15 unforgettable museums in Amsterdam

Exhibition © Verzetsmuseum Amsterdam

Having visited Amsterdam many times over the years, I’m always impressed by the city’s incredible breadth of museums.

As a destination known for its rich history and vibrant culture, it’ll be no surprise to learn that there is an abundance of memorable museums in Amsterdam.

Venturing through the city and into the museums, you’ll find yourself immersed in the works of world-renowned artists, as well as uncovering the secrets of Amsterdam’s past.

Whether you share my passion for art, you have an insatiable curiosity for history, or you’re simply looking for something a little quirky – you’ll find it in one of the Amsterdam museums.

Here I share my pick of the best museums in Amsterdam, as well as a few recommendations from locals.

Author Bio: Jessie Moore

Jessie Moore is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

1. Rijksmuseum

Best for: An eclectic mix

Address: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening times: Daily, 09:00 to 17:00

Price: From £20.30 (adult)

Tickets: Book here 


The moment I stepped into the Rijksmuseum, I was immediately blown away by the sheer scale of the museum. Here you’ll find an impressive collection of Dutch art, history, and culture.

This iconic museum, located in Amsterdam city centre, houses more than a million objects that tell the story of the Netherlands.

As you explore, you’ll dive into a journey that spans over 800 years of Dutch and global history.

While browsing through the eight grand galleries, you’ll come across masterpieces by prominent Dutch artists, such as Rembrandt’s famous “The Night Watch” and Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid”.

Besides paintings, the Rijksmuseum is also home to exceptional collections of sculptures, historical artefacts, and more:

Dutch paintings: A stunning display of works from the Dutch Golden Age, including pieces by Frans Hals and Jan Steen.

Asian art: Marvel at exquisite objects from China, Japan, Southeast Asia, and India, showcasing the rich diversity of Asian cultures.

Mediaeval works: Relive the Middle Ages through intricately carved wooden sculptures, illuminated manuscripts, and religious artefacts.

Applied arts: Explore the world of Dutch decorative art with a collection of Delftware, glassware, textiles, and furniture.

To make the most of your visit, I’d recommend taking advantage of multimedia guides, which provide detailed information about the museum’s highlights.

And if you’re feeling hungry, stop by the on-site café; I loved sitting here with a cup of tea, soaking up the atmosphere inside the beautiful building. Or if you’re feeling fancy, book into the Michelin-starred RIJKS.

Have a read of my guide to the best Michelin-star restaurants in Amsterdam.

To get to the Rijksmuseum, take the tram to the Museumplein stop, which is just a short walk away.

The museum is open daily, and I’d recommend checking their website for any special exhibitions or events that might coincide with your visit.

Don’t forget to purchase your tickets in advance, as this can save you valuable time waiting in line.

Insider travel tip: You can’t really appreciate the scale of this museum until you visit – it is huge! So make sure you leave a good half day to explore.

2. Van Gogh Museum

Best for: Van Gogh’s influence

Address: Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening times: Daily, 09:00 to 18:00

Price: From £19 (adult)

Tickets: Book here

Another of my favourite Amsterdam museums is the Van Gogh Museum – it’s simply unmissable for both art enthusiasts and novices.

As you explore the museum, you’ll discover the largest collection of Vincent van Gogh’s artworks, showcasing his vast talent and influence on the art world.

Admire over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and more than 750 letters penned by the iconic artist.

I loved seeing the evolution of Van Gogh’s artistic style, from his early sketches to some of his most famous paintings, including Sunflowers, Almond Blossom, and The Bedroom.

The Van Gogh Museum not only showcases Vincent’s masterpieces but also delves into his personal life and struggles.

As you walk through the rooms, you’ll gain insight into his relationships with friends and family, as well as his struggles with mental illness and the impact it had on his work. It’s truly fascinating!

Insider travel tip: While at the museum, don’t miss the opportunity to explore its comprehensive library, home to more than 23,000 art history books related to Van Gogh and his contemporaries. 

