Interested in Dutch art, culture, history or science? Here’s a list of some of the most visited and interesting museums in Amsterdam that both expats and tourists should visit.
Museums in Amsterdam
Anne Frank Huis
Prinsengracht 267 Amsterdam
Open to the public since 1960, the canal-side house serves as a present-day reminder of the war, the plight of its Jewish inhabitants, Anne Frank’s indomitable spirit and the celebrated diary she wrote during the time she spent in hiding in its secret annexe. Today the Anne Frank House (Anne Frank Huis) is a world-famous museum that receives around a million tourists yearly and the most visited building of its kind in Amsterdam.
Herengracht 366-368, 1001 AK Amsterdam
The Bible Museum is where art and culture meet the Bible, in a monumental building full of history. Archaeological discoveries, ancient artefacts, centuries-old models of the temple of Solomon and Herod, religious objects from the Judeo-Christian tradition and even aromas bring stories from the oldest and most-read books to life. The Bible Museum (Bijbels Museum) presents how the Bible came into existence and its influence on Dutch society through the ages.
Rembrandt House Museum
Jodenbreestraat 4, 1011 NK Amsterdam
The Rembrandt House Museum (Rembrandt Huis) consists of the house and studio of the famous 17th-century Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn, as well as a modern extension. Rembrandt lived and painted there from 1639 until his bankruptcy in 1656. The original interior is reconstructed and the museum is also located in an adjoining modern building which houses the entrance, the museum shop and the two exhibition rooms.
Museumstraat 1 Amsterdam
Located at Amsterdam's iconic Museumplein, the Rijksmuseum is one of the national museums of the Netherlands and the largest museum in the whole country. Its collection comprises over a million objects dedicated the arts, crafts and history of Amsterdam and the Netherlands, dating from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. It also has an Asian collection in its special Asian Pavillion.
Gravenstraat 17, 1012 NL Amsterdam
The Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) on Dam Square in central Amsterdam is no longer used as a church and is now a renowned exhibition space. It is famous for its stained glass windows, its organ, which is the largest historical organ in the Netherlands, and of course its much-talked-about exhibitions of treasures from other countries, cultures and religions, as well as photography exhibitions such as World Press Photo.
FOAM Photography Museum
Keizersgracht 609, 1017 DS Amsterdam
Each year, FOAM Photography Museum hosts four major exhibitions, exhibiting different genres from art photography to fashion photography, as well as a lot of work by renowned documentary photographers. FOAM (which stands for Fotographiemuseum Amsterdam) is housed in a famous old building: completed in 1716, Keizersgracht 609 first operated as a warehouse. After coal merchant and art buyer Carel Joseph Fodor (1801-1860) took ownership and also bought the building next door, his last will and testament stipulated that the canal depot be used to store his impressive collection of artworks.
Museumplein 10 Amsterdam
Located in the heart of Amsterdam’s museum district, the Stedelijk Museum is dedicated to modern and contemporary art and design from the early 20th century up to the 21st century. It's subdivided into many different sections, such as painting, sculpture, installation, posters, photography, graphic design, industrial design, art books and moving image and sound.
Amstel 51 Amsterdam
Hermitage Amsterdam is the largest satellite branch of the famous Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Located in a striking old building formerly known as the Amstelhof on the bank of the Amstel river, it was opened in 2009. As well as frequent temporary exhibitions, the Hermitage houses two permanent exhibitions: one about Dutch-Russian relations and one about the history of the magnificent building.
Jewish Historical Museum
Nieuwe Amstelstraat 1 Amsterdam
The Jewish Historical Museum (Joods Historisch Museum) is part of Amsterdam's Jewish quarter, providing deep insight into one of Amsterdam's most prolific cultures throughout history, including during the horrific events that Jewish people endured during World War II. The museum displays Jewish religious objects as well as Jewish art, historical artefacts, and multimedia presentations. It is the only museum in the Netherlands dedicated to Jewish culture.
Linnaeusstraat 2, 1092 CK Amsterdam
Tropenmuseum is one of the three constituents that make up the Dutch National Museum of World Cultures, one of Europe’s leading ethnographic museums, renowned for its collection and, more importantly, its focus on universal themes that connect humans worldwide. The permanent and temporary exhibitions display objects, photographs, music and film from many different cultures and touch on various social issues of our world.
Van Gogh Museum
Stadhouderskade 55, 1072 AB Amsterdam
A visit to the Van Gogh Museum is a unique experience. The museum houses the largest collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh in the world, providing an opportunity to track the artist's development through time, and to compare his paintings to works by other artists from Van Gogh's time.
National Maritime Museum
Kattenburgerplein 1, 1018 KK Amsterdam
The National Maritime Museum (Het Scheepvaartmuseum) shows how Dutch culture has been shaped by the sea, from commercial shipping to pleasure sailing. Stimulating, interactive exhibits allow visitors to explore over 500 years of maritime history. Ever since 1973, the museum has been housed - very aptly - in a former naval storehouse, built in 1656. Moored just outside is a replica of the 18th-century Amsterdam ship which sailed between the Netherlands and the East Indies.
