Amsterdam’s home to history, culture, and world-famous artists (ever heard of Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Vermeer?). That makes it tough to pick the best museums in Amsterdam, but we’ve narrowed them down to three of our favorites for you to visit on tour in the Netherland’s capital!
1. The Rijksmuseum
Dedicated to the arts and history of Amsterdam, the collection at the Rijksmuseum is made up of Dutch artifacts and art spanning the years 1200–2000. Of the 8,000 pieces that are currently on display, paintings from the Dutch Golden Age (including the works of Vermeer and Rembrandt) represent 2,000 of them. With an almost ten-year and 375 million-euro renovation recently completed in 2012, the Rijksmuseum continues to be one of the most impressive Amsterdam museums.
Did you know? The Rijksmuseum is home to the Rijksmuseum Research Library, the largest public art history research library in the Netherlands.
2. Van Gogh Museum
For all things Vincent van Gogh, there’s no better place than the eponymous Van Gogh Museum. After the artist’s death in 1890, his unsold works were passed throughout the Van Gogh family until 1962 when they were transferred to the state-operated Vincent van Gogh Foundation. Eleven years later, the museum opened its doors to the public. Today, the museum houses some 200 paintings, 400 drawings, and 700 letters by the artist.
Did you know? The Van Gogh Museums isn’t only one of the best museums in Amsterdam, but has welcomed visitors from more than 125 countries.
3. Anne Frank House
Step into history with a visit to the house where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis during World War II. Since 1960, this 17th-century canal house-turned-museum has been welcoming visitors to see the famous Secret Annex firsthand. Over the years, the building has had to be renovated twice to accommodate the growing number of visitors. The most recent of these renovations took place in 1999, when the museum was reworked to restore and feature the Frank family’s front offices as they appeared in 1940.
Did you know? The Oscar that Shelley Winters won in 1959 for her portrayal of Petronella van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank was donated by the actress and is kept in this Amsterdam museum.