Home | What to See | Museums | Van Gogh Museum – Amsterdam’s second most visited museum

Van Gogh Museum – Amsterdam’s second most visited museum

Amsterdam Must-See: Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam contains the largest collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) in the world.1

Currently this is the second most visited museum in Amsterdam — and the entire Netherlands!

In the Spring of 2018, the Van Gogh Museum switched to online, timed-entry tickets only. That’s right, no more l-o-n-g lines at the ticket office. You can only get in with tickets bought online.

As a result, the number of visitors is better spread out throughout the day. According to director Axel Rüger, visitors have given the museum an even higher rating than before.

The museum also features a collection — as well as special exhibitions — of other 19th-century art, including works by Van Gogh’s friends and contemporaries. This way you see his life and work in context — a helpful and memorable way to enjoy his art.

This must-see museum is well laid out, and it is a joy to visit. (We know, since we come here on a regular basis.)

Van Gogh Museum Tickets (No Tickets At The Door)

Last year this was the most-visited museum in Amsterdam, but in 2018 the nearby Rijksmuseum took over first place. Year after year both museums tend to trade places for first and second spot.

Until the Spring of 2018 you could end up standing in line for the ticket office for 1-2+ hours, even in what used to be the low season.

Now life is easier. You buy your tickets for the Van Gogh Museum online. These are timed-entry tickets, meaning that you pick the date and starting time of your visit.

Note: Tickets are available four months in advance.

Many people prefer to combine their visit to the museum with a boat trip through the canals.

Even more popular is this fantastic combination:

Guided tour of the Rijksmuseum
Light lunch at the Rijksmuseum
Guided tour of the Van Gogh Museum
1 hour canal cruise
Free entrance to the Diamond Museum.

Van Gogh Museum: Opening Hours, Busiest Days, and Busiest Times

Before the museum switched to online, timed-entry tickets only, these were the busiest days and times:

  • Busiest days: Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Busiest times: Every day between 11 am and 3 pm.
  • Best day to visit (i.e. least busy): Friday, especially in the afternoon and certainly in the evening. But…
    it is still very busy.

The new ticket system ensures that you will have a perfect experience regardless of the day and time you visit.

Dates Opening Hours Van Gogh Museum
Normally (exceptions below): Open daily from 9 am to 7 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays until 9 pm.
May 6 – September 2, 2018 9 am to 7 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 9 am to 9 pm (23 June until 6 pm), Vincent on Friday until 10 pm
September 3 – November 4, 2018 9 am to 6 pm, Fridays 9 am to 9 pm, Vincent on Friday until 10 pm
November 5 – December 23, 2018 9 am to 5 pm, Fridays 9 am to 9 pm, Vincent on Friday until 10 pm
5 November – 23 December 2018 9 am to 5 pm, Fridays 9 am to 9 pm, Vincent on Friday until 10 pm
December 24, 2018 – January 6, 2019* 9 am to 7 pm, Fridays 9 am to 9 pm, Vincent on Friday until 10 pm. *With the exception of public holidays
Public Holidays Christmas (25 December) and New Year’s Eve (31 December) 9 am – 5 pm. New Year’s Day (1 January ) 11 am – 7 pm

How long does a visit to the Van Gogh Museum take?

On average a visit to the Van Gogh Museum lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

However, many people spend approximately two hours at the museum.

Keep in mind that the museum includes an extensive shop, as well as the pleasant Café Le Tambourin.

How to get to the Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh Museum is on Museumplein in Amsterdam, between the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum.

The museum entrance is at Museumplein 6.2

The yellow marker represents the Van Gogh Museum (blue: Rijksmuseum; green: Stedelijk Museum; purple: Concertgebouw)

View Van Gogh Museum in a larger map

Public Transport

Note: Starting July 22, 2018, Amsterdam’s public transport system will significantly change. The introduction of a new metro line will see many tram and bus routes change as well.

Trams 2, 3, 5 and 12, 16 and 24 have stops near the museum, as do buses 145, 170 and 172.

An an indication: By tram (5) or bus (170 or 172) from Central Station to the stop near the museum the trip takes about 20 minutes.

Note: The trams are operated by GVB; the buses are not. This means that holders of the I amsterdam City Card can travel here free of charge by tram, but not by bus. (This pass also provides free entrance to the museum.)3


If you prefer to avoid the hustle and bustle of public transport, take ViaVan taxi or Uber instead.


