If you’re looking for some serious eye candy and cultural stimulation, Amsterdam is the place to be. This gem of a city is not only the crown jewel of the Netherlands, but also home to some of the hottest museums in all of Europe! And the best part? Most of these mind-bending institutions are all conveniently located smack dab in the city center. Whether you’re an art whiz, a history buff, love science, or just looking to expand your horizons, Amsterdam and its Museum Park have got you covered. Do yourself a favor and treat your mind and senses to some sweet Dutch Masterpieces and contemporary art. You won’t regret it, we promise.

Amsterdam Royal Palace

Outer façade of Amsterdam's Royal Palace Museum, looking up from below.

Here’s a secret: the Amsterdam Royal Palace is one of the most beautiful and underrated museums in the Netherlands. Tucked away in Dam Square, this unassuming building hides a treasure trove of riches and decorative wonders from the Golden Age of the Netherlands.

Originally designed as the Amsterdam town hall, this palace reflects all the wealth and power the Dutch gathered during their Golden Era in the 17th century. And guess what? Much of the palace is still original from that time, so you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time when you visit.

Be sure to soak up all the symbols of Amsterdam in the main hall, from the marble sculptures to world maps and chandeliers. And don’t forget to grab the free audio tour to learn all about Amsterdam’s history.

But wait, there’s more! The palace also has a fascinating French connection. During the 19th-century French occupation of the Netherlands, Napoleon installed his brother, Louis Napoleon, as king. The old town hall then became the palatial living quarters fit for a king.

These days, the Dutch royal family still uses the palace to entertain foreign leaders and guests. But when they’re not around, lucky visitors like us get to bask in its opulence and grandeur. So what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on one of Amsterdam’s best-kept secrets!


Amsterdam Tulip Museum

Outside of Amsterdam Tulip Museum, with baskets filled with different colored tulips on the sidewalk.

If you’re visiting Amsterdam, you can’t miss out on its world-famous canals, incredible painters like van Gogh and Rembrandt, and of course, the Dutch tulips! Lucky for you, there are way too many options in and around the city to enjoy these stunning flowers. You can hit up the flower market, visit Keukenhof, or make a pit stop at the Amsterdam tulip museum.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – a museum about tulips? Trust me, I think it’s worth your while, granted the tulips were my favorite flower until my ex ruined them. At the Tulip Museum, you’ll learn all about the fascinating history of these colorful blooms, from their first discovery to how they’re used today. Entrance fees are 5 EUR per person, but for families of three or more, it’s only 10 EUR total! You can blaze through everything in just 20 minutes, but if you’re a real tulip fanatic, plan to spend an hour there.

Listen up, flower lovers – the best part of the museum is that you can grab some tulips to take home with you! Just ask the staff which ones will make it through customs without any problems, because believe it or not, different countries are pickier about their tulips than others. Fun fact, I’ve flown with flowers as my carry-on. 

And don’t worry about getting there; the tulip museum is only a short 15-minute walk from the central station and a quick 2-minute stroll from the Anne Frank House. So go ahead and grab those tickets – it’s time to get schooled on the most Dutch flower of them all!


Anne Frank Huis

Outside of Anne Frank Huis in Amsterdam, one of the city's best museums.

The Anne Frank House is the most serious museum in this article. It’s one of the most unforgettable and impactful museums in the entire world. Trust us, you’ll want to spend a whole day here.

You’ve heard of the famous diary of Anne Frank, right? Unless you live under a rock, you have. It’s a personal tale written by a young, Jewish girl who hid with her family in the attic of a small Amsterdam home during World War II. And guess what? The Anne Frank House is the actual home where they hid from the Nazis.

This amazing museum was established in 1957 with the help of Anne’s dad, Otto Frank. It’s going to leave an impression on you for life, so we suggest reading the book before you go. But, even if you haven’t, you can wander the rooms and read some excerpts from her diary that talk about the very walls and windows you are looking at. 