3. Anne Frank Museum

Best for: A moment in time

Address: Westermarkt 20, 1016 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 09:00 to 22:00


  • Adult: €16
  • Children aged 10-17: €7
  • Children aged nine and under: €1

Tickets: Book here

Anne Frank House in Amsterdam

A visit to the Anne Frank Museum is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Amsterdam and I consider it to be an unmissable attraction.

This poignant museum, located in the historic building that once housed Anne Frank and her family, offers an incredibly moving experience.

Here, you’ll have the opportunity to step back in time and witness firsthand the heartrending story of this young girl who became an icon for courage and humanity during the Second World War.

Upon entering the museum, your journey begins with a comprehensive exhibit dedicated to the life of Anne Frank.

You’ll get to see fascinating artefacts, photographs, and documents that provide an insight into her childhood.

Plus, get a better understanding of her experiences in hiding, and the powerful impact that her published diary has had since its release.

As you delve deeper, a solemn atmosphere envelops the space, giving you a moment of reflection.

The guided tour provided by the museum will lead you to the iconic Secret Annex, a concealed area where Anne and her family hid for over two years.

Anne Frank Museum Interior

As you progress through the cramped, dimly lit rooms, you can only imagine how suffocating and terrifying living here must have been. 

In addition to the Secret Annex, you’ll also have the chance to visit the interactive educational area, where you can engage with thought-provoking exhibits and multimedia presentations.

This unforgettable experience will give you a deeper understanding of the time’s events and highlight the continuing relevance of Anne’s message to today’s world.

Insider travel tip: It’s always a good idea to book tickets for museums in Amsterdam in advance – but none more so than the Anne Frank House.

I recommend booking tickets at least several weeks in advance, as they sell out very quickly.

4. Moco Museum

Best for: Banksy fans

Address: Honthorststraat 20, 1071 DE Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening times: 

  • Monday – Thursday: 09:00 to 19:00
  • Friday – Sunday, 09:00 to 21:00

Price: From £16.00 (adult)

Tickets: Book here

A personal favourite of mine, make sure to include the Moco Museum in your Amsterdam itinerary.

This modern and contemporary art museum is conveniently located in the heart of the city, right on the famous Museumplein.

Established in 2016, the Moco Museum showcases an impressive collection of works from internationally renowned artists.

At the Moco Museum, you’ll encounter an extensive range of exhibits from various artists, including Banksy, Andy Warhol, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

The museum focuses on street art and artists who are unconventional and thought-provoking. One of the museum’s most notable features is the largest collection of Banksy’s work on display.

With captions and descriptions provided, you can delve deeper into the meanings and messages behind each piece.

Other highlights of your visit may include temporary exhibitions that showcase exceptional talent from around the world.

When I visited earlier this year, there was an NFT exhibition. However you may feel about NFTs, I was so impressed by the artwork; it was like nothing I’d ever seen before.

The Moco Museum regularly collaborates with emerging artists and prominent international figures, ensuring that the exhibits are always fresh and engaging.

5. Museum of the Canals

Best for: City identity

Address: Herengracht 386, 1016 CJ Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening times: 

  • Monday, 12:00 to 17:00
  • Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 to 17:00

Price: From £14.25 (with audio guide)

Tickets: Book here

While exploring Amsterdam, you’ll undoubtedly encounter its picturesque canals, an essential part of the city’s identity and one of the reasons why I love the city so much!

To enhance your understanding of their fascinating history, I’d recommend adding the Museum of the Canals (Het Grachtenhuis) to your itinerary.

Located on the 17th-century Herengracht, the museum provides an interactive and engaging experience.

As you wander through the rooms, you’ll learn about how Amsterdam’s elaborate canal system evolved from a feat of engineering to a symbol of wealth and prestige.

Don’t miss the multimedia exhibits that utilise scale models, project mappings, and audiovisual presentations to reveal key moments in the canals’ development.

