Amsterdam Museums – Amsterdam Tourist Information


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Eye Film Museum in Amsterdam
The Eye Film Museum houses an internationally renowned film collection that covers the entire history of cinema. Movies are shown here as well — almost all subtitled in English

How Many Museums are there in Amsterdam?

It is said that there are more museums per square kilometer in the Netherlands than in any other country in the world. Given that the definition of a museum differs from country to country, that is hard to prove.

But we have so many museums that, according to the director of the Institute for Sound and Vision, the Netherlands is ‘the most densely-museumed country in the world‘.

There are almost 900 museums in the Netherlands, says Mirjam Pracht, chairman of the National Contact of Museum Consultants. About 90 of them are in Amsterdam.

Nobody knows the actual number, for reasons we explain below. Still, that means there are more museums per square meter in Amsterdam than in any other city in the world. (Some even claim Amsterdam has more museums “per inhabitant”).

They range from the fascinating Eye Film Museum to the supposedly exciting (but actually quite boring) Sex Museum. And from the huge Rijksmuseum and the must-see Van Gogh Museum to the much smaller but no less interesting Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam — the premier arts museum in the Netherlands

Why do Travel Guides List Different Numbers of Museums in Amsterdam?

Some guidebooks mention that Amsterdam has more than 40 museums. Other guides say there are 50, 65, 93 — and still others mention a much higher number.

The difference in numbers is explained by the fact that some count only the large museums. Others also count much smaller galleries, such as the esoteric but interesting Pipe Museum or the tiny, poorly received and, ahem, poorly executed Torture Museum.

Also, the numbers fluctuates over the years, as institutions come and go. Sometimes collections are merged or moved to another city. The highly praised Museum of Bags and Purses was the most recent museum to close (April 2020).

Tourist Trap Museums

Many tourists fall for the trick of shops marketing themselves as “museums.” Do yourself a favor: don’t visit tourist traps like the Cheese Museum or the Tulip Museum. (But hey, if you’re into shopping visit the “Milk and Bread Museum” at the nearest supermarket for a similar experience).

Five of the six most-visited museums in the Netherlands are located in Amsterdam:

If you plan on visiting museums in Amsterdam, avoid long lines by buying your tickets ahead of time.

Book Amsterdam museum tickets
Most tickets bought ahead of time allow you to skip the lines.

All but seven museums in Amsterdam are privately owned, and nearly all charge an entrance fee.

In a time of dwindling government subsidies, many museums have developed commercial activities, are attracting non-tourist visitors with temporary exhibits, or have accepted financial aid from sponsors.

Free or Discounted

If you love museums and plan to visit at least 4 or 5 of them during your stay in Amsterdam, the I amsterdam card is a great deal.

Museums in Amsterdam

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