The museum is tiny and located smack-dab in the center of Amsterdam at Westermarkt 20. Since it’s small and ticket prices are cheap (€14 for adults, €7 for teens, and €1 for the under-10 crew), they sell out way in advance – especially during peak season. Keep in mind though that Anne Frank’s home has some steep stairs and isn’t accessible for those with mobility limitations. Bummer, right? But, the modern part of the museum that holds temporary exhibits is accessible via ramps.

Insider Tip – Wanna snag some tickets for this super popular event? Well, here’s the scoop: You gotta act fast and order ’em WAY ahead of time, like way WAY ahead. Trust me, the space is teeny-tiny now that post-pandemic guidelines have shrunk capacity. If you miss out online, don’t despair! Keep trying ’til you get a hit. And if it takes a week of stalking the ticket site like a maniac, well that’s just par for the course. But hey, it’s all worth it. Otherwise you are standing in line. 

 

 

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Canal House Museums

Museum Willet Holthuysen

Welcome to Amsterdam, the city of charming canals and old city palaces! These canals used to be a hotspot for the rich and wealthy to build their fancy homes, and now they’re among the most expensive places to live in the Netherlands. But fear not, because some of these old city palaces still stand and you can visit them as museums!

So, which canal house museums should be on your Amsterdam bucket list? Let me tell you about the three best ones. First up, we have Museum Willet-Holthuysen located at Herengracht 605. This bad boy dates back to the seventeenth century and has some seriously stunning period rooms, not to mention its must-visit eighteenth-century garden.

Next, we have the Museum Van Loon at Keizersgracht 672. This seventeenth-century beauty was named after the family who owned it during the eighteenth century. And get this, the houses on this part of the canal have coach houses in their gardens. The one at Van Loon has been transformed into a museum café. Yum!

Last but definitely not least, we have the Canal House Museum, located in one of Amsterdam’s most beautiful canal houses. Although you won’t be visiting this museum for its authentic period rooms, it still has a fascinating multimedia exhibition on the history of Amsterdam and the construction of its characteristic canals and canal houses.

So, what are you waiting for? Come explore the breathtaking canal house museums of Amsterdam!


Diamant Museum

Bridal tiara of Queen Elizabeth II in the Diamant Museum in Amsterdam.

Did you know Amsterdam was once called the “City of diamonds”? The Diamant Museum of Amsterdam is the only place in Europe where you can discover the sparkling history of diamonds spanning 400 years. Sure, it may be overshadowed by more famous museums nearby, but let’s be real, diamonds are a girl’s best friend (and a guy’s too, no judgment here).

From learning about the process of cutting diamonds to understanding the 4 C’s (Color, Carat, Cut, Clarity), this museum has got it all. Plus, it boasts an impressive collection of royal crowns from around the world, a Diamond tennis racket, a diamond sword, and even a Gorilla skull studded with 17,000 diamonds (if that’s your thing). Oh, and did we mention the bridal tiara of Queen Elizabeth II?

Don’t miss out on this gem of a museum (pun intended). Easily accessible by bus and tram, it’s worth a visit even if it’s just to ogle at shiny things. Open from 10:00 – 16:00, the entrance fee is 10 EUR. See you there, bling lovers! Buy tickets in advance


Electric Ladyland

Deep bluish-purple and red fluorescent lights at the Electric Lady museum in Amsterdam.

Get ready for a mind-blowing experience at Electric Ladyland in Amsterdam. Despite its name, this museum is not about guitars and rock music. Nope, it’s all about fluorescent light! If you thought you knew what was behind those doors, think again, my friend. This museum is dedicated to making you glow like a firefly with their wild light show experience. It’s perfect if you’ve indulged in Amsterdam’s famous coffee shops before your visit. The museum was created by an American artist, Nick Padalino, who was obsessed with fluorescence. And let’s be real, who isn’t? This is the first and only Fluorescent Art Museum in the world. So, come on down and shine with us! Buy tickets in advance

Foam

Have you heard of Foam, the photography museum in Amsterdam that’s basically famous worldwide? It’s located right by the charming central canal in the city.