When of my favourite things about this museum is its setting within a beautiful canal house. Built for a wealthy merchant, its architecture and interior design provide a glimpse into Amsterdam’s Golden Age.

Step into the past as you admire the lavish decor and intricate detailing that adorns its walls and ceilings.

6. National Maritime Museum

Best for: Voyages across the sea

Address: Kattenburgerplein 1, 1018 KK Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening times: Daily, 10:00 to 17:00

Price: From £15.15 (adult)

Tickets: Book here

National Maritime Museum Amsterdam
Credit: Twycer

In the heart of Amsterdam, you’ll find the National Maritime Museum, an impressive institution dedicated to showcasing the Netherlands’ rich maritime history.

Housed in a beautiful, restored 17th-century building, the museum offers a fascinating exploration of the country’s seafaring past.

As you wander through the museum, immerse yourself in the countless artefacts and stories that span over 500 years of maritime history.

From naval battles and trading routes, to shipbuilding innovations and navigation techniques, you’ll gain a deep understanding of Dutch naval prowess.

When visiting the National Maritime Museum, don’t miss the opportunity to step aboard a replica of the Amsterdam – a three-masted VOC ship from the 18th century.

This life-size ship offers a unique insight into the life and trade of Dutch sailors, complete with interactive exhibits and knowledgeable guides.

Visitors can also learn more about why and when this replica was built, and the VOC’s ships, trade routes and the violence that came along with it.

Instead of only focusing on the ‘glorious’ aspects of these trading structures and histories, at the National Maritime Museum, I like that they try to share a broader spectrum of stories and perspectives.

National Maritime Museum Exhibit
Credit: Twycer

Other highlights at the museum include a collection of beautiful ship models, historical maps and charts from the Dutch Golden Age, and intricately designed navigation instruments.

With a range of interactive displays and expertly curated exhibitions, the National Maritime Museum is sure to captivate both history enthusiasts and casual visitors. 

So, set sail and embark on a voyage through time at the National Maritime Museum.

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7. Verzetsmuseum Amsterdam – Museum of WWII Resistance

Best for: Amsterdam in the Second World War

Address: Plantage Kerklaan 61, 1018 CX Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening times: 

  • Monday – Friday, 10:00 to 17:00
  • Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 to 17:00

Price: From £12.00

Tickets: Book here

Exterior © Verzetsmuseum Amsterdam
© Verzetsmuseum Amsterdam

The Verzetsmuseum Amsterdam reveals the Dutch people’s experiences during the Second World War, with a specific focus on the resistance movement.

Located in the heart of Amsterdam, I find this to be a fascinating museum, offering a captivating insight into the Netherlands during 1940-1945.

As you step into the museum, you’ll find a series of interactive exhibits, evocative dioramas, and a wealth of photographs and personal items that belonged to people involved in the resistance.

You’ll come across information about the many ways the Dutch resisted the German occupation. From underground newspapers and espionage activities to sabotage and defiant strikes.

Exhibition © Verzetsmuseum Amsterdam
© Verzetsmuseum Amsterdam

While exploring the museum, you’ll also learn about how the Dutch people coped with everyday life under the Nazi regime.

This includes food rationing, the use of identity cards, and the changing roles of women during wartime.

Additionally, the museum showcases personal stories of bravery, survival, and heartache to provide a deeply human perspective on this turbulent period in Dutch history.

I’d also recommend visiting the permanent exhibition, ‘Dutch Colonialism: A Shared Heritage’, which sheds light on the colonial ties between the Netherlands and Indonesia during the Second World War.

This thought-provoking exhibition explores how the war impacted both countries and their people, highlighting various connections through personal stories and historical artefacts.

