Best 25 Museums in Amsterdam to Add to Your Itinerary

25 Best Museums to Visit in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is one of my fav cities in the world and, if you’re a museum lover like me, it’s likely to be one of yours too!

Boasting a treasure trove of galleries, spaces and exhibitions catering to every curiosity, the best museums in Amsterdam include renowned icons such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, right through to quirky, niche gems like the STRAAT Museum and the Nxt Museum, which can both be found in trendy Amsterdam NOORD.

Otherwise the Museumplein (or Museum Quarter), in the heart of Amsterdam, will keep you occupied for hours and is a good place to head for some of the big exhibition bucket list ticks.

So if you want to fill your Amsterdam itinerary with nothing but museums, then this is definitely the article to read!

Bringing you the best 25 museums to enjoy in the Dutch capital, as well as money saving tips about how to access many of them for less, this is your one-stop shop for Amsterdam’s cultural highlights…

Amsterdam, Van Loon Museum, Me


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Amsterdam Museum Passes and Cards

Amsterdam, I Amsterdam City Card, App

If you plan on visiting a lot of museums in Amsterdam, then it definitely pays to consider getting a Amsterdam museum pass or card.

And my recommendation is for the I Amsterdam City Card, which can help consolidate your ticket entrance costs by giving you free or discounted admission to lots of participating museums.

In addition, you also get free public transport rides on trams, buses, trains and ferries across the city, which makes getting to all the different museums and attractions you want to visit as easy as tapping in and tapping out!

The I Amsterdam City Card also covers some attractions and experiences in Amsterdam (such as bike rental or canal cruises) and costs €60 for 24 hours and up to €125 for 120 hours.

You can visit as many museums as you want as long as they are within the duration of your pass.

Buying a digital version online ahead of your trip and then simple activating it, via the I Amsterdam app on arrival, is an easy and stress-free way to get yours.

Remember to check the museums you want to visit accept the pass before purchasing.

Some museums also require you to book entry time slots before arriving with your pass, so check the individual museum websites for more info on this too.


Art and History Museums in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Exterior

Explore centuries of art and history in these flagship Amsterdam museums, where many interactive exhibits allow you to step back in time and experience Dutch life as it was several centuries ago…


#1 Rijksmuseum

As the Netherlands’ national museum, Rijksmuseum is home to a massive collection of over 3000 Dutch paintings (such as Rembrandt’s famous piece The Night Watch), as well as artefacts, sculptures and almost anything related to its 800 years of Dutch history.

In fact, the museum has over 8000 objects on display.

Expect to see pieces by various Dutch masters, such as Rembrandt, Vincent Van Gogh, Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals and Jan Steen here.

You can also enjoy the collection of cultural art from West Asia or South Asia, as well as Dutch artistry through delftware, textiles and furniture.

Exhibits are divided across 100+ rooms, and a free mobile app can help you navigate – I recommend downloading it before your arrival.

The app has 14 themed tours, or you can create your own by selecting your preferred pieces – for example, there’s no need to spend time in the old masters section if that’s not your thing.

Should you prefer a more human touch, the Rijksmuseum also offers hour-long guided tours on the weekend, starting at 9:30am.

Tickets are available for walk-ins, though you’ll likely wait in a queue for a while.

I therefore advise pre-booking your tickets to save time and avoid the crowds – free entry is included with I Amsterdam City Card.


#2 National Maritime Museum

The Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum, also known as the National Maritime Museum, houses over 500 years of Dutch naval history.

The museum is home to several exhibits that highlight the naval side of the Dutch Golden Age. 

Expect to see historical charts, navigational instruments and other items that give an insight into a Dutch sailor’s life.

Don’t leave without stepping foot in the Amsterdam – a replica of the 18th-century Dutch East India ship of the same name.


#3 Amsterdam Museum

Visit the Amsterdam Museum (formerly known as the Amsterdam Historical Museum or Amsterdams Historisch Museum) to better understand this city’s soul.

Think of this place as the capital’s personal storybook, guiding you on a journey into history that dates back to the Middle Ages.

