Home > Things to Do > Top 5 Most Popular Museums in Amsterdam

Top 5 Most Popular Museums in Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s most popular museums

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Entrance of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
Entrance of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The museum currently is at number one in the Top 5 Museums in Amsterdam. Photo by Kirk Fisher.

The top 5 museums in the Netherlands, as measured by the number of visitors during the year 2019, are all located in Amsterdam.

Note: No rankings were published in 2020 and 2021, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The museum monitor also skipped the year 2022.

While tourists have returned to Amsterdam, even in 2023 many museums still feel the impact of the Corona epidemic.

Note that definitive visitor figures over the year 2023 will be published in October 2024 by the Museumvereniging (Museum Association).

Top 5 Most Visited Museums in Amsterdam

Note: These are pre-pandemic figures. The coronavirus situation screeched Amsterdam’s flow of tourists to a halt. Lockdowns prevented locals from visiting as well.

A new Top 5 will be published in October 2024. That said, in reality this list has stayed more or less the same for many years.

Note 2: Yes, two museums share 4th place.

Top 5 Museums in Amsterdam20182019*
Updated January 23, 2020. Credit: NOS Nieuwsuur, via DutchAmsterdam.nl
1 – Rijksmuseum
Details   Tickets
2 – Van Gogh Museum
Details   Tickets
3 – Anne Frank House
Details   Tickets
4 – Nemo Science Museum
Details   Tickets
4 – Stedelijk Museum
Details   Tickets

Rijksmuseum: More Than Two and a Half Million Visitors

Nieuwsuur, a Dutch current affairs television program, asked the most-visited museums in the Netherlands in 2018 for their 2019 visitor statistics. It then compiled a Top Five, which this year includes a shared fourth place.

Rijksmuseum tops the list with 2.700.000 visitors — 400.000 more than the year before.

Like last year, the nearby Van Gogh Museum takes second place with 2.100.000 visitors.

The ‘Rijks‘ and the ‘Van Gogh‘ often trade first and second place from year to year.

By the way, Efteling — a fantasy-themed amusement park located in the province of North Brabant — is the top attraction in the Netherlands.

It takes about 2 hours by public transport to get there from Amsterdam. But if you have young children, a daytrip to the park is well worth the effort.

– Article continues after Tickets information –

Get Tickets to Amsterdam’s Top 5 Museums

GetYourGuide is DutchAmsterdam’s trusted ticket partner.

GetYourGuide, our trusted ticket partner

Your GetYourGuide Ticket Advantage:
Authorized Ticket Seller
Verified legal tour operators
Printed or Mobile Voucher OK
Instant Confirmation
Easy Cancellation

You can visit these museums and more (except the Anne Frank House) for free with the I amsterdam City Card. That’s just one of many benefits the card provides your with.

For tickets to the Anne Frank House see our detailed guide.

#1 — Rijksmuseum: Another banner year

2019 turned into another banner year for the Rijksmuseum. The year marked the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s death with ‘Year of Rembrandt’. The Rijksmuseum presented a number of Rembrandt exhibitions and a year full of events dedicated to the renowned artist.

The museum continues to present a fascinating project: a live Restoration of The Nigh Watch, Rembrandt’s most famous painting. You can follow the entire project online or in-person.

Video: Rijksmuseum Director Taco Dibbits explains the largest restoration project in the museum’s history — that of Rembrandt’s Night Watch.

Fortunately, the huge museum can easily accommodate more visitors. Says director Taco Dibbits, “The great thing is that there is almost never a queue at the Rijksmuseum.”

Clearly that is not due to a lack of interest. First opened in 1885, the Rijksmuseum underwent an extensive, ten-year renovation before it re-opened in 2013. Among the many improvements was a new entrance much better suited to effectively handle a high number of visitors.

The online sale of skip-the-line entry tickets — a move more and more museums and attractions embrace — also greatly helps.

Incidentally, tourists make up 60% of the Rijksmuseum’s 2.7 million visitors.

