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Van Gogh Museum — Plan Your Visit

Amsterdam Van Gogh Museum
A gallery in the Van Gogh Museum. Van Gogh’s works are arranged thematically rather than chronologically.
Credit: Jan Kees Steenman / Van Gogh Museum

This is our guide to the Van Gogh Museum. It is one of the most popular museums in Amsterdam. We visit it regularly ourselves — in part because of the special, temporary exhibitions. They are included in the entrance fee. (Our recent favorites include the exhibitions with works by David Hockney and Gustav Klimt).

Lots of helpful information! Estimated reading time: 16 minutes

An Amsterdam must-see: Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh Museum is one of the most popular museums you can visit in Amsterdam. It houses the world’s largest collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890).

The museum also displays works by Van Gogh’s friends and contemporaries. This allows you to see his life and work in context – a helpful and memorable way to enjoy Van Gogh’s art.

In addition to the permanent collection, temporary exhibitions highlight the people, places and events that influenced Vincent van Gogh.

Article continues below ticket information

Van Gogh Museum Tickets

  • Timed entry tickets must be bought in advance. No ticket sales at the door.
  • When you buy your ticket you have the option to include an Audio Guide. Highly recommended! (We get one ourselves each time we visit).
  • GetYourGuide, DutchAmsterdam’s trusted ticket partner, is authorized to sell Van Gogh Museum ticket.
  • Your tickets give you access to both the permanent collection and the temporary exhibitions

Van Gogh Museum: Opening Hours, Busiest Days, and Best Time To Visit

DatesOpening Hours
March – September 2024Daily: 9 am to 6 pm
Fridays from 9 am to 9 pm, except for 29 March, 31 May, 28 June, 27 September.
October 20241 – 6 October: 9 am to 6 pm, Fridays until 9 pm.
7 – 10 October: 9 am to 5 pm.
11 – 31 October: 9 am to 6 pm, Fridays until 9 pm.
November 20241 – 3 November: 9 am to 6 pm, Fridays until 9 pm.
4 – 30 November: 9 am to 5 pm. Fridays until 9 pm, except for 29 November
December 20241 – 20 December: 9 am to 5 pm, Fridays until 9 pm.
21 – 23 December: 9 am to 6 pm.
24 – 26 December: 9 am to 5 pm.
27 December: 9 am to 9 pm.
28 – 30 December: 9 am to 6 pm.
31 December: 9 am to 5 pm.
Buy Your Van Gogh Museum Tickets (No tickets at the door!)
Opening Hours, Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
  • Busiest days:
    • Friday (all day),
    • Saturday 10:00 – 17:00 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.), and
    • Sunday 10:00 – 17:00 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
  • Busiest times: Every day between 11 am and 3+ pm.
  • Best time to visit: Any day after 17:00 (5 p.m.).

Note: Though this popular museum is busy at times, the timed-entry ticket system ensures that you will have a perfect experience regardless of the day and time you visit.

Map: 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. (Dated travel guide books — and many ‘tourist information’ websites — list the old address, at Paulus Potterstraat 7.)

You’ll find the Van Gogh Museum at Museumplein (literally: Museum Square), in between the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum.

Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam Map
Map of Museumplein in Amsterdam, showing the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, Concertgebouw, and the Moco Museum. Public transport tram stops indicated.

© OpenStreetMap contributors CC BY-SA via Wikimedia Maps

Get to the Van Gogh Museum by Tram

Trams 2, 3, 5 and 12, 16 and 24 have stops near the museum. So does the Amsterdam Airport Express (Bus 397) that shuttles between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and the city.

The nearest stops are Van Baerlestraat (tram 2, 5 or 12) or Museumplein (tram: 3, 5 or 12, bus: 347 or 357).

From Amsterdam Central Station (Amsterdam Centraal Station)

The Van Gogh Museum’s Permanent Collection

The museum owns the largest collection of paintings by Van Gogh in the world. This includes some 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and more than 700 of Van Gogh’s letters.

Arranged by Themes instead of Chronologically

The collection is displayed thematically rather than chronologically. For instance:

  • Van Gogh’s rural scenes,
  • the artist among his friends, such as Paul Gauguin, Émile Bernard and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,
  • Van Gogh’s models,
  • his painting techniques, and
  • the painter’s mental decline

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

The galleries are laid out well, making the museum a joy to visit. (We know, since we come here on a regular basis.)

Will I get to see Van Gogh’s Sunflowers?

Van Gogh painted lots of sunflowers (and other flowers as well), including five versions of his best-known sunflowers painting.

One of these versions is in the collection of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The other versions are at the National Gallery in London, Neue Pinakothek in Munich, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum of Art in Tokyo.

