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What are the best museums to visit with 2 days in Amsterdam?

I'm looking for the best museums in Amsterdam & have only two days. I was planning to see the tulip garden but it closes 2 days before we get there. What other museums are worth visiting?

10 Answers

top answer by
Sabine from Amsterdam

Dear Lynn, 

I would also recommend going to Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. I think this is the most impressive museum of The Netherlands with great art. Across the IJ there is the Eye Film Institutewhich is nice if you are into (arty)films and it is in a totally new modern building. 

I also like Foamwhich is a photography museum that has new exhibitions like very other month. 

I am not sure when you are exactly going but until the 5th of July there is the World Press Photo exhibition in the de nieuwe kerk (the new church). I go to this exhibition every year! 

Anne Frank Houseis kind of a must, but there are always long queues! So do set your priorities if you just have 2 days. I would see it is worth the wait. 

Have fun! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (attraction)
  2. IJ (attraction)
  3. Eye Film Institute (attraction)
  4. Foam (attraction)
  5. de nieuwe kerk (attraction)
  6. Anne Frank House (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Gina from Minneapolis

With just two days, buy tickets ahead of time if you're going to the über-popular museums. They're all popular because they're very good (Tiffany's nailed the top three), but in my humble opinion, it's more fun to walk around this gorgeous city. 

Another option for you, particularly if you're botanically inclined, is Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam (attraction)
3 thanks

answered first by
Tiffany from Corvallis

There are three that are absolutely must-see museums in Amsterdam. You need to see the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam - It is the Museum of the Netherlands, the most prominent and largest art museum in the country and has a phenomenal collection. Nearby and within walking distance is the Van Gogh Museum which is also absolutely amazing. It shows the artist's work in chronological order so you can see the progession of his style. Both museums can be done in a day if you'd like.

The third is the Anne Frank House. It's not an art museum, but is an important and very well done museum that tells Anne's story. This can get very busy, so I'd suggest buying your tickets in advance or getting there early.

If you like odd things, Amsterdam has arguably the best Madame Tussauds. I'm not a huge fan of wax museums, but of the Tussauds around the world, this is one of the largest and best.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Amsterdam (city)
  2. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (attraction)
  3. Van Gogh Museum (attraction)
  4. Anne Frank House (attraction)
  5. Madame Tussauds (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Jacey & Scott from Fort Collins

I second (and third) the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, especially since it is newely reopened after being closed for around 10 years to update/remodel/restore.  Anne Frank House is also a must do, it is just such a sobering experience. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (attraction)
  2. Anne Frank House (attraction)
2 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Andrea from Netherlands

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (attraction)
  2. Van Gogh Museum (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Jim from New York City

Anne Frank House but get there early in the morning so you don't have to wait in a two hour line. Also need to hit up the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Hope this helps!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Anne Frank House (attraction)
  2. Van Gogh Museum (attraction)
  3. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (attraction)
1 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Tim from Amsterdam

With only two days, I would see the following (in order of my preference - everyone will have their own):

1) Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

2) Van Gogh Museum

3) Museum Hermitage Amsterdam 

4) Anne Frank House

To be honest with only two days, you don't want to spend the whole time in museums. I honestly would focus on the first two, and spend the rest of the time enjoying the canals, cafes, boutiques and the city in general.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (attraction)
  2. Van Gogh Museum (attraction)
  3. Museum Hermitage Amsterdam (attraction)
  4. Anne Frank House (attraction)

answered by
Zarina from London

The Eye Film Institute is indeed one of my favourite museums in Amsterdam! They put on great retrospectives (exhibitions). Check their website before your visit. But all in all it's a stunning building and a nice place for a cup of coffee or lunch!

A more unusual kind of museum is the Street Art Museum Amsterdam in Amsterdam Nieuw-West, a less touristic area in Amsterdam. As the name suggests this is an open-air museum that exhibits its works in the streets of Amsterdam. I did a tour with them last year and wrote about it on my blog

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Eye Film Institute (attraction)
  2. Amsterdam Nieuw-West (neighborhood)

answered by
murat from Turkey

Amsterdam Museum is a great one.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Amsterdam Museum (attraction)

answered by
Robert from Eindhoven

Hi Lynn,

Within Amsterdam there are a few must see museums. Like everybody else said the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam is really a great art museum. You can easily spend 4 hours here. At the moment there is even a special Rembrandt exhibition which is really nice. Almost next to this museum you find the Van Gogh Museum. I don't think i need to say what you will find here, do i ;)?

A lot of people speak highly of the Anne Frank House. But be aware it will be very busy during the day and because it is a very small building, it feels really crowded. When i visited this museum i was kind of pushed through the house. So my experience was not great. Therefore, I recommend to go there first thing in the morning.

If you are into beers then don't forget the Heineken Experience. I visited quite a few breweries/museums abroad like Guiness, Hoegaarden, Leffe but none was as great as this museum. Talking about alcoholic beverages there is also a House of Bols, the Cocktail & Genever Experience, just across the Van Gogh museum. This museum surprised me a lot as well. It is about the Bols liqueurs (read cocktails). A cocktail is included in the price and you can do a kind of quizz to see if you guess the different flavours that are in the liqueurs. Moreover, you can practice juggling with bottles just like Tom Cruise in the film 'Cocktails'.

Then there is the city centre which is kind of a museum on its own. You need to take your time to explore its beauty. The canal area is so beautiful. The best way to do this is either by foot, by bike or by boat.

Finally, something a bit outside Amsterdam is Koog-Zaandijk also known as 'Zaanse Schans'. This is a typical Dutch landscape (flat, water and lots of windmills) and would be great to see and go to just before sunset. So it is a great thing to do after the museums in Amsterdam have closed (usually around 17.00/18.00). To go there, you can take the stoptrain from Amsterdam Central Stations to Koog-Zaandijk. From there you can walk to the windmills. Or you can take the bus number 391 from Amsterdam Central Station. It runs every 15 minutes. See the website:

Have a great time Lynn!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (attraction)
  2. Van Gogh Museum (attraction)
  3. Anne Frank House (attraction)
  4. Heineken Experience (attraction)
  5. House of Bols, the Cocktail & Genever Experience (attraction)
  6. Koog-Zaandijk (attraction)

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