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BOE 21 days and Van Gogh Museum

My wife and I are on the May 13 BOE tour and we want to visit the Van Gogh Museum on Day 2 while in Amsterdam. I notice that we need to sign up for a specific time to visit. The itinerary says we spend the morning exploring, lunch on our own, then visit the Rijksmuseum, but no clue when that all ends. Any recommendation on the time we should choose for the Van Gogh Museum?


Posted by
1220 posts

I visited first thing (so 9a), and while it filled up, it started out relatively un-crowded. The Van Gogh is smaller and more digestible than larger museums, so you can take it all in slowly for about 2 hours and be done.

Posted by
2249 posts

If you don't have any specified free time (outside of your lunchtime), my best advice would be to call (faster than emailing them although that works, too) the RS tour office and ask them for information specific to your group's tour. Everyone in the office is knowledgeable, very helpful and I think your best source of information. Another idea, if you are arriving early, is to plan to see the Museum before the tour starts. It's an easy train ride into Amsterdam from Haarlem.

Posted by
401 posts

We met friends from the U.S. in Amsterdam late last year and decided to go to the Van Gogh museum on the spur of the moment. When we got there, the line for tickets was quite long. While pondering the line, I got on the museum's website and purchased tickets for about 10 minutes in the future. We were able to go directly to the entrance, they scanned my tickets off my phone screen (the website had emailed them to me immediately), and we were in without a further wait.

So, if you have a working smartphone on your visit, you could wait until you get there and, if the line is too long for your taste, buy tickets and get in without waiting in line. The link for tickets is here:

Posted by
2019 posts

Hi Mr. Woods, take Andi's advice and call the tour office. Looks like your "day 2" is a Monday so the Van Gogh closes at 5 p.m. I'm guessing you will have a 2 hour guided tour of some of the art at the Riks then you can pop next door to the Van Gogh. You may have time to do a brief overview of both museums. If you're arriving early, you could schedule your visit before the tour starts. Good luck!

Posted by
580 posts

If you will be arriving a day or two prior to the start of the tour, my advise would be to visit the museum on your own, when you have enough time to see it properly! I know the BOE 21 itinerary for Amsterdam has changed since I took the tour (in 2014) and they do not seem to pack quite so much into your day as they did back then, but when I was on the tour the "free time" after the Rijksmuseum was about long enough to grab a cup of coffee and sit for a half hour. If you are a fan of Van Gogh, you don't want to have to rush through the museum.

When we did the BOE tour, we booked tickets at the Van Gogh museum for opening time on Sunday morning (the day the tour began). It was easy to take the train to Amsterdam and the tram across town to the museum; we got there early and the pre-purchased ticket line was not bad at all of all, the museum itself was not crowded since the entry times are metered and there was no one there prior to our arrival. We had plenty of time to enjoy all of the artwork, and we didn't have large crowds in front of every painting. You could easily spend 2 hours at the museum, and even see a bit more of Amsterdam, before taking the train back to Haarlem for the start of your tour.

Posted by
37 posts

Last year I did the 21 Day Best of Europe. We spent two nights in Amsterdam prior to the tour. By doing so we had the time to visit the Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum at our leisure. Both were very crowded, but worth seeing. I went directly to the websites and booked our timed visits online prior to our trip. Though I have never been a big Van Gogh fan, I have a better appreciation for his artwork and learned so much about his life. To be in the Anne Frank House with all its history was very powerful and a meaningful way to start our trip.

Posted by
731 posts

As others have mentioned it is wise to pre-book these tickets ahead of time and hopefully before your tour starts. The line is very long unless you have pre-booked tickets. I printed mine out at home then showed up about 45 min before our appointed entrance time. They let us go in early but made us wait 15 min before allowing entrance. It is definitely worth a visit. I think we spent 2 hours there but easily could have spent more!