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Museums in Amsterdam

Amsterdams museums are among the main tourist attractions. The Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank House and the Stedelijk Museum are the most popular choices, but there are many interesting small museums. Amsterdam offers over fifty museums, which attract almost two million visitors every year. Below, you can find more information on Amsterdam’s main museums. 

In the Rijksmuseum most of the famous Dutch painters are represented in a historical building which has undergone renovations for ten years. Pieces from the Golden century are presented including paintings from Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt Harmenszoon, Jan Steen, Famous Dutch Pottery and many other Dutch treasures. The Rijksmuseum has been fully reopened since April 13th 2013, making a visit to the museum even more worthwhile.


The Stedelijk Museum is a museum for modern art, contemporary art and design. The 19th century building was designed by Adriaan Willem Weissman and the 21st century wing with the current entrance was designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects. It is located at the Museum Square. The collection comprises modern and contemporary art and design from the early 20th century up to the 21st century. It features artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Karel Appel, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, Marlene Dumas, Lucio Fontana, and Gilbert & George.


The Van Gogh Museum is dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries. It is located at the Museum Square. The museum was founded in 1973 and is located in a building designed by Gerrit Rietveld. The museum's collection is the largest of Van Gogh's paintings and drawings in the world. Next to Van Gogh, the museum has sculptures by Auguste Rodin and Jules Dalou, and paintings by Émile Bernard, Maurice Denis, Kees van Dongen, Paul Gauguin, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Odilon Redon, Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.


The Anne Frank House, located on the Prinsengracht canal in the Jordaan area, is a museum dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank, who hid from Nazi persecution with her family and four other people in hidden rooms at the rear of the building. As well as the preservation of the hiding place — known in Dutch as the Achterhuis — and an exhibition on the life and times of Anne Frank, the museum acts as an exhibition space to highlight all forms of persecution and discrimination. 


Hermitage Amsterdam is a branch museum of the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, Russia, located on the banks of the Amstel river in Amsterdam. The museum is located in the former Amstelhof, a classical style building built in 1681. The museum houses two permanent presentations, one describes Netherlands–Russia relations and the other details the history of the Amstelhof building. Temporary exhibitions usually are scheduled for six-months.

The Rembrandt House Museum is a house in the Jodenbreestraat in Amsterdam not far from the new townhall, where Rembrandt lived and painted for a number of years. A few years ago the house was thoroughly reconstructed on the inside to show how the house would have looked in Rembrandt's days. Adjoining (and linked to) the house is a modern building where work of Rembrandt is on display, mainly etchings and also a part of his collection of objects from all over the world. Rembrandt purchased the house in 1639 and lived there until he went bankrupt in 1656, when all his belongings went on auction. The auction list enabled the reconstructions of all his belongings which are also on display in the house.


Museum Het Grachtenhuis is the gateway to the canals of Amsterdam. One of the world's greatest urban projects: the 17th century Amsterdam canal district is presented in six rooms. Visit the multimedia, interactive exhibition and travel through 400 years of history in 40 minutes. Since their beginning, the Amsterdam Canals have been renowned for their beauty, monumental architecture and picturesque character. However, the Amsterdam Canals have also been extraordinary witnesses to the unprecedented economic, political and cultural flourishing of Amsterdam during the Golden Age. The elegant mansion on the Herengracht 386, in which the museum Het Grachtenhuis is situated, is a place where all the qualities of the Amsterdam Golden Age come together.

The Joods Historisch Museum (Jewish Historical Museum) houses over 11,000 works of art by Jewish artists, as well as a collection of historical objects, and more than 43,000 books, brochures, documents, photos, audio and video materials relating to Jewish history. Only five percent of the museum's collection is on display at any one time, ensuring a wide diversity in exhibits. Current management has been responsible for a succession of thought-provoking exhibits of international interest, often focusing on artistic development, major art movements, and social context. The museum is housed in a complex of seventeenth century synagogues.

FOAM, or FOtografiemuseum AMsterdam, hosts regularly rotating exhibitions by both world-famous and up and coming photography, video- and multimedia artists. It also publishes a magazine on photography (FOAM magazine) and hosts an in-house print shop, as well as a library. In recent years Foam has showcased some of the biggest names in photography, including Diane Arbus, Helen Levitt, Anton Corbijn, Alex Prager and Cy Twombly. Alongside these large-scale events, the brightly lit, white rooms of this revamped canal-house are filled with work from upcoming talents. Foam is an internationally renowned museum that exhibits all genres of photography in a beautiful canal-side setting. As well as displaying a wide variety of works, it acts as a creative hub where photographers can meet and participate in forums and symposiums.

Although the museum only opened in the spring of 2012, the building of the EYE is already one of Amsterdam’s modern icons. Situated on the northern bank of the River IJ, just opposite Central Station, this cinema, film museum, café/restaurant and cutting-edge event location is a standout location. EYE showcases the very best of cinematic history – often in newly restored versions. Alongside the classics, it also screens new independent releases and hosts special evenings dedicated to experimental film and other genres. EYE also acts as a national archive of film, representing the entire history of cinema. What’s more, in special digital booths, you can quietly sit down and pick out classic movies to watch, while the dedicated museum spaces host temporary exhibitions of film memorabilia, art and other unique items.