When you think of a city break in Amsterdam, your thoughts no doubt predominantly feature the coffee shops and red light district. There is so much more to appreciate and enjoy during a trip here, the city is brimming with beauty, history and eye catching architecture. Amsterdam may not be a huge city but surprisingly it is home to more than 50 museums and galleries, many of which are world famous. With that in mind, inject a bit of culture into your next holiday and head to this fascinating city where you can visit these 5 unmissable museums in Amsterdam.
1. Anne Frank’s House and Museum
Topping the list we have Anne Frank’s House and Museum. A museum with immense historical and emotional associations, it welcomes approximately 1 million visitors from around the world every year. From the outside, it is quite unremarkable and difficult to differentiate the house from those around it, but it was here that Anne Frank and her family evaded capture for more than 2 years. They lay in an annex concealed behind a bookcase where Anne wrote her diary before they were eventually caught and send to concentration camps in 1944. A visit here is indeed fascinating but sobering. Queues can be very long so it is best to buy a ticket in advance and plan your visit for first thing in the morning or as your last activity of the day.
2. Het Grachtenhuis
The lattice of canals across Amsterdam are as much of an icon of the city as the bicycles and make for some very beautiful sights indeed. Why not delve into the history of the city and pay the Het Grachtenuis (Museum of the Canals) a visit to learn more about them. Located within a 17th century house, the museum celebrates the history of the canals which themselves date back to the 1600’s.
It is only a small exhibition but it provides a different view of this fascinating city and is well worth a trip for anyone with an interest in the waterways.
3. Van Gogh Museum
Vincent Van Gogh is of course one the world’s most famous painters and therefore the museum dedicated to his art work is high on the list of “must-sees” for holiday makers in Amsterdam. As with Anne Frank’s Museum, the popularity of the place is its only downfall and you can feel rushed for time as you are herded through the building. Follow previous advice and visit early or late for a less crowded experience which will enable you to observe and fully appreciate the incredible art on display across the multiple floors.
Dedicated to arts, crafts and history, Rijksmuseum can be found on Museumplein near to Vondelpark. Filled with all manner of fascinating items, it has a large collection of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age which proves especially popular in addition to the Asian art exhibits. Only a small portion of the museum is currently open as the remainder is undergoing extensive renovations. The entire museum it is set to reopen in 2013 and should certainly feature in your itinerary for a New Year visit.
5. Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum
It’s not unique, with Madam Tussaud’s museums to be found in London, New York, Vegas, Shanghai and more, but a visit to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in Amsterdam is a fun way to spend a few hours, particularly if you are with a group. Located in Dam Square, it’s easy to find and is filled with wax versions of both notable Dutch personalities such as Freddy Heineken, the late president of the Heineken brewery, and of course your usual international celebrities. You’ll also find temporary exhibits just like any other museum. Take your camera and a smile!
This is only a small selection of the many interesting museums on offer with plenty more to keep you entertained across the city. Get the very best from your time in the Netherlands and choose from a great number of day trips too with car hire from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.