The museum’s dynamic and interactive exhibits narrate Amsterdam’s humble beginnings as a fishing town 800 years ago through to its rise as a global trading centre and modern metropolis.

This is one of my favourite museums in Amsterdam when it comes to understanding the city and its community.


#4 Our Lord in the Attic Museum

A short walk from Amsterdam Centraal Station, Our Lord in the Attic Museum (or Ons’ Lieve Heer Op Solder) is a Catholic church operating in the attic of a 17th-century canal house.

It is also one of the oldest museum in Amsterdam, second only to the Rijksmuseum.

When Catholics were being persecuted during the Protestant Reformation across the Netherlands, worshippers had to go to this clandestine church to practise their beliefs safely.

The church still holds Mass today, but you don’t have to attend one to appreciate this place.

The living spaces, such as the bedrooms, dining areas and kitchens, remain intact and help give this lovely Amsterdam museum its incredibly charming and cute ambience.


#5 Rembrandt House Museum

Stepping into the Rembrandt House Museum is like entering a time capsule, transporting you back to when the legendary Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn lived in this house for two decades.

Aside from period pieces that make up the museum’s atmosphere, it’s also filled with Rembrandt’s paintings and etchings that spread across several rooms in this 2-storey property.

I particularly loved the reconstruction of his studio, where most of his masterpieces were made, especially as this room is complete with period-appropriate furnishings, some of which are original.

If you’re lucky (or time your visit well), you can even join special events that take place here and are designed to enhance your visit.


#6 Museum Van Loon

Located along Keizersgracht (one of Amsterdam’s three main canals), Museum Van Loon is set within the perfectly preserved 17th-century canal house of the Van Loon family, who co-founded the Dutch East India Company.

Naturally, that means witnessing how a Dutch noble lived back in the day – think porcelain items, silver objects, and lacquered furniture – but the museum has also gone a long way to showcasing how much this family’s wealth was derived from slavery, with exhibitions highlighting many of the world’s oppressed communities on display on each room.

The museum also has a beautiful garden at the back, which hosts several concerts during the summer, and should not be missed.

Because the Van Loon family still reside here, the top floors of the house are off-limits for visitors.


#7 H’ART Museum (Hermitage Museum)

The Hermitage Museum Amsterdam opened in 2009 as a satellite of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

However, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Hermitage Amsterdam decided to cut ties with its Russian counterpart.

The museum relaunched itself in 2023 as the H’ART Museum and is now a completely independent operation.

Instead of relying on the Russian Hermitage Museum for its exhibitions, the H’ART works with the Smithsonian, Centre Pompidou and the British Museum for its rotating exhibitions.


#8 Van Gogh Museum

Visiting the Van Gogh Museum while in Amsterdam is like a rite of passage – everyone has to do it!

Millions of visitors annually agree, making it the 2nd most visited museum in Amsterdam after the Rijksmuseum.

The museum houses the world’s most extensive collection of Van Gogh’s works, ranging from well-known pieces such as Sunflowers, Wheatfield with Crows,The Yellow House, self-portraits and everything in between.

The exhibits also highlight the artist’s personal struggles (such as his battle with depression) and how they influenced his works.

Don’t miss the museum’s library, which has over 23,000 books about Van Gogh and his contemporaries.

Before visiting, make sure you purchase tickets online.

The museum has specific time slots daily; some sell out quicker than others.


#9 Zaans Museum

Located just outside of Amsterdam in the region of Zaans Schaun, if you want to see some classic and historic windmills, and learn about the huge amounts of fuel and food they produced in days gone by, then this is the place to head.

With your I Amsterdam City Card you can visit the local museum here for free, which tells the story of this area and its community, as well as dive inside many of the beautiful wooden windmills to learn about their heritage features and iconic Dutch appearance.


Coolest Museums in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Diamond Museum, Exterior

Amsterdam’s coolest museums aren’t just about the famous names; they’re about peaking your imagination and leaving you fascinated by new ideas and experiences.

Beyond the usual, most popular museums, the lovely Dutch capital is full of spaces filled with unique collections and exhibitions, here’s my top picks…


#10 Diamond Museum

Housed in a beautiful 19th-century villa near Museumplein, the Diamond Museum (or Diamant Museum Amsterdam) offers a fascinating look into the world’s most precious stone.