8. Rembrandt House Museum

Best for: Fans of Rembrandt’s work 

Address: Jodenbreestraat 4, 1011 NK Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening times: Daily, 10:00 to 18:00

Price: From £15.00 (adult)

Tickets: Book here

Entrance Rembrandt House Museum, photo credit Kirsten van Santen
© Kirsten van Santen

The Rembrandt House Museum can be found in a well-preserved 17th-century building. It served as the home and studio of the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn for two decades.

Today, it has been transformed into a remarkable museum where you can step back in time and experience the atmosphere in which the iconic artist lived and worked.

The first thing I noticed upon arrival was the museum’s beautiful exterior and traditional Dutch architecture.

As you walk through its rooms, you can admire the meticulously curated collection of Rembrandt’s works, including notable paintings, drawings, and etchings.

Moreover, you’ll gain insight into the artist’s unique techniques and creative processes.

Rembrandt's Art Room, photo credit Kirsten van Santen
© Kirsten van Santen

Highlights of the museum for me include the reconstructed studio where Rembrandt painted his masterpieces, original furnishings and objects from the 17th century, and an extensive collection of Rembrandt’s etchings.

You’ll also discover regular temporary exhibitions featuring works of Rembrandt and his contemporaries.

While touring the museum, you may also have a chance to partake in engaging workshops and special events, such as etching demonstrations and guided tours. 

Good to know: The Rembrandt House Museum is conveniently located in the centre of Amsterdam, near the Waterlooplein square. As such, it’s easily accessible by public transportation or on foot. 

9. Jewish Museum Amsterdam

Best for: Jewish culture

Address: Nieuwe Amstelstraat 1, 1011 PL Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 to 17:00

Price: From £14.70 (adult)

Tickets: Book here

Jewish Museum
Photo: Nichon Glerum

The Jewish Museum Amsterdam houses an impressive collection of art, artefacts, and history that depict the rich and colourful culture of the Dutch Jewish community.

Here, you can dive into a wealth of information about Jewish contributions to the Netherlands, both past and present.

When you enter the museum, you are immediately immersed in the vibrant world of the Amsterdam Jewish community.

The museum is designed in such a way that it tells the story of Jewish life through a variety of media.

As you explore, you will find historic and contemporary works of art, captivating stories, and essential information about important Jewish traditions.

Jewish Museum
Photo: Anneke Hymmen

One highlight you should not miss is the collection of artworks from famous Dutch Jewish artists.

These masterpieces offer a unique insight into the cultural influences that shaped the Dutch Jewish community throughout the years.

As you admire these pieces, you can appreciate the mixture of various artistic styles that are directly influenced by the artists’ identity and background.

The museum also contains a vast archive of historical documents, photographs, and diaries.

You can study these records to learn about the rich history of the Dutch Jewish community and understand the challenges they faced during various periods.

These personal accounts provide a testament to the resilience and strength of the Dutch Jewish community, making it a powerful and emotional experience.

Insider travel tip: As you visit the Jewish Museum Amsterdam, I’d recommend also visiting the Portuguese Synagogue, which is just a short distance away.

This stunning, 17th-century structure is a living testament to the profound impact of the Jewish people on the city of Amsterdam. 

10. Tropenmuseum

Best for: Vast collection of artefacts

Address: Linnaeusstraat 2, 1092 CK Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 to 17:00

Price: From £13.00 (adult)

Tickets: Book here


Another of the best museums in Amsterdam is the Tropenmuseum.

It’s an impressive cultural institution showcasing a vast collection of objects, works of art, and photographs that narrate the rich histories of non-Western cultures.

As you step into this exceptional museum, you’ll embark on a journey through diverse civilisations.

Established in 1864, the Tropenmuseum has since evolved, continuously enhancing both its collection and presentation to ensure a captivating experience for visitors.

One of the striking features of the museum is its beautiful building, which boasts an impressive façade featuring intricate sculptures alluding to the regions it explores.

A visit to the Tropenmuseum offers you a unique opportunity to appreciate the wide array of artefacts that decorate the permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Exhibit at Tropenmuseum credit Rick Mandoeng

Among the key displays are the fascinating exhibits on Africa, West Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania.

