Amsterdam's compact center holds an incredible variety of top-notch museums. Get on a rental bike, water taxi, or hop-on hop-off bus, and make your way to some of the city's most important cultural attractions. Here are a few museums not to miss.
The Rijksmuseum is the grande dame of Amsterdam's art and history museums, focusing on an era when Dutch painters dominated the European art market. Its collection boasts such iconic paintings as Vermeer's The Milkmaid and Rembrandt's The Night Watch. For a truly Dutch experience, combine a visit to this museum with a canal cruise.
Anne Frank House
At the Anne Frank House, visitors pay their respects to the Jewish girl and her family who hid here from the Nazis during World War II. Explore a labyrinth of hallways, stairs, and little rooms in the Frank family's cramped secret annex to the rear of the building. Opt for a skip-the line ticket to bypass the waiting crowds that are always outside.
Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum is one of Amsterdam's must-sees. It's home to around 200 paintings and 500 drawings by Vincent van Gogh and his friends and contemporaries—Gauguin, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Bernard—as well as many of the artist's personal effects. Discover more about van Gogh's troubled life on a tour led by a professional art historian.
Beer aficionados will thrill to explore the Heineken brewery on its interactive self-guided tour. Learn the history of the Heineken family, find out how the logo has evolved, and follow the brewing process from water all the way through to bottling. Allow 75 minutes for your visit, and expect lots of company. The best time to come is before 11am; after that, it gets crowded.
Rembrandt House Museum
Located in the former home of the renowned Dutch artist, the Rembrandt House Museum boasts an illustrious history and world-famous paintings. A private tour is a great way to learn more about the artist’s life and works.