Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum is the largest and most visited art museum in the Netherlands. Its collection, which ranks among the world’s finest, includes nearly 8,000 pieces spread over 80 galleries. Some of the Rijksmuseum’s most revered works are 15th- to 19th-century paintings by Flemish and Dutch masters, including Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Frans Hals. In addition to the astounding eight centuries of Dutch art and history, the museum has extensive outdoor gardens and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
No surprise, this stellar national museum gets crowded. Consider purchasing a skip-the-line ticket, which lets you head right inside. To maximize your experience of the Rijksmuseum, visit with a licensed art historian, either as a private guide or on a group tour. Or combine a canal cruise with a skip-the-line ticket, allowing you to see the museum on your own schedule.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Allow at least a half-day for your visit, although even in four hours you’ll be able to see only a fraction of the Rijksmuseum’s huge collection.
- You do not need a ticket to visit the gardens, shop, or café, all of which are open daily from 9am to 6pm.
- The museum has free Wi-Fi.
- Flash photography, selfie sticks, and videos with lights are not allowed.
How to Get There
The Rijksmuseum is located in Amsterdam South on the Museumplein (“Museum Square”), at Stadhouderskade and Museumstrasse. It is easily accessible via tram to Hobbemastraat. Nearby attractions include the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the Concertgebouw. The Red Light District is also within walking distance.
When to Get There
The museum is open 365 days a year, with the busiest months being April, May, and August. During the museum’s peak hours—10am to 3pm—the estimated wait time at the ticket office is approximately 20 to 30 minutes, so it’s best to book a skip-the-line ticket. Last admission is 30 minutes before closing time.
The Rijksmuseum’s Notable Works
The Dutch Golden Age in Holland was a time of prolific art and powerful commerce, and some of the most famous paintings on display at the Rijksmuseum include works from this time period. Be sure to see Rembrandt's “Nightwatch” (1650), showing the militia led by Frans Banning Cocq. Other featured 17th-century Flemish and Dutch masters include Jan Vermeer (“The Milkmaid,” “Woman in Blue Reading a Letter”), Frans Hals (“The Merry Drinker”), and Jan Steen (“The Merry Family”). Beyond the celebrated paintings, other notable galleries include Sculpture and Applied Art (Delftware, dollhouses, porcelain, furniture), Dutch History, and Asiatic Art in the Asian Pavilion, which includes the famous 12th-century bronze statue of a dancing Shiva.