Rijksmuseum is the Dutch national museum found in Amsterdam. With over 8,000 items dedicated to arts and history on display, and a newly renovated interior, this museum is the largest and also one of the most popular in the country.
Featuring the work of artists like Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals, Rijksmuseum is also home to what’s probably one of the best looking libraries you’ve ever seen. Found on the second floor, the library (or bibliotheek in Dutch) is styled as a 19th century reading room. Its book-filled shelves are several stories high and the winding staircase will win over every book lover’s heart.
Whether you’re an art lover or just curious to explore, there’s something here to peak everyone’s interest. From the Game of Thrones-style wall lined with facial masks of Nias islanders, to the many sculptures and special collections filled with jewellery, clothing, objects and artefacts. Some spend hours in front of a single painting while others whiz through and try to see every piece in the building. There’s no right or wrong way to see the museum, the most important thing is that you enjoy it.
If you only have time to visit one museum in Amsterdam, it should be the Rijksmuseum. Here’s everything you need to know. Of course, there are still the Van Gogh Museum, Ann Frank House, the Jordaan area and also the amazing restaurants…waiting for you to explore.
Prepare your visit to Rijksmuseum
When to visit Rijksmuseum
Rijksmuseum is one of the most popular museums in the country, so arrive early to avoid queuing for 2+ hours outside. You should aim to arrive before 11am – the earlier, the better. The museum is open daily from 9am – 5pm.
How long is needed to visit Rijksmuseum
Staff claim that to see everything in the Rijksmuseum you’ll need an entire week! With four floors filled with art, it’s easy to see what they mean. However, to avoid spending your entire holiday in the museum, you should reserve at least 2-hours to visit the areas that interest you most. If you have limited time, it’s a good idea to plan exactly what you want to see before setting off.
What should I wear to visit Rijksmuseum
There’s no strict dress code for the Rijksmuseum, you can simply dress comfortably. Be mindful that you’ll have to check in any backpacks and oversized bags upon entering the Rijksmuseum.
What is there to see in Rijksmuseum
The Great Hall (Voorhal in Dutch) is not only the most famous section of the museum, it’s also the most popular. In this area you’ll find the famous works of Rembrandt, Vermeer and countless other artists. The star attraction is Rembrandt’s Night Watch, which is on display in a beautiful, grand room. If you arrive to the museum early, head straight here to avoid the crowds that gather throughout the day.
The Asian Pavilion was opened in 2013 and is the newest addition to the Rijksmuseum. Found on the ground floor of the building, this area features a collection of sculptures and artefacts from China, Japan, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Thailand. The building itself is surrounded by water while some of the art inside dates all the way back to 2000 BC.
The museum’s Special Collections gallery is found on the ground floor. It’s where you’ll find a huge collection of fascinating and unusual artefacts and objects. From jewellery and clothing to musical instruments and ship models, there’s something for everyone. Even those who aren’t so interested in paintings will find something to marvel over in this section of the museum.