Aside from the endless array of ancient pics, Foam also has some ultra-cool multimedia displays that’ll blow your mind. And not to brag or anything, but they’re always switching up exhibitions and events–so you’ll never be bored, trust us.

But wait, there’s more! Foam, also hooks visitors up with awesome photography workshops. And if you’re ever in the market for some one-of-a-kind, limited-edition photos, this is the spot to snag ’em. Get your camera ready and head on over to Foam!


Hash Marijuana & Hemp Museum

Marijuana plants at the marijuana and hemp museum in Amsterdam.

Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum is the oldest and most famous museum dedicated to all things cannabis-related in the world. Over two million people have hit this joint since it opened in 1987!

So, what’s the buzz about? The museum is a two-for-one deal – you get to check out both the museum and the hemp gallery. In the museum, you’ll dive into the amazing world of the cannabis plant and learn all the stuff it can do. From turning into paper and textiles to being used as medicine and fuel for oil lamps – this little plant is a jack of all trades!

In the Hemp Gallery, it’s all about celebrating the civilized uses of cannabis and its fascinating history. Plus, there’s this super cute art gallery toward the back of the exhibit.

Basically, if you wanna learn all the things about this amazing plant, the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum is the place to go. And hey, if you wanna add some extra fun to your visit, treat yourself to a cookie beforehand. We won’t judge 😉.


Hermitage Amsterdam

Hermitage Amsterdam is a branch of the famous Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Its main objective is to educate the masses about Russian culture and history. In addition to its permanent collection, Hermitage Amsterdam displays a rotating selection of Russian art and archaeological artifacts. Besides exploring these, you can also attend classical concerts and seminars focusing on Russian culture at the Hermitage. Exhibitions at the museum are known to be some of the most successful in the country.

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Moco Museum

Want to experience a museum like no other? Head over to the Moco Museum in Amsterdam! It’s a fresh take on the traditional museum scene with contemporary artwork that will blow your mind. Get ready to feast your eyes on Banksy’s incredible pieces and jaw-dropping pop-art exhibitions from the most talented artists in the world. Don’t be fooled by its size, it’s perfect for a quick visit to spice up your day. Trust me, you won’t regret it! Buy tickets in advance. 


Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder

Pink Church interior, perfect instagram photo at one of the best museums in Amsterdam.

Looking for a unique museum experience? Look no further than the Our Lord in the Attic Museum! Housed in a 17th Century Amsterdam canal house, this museum is home to a secret Catholic church that was once hidden on the top three floors of the building.

But don’t worry, the authorities turned a blind eye and today the museum stands as a testament to the Netherlands’ long-standing tradition of religious tolerance and freedom.

Take a step back in time and explore the perfectly preserved church and rooms below it. Trust us, it’s an unforgettable experience you won’t find anywhere else.


Nemo Science MuseumNemo Science Museum

Hey there, science lovers – I’ve got the place for you! If you’re lucky enough to visit Amsterdam, you simply must stop by the Nemo Science Museum. Trust me when I say it’s not your average museum experience. It’s like Bill Nye and Willy Wonka teamed up to create the ultimate fun and educational destination. Inside, you’ll find interactive exhibits, hands-on experiments, and enough mind-blowing facts to make your head spin. Plus, it’s housed in a giant green ship – how cool is that? So come on, take a break from the traditional tourist spots and immerse yourself in the wonders of the Nemo Science Museum. Science rocks, my friends. Buy tickets in advance


Red Light Secrets – Museum of Prostitution

Amsterdam's infamous Red Light District, where the Museum of Prostitution is located.

Looking for something different to do in Amsterdam? Look no further than the Museum of Prostitution! Located in the Red-Light district, this three-story-tall museum is the world’s first and only museum devoted to the history and facts behind Amsterdam’s sex industry.

As you make your way through the museum’s small and narrow building, you’ll encounter different rooms that tell different aspects of the prostitution story. From personal accounts of women forced into the profession to displays of actual rooms where it all happens, the Museum of Prostitution is an eye-opener in every sense of the word!