The museum was opened in 2007 by Coster Diamonds, an Amsterdam-based diamond business that has been trading since 1840.

Inside, interactive displays and presentations tell how diamonds come from deep beneath the earth.

They also have a collection of replicas of world-famous jewels and exhibits that explain diamonds’ cultural significance.


#11 Pianola Museum

The Geelvinck Pianola Museum is very much a hidden gem among Amsterdam’s museums, but it’s easily the coolest.

The museum’s archive boasts an impressive 40,000+ music roll, which doesn’t even include its collection of instruments and memorabilia.

The museum also holds concerts in the music lounge, allowing visitors to experience the sounds of its instruments in a more intimate setting.

If you wish to visit the Pianola Museum, plan ahead, because it’s only open on Fridays and Saturdays from 13:00 to 17:00 and Sundays from 13:00 to 16:00.


#12 Museum of the Canals

Also known as Het Grachtenhuis, the Museum of the Canals is one of my top picks among the lesser-known Amsterdam museums and free entry is included with I Amsterdam City Card.

The exhibits are divided into five rooms, and each one describes the development of Amsterdam’s canals in chronological order and how they played an important role in the city’s growth.

Remember to head downstairs to see period rooms decorated with antique furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries.

These rooms typically house temporary exhibitions about Het Grachtenhuis – a beautiful canal house.


#13 Fabrique des Lumières

Housed in the former Westergasfabriek (gas works), Fabrique des Lumières retains the building’s industrial architectural charm while immersing you in art like you’ve never experienced before.

A full audio visual, sensory experience, this museum projects iconic artworks onto the walls and floors using state-of-the-art projectors, creating a truly breathtaking spectacle.

Because of how the museum showcases art to its visitors, it doesn’t have a permanent exhibition, instead the pieces rotate every 12 months to sister galleries across the world.

When I visited, the Dutch Masters was showing and it was absolutely captivating – I literally sat mesmerised for the entire show.

Whether you choose to wander around the vast space to soak in the 360 projections, or sit and absorb it head on, your visit will be a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

Discounted entry is available with the I Amsterdam City Card.


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#14 NEMO Science Museum

Think of the NEMO Science Museum as your ultimate playground, where learning about science is one big interactive experiment. 

The entire museum is a wonderland of hands-on experiences spread over four floors.

The first three floors have their own exhibits: Fenomena, Technium, and Humania.

They focus on the science of natural phenomena, technological inventions, and humans.

Meanwhile, the fourth floor has an area dedicated to kids called Wonderlab.

Don’t miss NEMO’s rooftop terrace for some lovely views over Amsterdam.


#15 Madame Tussauds Amsterdam

As the first Madame Tussauds outside the UK, the Amsterdam version has quite the collection of wax figures.

Expect to see superstars like Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and the Dutch royal family, including King Willem-Alexander and Queen Wilhelmina.

Movie stars? You’ll see them here too!

They’re not just any wax figures either; they have excellent likenesses that will have you double-taking as you walk by them.

A great option for all the family.


Amsterdam NOORD Museums

Amsterdam Noord, NXT Museum, Girls

Amsterdam NOORD (or North) is quickly becoming a hotbed for eclectic museums and trendy hangouts.

If you’re looking to discover hipster Amsterdam, this is the spot.

Check out these exhibition spaces to get a refreshing alternative to mainstream Amsterdam museum culture…


#16 STRAAT Museum

STRAAT Museum is Amsterdam’s street art sanctuary and boasts the space to boot.

With about 86,000 sq ft of exhibition space, there’s plenty of room to admire STRAAT’s impressive collection of over 150 street art pieces.

The colourful and sometimes thought-provoking art has transformed a former shipbuilding warehouse into something truly marvellous.

Here’s my tip for visiting STRAAT: make your way up the Panorama Terrace on the second floor and enjoy the artwork from above – it truly is a different view up there.


#17 Eye Filmmuseum

If you’re a film fanatic and want something more than the usual fare in Amsterdam, the Eye Filmmuseum is my top pick!

