A good museum is always a key feature of any city, and Amsterdam is one such city that has a variety of museums to discover. It even has its own Museum Quarter where the famous Rijksmuseum is found in a picturesque spot in the heart of the city.  

Whatever your passion or budget, there is a museum for you in Amsterdam! Here’s a short list that will help you to choose which museum best suits you. 

For the traveller on a budget 

Discovering a new city doesn’t mean you have to fork out for all the attractions!  

The Schuttersgalerij (Civic Guards Gallery) is recognised as part of the Amsterdam Museum but is free to visit. It may be small, but the Schuttersgalerij houses an impressive collection of historical and modern portraits of the Dutch elite.  

Schuttersgalerij, Amsterdam
Photo by @gotta_love_amsterdam on Instagram

Also, we would highly recommend the Amsterdam Public Library, near the Central Station. Whilst it’s not a museum, it does have rotating art exhibitions, a stunning interior and calm spaces to curl up with a good book. 

Amsterdam Public Library
Photo by @jennyinitaly on Instagram

For the traveller who loves history and art 

When in Amsterdam, you can’t look past the Rijksmuseum. As the national museum of the Netherlands, the Rijksmuseum is dedicated to over 800 years of Dutch history and art. Big names featured that you may recognise are famous icons like Rembrandt and Van Gogh.  

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Photo by @emptystreetsofamsterdam on Instagram

And for the history buffs, we can’t look past the Anne Frank House. Featuring the original secret annex where Anne Frank wrote her diary, this house-turned-museum will transport you back in time to what it was like for a young girl to live through the Second World War. 

Anne Frank House
Photo by @annefrankhouse_official on Instagram

For the traveller into modern art 

Just a few minutes’ walk from the Rijksmuseum is the Stedelijk Museum – Amsterdam’s answer to a modern art and design museum. Since it first opened in 1895, the Stedelijk has strived to build its modern art collection to become one of the best in the world. From Cubism to Impressionists, to a grand collection of Dutch design and furniture, add this to your list if you’re into modern art. 

Stedelijk Museum
Photo by @lowievanlaerhoven on Instagram

For the traveller and their young family 

Science meets technology at the NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam. While children will delight in the five floors of fascinating exhibitions, we reckon it’s equally as great for adults too! Finish off your visit by making your way to its roof terrace, giving a spectacular view of the city. 

NEMO Science Museum, Amsterdam
Photo by @ibsalyaqoet on Instagram

For the traveller wanting an interactive art experience 

For the traveller after a unique art vibe, dive into WONDR Experience. With 15 interactive installations, WONDR is described as an artistic playground for adults. Dive into a pool of pink marshmallows or explore an extra-terrestrial jungle…just let your imagination run free! 

WONDR Museum, Amsterdam
Photo by @victoriavarunov on Instagram

For the traveller who enjoys a touch of nature 

Located along Amsterdam’s famous Herengracht canal, you wouldn’t know that this 17th-century canal house would have a green oasis behind it! The Willet-Holthuysen Museum is another house-turned-museum. Explore the different rooms on offer that are decorated with fine furniture and art that provides an insight into how the Willet family lived. Then make your way to its immaculately maintained 18th-century French style garden for some fresh air and time in nature. 

Willet-Holthysen Museum
Photo by @the_secret_garden2022 on Instagram

For the traveller doubling as a photographer 

Each year, the De Nieuwe Kerk (a historic church in the middle of Dam Square) holds the World Press Photo Exhibition from June – August. It is a collection of photos taken from by press photographers all over the world, captured at events that have taken place. Collectively, these images are bound to pull at the heartstrings by giving you an insight into some extremely powerful and/or moving times. 

For the traveller who likes to find hidden gems 

It seems fitting that a city built around its canals has a museum dedicated to the legendary canal district. Enter Grachtenmuseum, the Museum of the Canals. It tells the story of how Amsterdam’s ring of canals were created and eventually brought about its UNESCO World Heritage status in 2010. Discover the history through a series of short films, audio clips and interactive exhibits. 

Grachtenmuseum, Amsterdam
Photo by @grachtenmuseum on Instagram

Which museum would you choose to discover in Amsterdam? Visit the Netherlands on an Avalon Waterways river cruise, or a Globus or Cosmos tour. 

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