Amsterdam for Art Lovers, From the Old to the New

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Art lovers, it's time to rejoice

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Art and the Netherlands have gone together for many centuries. The cumulus clouds and seemingly never-ending skies have inspired many Dutch painters. And the Dutch Golden Age is known for its outstanding artistic work. Therefore, all around the country you can find museums, exhibitions and galleries. Amsterdam is no exception. Follow this itinerary to find the Amsterdam for art lovers.

This Amsterdam for Art Lovers itinerary will point you in the direction of the more famous museums, as well as show you some of the less well known locations. There’s everything from old to new in this list, so no matter which art type is your favorite, you should be happy.

Amsterdam for Art Lovers

There are two ways to tackle art in Amsterdam. The first is to head to Museumplein and gorge on the big museums there—specifically the Stedelijk Museum (modern art), the Rijksmuseum with the most complete collection of Dutch paintings from the 15th to 19th-century and the Van Gogh Museum. Alternatively, you can space these out throughout your trip, giving yourself time to rest in-between.

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In addition to the “big three” above, make time to visit Museum Het Rembrandthuis and the Hermitage Amsterdam museum. The former gives you a glimpse into Rembrandt’s life and work in Amsterdam. The later is wonderful to visit not only for the art (work selected from the Hermitage St. Petersburg’s collections), but also for the historical building that houses the museum.

Visiting the small and free Civic Guards Gallery won’t take up too much of your time, but is well worth a visit to admire portraits of some of Amsterdam’s wealthiest citizens in history. As is the De Appel Arts Centre (contemporary art) and the Six Collection—a Dutch aristocrat family’s private collection in a house on the river Amstel.


Amsterdam Art Weekend is an event involving more than 30 galleries that organise special exhibitions, performances and lectures on art. The event is typically in November, and is worth looking into if it coincides with your trip.

Some Words of Warning

You will not be able to visit the Six Collection without an email invitation, which is arranged by requesting a visit via the website. You will want to try and arrange this in advance, as soon as you know you wish to visit. Equally, some of the venues, such as the De Appel Arts Centre are only open on specific days and times, so check the details before making your plans. And last but not least, don’t forget that the Stedelijk Museum, Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum are quite large. While in theory you could visit all of the museums and galleries on the list within a weekend, it will be quite tricky. If you can manage a longer visit to Amsterdam, you’ll find yourself with more breathing room.

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