You’ll be greeted by a massive collection of everything film-related, with the highlight being its collection of over 54,000 films and over 55,000 posters.

Posters, film clips, photos from various movie sets, related letters and various film equipment – if it relates to films, the Eye Filmmuseum will likely have it!

You can even see a film on one of the museum’s four screens, regularly showing indie and classic titles.

Remember to check out the museum’s cafe too – its huge glass windows offer lovely views of the River IJ as you enjoy your coffee or lunch.


#18 Nxt Museum

If you’ve ever wished you could hear or feel an artwork as it moves, Nxt will allow you to do so.

Their special exhibitions are all about letting you, the viewer, interact with the art, as you wander through digital landscapes, mesmerised by the sounds and sights around you.

But before you head over to Nxt for your experience, make sure you buy tickets online.

They don’t sell tickets at the door here, and you don’t want to miss out on such a fantastic and unique Amsterdam museum.


Amsterdam Photography Museums

Amsterdam, Zaans Museum, Exterior

There’s no doubt that Amsterdam is photogenic, with its beautiful canals and the cute townhouses it’s instantly recognisable the world over.

However if you want to put down your camera for a few hours and admire someone else’s shots, add this place to your list…


#19 Huis Marseille

You wouldn’t expect a 17th-century canal house to be a museum, especially one dedicated to contemporary photography, but it works!

As you explore the museum and admire its ever-rotating exhibitions of photographs from rising talents, you’ll also get to admire the house’s 17th-century furnishings too.

Huis Marseille does have a permanent collection of over 750 photos from various photographers, but they’re not always on display.

Instead, they’re mixed in with the museum’s temporary exhibits, making for a different experience every three months.

Unless you’re a frequent visitor, you’ll always see something new at Huis Marseille.


Contemporary Art Museums in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Moco Museum, Exterior

Amsterdam’s contemporary art scene is anything but dull!

This city’s lively culture meshes perfectly well with the colourful imagination of contemporary artists, resulting in a truly unique and memorable museum visit that will leave you only wanting more!


#20 Street Art Museum

Not to be confused with the STRAAT Museum, the Street Art Museum (SAMA) in Amsterdam Nieuw-West also focuses on keeping the city’s street art culture alive.

Instead of being confined in one building, the Street Art Museum showcases its collection of over 300 pieces across a 3 kilometre area.

SAMA works with the neighbourhood to help keep the street art culture (and their works) alive, while also introducing visitors to an often overlooked part of the city.

You can only see the entire collection through SAMA’s guided tour, which takes around two hours and can be done on a bike if you want.

Free tours are given in English, Dutch, French, and Spanish, although tours in other languages can be arranged for a fee.


#21 Moco Museum

The Moco Museum, located in Museumplein, is housed in a historic building that dates from 1904 and was designed by the nephew of the Rijksmuseum’s architect.

However, don’t let its exterior fool you!

Moco is home to an extensive collection of modern iconic artworks set across 4 floors.

Banksy works make up a large part of the collection and you can expect to Girl With Balloon, Laugh Now and Smiling Copper.

Alongside these, you can discover pieces from from Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Yayoi Kusama, Keith Haring and other famous artists.

This place also hosts temporary exhibits, ranging from artist works to various NFTs.

And if you need some fresh air, Moco’s garden is home to various sculptures that change periodically.

Free to enter with the I Amsterdam City Card – you need to book a time slot in advance for this very popular museum.


#22 Stedelijk Museum

And pretty much next door to the Moco Museum is the Stedelijk Museum.

From its contrasting architecture of 19th-century red bricks attached to a modern building with sleek white lines, the Stedelijk is hard to miss.

Its collection is hard to miss too, with works by Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol spread across 2 large floors.

Stedelijk cleverly divides its permanent display into three groups: works from the 1880s to the 1950s, from the 1950s to the 1980s and from the 1980s to the present day.

Two galleries are also dedicated to temporary exhibitions, typically featuring slightly obscure (yet equally interesting) artists, and are accessed through a separate, ticketed, queue.


