After the Anne Frank House, the Rijksmuseum is Amsterdam’s most popular museum and houses many masterpieces of native sons like Rembrandt and Johannes Vermeer. Find such paintings as Rembrandt’s The Night Watch and The Sampling Officials of the Amsterdam Drapers’ Guild, known as The Syndics; Vermeer’s The Milkmaid; Frans Hal’s A Militiaman Holding a Berkemeyer, known as The Merry Drinker; and even a few works by Vincent van Gogh, including a self-portrait of the artist. Along with magnificent art, the building itself has been listed as a national heritage site since 1970 and named one of the Dutch Heritage Sites in 1990. Other highlights of the museum include a library and restaurant.
VAN GOGH MUSEUM
If you love Vincent van Gogh, the post-impressionist painter whose work, notable for its beauty, emotion, and color, highly influenced 20th-century art, be sure to visit the museum that houses the world's largest collection of his works. The Van Gogh Museum is one of the world’s 25 most popular museums. In it, you’ll find priceless works of art, including numerous paintings and sketches. Although van Gogh only painted for the last decade or so of his life, he was a prolific artist with roughly 2,100 works—including letters. Find masterpieces like Sunflowers, along with many self-portraits. In addition, you can also see the works of many other artists here, including Monet, Manet, Gaugin, and Toulouse-Lautrec.
STEDELIJK MUSEUM AMSTERDAM
With roughly 675,000 visitors each year, Stedelijk houses modern and contemporary art and design from the 20th - 21st century—focusing on De Stijl, Bauhaus, Pop Art, and Neo-Impressionism. The museum has been in operation since 1895, and while a new building opened in 2012, the main building, still in use, was first constructed from 1891 - 1895. Find masterpieces from artists like Cezanne, Matisse, van Gogh, Warhol, Man Ray, de Kooning, and even Julian Schnabel.
Fans of photography will want to check out this photography museum, which is located in a renovated canal house. Exhibits rotate, but you may be treated to photography by August Sander and local advertising firms, as well as discussions and other photography-themed events. There are four different exhibits at any given time.
MUSEUM OF FLUORESCENT ART
Located in the Jordaan district, and near the Anne Frank House, American artist Nick Padalino created a small museum exhibiting art created with fluorescent materials. This is a fun, out-of-the-ordinary museum that is sometimes called “Electric Ladyland” in honor of Jimi Hendrix.
CIVIC GUARDS GALLERY
This special gallery houses 17th-century portraits of some of Amsterdam’s most important and wealthiest citizens and features both men and women of the time. These paintings were commissioned each year to celebrate these citizens’ civil guard service and charitable work. It is a small, but memorable collection.