The Netherlands has more museums per square mile than any other country in the world, and 92 of them are in Amsterdam.
They range from the fascinating Biblical Museum to the titillating Sex Museum, and from the huge Rijksmuseum to the much smaller, but no less interesting Hash & Marijuana Museum.
Mind you, some guides mention 40+ museums, others 50, and yet others a much higher number.
The difference is explained by the fact that some only count the major ones, while others include much smaller operations — such as the Tulip Museum, the Pipes Museum, or the Torture Museum.
Five of the six most-visited museums in the Netherlands are located in Amsterdam:
- Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
- Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
- Zaansche Schans, Zaandam (near Amsterdam)
- Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
- Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
- Science Center NEMO (for kids and grown ups), Amsterdam
If you plan on visiting museums in Amsterdam, avoid long lines by buying your tickets ahead of time.
All but seven museums in Amsterdam are privately owned, and nearly all charge an entrance fee.
In a time of dwindling government subsidies, many museums have developed commercial activities, are attracting non-tourist visitors with temporary exhibits, or have accepted financial aid from sponsors.
Free or Discounted
If you love museums and plan to visit at least 4 or 5 of them during your stay in Amsterdam, you have several options to save money on entrance fees.
- Combination Canal Cruise + Museum Entrance
- hop-on-hop-off bus and/or boat tickets + Museum Entrance
- I Amsterdam Card Free museums plus other benefits, such as discounts at attractions and restaurants, and free use of the public transport system.
Most Museums Don’t Do Mondays
With the exception of the Rijksmuseum (the Netherlands’ National Museum, which carries nearly 1 million works of art – including Rembrandt’s famous Nightwatch), the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum (literally, Municipal Museum, but in fact the National Museum of Modern Art) most museums are closed on Mondays.
- Allard Pierson Museum
- Anne Frank House
- Amsterdam Museum
- Architecture Museum Het Schip
- Artis Amsterdam Zoo
- Bols Jenever Museum
- CoBraA Museum
- Hermitage Amsterdam Museum
- Hollandsche Schouwburg’s War Memorial
- Nederlands Scheepvaart Museum / Netherlands Maritime Museum
- Our Lord in the Attic — Amstelkring Museum
- Stedelijk Museum
- Tassenmuseum Hendrikje/Museum of Bags and Purses
- Tropenmuseum – Royal Tropical Institute
- Van Gogh Museum