For just 12,5 EUR per adult, you’ll get access to the museum plus a free audio set that guides you through the exhibits. The whole experience takes about half an hour to an hour, and it’s a great way to get a better understanding of this world-famous industry.

But if you really want to know what it feels like to be the center of attention, try sitting in the museum’s red-lit window! It’s an unforgettable experience that will give you a whole new appreciation for what these women go through night after night.

So why not embrace your curiosity and check out the Museum of Prostitution? It’s a fascinating and all-too-human look at the world’s oldest profession! Buy tickets in advance

Rembrandthuis

Man walking by the iconic Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam with the green door and red shutters.

Calling all Baroque art fans! If you’re obsessed with Rembrandt like we are, you absolutely must check out the Dutch master’s crib. Yep, you heard us right. Explore the famous artist’s home and workplace from 1639-1656, which has been restored to its 17th-century glory with dope furniture and objects from that era. Trust us, it’s a vibe you won’t find anywhere else.

But that’s not all folks, prepare to be wowed by Rembrandt’s etchings and art from other Dutch Golden Age painters. Don’t miss the chance to tour the artist’s studio, where you’ll find a treasure trove of objects collected from around the world – some even appear in his paintings!

If you have time, attend one of the kid-friendly workshops, because let’s be real, adults can have just as much fun too. The museum is conveniently located in Jodenbreestraat near the city hall and hosts exhibitions highlighting different parts of Rembrandt’s work.

Plus, a modern building linked to the house showcases even more of Rembrandt’s works. This is hands down one of the best museums in Amsterdam you simply can’t skip out on. Get ready to have your art-loving mind blown!


Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum, one of the best museums in Amsterdam with flowers in the foreground.

Hey there art lovers! If you’re ever in Amsterdam, make sure to stop by the Rijksmuseum located at Museum Square. Trust us, it’s the best museum in the Netherlands and we’re all about and appreciating great artwork.

Inside you’ll find the Dutch National Art Museum, home to some of the most breathtaking paintings by the likes of Vincent van Gogh, Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals, and of course, Rembrandt van Rijn. Speaking of Rembrandt, have you heard of his most famous piece, The Night Watch? It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before, with its impressive 4 by 4-meter size and incredible use of light and shadows.

Even if Dutch art isn’t usually your thing, you should still head to the Rijksmuseum because the art collection is truly international. It’s not just the country’s most visited museum, but also the largest art museum with a vast collection.

Oh, and don’t forget to order your tickets in advance because this place is packed every day, every hour. Entry is set at €20 and it’s open every day – including Sundays – from 9:00-17:00. Trust us when we say that the diverse and amazing collection behind those doors is worth every penny. See you there! Buy tickets in advance

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Scheepvaartmuseum

Old model ship outside the Maritime Museum in Amsterdam.

Ahoy, mateys! Check out Het Scheepvaartmuseum, or the National Maritime Museum in Dutch, for a deep dive into the Netherlands’ seafaring past and its impact on Dutch culture. This museum is just dripping with history and is located right by the water. Plus, the cherry on top is a replica 18th-century ship!

You’ll have a whale of a good time checking out maps, models, paintings, weapons, and all kinds of cool artifacts. This place is seriously one of a kind, with exhibitions that are both fun and fascinating. You’ll come away with a newfound appreciation for the Dutch and the pivotal role they played in shipping and sailing. Landlubbers need not apply!


Sexmuseum

Exterior façade of the Sexmuseum in Amsterdam.

Hey, are you ready to feel the free-spirited vibes of Amsterdam? Well, then get your walking shoes on and head to the city center, where a museum of all things ‘sex’ awaits! Don’t worry, it’s adults-only, but not just any old obscene show. The Sexmuseum Amsterdam is where you can explore the evolution of human sexuality across different cultures and time periods!