The Van Gogh Museum offers excellent accessibility for visitors using a wheelchair or walking aid.

The museum has parking space as well as a drop off/pick up area.

There is a priority entrance, bypassing the queues. A companion will not have to purchase a ticket.4

Properly harnessed guide dogs are welcome.

Large print guides to the exhibit are available.


Children from the age of 6 will thoroughly enjoy the experience.

Once inside, pick up a family guide at the multimedia desk.

Available in Dutch and English, it is tailored to children between 6 and 12 years of age.

Children can also participate in a treasure hunt. Pick up a Treasure Hunt Sheet at the Information Desk. Children who return the sheet will receive a small gift.

Want to prepare your children for what they are about to see? Give them Color Your Own Van Gogh: [Amazon UK] [Amazon USA]

Nearby Hotels

Amsterdam is a small and compact city with an excellent, finely-mazed public transport system. That means you don’t necessarily have to find a hotel close to the museum.

That said, Museumplein is also home to the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum — and the world-famous Concertgebouw is stone’s throw away. It is close to Vondelpark and to Amsterdam’s city center.

Hotels close to the Van Gogh Museum

Number of Visitors

The Van Gogh museum is one of Amsterdam’s most popular tourist attractions. In 2018 it welcomed 2.16 million visitors — slightly down from 2.17 million art lovers who visited last year.

That means the Van Gogh Museum is now ranked as the second most-visited museum in the Netherlands.

Notably, nearly 90% of visitors rate their visit as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent.’ Small wonder that a study revealed Europeans rate the museum the most admired art gallery in Europe.

Amsterdam Van Gogh Museum tickets

The Collection

The collection is displayed thematically rather than chronologically: for instance, Van Gogh’s rural scenes, the artists among his friends such as Paul Gauguin, Émile Bernard and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, his painting techniques, and his mental decline.

This allows visitors to see what inspired the painter, and which artists in turn were inspired by him.

The museum, designed by architect Gerrit Rietveld and opened in 1973. In 1999 an exhibition wing by the Japanese modernist architect Kisho Kurokawa was added, the design and placement of which many Amsterdammers didn’t like. The abstract design means that a tall, half moon wall of ‘concrete’ is facing the grass of museumplein.

As for us, we think Van Gogh himself would not have been amused, to say the least. Your mileage may differ, as they say.


Temporary Van Gogh Exhibitions

Aside from the permanent collection, the museum also has special exhibitions focusing on various aspects of Van Gogh’s life and work.

Often these exhibitions feature works by his contemporaries — showing, for instance, how the painter was influenced by people, places and events.

The current shows are good examples:

Van Gogh Dreams exhibition

Van Gogh Dreams
July 27, 2018 until January 13, 2019
Access to this temporary exhibition is included with your ticket.

In this narrative installation you join Vincent van Gogh’s emotional journey to the South of France. You will see what Vincent saw and feel what he felt during one of the most important periods of his life.

His emotional journey from Paris to Arles was alive with inspiration and beauty, but also tarnished with doubt and confusion.

Even though you won’t see any paintings during this sensory experience, you’ll still get exceedingly close to the famous artist.

Gaugain and Laval

Special exhibition: Van Gogh contemporaries and friends Gauguin and Laval in Martinique

Exhibition Gauguin & Laval in Martinique
October 5, 2018 until January 13, 2019
Access to this temporary exhibition is included with your ticket.

In 1887, friends and fellow artists Paul Gauguin and Charles Laval went to Martinique in search of fresh inspiration. The colourful works that they created on the island are now displayed together for the first time. The exhibition ‘Gauguin & Laval in Martinique’ is now on view.

Note: Such temporary shows provide much insight into Van Gogh and the time and environment in which he lived.

This is one reason why we, the publishers of DutchAmsterdam visit the museum two or three times a year — more whenever we have the opportunity.

Many tourists likewise enjoy visiting more than once.

Virtual Van Gogh Museum

If you can’t visit the museum in person but would like to see its collection anyway, visit Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum via Google’s Art Project.

You’ll be able to ‘walk’ through the museum, zoom in on art objects, and get extra information about them.

