in the morning upon opening. (if you carefully map out what you most want to see) and visit Rembrandt's home later in the day.
It really depends on your taste in art.
On time at a museum, we get "museum legs" after about a half day.... So we only spend a half day at any museum....
I would go back to both on my next visit. Love Amsterdam!!!!!

Posted by
2097 posts

Also, I would want to tour the Dutch Resistance Museum which I have heard is excellent. For art, I would go to the Hermitage Museum, it is an outpost of the fabulous one in St. Petersburg, Russia. Gorgeous paintings lent to it from Russia will give you a taste of what awaits you there.

Posted by
1464 posts

I'm voting for the Rijksmuseum. It is one of the world's great art museums. And although it has art from around the world, it has some of the greatest works of the greatest artists from the Netherlands. And when in Amsterdam...

You could spend as little or as much time as you desire. There are a number of guided tours via audioguide or human guide. You can see the highlights of the collection in about an hour, or you can linger and explore more.

Posted by
2320 posts

My top 3 (besides Anne Frank) from my visit this April were the Dutch Resistance, Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum. Your choice would depend on your interest in the art in any museum--I am passionate about Van Gogh and found that to be a very satisfying journey through his career, while I am less excited by the Dutch Masters. The Rijks was still a wonderful museum experience, and might provide a nice bit of variety. My favorite thing there was the incredibly detailed doll's house that was the inspiration for the novel The Miniaturist.

Posted by
724 posts

My top choices in order:

  1. Rijksmuseum
  2. Van Gogh
  3. Dutch Resistence

Just to throw a monkey wrench......Haarlem is a short train ride away.....and I would totally do the
Corrie ten Boom house! We didn't get to do this one and I was sad.....Frans Hals is also pretty awesome in Haarlem.

Posted by
5034 posts

I'm with Kathy on this one. The Rijksmuseum is amazing. The Van Gogh museum just blew us away when we were there a few years ago. And the Dutch Resistence museum is wonderful, a very meaningful, emotional, experience.

If you have a particular love for, or curiosity about, Van Gogh, I'd reverse 1 and 2; what impressed us about that museum was the range. We've all seen prints or reproductions of his most famous paintings, but this place is full of wonderful works you've probably never heard of. I'd visit it again in a heartbeat.

The Rijksmuseum is a major undertaking. The art is, of course, top notch, and again, there are a lot of pieces there you've never heard of.

We also enjoyed several museums in Haarlem. Franz Hals has become a favorite ever since we visited his museum - it's a chance to view his work from very close up. We also spent a longish day at Teyler's museum, still in Haarlem. Lots of fossils, wonderful old scientific instruments, and some art.

Have fun! You really can't go wrong.

Posted by
350 posts

Thanks for your feedback, everyone. I did visit the small Rijks at Schiphol Airport a few years back and loved it. They had Rembrandts on display... Was so disappointed when I returned to the Schiphol Airport the last two years and it was under construction and that museum was gone. Do you know whether there are plans to bring it back to Schiphol?

Posted by
774 posts

My guess would be that the "small Rijks" was there during the time period that the actual Rijksmuseum was undergoing extensive renovations. Once the renovations were completed, those paintings moved back home.

Posted by
350 posts

Good to know, Lexma. So glad we got to see them when they were there! I'll bet you are right.

Posted by
958 posts

I love the Rijksmuseum. We went three times this winter and enjoyed each visit. We really got a kick out of the Stedlijk museum as they had the Jean Tinguely exhibit. You might check to see if they have anything special going on while you will be there. We also love the Teyler's museum in Haarlem.

Posted by
2914 posts

My answer is the Riyksmuseum. During my European travels when having conversations about pieces of art in museums, every time I ask where is a particular piece of related art, I've been told it is in the Riyksmuseum. This has been the standard answer so many times that I don't even recall which pieces of art at this point. I've finally scheduled a trip back to Amsterdam so I can spend days at the Riyksmuseum if I have to, so I can see it all.

Posted by
350 posts

Thanks for your input, Wray. I read that the exterior of this museum is quite a work of art, as well. I hope we have time to see it.

Posted by
350 posts

Nance, the Stedlijik Museum sounds fascinating. I've never heard of it before. Good idea to check the exhibits in advance. Thanks for the tip!