My dearest museums in Amsterdam
I have long been convinced that the main purpose that compels us to visit a museum may not necessarily be only because of impressive archives or exciting new exhibitions. The magnificence of being in a museum can also be felt by just admiring the architecture of their buildings. I am sure that many of you, just like me, can easily agree that this is just enough to marvel yourselves when taking this cultural adventure.
There are around 75 museums in Amsterdam. Most of them not only carry stunning master pieces but also make the visit worthwhile when contemplating their historical relevance and beauty of construction. The cafés that invite us to stay in for hours and souvenir shops offering unique gifts are also worth mentioning.
I put a short list together of my favourite museums in Amsterdam that certainly cater to different tastes. I have been to some of them countless times. When I love a museum, no matter how many times I go: it seems that on every new occasion a whole different perspective rises in my mind.
Rijksmuseum: I have always considered it to be the most fantastic museum in the Netherlands. The whole concept comes perfectly together: the building has an imposing and fortunate combination of gothic and renaissance elements; it carries 800 years of Dutch art and history from the Middle Ages to Mondrian - including masterworks such as Rembrandt's "The Night Watch"; an outside wonderful garden blossoms with temporary exhibitions during summer time; the Library is a book lovers' paradise and a lovely passageway connects the two halves of the atrium, with glass panels revealing the museum's grand interior. The gift shop and the Michelin-Star restaurant wrap up the whole experience. P.S.: spare time to appreciate the breathtaking porcelain collection on the ground floor. Adult entrance costs €20.
Hermitage: it is the local brother of the Russian museum and is located on the banks of the Amstel River in the colossal building known as Amstelhof (from 1681 until 2007 the property functioned as a house for the elderly). Power, glory, extravagance and luxury can describe some of its temporary exhibitions mostly dedicated to Russian history and culture. Some rooms reveal unique interior designs that always lead me to picture a fancy atmosphere of balls and Royal celebrations. If the local branch has only a glimpse of the whole opulence held by the Russian museum, I cannot help but wonder what we could expect to see in St Petersburg! The price for the whole museum is €25.
Van Gogh: This is quite likely the gateway where art enthusiasts and tourists usually enter when journeying through the excellent choice of museums in Amsterdam. The whole place pays hommage to the life and work of the Dutch master of Impressionism: Van Gogh’s largest collection of artworks are beautifully curated on all floors. Visitors can see not only his acclaimed oeuvres d’art but also significant archives from which Van Gogh took inspiration. He was very fond of Japanese art and thus he dedicated himself to study it while absorbing spectacular influences in his paintings. Some of the Oriental prints recorded by Van Gogh are on exhibition and indulge our eyes to contemplate the museum's colourful and powerful beauty even more. Each adult ticket costs €20.
Stadsarchief: it is the largest city archive in the world! What impresses me the most, however, is the permanent exhibition "Treasure Room" showcased in a former bank vault. These precious archives were transferred in 2007 to this imposing and beautiful art deco building known as "De Bazel" in the Centre of Amsterdam surrounded by delightful canals. Built in 1926, the property was originally the headquarters of the Dutch Trading Company and later the ABN AMRO bank. It costs an average of €7,50 for adults’ tickets while some exhibitions have free entry.
TropenMuseum: it is one of the largest anthropology and ethnography museums in the Netherlands. Out of the amazing collections about worldwide cultures, my favourite one is dedicated to the Southeast of Asia and to universal themes that connect people all over the world: gender and identity, discrimination and marks of slavery, love and resilience, celebration and conflict. The Tropenmuseum is housed in an important historical building whose inauguration in 1926 included the noble witness of the former Queen Whilelmina. Adult entrance costs €15.
Amsterdam Museum: it is perhaps one of the museums most full of civic pride that I've ever been to! The entire place is dedicated to the history, the development, the wisdom and wealth of Amsterdam. It also highlights creativity, free-thinking and entrepreneurship of which the city's citizens are proud to carry - not to mention the open approach on drug use. Visitors will dive into Amsterdam's DNA on a pleasant journey through paintings, videos, maps and many more artefacts. As the museum smartly curates digital and modern interactions, children and teenagers will hardly feel bored. Curious fact: the building used to house the City Orphanage during Middle Ages. Adults tickets cost €15.
***Museumkaart: if you live in the Netherlands, I would recommend applying for this friendly annual-fee card which grants access to hundreds of museums in the country. Prices from €32 to €64.