2023 was a great year for Dutch museums, but financial issues persist

2023 was a great year for Dutch museums, but financial issues persist

Museums in the Netherlands had a bumper year in 2023, with many people in the Netherlands opting to buy a museum card. According to the Museum Association, the total number of people who purchased the museum card in 2023 is a good indicator overall for museum visits in the Netherlands.

Between 29 and 32 million people visited museums in the Netherlands

Though the figures are not yet confirmed, between 29 and 32 million people visited museums across the country in 2023. The Dutch population is only just under 18 million, meaning that many of the museum visits were made by tourists and visitors from overseas. 

According to NOS, these figures roughly equal those recorded in the last year before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the Netherlands, in 2019. Several museums, including the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Flood Museum in Ouwerkerk, had a record number of visitors. 

Some Dutch museums are still struggling from financial pressures

Despite this, some Dutch museums are still struggling with financial pressures. According to NOS, the Art Museum in The Hague and the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden are both struggling to recover funds lost during the COVID-19 pandemic

At the end of 2023, the Cobra Museum in Amstelveen was narrowly saved from bankruptcy by a loan from a wealthy Dutch entrepreneur. Healthcare magnate and philanthropist Marius Touwen agreed to provide the museum with funds to tide it over for 2024.

Many Dutch museums made use of their own financial reserves throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to get them and their staff through the lockdown. This means that now, almost four years after the start of the pandemic, lots of museums are still reliant on subsidies from the government or private donations to keep the lights on.

Image: Wolf-photography /

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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