When you immerse yourself in the captivating stories narrated through the exhibits, you’ll gain a deep understanding of varying perspectives.

Insider travel tip: In addition to the thought-provoking exhibitions, the Tropenmuseum is known for hosting exciting events and workshops.

Keep an eye on their calendar when planning your visit in order to take advantage of the diverse programmes they have to offer.

11. NEMO Science Museum

Best for: Science discovery and exploration

Address: Oosterdok 2, 1011 VX Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 to 17:30

Price: From £15.00 (adult)

Tickets: Book here

NEMO Museum credit DigiDaan
© DigiDaan

The NEMO Science Museum is an interactive and engaging experience for all ages, and one of the best museums in Amsterdam.

It is the largest science centre in the Netherlands, located near central Amsterdam, offering fascinating exhibitions, workshops, and installations.

When you set foot in the green, ship-like building designed by architect Renzo Piano, prepare yourself for a journey through five floors of scientific discovery.

I love NEMO Science Museum’s practical approach, as it encourages you to participate in experiments and learn through hands-on activities.

The first floor, “Phenomena,” immerses you in the world of science, teaching you about light, sound, and electricity.

Venture up to the second floor, where the “Technium” exhibit displays technological inventions and advancements, allowing you to appreciate the ingenious nature of humanity.

NEMO Museum Rooftop credit DigiDaan
© DigiDaan

On the third floor, you’ll find the “Humania” exhibition – dedicated to exploring the marvels of the human body and mind.

This exhibit delves into topics like genes, emotions, and the brain, making for a thought-provoking experience. It’s utterly fascinating!

For visitors with young children, the fourth floor is home to the “Wonderlab”, specifically tailored to engage curious minds aged six and under.

Here, they can explore water, light, and construction zones, nurturing their creativity and sense of wonder.

Lastly, after uncovering the wonders within the museum, I’d recommend relaxing and taking in the panoramic views of Amsterdam from NEMO’s rooftop terrace. It’s an excellent spot to catch a break and enjoy the scenery.

12. Stedelijk Museum

Best for: Seeing the evolution of art

Address: Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening times: Daily, 10:00 to 18:00

Price: From £19.00 (skip the line and audio guide)

Tickets: Book here

Stedelijk Museum
© John Lewis Marshall

The Stedelijk Museum should undoubtedly make it onto your list of museums in Amsterdam to visit. It offers an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art and design.

Inside the Stedelijk Museum, you’ll discover an array of 20th-century works from the likes of Van Gogh, Matisse, and Kandinsky.

Additionally, the museum’s design collection showcases a wide range of furniture, ceramics, and textiles from notable contributors such as Gerrit Rietveld and Ettore Sottsass.

This diverse collection offers an in-depth perspective into the evolution of art and design trends.

A prime feature of the museum is its Temporary Exhibitions programme, constantly evolving and providing new insights into modern and contemporary art.

These exhibits present anyone visiting the Stedelijk Museum with a fresh and engaging experience each time. I love that you can visit this museum time and time again, and have a different experience with every visit.

The Stedelijk Museum’s architecture is a striking blend of old and new. It features a late-19th-century red brick construction combined with a sleek, white addition completed in 2012.

Navigate your way through the variety of galleries and spaces designed to create a seamless journey from canvas to canvas, sculpture to sculpture.

13. Eye Filmmuseum

Best for: Film enthusiasts

Address: IJpromenade 1, 1031 KT Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening times: 

  • Exhibition – Daily, 10:00 to 19:00 
  • Different opening times for the box office

Price: From £12.90(adult)

Tickets: Book here

Eye Filmmuseum
© Eye Filmmuseum

As a dedicated film buff myself, I can assure you that the Eye Filmmuseum is a must-visit destination for any film enthusiast.

This striking modern building offers you an unparalleled cinematic experience, from its vast film archives to a diverse range of exhibitions.

