Amsterdam’s museums are mighty

But spend your time inside –  not on queue!


It took ten years it took to restore the Ryksmuseum, but it’s open again and receiving tourists.Lots of them. The museum expects to double its visitors from one to two million annually. Judging by the queue on the day I visited I believe that’s a modest estimate. An e-ticket, Museum Card or ticket bought from a concierge spares you from queuing at the ticket desk, BUT you still have to queue for admission.

 TIP: Book a timed tour online at… and go right in. Don’t carry anything bulky or you’ll find yourself on another queue for the cloakroom.


The Van Gogh museum was closed for seven months, and reopened two weeks after the Rijksmuseum.  A new exhibit hangs two versions of Vincent’s Bedroom at Arles with its familiar pale blue walls. An accompanying digital reconstruction reveals the composition with violet walls, as van Gogh actually painted it.

TIP: Buy your admission ticket on line for the time you choose, then go right in skipping the huge queues.


Following a nine-year long makeover, Amsterdam’s red-brick contemporary museum, the Stedelijk,  has an inviting new entrance on the Museumplein.. The glass -fronted entry is tucked under a 100-meter long overhang, a white fibre composite construction promptly and aptly nicknamed ‘the bathtub’. The extension has a cafe at one end and huge bookshop at the other.

TIP: Most popular exhibit is The Beanery, by Edward Kienholz,a life-sized recreation of a celebrated Los Angeles eatery. Visitors enter one at time to join customers and barman, jukebox and menus, frozen in time one day in 1964.


The Eye is Amsterdam’s newest museum, dedicated to films, seems to float on the water behind Central station like a mammoth folded paper airplane. Go for a meal, to watch a film or simply enjoy the view of Amsterdam’s skyline from the bar/cafe/restaurant. It’s open late. To reach The Eye, take a three-minute ride on a free ferry from the station followed by a three-minute walk.The ferry runs around the clock seven days a week. ‘What’s on’ and tickets at

TIP: It’s a nice ferry ride even if you just take it over and back. And it’s free!







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