World War II Museums in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Stedelijk, Artwork

World War II profoundly affected the Netherlands, and Amsterdam isn’t afraid to embrace this fact.

From the Anne Frank House to the Museum of WWII Resistance, these museums will give you a closer look at the tenacity and bravery of the Dutch people during one of Europe’s most challenging times…


#23 Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank Huis is undoubtedly an attraction that you should not miss when visiting Amsterdam.

It’s a reminder of the Frank family’s struggles and Anne’s experiences in particular, which were immortalised in her iconic diaries.

Organising your visit to this popular spot however does require some planning.

Tickets are only sold online… but they sell out quickly.

You can only purchase tickets up to six weeks before your visit, and even then, the museum only makes them available every Tuesday at 10:00am CET.

But once you’ve secured your tickets and braved through the seemingly never-ending queues outside, be ready for a moving experience.

You’ll start with an exhibit documenting Anne’s life before she was sent to the concentration camps, which includes photographs and other interesting documents.

Gradually, you’ll go towards a bookcase that hides the Secret Annex, where the Frank family hid for two years.

To complement your visit, the newer building next door houses various multimedia exhibits about Anne’s story and her life during the war.


#24 Verzetsmuseum Amsterdam – Museum of WWII Resistance

Also known as the “Dutch Resistance Museum” or “Museum of WWII Resistance,” Verzetsmuseum tells how the Dutch people coped with and resisted the German occupation from 1940 to 1945.

With plenty of exhibits, photographs and personal items positioned to help tell the story of life during these times, the museum does an excellent job of highlighting the bravery and creativity of the Dutch people during WWII.


#25 Jewish Museum

Formerly known as the “Jewish Historical Museum,” the Jewish Museum highlights the culture and history of the Dutch Jewish community.

You’ll encounter art pieces, old photographs, artefacts and interactive media explaining the history of the Jewish community in the Netherlands.

There’s also a section dedicated to the works of Dutch Jewish artists, showing how their experiences influenced their works.

If you have little ones with you, the Jewish Museum Junior is aimed towards educating the younger ones about Dutch Jewish life and history, and should not be missed.


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Mini Amsterdam Travel Guide

Amsterdam, Met Hotel, Bedroom

When to Visit Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is a great year round destination.

That said, I think April through June and September through October are perfect months for balancing good weather with thinner crowds.


How to Travel There?

I love taking the Eurostar from London – direct in just 4 hours.

Otherwise you can fly direct into Amsterdam Schiphol airport from hundreds of cities around the world. 

Find the best rates on Skyscanner.


How to Travel Around Amsterdam?

With your I Amsterdam City Card public transport across the city is free!

This includes tram, train, bus and ferry, making sightseeing life simple!

All you need to do is tap on and off every journey within the city limits, and you’re good to go!


Where to Stay to Amsterdam?

The Met Hotel Amsterdam is a wonderful spot in a fantastic local part of Amsterdam.

This boutique, independent hotel has wonderful spacious rooms, which peel off from a trendy cafe / bar / restaurants space that boasts a delicious a la carte and cocktail menu.


How Long to Stay?

I recommend a stay of at least 3 nights in Amsterdam – there’s so much to see and do here!

The 72 hr I Amsterdam City Card would be perfect for this length of trip.


Travel Insurance

World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.

Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.


Avoid expensive roaming fees and grab a eSIM for your trip to Amsterdam.

I highly recommend Holafly.

You can get 5% off their packages with my exclusive discount code: BIGWORLDSMALLPOCKETS


Travel Money

The Dutch currency is the Euro.

Wise is the easy way to spend abroad with real exchange rates, no markups and no sneaky ATM fees.

You can use your Wise card just like a debit card and it links easily with Google and Apple pay – sold!

Grab yours here.




And there you have it, my list of the best 25 museums to visit in Amsterdam.

Don’t forget the I Amsterdam City Card is a great way to explore the cultural highlights of the Dutch capital for less.

Have you been you any of these museums before?

Which is your favourite?


My trip to Amsterdam was sponsored by Amsterdam&Partners but, as always, all views are my own.

This page contains affiliate links meaning Big World Small Pockets may receive a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.


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