The building itself is a marvel, with fluid curves and large windows, allowing plenty of natural light to filter in.

Admire the surrounding waterfront views before delving into the rich world of cinema that awaits you inside.

The main attraction at the Eye Filmmuseum lies in its extensive collection of films. With over 54,000 titles, ranging from silent films to contemporary blockbusters, there is something to suit every taste.

As you explore the museum, you’ll discover rare Dutch and international films, some of which are screened in one of the four cutting-edge cinemas found within the building.

Eye Filmmuseum Restaurant
© Eye Filmmuseum

In addition to its impressive film library, the Eye Filmmuseum hosts various temporary exhibitions, celebrating both the history and future of cinema.

These well-curated displays showcase different aspects of the filmmaking process, including visual effects, animation, and storytelling.

Make sure to check the museum’s programme for any special events or screenings taking place during your visit.

Aside from the film collections and exhibits, the Eye Filmmuseum offers several interactive installations designed to engage and immerse visitors in the world of cinema.

You can try your hand at creating your own short film or learn how visual effects are produced. This hands-on approach makes the museum an excellent destination for a fun and educational day out.

Before you leave the Eye Filmmuseum, I’d recommend taking some time to visit its stylish café and restaurant.

With gorgeous panoramic views overlooking the waterfront and a menu filled with delicious options, it’s the perfect spot to unwind and discuss your favourite films with friends or family.

14. Foam Photography Museum

Best for: Photography lovers

Address: Keizersgracht 609, 1017 DS Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening times: 

  • Thursday and Friday, 10:00 to 21:00
  • Saturday – Wednesday, 10:00 to 18:00

Price: From £10.00 (adult)

Tickets: Book here

Foam Museum Amsterdam
© Foam. Photo: Josef Degabriele

As you stroll through the charming streets of Amsterdam, don’t miss the Foam Photography Museum.

Established in 2001, I love that this museum showcases works by both established and emerging photographers.

From contemporary to historical photography, this museum offers a diverse collection for you to explore.

Upon entering the museum, you will notice the sleek, modern design of the space, which complements the engaging exhibitions perfectly.

The museum frequently rotates its exhibits, ensuring that you will always discover something new during your visits.

Foam Amsterdam Fasahion Exhibit
© Foam. Photo: Christian van der Kooy

While you’re at the Foam Photography Museum, be sure to take advantage of its educational programmes. A variety of workshops, guided tours, and lectures cater to all levels of expertise.

Insider travel tip: If you’re looking to bring home a souvenir of your time at the museum, visit the Foam Editions Gallery located on the premises.

Here, you can find unique and limited edition photographs for sale, allowing you to own a piece of the inspiring art you’ve seen during your visit.

15. The Upside Down Museum

Best for: An interactive experience

Address: Europaboulevard 5, 1079 PC Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening times: 

  • Sunday – Thursday, 09:30 to 19:00
  • Friday and Saturday, 09:30 to 20:00

Price: From £22.00 (adult)

Tickets: Book here

The Upside Down Museum Amsterdam

For one of the more unique museums in Amsterdam, head to the Upside Down Museum for a visually stimulating experience.

It’s an interactive museum with a collection of cleverly designed exhibits where the world seemingly turns upside down.

As you explore, you’ll find yourself immersed in a fun-filled and surreal environment that defies gravity, challenging your perception.

At the Upside Down Museum, I’d recommend making the most of the opportunity to capture memorable photographs with friends and family.

The Upside Down Museum

While navigating its creatively designed spaces, you’ll encounter various optical illusions and mind-bending art installations that will engage your sense of wonder.

For those travelling with children, the Upside Down Museum will provide an entertaining and interactive experience for the entire family.

The numerous engaging exhibits will encourage your little ones to explore their imagination and creativity.

Let me know your favourite Amsterdam museums in the comments or get in touch on social media if you have any questions!

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Jessie Moore
Jessie Moore

Jessie is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

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