NEMO Science Museum
Oosterdok 2, 1011 VX Amsterdam
In 1997, Queen Beatrix opened NEMO Science Museum, the Netherlands’ largest science centre. It's a unique place in Amsterdam comprising five floors packed with interactive scientific and technological things to do and discover. It's old name New Metropolis has been shortened to NEMO. As well as being a celebrated museum, it also has a very popular roof garden with a cafe and an extensive seating area, which is a popular hangout during good weather.
Museum of the Canals
Herengracht 386 Amsterdam
Museum of the Canals (Het Grachtenhuis) is an interactive audiovisual experience which introduces visitors to one of the most important urban development projects in the world: the 17th-century canals of Amsterdam. The museum shows how the canal buildings came to be, starting in 1600 and also why they are so special nowadays in the 21st century.
Kalverstraat 92 Amsterdam
Amsterdam Museum (previously known as the Amsterdam Historic Museum), through the rich collection of works of art, objects and archaeological artefacts, brings to life the trials and tribulations of Amsterdammers stretching from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. It is located in the old city orphanage between Kalverstraat and Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal.
Ons' Lieve Heer Op Solder
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 40, 1012 GE Amsterdam
Ons' Lieve Heer Op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic) is one of the oldest and most remarkable museums in Amsterdam (the second oldest museum in the Dutch capital after the Rijksmuseum) and has been declared a national monument. Behind the characteristic facade of the house by the canal lies a largely original 17th-century home and a completely hidden church.
EYE Film Institute
IJpromenade 1 Amsterdam
The EYE Film Institute, the Dutch centre for film culture and heritage, is dedicated to developing a distinctive film culture in the Netherlands. The earliest film materials at the EYE date from 1895, the very beginning of the Dutch film industry. Its dashing building on the north of Amsterdam's waterfront, which was officially opened in2012, houses a cinematography museum and many movie screens which are home to film festivals and other cinematographic events. It is most commonly reached by visitors from central station via free ferry.
Herengracht 497, 1017 BT Amsterdam
Cat Cabinet (KattenKabinet), as the name might suggest, is an art museum dedicated to cat-related artworks. Cats depicted by artists, both renowned and lesser-known, are on display there, including works by Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt, Toulouse-Lautrec and more. Visitors may also encounter some real-live cats wandering around the museum during their visit.
Honthorststraat 20, 1071 Amsterdam
Moco Museum is a contemporary art museum located on Museumplein, with a mission to attract younger audiences and to make art more accessible to the wider public. Located in the stately Villa Alsberg dating from 1904, Moco typically holds exhibitions of the work of artists with a broad popular appeal, such as Banksy, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and many more.
Museum of Amsterdam Illusions
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 143 H, 1012 ES Amsterdam
The creative space at Amsterdam Museum of Illusions is a wonderful and unforgettable day out at the museum, the main participant of which is the spectator. Interactive and amusing, the exhibits play with your perception and teach you about the human brain and science and why you can see things with your eyes that your mind can barely comprehend. Exhibits may (and should) be touched, explored and photographed, as the viewer becomes part of an exciting story!
Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE Amsterdam
The historic brewing facility of the world-famous Heineken beer brand welcomes visitors from all over the world to its visitor centre for brewery tours. Beer was brewed in this building from 1867 until 1988, when it moved to a bigger, more modern building outside the city. Visitor tours began in 1991 in its current museum building and by 2001, it had become one of Amsterdam's prime tourist attractions, thus changing its name to the "Heineken Experience".
Dutch Resistance Museum
The Dutch Resistance Museum (Verzetsmuseum) explores the story of the Netherlands and its people during World War II, through photography, vintage posters, artefacts, films and sound files. The museum sets the scene of the treacherous events of the war, as well as everyday life during the war years, showing the resistance of the Dutch people against the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
Fashion For Good Experience
Rokin 102, 1012 KZ Amsterdam
The Fashion For Good Experience is the world's first interactive museum dedicated to sustainable fashion innovation. The museum invites visitors to interact and learn about where their clothes come from, how they were made and how the future of fashion has been in need of a change for the better. Every half-year, there's a new carefully curated exhibition with a unique theme that highlights issues regarding fashion, both on the industry level and on a personal level.
Power of Art House
In an intimate exhibition space on Entrepotdok, Power of Art House is using art to fight indifference. An interactive experience stimulates people to join the dialogue around tricky social and political issues, such as loneliness, corporate propaganda, and the experiences of refugees. International artists get a platform to communicate themes in powerful, satirical, and (at times) provocative ways, bringing attention to problems often ignored by the media. In a time where political engagement is precious, Power of Art House raises important questions without feeding you the answers.
The Upside Down Museum
The Upside Down Museum is the most interactive museum you can imagine, featuring mesmerising optical illusions and Instagrammable sights! Create amazing selfies while you experience the world in fresh new ways at the Upside Down.
Madame Tussauds Museum is situated in the bustling heart of Amsterdam, containing remarkably life-like wax replicas of celebrities. The collection is captivating, featuring wax likenesses of world leaders, Hollywood celebrities, sports personalities, cultural figures and members of the Dutch and British royal families. The original Madame Tussauds Museum opened in London in 1835, and the Amsterdam Madame Tussauds Museum, conceived by the original founder's great-great-granddaughter, opened in 1970s. It was the first branch of the Madam Tussauds Museums to open in mainland Europe.