Van Gogh’s paintings of Sunflowers are among his most famous. He did them in Arles, in the south of France, in 1888 and 1889. Vincent painted a total of five large canvases with sunflowers in a vase, with three shades of yellow ‘and nothing else’. In this way, he demonstrated that it was possible to create an image with numerous variations of a single colour, without any loss of eloquence. The sunflower paintings had a special significance for Van Gogh: they communicated ‘gratitude’, he wrote. He hung the first two in the room of his friend, the painter Paul Gauguin, who came to live with him for a while in the Yellow House. Gauguin was impressed by the sunflowers, which he thought were ‘completely Vincent’. Van Gogh had already painted a new version during his friend’s stay and Gauguin later asked for one as a gift, which Vincent was reluctant to give him. He later produced two loose copies, however, one of which is now in the Van Gogh Museum.

Van Gogh Museum

Is “The Starry Night” by Van Gogh on display at the museum?

No, unfortunately not. The Starry Night is at The Museum of Modern Art — MoMA in New York. The Museum acquire the painting in 1941. After Vincent died, his brother Theo inherited his paintings. He died a short while later.

In order to establish Vincent’s recognition in the art world, Jo — Theo’s widow — strategically sold the paintings to influential art collectors or well-known museums. The Starry Night was sold to Georgette P. van Stolk, the secretary of the Rotterdam Art Society (“Rotterdamsche Kunstkring”). She sold the painting to French art dealer Paul Rosenberg, of Paris and New York. It was through Rosenberg that the Museum of Modern Art acquired the painting.

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 show is a good example:

Exhibition Matthew Wong | Vincent van Gogh: Painting as a Last Resort

Exhibition Matthew Wong | Vincent van Gogh: Painting as a Last Resort
March 1, 2024 — September 1, 2024

Access to this temporary exhibition is included with your Van Gogh Museum ticket.

Introduction: Matthew Wong | Vincent van Gogh: Painting as a Last Resort

The work of the Chinese-Canadian artist Matthew Wong (1984-2019) is dynamic, colourful and expressive. Of the many artists who inspired him, Vincent van Gogh was the most significant. This exhibition invites you to discover more about Wong’s work and his artistic connection with Van Gogh.

Wong rapidly developed a highly personal style with exuberant, mystical paintings and drawings, which are acclaimed throughout the world. This is the first large overview of his work in Europe.

Wong had Tourette syndrome and suffered from depression throughout his adult life. He died by suicide in 2019 at age 35 in Edmonton, Alberta.

Wong leaves behind a highly individual and emotionally charged oeuvre, for which he was acclaimed in the last years of his life. In 2019, The New York Times lauded him as ‘one of the most talented painters of his generation’.


Interactive Multimedia Audio Guide or Live Tour Guide?

Option: Interactive Multimedia Audio Guide

The Van Gogh Museum has a professionally produced interactive multimedia audio tour guide available. The guide covers both the permanent collection and the special, temporary exhibitions. It is available in 11 languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese and Korean.

As frequent visitors to the museum we highly recommend this multimedia guide. It highlights many aspects and details you would otherwise miss. The tour provides insights into the life and work of Vincent van Gogh, and further helps you to view his work in context.

The small, lightweight guide hangs around your neck or is held in your hand. Either way, you can easily interact with the screen.

You can either follow the suggested route through the museum or visit only the sections of your choice. And you’re in control: you can go at your own pace, and skip paintings, sections, or entire floors if you wish.

You can order the Audio Guide along with your ticket. Select the “With audio guide” option. Pick up your guide inside the museum. (Note: Children under age 18 can use the multimedia guide free of charge).

Option: Live Tour Guide

Of course, the one drawback of a multimedia tour is that you cannot ask it questions. That is one reason many first-time visitors prefer to visit the Van Gogh Museum with a live tour guide.

If this is your first or only visit to the museum, we suggest your seriously consider using a guide.

Van Gogh Museum’s Buildings

The original building that houses the van Gogh Museum collection was designed by architect Gerrit Rietveld. It 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.

Inside: Café Le Tambourin

Ready for lunch? The Van Gogh Museum includes the pleasant Café Le Tambourin (€€ – €€€). The food is served cafeteria style, but is beautifully presented, and tasty. Many visitors express surprise to find such high quality, delicious food served at a museum restaurant.

Having your lunch here instead of at one of the eateries lining the Museumplein is an excellent choice.

Museum Shop

If we were to receive €1 for each tourist we spot carrying the distinctive, triangular Van Gogh poster package we’d be able to take more vacations.

The Museum Shop carries an extensive range of Van Gogh books, posters, trinkets, and gadgets. You can buy anything from key rings to eye glass cleaning cloths, and from fashion items to luggage — all sporting a variety of Van Gogh prints.

