Museumplein is home to the three most important museums in Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum of modern art. All three museums are worth their visits, and you would need at least two days to get the most out of these two museums.
Ticket prices are quite steep for a regular adult. Although students get discounted prices, I highly recommend that you buy the Museumkaart if you are staying in the Netherlands for an extended period of time, and visiting museums is your kind of thing. It costs €59.90 for a card, and it is tagged to your identity (but without a photo on it). Students tend to share their cards with their friends – at their own risk! Some museums are stricter than others when it comes to issuing tickets with the museum card; the stricter museums would require you to produce a proper identification together with your museum card before they would issue you a ticket. Other museums would grant you access just by scanning your card at the entrance.
Rijksmuseum is the most iconic museum of all three, as its architecture resembles that of a castle. It stands right behind the famous “IAMSTERDAM” sign which is often foraged by tourists (and locals, maybe) who wish to take a picture with it to show that they have marked their presence on this spot on Earth. Rijksmuseum is also the largest of all three museums, and the whole morning was not even sufficient for me to just go through the highlights (museum fatigue is real).
I’ve only been into the museum once, although I have been to museumplein for a few times. I took a booklet that showed me the highlights of the museum, and I chose to focus on just those highlights.
At this point I should say that I am NOT a hardcore museum fan, so I apologize to the historians and museum fanatics who stumble upon this post and think that I am not giving the museums and artworks their proper introduction. I try my best! By the way I am not here to tell you about the artworks; I’m here to let you know how, as someone who will never get acquainted with the histories of the 12857498673 artworks in the museum, I enjoyed myself in all of these museum and the interesting things you can do! =)
As said above, I picked up a booklet that gave me the highlights of the museum, and the booklet (the museum, rather) encouraged us to draw rather than taking pictures of the artwork, so that we can enjoy the whole museum experience better. How do you think my art fared, in comparison to the painting behind it? =P
The museum is not only for adults – there are activities for children as well! Here you can see the drawings by many children who have been to the Rijksmuseum and their interpretations of the various artworks displayed here. The spirit of learning has to be cultivated from young!
2. Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art
I did not know what was the Stedelijk Museum known for, but it became very obvious soon after a short walk around it. There were many modern art pieces displayed here, and your imagination has to go wild to try to think about what goes on in the artist’s mind. Some artworks are just plain simple – at the back of my mind I was thinking “this is art??”
3. Van Gogh Museum
Visiting the Van Gogh Museum gave me an intimate look into Van Gogh’s life, and I got to learn a lot more about him as a person, and the talent in him. Most of us would probably know of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”, but the most famous art piece kept here in the Van Gogh Museum is “Sunflowers”.
(Un)fortunately, photography is strictly not allowed in most places within the Van Gogh Museum, therefore I did not take any photos here except for this wallpaper meant for people to take photo with. This museum left me feeling a bit sad for how Van Gogh succumbed to his bipolar illness and committed suicide. He only became famous after his death when his brother actively pushed to make his name and art known.
There are a total of 75 museums in Amsterdam. If you are pressed for time, then these three (excluding the Ann Frank House, which is also worth the visit) are the ones that you have to visit during your short stay here. If you do have more time to spend on museums, there are many other small and interesting museums to check out as well. On my subsequent posts, I will introduce these other museums in Amsterdam!
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