#2 — Van Gogh: Online, timed entry tickets only

In the Spring of 2018, the Van Gogh Museum got rid of long lines by switching to an online, timed entry tickets only system.

Acting director Adriaan Dönszelmann says the Van Gogh receives a much higher visitor appreciation rating since then. No wonder. Before the switch visitors waited as much as two hours in front of the museum’s ticket windows. Now? You just waltz right on in.

#3 — Anne Frank House: Near Capacity

The Anne Frank House was renovated in the summer and fall of 2018. In recent years, the museum has welcomed 1.2 to 1.3 million visitors a year — full capacity, according to Ronald Leopold, general manager Anne Frank Stichting.

The Anne Frank House has no room to expand. Because the house is an integral part of the museum’s collection, it cannot move elsewhere either.

“The interest in the Anne Frank House is always greater than what we can handle,” says Director Leopold. “The quality of the visit and how people experience it is paramount.”

Speaking of which: The lengthy, 2+ hour queues the museum was notorious for — see the first photo here — became a thing of the past in 2016. In that year the Anne Frank House switched to online, timed entry tickets only.

#4 (shared ) — NEMO Science Museum

The NEMO Science Museum headed by Buchel is a museum dedicated to, well, science. It is a special place for kids of all ages (up to 99 and beyond). There is lots to see and do — and unlike in other museums, you can touch and play with just about everything.

Though NEMO has a shared 4th place, it is one of the top things to do when you visit Amsterdam with your children.

There are five floors where you can experience how science works, unravel the technology around you, study the building blocks of the cosmos, discover who you are, and play with energy. And yes, you can great giant soap bubbles big enough to stand in!

TIP: NEMO sports the largest roof terrace in Amsterdam, offering spectacular views of the city. You can access it whether or not you visit the museum.

#4 (shared) — Stedelijk Museum

The Stedelijk Museum (left) and the Van Gogh Museum (right) at Museumplein in Amsterdam — © Copyright: DutchAmsterdam.com

The Stedelijk Museum is one of the world’s leading modern art museums. It shows works from such artists as Piet Mondrian, Kazimir Malevich, and Karel Appel, as well as from Picasso, Chagall, Cézanne, and Monet.

In 2018 the museum had the “best summer ever” because an extra 263.000 people came to a hugely popular exhibition with works by Amsterdam-based artist collective Studio Drift.

Director Rein Wolfs says that since the target for this year was 650.000 visitors, he is satisfied.

The Stedelijk’s permanent collection is housed in the museum’s huge basement hall where it is displayed under the name, Stedelijk Base.

Video: Stedelijk Base at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam

What is Your Favorite Museum in Amsterdam?

Follow DutchAmsterdam on Twitter, and let us know what you think.

Amsterdam has 40+ official museums

The Netherlands (about equal in size to the US State of Maryland) sports more than 400 official museums — and many more unofficial ones. More than 40 of them are in Amsterdam (which itself has many more unofficial museums as well). Matter of fact, no city in the world has more museums per square kilometer than Amsterdam.

Half of all museum visits take place in Amsterdam, NEMO director Michiel Buchel tells Dutch broadcast foundation NOS. “Many of the approximately 20 million visitors to the city come to the forty registered museums in the capital,” he says. “We benefit from being able to go along for the ‘Amsterdam ride’.”

More about Museums in Amsterdam

Last updated CET (Central European Time)

Hello! Our original content is of course protected by © Copyright DutchAmsterdam .nl
Do not republish or repost. Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape    

Why stand in line during your Amsterdam vacation?

Beat the crowds by booking Amsterdam Tours, Skip the Line Tickets, Museums, Excursions and Activities online. GetYourGuide is our trusted ticket partner.

The DutchAmsterdam website includes affiliate links. That means we get a small commission — at no additional cost to you — for each purchase you make. Your support helps us provide this site free of charge. Naturally, as our Editorial Policy states, our content is never influenced by our advertisers or affiliates.