One of the ancient cities of Europe, Amsterdam has been the residence of some of the most famous figures in history, from revolutionary artists Rembrandt and Van Gogh to tragic historical heroine Anne Frank. The city’s rich heritage is showcased in numerous galleries and museums, which tell the lives of the city and the legends who lived there. Here are five of the most popular.
The Anne Frank House
The site of one of the most famous hide-outs in history, The Anne Frank House was scheduled for demolition in the mid 1950s, and was only rescued from its disastrous fate by a group of gallant protesters. As the young diarist has gained in reputation over the years, the museum has grown to be one of the most frequented in the city. Virtually untouched since it was known to the Frank family, with all rooms of the so-called ‘Secret Annex’ on display together with numerous artifacts and reconstructions (if originals were destroyed by the Nazis), it remains an important and moving monument to the strength of family bonds and the power of the human spirit.
Address: Prinsengracht 263-267, 1016 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands +31 20 556 7105
April 1 – October 31: daily from 9:00 – 21:00, (Saturdays 9:00 – 22:00).
July – August: daily 9:00 – 22:00
November 1 – March 31: daily from 9:00 – 19:00 (Saturdays 9:00 – 21:00).
Drawing crowds of over two million people a year, Rijksmuseum is the most-visited museum in the country. With a rotating display of around 8,000 objects (from an entire collection of one million), it may be most accurately compared to New York’s Met Museum, and houses works from all the most notable artists and historical periods on record. Conveniently located on the Museum Square, and free for admission to anyone under 18 (€17.50 for adults), the museum has recently reopened its main wing after a ten-year renovation, almost doubling its exhibition space. Breathtaking from inside and out, this museum of wonders has to be seen to be believed.
Address: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands +31 900 0745
Opening Times: Daily 09:00 – 17:00
The Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum
Housing the largest collection of Van Gogh’s works in the world, with around two hundred paintings and over a thousand letters and drawings, the Van Gogh Museum has been a magnet for scholars and aficionados since its opening in 1973. Each room follows a certain period of Van Gogh’s career chronologically, so the visitor can appreciate his life in conjunction with his works. Located just a short distance from the Rijksmuseum in Museum Square, admission is free for anyone under 18, with an adult charge of €17.
Address: Paulus Potterstraat 7, 1071 CX Amsterdam, Netherlands +31 20 570 5200
Opening Times: Sunday – Thursday 9:00 – 18:00, Friday – Saturday 9:00 – 22:00
Containing the largest collection of contemporary art in the city, with works by Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse (and, of course, Vincent Van Gogh), the Stedelijk Museum houses some 90,000 art pieces from paintings and sculpture to mixed media and photography. Located with the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum along the Museum Square, and free for admission to anyone under 18 (€15 for adults), Stedelijk is the first destination for modern art lovers in the Netherlands.
Address: Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands +31 20 573 2911
Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 18:00 (late opening Thursdays, until 22:00)
Rembrandt House Museum
Situated in the original residence of Rembrandt van Rijn, and meticulously renovated and restored to reflect its contemporary appearance, the Rembrandt House Museum contains hundreds of etchings, drawings, and copperplates by the Dutch master, as well as a generous selection of works from his contemporaries and pupils. A collector in his own right, the museum also houses a number of Rembrandts personal effects which survived his bankruptcy and auction of his belongings. Admission is free for children under six; for those 6 – 17 it costs €4, and €12.50 for adults.
Address: Jodenbreestraat 4, 1011 NK Amsterdam, Netherlands +31 20 520 0400
Opening Times: Daily 10:00 – 18:00