Best Museums in Amsterdam
“I can't tell you how beautiful it was there in the twilight. Rembrandt, Michel, and others have painted it, the ground dark, the sky still lit by the glow of the sun, already gone down, the row of houses and towers standing out above, the lights in the windows everywhere, everything reflected in the water.”
Van Gogh on Amsterdam, 1877
Amsterdam is famous for many things – its canals, its gabled houses, its cafes, but also very much for its art. Our city is home to renowned museums and showcasing some of the very best art and artefacts.
The Conservatorium is perfectly situated in Amsterdam’s museum quarter, near to some of the world’s most incredible museums and galleries. We’ve chosen our favourites from throughout the city – the ones we feel are the best in Amsterdam.
Where else to start but here, the most famous gallery in the city, and home to one of the world’s most significant art collections. The building itself is a work of art, and recently underwent a 10-year renovation to restore its historic décor as well as revitalise and modernise its public spaces. Inside you’ll find works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh, as well as exquisite sculpture, jewellery, and pottery.
Must see: The Night Watch is the museum’s star, and absolutely worth seeing, but take a look in the stunning Cuypers Library too.
Van Gogh Museum
A very brief stroll from the Conservatorium down Paulus Potterstraat and you’ll find yourself at the Van Gogh Museum. The largest collection of the great and tortured artist’s paintings and works are contained within, including iconic pieces such as The Bedroom, Sunflowers, and his self-portraits. You’ll also learn about his life through his letters, drawings, and other exhibits.
Must see: The extraordinary and hypnotising Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat, painted in 1887 while he was living in Paris.
Anne Frank House
A look inside the cramped home of the world’s most famous diarist is a moving and fascinating experience. The empty rooms concealed behind a bookcase where the Frank family once lived still feature magazine pictures plastered on the walls by Anne herself, while the adjoining museum contains her original diary and other manuscripts and artefacts.
Must see: The room containing Anne’s original precious diary as well as other diaries and papers she wrote and kept during her life.
Neighbour to the Conservatorium, Stedelijk is Amsterdam’s premier contemporary art gallery, containing works from throughout the 20th and 21st century, right up to the present minute. The gallery has long been a pioneer in the art world, snapping up major works from upcoming artists before anyone else was paying attention, such as Kandinsky, Mondrian, and De Stijl.
Must see: The building itself, quite honestly. The original red brick building and the stunning bathtub-like extension facing Museumplein are both an endless delight to look at.
Museum Van Loon
If you’ve ever wanted to see inside one of Amsterdam’s canal-side mansions, the Museum Van Loon should be top of your list. This grand family home will transport you back to 17th century Dutch opulence, with every detail meticulously restored. You can even see the Van Loon family themselves, looking out from their fascinating collection of characterful portraits.
Must see: The delightful formal garden and the grand coach house beyond, designed by Adriaan Dortsman who also designed the main house.