One of the many highlights of our Amsterdam trip were the visits to museums and art galleries using our Iamsterdam card! We bought the 72 hours Iamsterdam card online which gave us free entry to Amsterdam’s best museums and attractions, free canal cruise, free unlimited use of the GVB public transport in Amsterdam (bus, tram & metro), great discounts & special offers throughout Amsterdam & its surrounding area, a free, detailed city map, free giveaways & discounts on concerts, theatre, rentals, restaurants, etc. In order to take make the most of the card, we visited as many museums and galleries as we could!
Van Gogh Museum
When you go to Amsterdam, the must see museum besides Anne Frank (not part of the Iamsterdam card deal) is the Van Gogh Museum! The Van Gogh Museum houses the world’s largest collection of works by Vincent van Gogh, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 700 letters. They open daily from 9am-5pm and Friday until 10pm (once a month with a special programme).
The queue is insane! The quickest way to get in would be to book online for a time slot. As we were using the Iamsterdam card, we ended up queuing for an hour to claim our tickets from the ticket office.
Once in, they don’t allow backpacks in the museum and request everyone to check in their bags. Handbags are okay though and luckily my handbag is big enough to squeeze in the near empty backpack so it saved us another 15 minutes to queue for the lockers. They also don’t allow photography of the paintings but you do get the cheeky people occasionally sneak a photo with their smartphones.
The museum is very spacious and clean. I really enjoyed the display and managed to check out his famous paintings. I would definitely recommend you visit but allow plenty of time, especially if going in a peak period.
The largest museum of modern art and design in the Netherlands and it is just beside the Van Gogh Museum. The collection is widely acknowledged as one of the most important collections in the world and includes works by Appel, Chagall, Dumas, Matisse, Mondrian, Picasso, Warhol and many others. They open daily from 10am-6pm and Friday until 10pm.
There is plenty to see in this large museum, but it didn’t really appeal to our tastes especially as we went there straight after the Van Gogh Museum. If I had my time again, I think I would have done these museums on separate days.
Amsterdam Diamond Factories and the Diamond Museum
The Diamond Factory and Museum are not too far from the two museums listed above. They open daily from 9am to 5pm.
We really enjoyed the diamond museum even though it is fairly small. The museum is very well thought out and presented. It is worth having a look. As for the factory, I wouldn’t really recommend unless you have time to spare. It is more like a place for you to buy their products.
Tassenmuseum Hendrikje – Museum of Bags and Purses
This museum houses the world’s foremost and largest bag collection and tells the story of (hand) bags from the 16th century up to the present. The museum is located in a stunning canal house built in 1666. A surcharge may be applicable during special exhibitions. They open daily from 10am-5pm except some of the days so best check beforehand to avoid disappointment.
They didn’t allow photography or bags in the museum. The museum is quite small but we enjoyed seeing how bags have evolved over time.
Stadsarchief Amsterdam – City Archives
In one of Amsterdam’s most remarkable buildings, learn about the history of the city. You can visit the magnificent subterranean vault or take a guided tour. They regularly change exhibitions so it’s best to check their schedule to see what they have on.
This museum was just a 5 minute walk from our hotel. It is very big but we went there at the end of the day and didn’t have the energy to do a full walk around. It is like a library rather than a museum. I wouldn’t really recommend unless you would like to learn more about the history of the city.
The Tropenmuseum is a museum about people from all over the world. It is located in one of the most beautiful buildings in Amsterdam. The exhibitions show the enormous cultural diversity that enriches our world.
The tram stops just outside the building which is very easy to find. We worked our way from the top level to the bottom level. There is plenty of fascinating exhibits to look at and learn. The museum is child friendly and a great learning place for cultural diversity.
ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo
ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo is not too far from the Tropenmuseum. We took a tram from outside Tropenmuseum and it only took us three stops. The zoo is quite small and they are upgrading some of their facilities. We do enjoyed our time admiring the diversity of plants and animals. This is best to go with children.
ARTIS-Micropia shows the invisible and the only museum of microbes in the world. When you look really closely, a new world is revealed to you, more beautiful and spectacular than you could ever have imagined. This is one of my husband’s top favourite places to visit. There are so many hands-on microscopes and things to learn. It is definitely worth a visit and they are just next to the ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo.
Museum Van Loon
The grand canal house of the Van Loon family, co-founders of the Dutch East India Company. I really enjoying checking out this historic house with an 18th-century interior, original furniture, a magnificent garden and an authentic coach house. A surcharge may be applicable during special exhibitions. Definitely worth checking out.
The museum, with ballroom and dining room, shows you how the married couple Willet-Holthuysen lived in the 19th century. We enjoying our time there and love the deco!
Amsterdam Tulip Museum
The story of the Netherland’s most famous flower. Experience the history of the tulip, from its origins on the windswept mountains of Central Asia to the worldwide phenomenon it is today. I wouldn’t particularly recommend but if you happened to be nearby, then check it out.
The Iamsterdam card also gave us one free canal cruise tour. There are quite a few places to take the cruise tour from and it will take about an hour or more and allows you to hop on and off. We did the Canal Company Canal Cruise which was okay. It is an audio tour. It is a great way to visit the city.
I really love this Iamsterdam card which gave us so much access to the city. We certainly got our monies worth and I would recommend it.