Apart from its coffee houses and notorious red light district, Amsterdam is famous for its buzzing cultural scene and abundance of museums. You’ve surely heard of Rijksmuseum, the Hermitage, Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum, as have the thousands of other travellers who queue in front of these famous attractions each day. If you’re short on time and don’t fancy wasting hours standing in line, however, our Amsterdam local Rick recommends five museums where you most likely won’t have to queue. Special tip: If you plan on visiting more than three museums, it’s wise to buy a Museumkaart.
1. ARCAM – Architecture Museum
Visit ACRAM to learn all about Amsterdam’s rich and diverse architecture. There are rotating exhibitions and ongoing projects, as well as a permanent installation that covers the city’s architectural history. The museum is located on Prins Hendrikkade in the city centre and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm. Once a week there’s a 45-minute introductory session about urbanism and architecture in Amsterdam from their very beginnings to the present day.
2. EYE – Film Institute
This museum is definitely worth a visit if only for its cool architecture and riverside location. Of course there’s a lot to see inside too – there’s a film laboratory, four cinemas, a huge exhibition space and the biggest film library in the Netherlands. What’s more, in the basement you’ll find a permanent exhibition that’s completely free – good news for those on a tight budget. Most sections of the museum are open daily.
3. Foam – Photography Museum
Even those who aren’t particularly interested in photography will find something of interest at Foam, as the exhibits are wide-ranging and change several times per year. Apart from a large exhibition space, there’s a café, a bookshop and even a library dedicated to photography-themed books. Foam is easily accessible as it’s conveniently located in the city centre.
4. Huis van Marseille – Photography Museum
Huis van Marseille was the first photography museum to open in Amsterdam. Even though it’s tiny, it’s certainly worth a visit, especially as it’s housed in an old canal house with a cute little garden and offers experimental and ever-changing exhibitions. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm.
Photo credit: amsterdam.info
5. Stadsarchief – The City Archive
If you really want to delve into the history of Amsterdam, then this is the place to start. The City Archive contains information on everything that’s worth mentioning. Access to the Information Centre, the Originals Reading Room, the Treasury and the Film Hall is free. Built in the Brick Expressionism style, the building itself is a beautiful sight. You can book a guided tour for just €4.
Photo credit: architectuur.org
Opening photo credit: Moyan Brenn