Additional Practical Information

Postal address

P.O. Box 75366
1070 AJ Amsterdam
T +31 (0)20 570 5200
F +31 (0)20 570 5222

Luggage / Cloakroam

Jackets and handbags are allowed in the museum, but rucksacks, umbrellas and larger backpacks must be placed in the cloakroom.

Note: They’re not referring to luggage-sized bags and packs.

There are no lockers at the museum, so do not bring your luggage! Leave it in your hotel, or at the luggage storage facility inside Amsterdam Central Station.


Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the museum, but please limit the use of your mobile phone.

Photos / Videos

You cannot take photos and/or record videos within the museum, except in designated areas such as the ‘selfie wall.’

That said, journalists, bloggers and vloggers who wish to film or take photographs may request a press visit.

Avoid the lines: Buy your ticket ahead of time. No need to print your ticket either. You can simply show the voucher on your mobile phone.


Van Gogh Museum

Social Media


In The News

2017: Record number of visitors

2017 – Another record year in terms of visitors: Now the most visited museum in Amsterdam and the entire country of the Netherlands.

Van Gogh Museum most admired art gallery in Europe.

Erasmus University in August 2017 published a large-scale study of the reputation of the 18 most famous art museums around the world. European respondents placed the Van Gogh Museum first in the reputation ranking, ahead of the Louvre in Paris and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

The Louvre occupied first place globally, while the Van Gogh Museum was ranked second worldwide and the Rijksmuseum third.


Home at last: after 14 years the stolen Van Gogh paintings are back in the museum.

Van Gogh Museum paintings

Stolen 14 years ago, the paintings Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen and View of the Sea at Scheveningen are once again on display at the Van Gogh Museum. Images courtesy Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

After an absence of 14 years, the two paintings by Van Gogh that were feared lost are again on display in the Van Gogh Museum. The works were stolen from the collection in 2002 by thieves who needed only a few minutes for the entire operation. The theft was a major blow to the art world.

Last September, a team from the Italian Guardia di Finanza stumbled upon the two paintings during a house search in the vicinity of Naples. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the Italian and Dutch authorities, the works could be released relatively soon and begin their journey back to the Netherlands. Starting today, they have resumed their place in the museum’s collection and are on display in the state in which they were found, without their frames.
– Source: Van Gogh Museum, Press Release


How do the Dutch pronounce Vincent van Gogh

The Dutch language isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. No problem. Most of us speak English. But if you want to impress us by trying to pronounce Van Gogh’s name in Dutch, have a try:


We have seen and heard Vincent van Gogh’s name misspelled as Van Goff, Van Goth, and Van Koch.

On a Personal Note

I first visited the Van Gogh Museum in 1977, and I remember it like it was yesterday.
At the time I worked at a youth hostel in the center of Amsterdam, and I wondered why so many of our hippie guests — on their way to or from India — seemingly felt ‘compelled’ to see the museum.

That visit ignited my interest in impressionist and post-impressionist paintings — which turned into a lifelong love affair, so to speak.

To this day my wife and I both visit the museum on a regular basis — to marvel again and again at Van Gogh’s wonderful paintings, to ponder his life story, and to learn more about his place among the artists of his time.

It never gets boring — for the same reason you can enjoy your favorite songs, music, poems and movies over and over.

At DutchAmsterdam we have heard similar comments from many tourists who have visited both the city and the museum multiple times.

They return not just for the special, temporary exhibitions, but also to reacquaint themselves — face to face — with their favorite paintings.

By the way, if you happen to see me there, say “Hi!” I’ll buy you a coffee or a beer.

Van Gogh museum info

You are welcome to share this graphic on your blog, website or on social media.

arrow 3 ways to save money on museum visits


  1. The collection includes some 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and more than 700 of Van Gogh’s letters.
  2. Tourist guide books from before September 2015 list the old address, at Paulus Potterstraat 7.
  3. Unfortunately the I amsterdam City Card pass does not entitle you to skip the line. You will receive your ticket upon presenting the pass at the cash desk.
  4. Note: the companion’s ticket is not available online. Please contact one of the hosts outside the museum once you’ve arrived. The host will take care of the rest.
Original content © Copyright DutchAmsterdam.nl
Do not republish or repost. Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Plan Your Activities

More Amsterdam Tours, Skip the Line Tickets, Museums, Excursions and Activities
This post was last updated: Dec. 22, 2018