Oh, and the shop carries some 1,500 different books.

FAQ: VAN GOGH MUSEUM FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Your timed-entry ticket is valid from the time you selected. (Tickets must be bought in advance. No tickets are sold at the museum.)

You can stay at the museum for as long as you like. You do not need to leave by a certain time. (See also: How long does a visit to the Van Gogh Museum take?)

Yes, often you can buy last minute tickets. Tickets must by bought online. Tickets are not sold at the door.

Check whether there are tickets available on the day (and time slot) of your choice.

You can comfortably explore the museum’s permanent collection in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

However, many people spend two to three hours here, usually because they also take in the additional exhibitions ( which, with rare exceptions, are included in your ticket).

Throughout the exhibit space there are several spots where you can sit and relax for a while.

If you visit the museum with a live tour guide, which we highly recommend for first time visitors, count on spending two to two-and-a-half hours.

Absolutely! Children from the age of 6 will thoroughly enjoy the experience. (Oh, and you’ll love this: children ages 0 through 17 get free entrance).

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]

The museum’s collection is presented in such a way that you’ll come away with a good understanding of who Vincent Van Gogh was, what motivated him, where he found inspiration, and how he inspired his contemporaries as well as later artists.

Brief texts accompanying the paintings go a long way in telling Van Gogh’s story.

That said, guides certainly add a lot of richness to your experience. You have two options: an interactive multimedia audio guide (provided by the museum at an extra fee: select the “With audio guide” option when ordering your ticket) 1 , or a live tour guide. 2

The temporary exhibitions at the Van Gogh Museum are definitely worth your time. Access to these exhibitions is included in your entry ticket. These shows provide much additional insight into Van Gogh, and the time and environment in which he lived and worked.

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

Many tourists likewise enjoy visiting the museum more than once, especially when they return to Amsterdam on subsequent visit.

Van Gogh painted lots of sunflowers (and other flowers as well), including five versions of his best-known sunflowers painting. One of these versions is in the collection of the Van Gogh Museum. [Details]

No, unfortunately not. Here’s why.

Additional Practical Information

Address

Museumplein 6
1071 DJ Amsterdam

See: How to get to the Van Gogh Museum

Website
Van Gogh Museum

Luggage / Cloakroom

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.

Wi-Fi

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

Accessibility

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

Both buildings include roomy elevators.

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

There is a priority entrance, bypassing the queues. A companion will not have to purchase a ticket.3

Properly harnessed guide dogs are welcome.

Large print guides to the exhibit are available.

Photography / Filming

You cannot take photos or film 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.


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:

Video: How to prounounce ‘Vincent van Gogh’

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

Hotels near the Van Gogh Museum

Amsterdam is a small and compact city with an excellent, fine-meshed public transportation system. This means that you do not necessarily have to look for a hotel near the Van Gogh Museum.

However, Museumplein is also home to the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum – and the world-famous Concertgebouw is just a stone’s throw away. Vondelpark and Amsterdam city center are also not far away.


On a Personal Note

Anton

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 — felt ‘compelled’ to see the museum.

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

To this day I re-visit the museum on a regular basis, now accompanied by my lovely wife. We marvel again and again at Van Gogh’s wonderful paintings, ponder his life story, and continue 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 us there, say “Hi!” We’ll buy you a coffee or beer.


More Amsterdam Tourist Information


Our guide to the Van Gogh Museum was first published in June, 2007, and is updated when necessary. For instance, when there are special exhibitions on, in addition to the museum’s permanent collection.

The authors, Amsterdam locals Anton and Janet, regularly visit the Van Gogh Museum.


Notes:

  1. The Van Gogh Museum has a professionally produced interactive multimedia audio tour guide available. The guide covers both the permanent collection and the special, temporary exhibitions. It is available in 11 languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese and Korean.

    As frequent visitors to the museum we highly recommend this multimedia guide. It highlights many aspects and details you would otherwise miss. The tour provides insights into the life and work of Vincent van Gogh, and further helps you to view his work in context.

    The small, lightweight guide hangs around your neck or is held in your hand. Either way, you can easily interact with the screen.

    You can either follow the suggested route through the museum or visit only the sections of your choice. And you’re in control: you can go at your own pace, and skip paintings, sections, or entire floors if you wish.

    You can order the Audio Guide along with your ticket. Select the “With audio guide” option. Pick up your guide inside the museum. (Note: Children under age 18 can use the multimedia guide free of charge).
  2. Of course, the one drawback of a multimedia tour is that you cannot ask it questions. That is one reason many first-time visitors prefer to visit the Van Gogh Museum with a live tour guide.

    If this is your first or only visit to the museum, we suggest your seriously consider using a guide.
  3. 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.

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