And let me tell you, this place is popular! With over 650,000 visitors in a year, it’s easy to see why this museum is one of the most visited in the Netherlands. The museum has an incredible collection of pictures, videos, and artifacts, including erotic porcelain, tableware, and plates painted by renowned artists. But not just that, they’ve also got toilet seats, snuff bottlesm and perfume bottles from China in the 19th century, and even bronze cork screw and other home products made in the 1930s.

If you’re intrigued and itching to visit, the museum is located on Damrak Waterfront, only a 3-minute walk from Amsterdam’s Central Station. So, if you’re just in town for a little while, or making a connecting flight at Schiphol Airport, this museum is the perfect place to experience Amsterdam’s free-spirited culture for a few hours. Trust us, it’s unforgettable!


Tropenmuseum

Looking to explore some Dutch colonial history while also learning about cultures from around the world? Look no further than Amsterdam’s Tropenmuseum!

Founded way back in 1864 (when dinosaurs roamed the earth), the museum started off as a showcase for ethnographic artifacts from overseas Dutch colonies. While the focus is still on education, these days it’s less “rah rah colonialism!” And more “let’s talk about race and gender and cultural diversity.”

The Tropenmuseum even hosts events and research on these critical social issues! Plus, the permanent collection doesn’t shy away from the not-so-pretty Dutch history of colonialism and slavery. But don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom – the museum’s all about celebrating diversity and fostering open-mindedness.

And if you’re thinking, “wow, this all sounds great, but will my kids be bored out of their minds?” Fear not! The exhibitions are super accessible for kiddos and there are heaps of fun activities to keep them entertained.

Oh, and did we mention the building itself is a stunning example of Dutch architecture from the early 20th century? It’s like a history lesson just looking at the darn thing! Plus, it’s smack dab in the center of Amsterdam and super easy to get to by tram or bus.

Tickets are €16 for grown-ups, €10 for students, €8 for kids 4-18 years old, and free for lil’ ones under three. Sometimes extra fees apply for special tours, events, or exhibitions, but honestly, we’re sure it’s worth it. So go on, get cultured!


Van Gogh House

Woman looking at paintings at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Hey, art lovers! If you’re heading to Amsterdam, you can’t miss the Van Gogh Museum. It’s smack dab in the city center, at Museum Square, and it’s hands down the most popular museum in the whole darn country.

So, what can you expect from this art extravaganza? Well, as you might have guessed, it’s ALL about the works of Vincent Van Gogh. And let me tell you, this guy had some serious skills. In fact, this museum boasts the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh’s art, which is seriously impressive. You’ve got to check out the post-impressionist masterpieces like Sunflowers, The Potato Eaters, and Almond Blossoms, to name just a few.

But here’s what really sets this museum apart – you get to take a walk through history as you explore Van Gogh’s various phases of creative output. You’ll see works from each period displayed in succession, so you can really appreciate how his style and technique evolved over time. Plus, there are drawings and letters by Van Gogh himself, as well as works by other artists who were exploring similar genres.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “This all sounds amazing, but how much does it cost?” Well, you’re in luck. The museum entrance fee is just €19 – totally worth it for the sheer amount of beauty you’ll take in. And if you’re under 18 years old, you get in for free! So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to the Van Gogh Museum pronto! Buy tickets in advance. 


Verzetsmuseum

Woman looking at photo exhibition in the Dutch Resistance Museum in Amsterdam.

Looking for a museum that’s both interesting and insightful? Look no further than the Dutch Resistance Museum (aka Verzetsmuseum) in Amsterdam! It’s a small but mighty museum that sheds light on what daily life was like during Nazi occupation. Plus, you’ll learn all about the brave residents who fought back to protect their freedom.

Inside, you’ll find tons of exhibits that showcase what the city was like during WWII. Think photos, papers, mini-films, letters, and even recovered newspaper articles from this dark time in history. It’s equal parts educational and fascinating.

Trust us, a visit to the Dutch Resistance Museum is the perfect way to end a day of learning about the heroic citizens who risked everything to help others. So what are you waiting for? Head on over and discover the past!


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