A magnificent building with a collection to match, this is the Netherlands' most popular national museum.

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Download the museum's excellent free audio guide app to enhance your experience.

Believe the hype

The Netherlands' 'State Museum' is an unmissable attraction. It has grown remarkably since its inception in 1800 as the National Art Gallery, after which it moved to its neo-Renaissance building in 1885; the collection gradually outgrew this housing, and 2003 saw the beginning of an extensive €375 million renovation and expansion by Spanish architects Cruz y Ortiz, which took ten years to complete before opening to great acclaim in 2013.

In this improved setting the Rijksmuseum displays the most acclaimed artworks of the Golden Age: Vermeer, Rembrandt, Hals and van Dyck are all here in abundance, as well as a superlative collection of still life paintings. You'll also find some later artworks by van Gogh and Mondrian (the Van Gogh Museum is nearby).

Golden years

These masterworks are set among a fascinating wider survey of Dutch material culture, from musical instruments to prints, ceramics, miniature ships and classical photography. The Dutch Golden Age saw the Netherlands at the forefront of science and trade as well as in art - having grown from a possession of the Holy Roman Empire in 1590, throughout most of the 17th century it was the world's foremost maritime and economic powerhouse.

There's never a dull moment in any of the museum's rooms: its six levels display around 8,000 fascinating objects of art and history from its collection of around a million pieces, as well as a smaller Asian collection in the newly constructed Asian Pavilion. Other highlights include the Hartog Plate, the oldest known artifact of Western exploration in Australia, and the stern of the HMS Royal Charles, captured from the English fleet in 1667.

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Rembrandt's The Night Watch
One of Rembrandt's most famous paintings, which demonstrates his mastery of chiaroscuro, is one of The Rijksmuseum's must sees.
The Dutch Golden Age
After the 80 years war, the Dutch Republic flourished with scientific and artistic revival. See the way artistic subjects change during this period at the Rijksmuseum.
Pancake Corner
At the Pancake Corner, you are invited to a family-friendly restaurant in the heart of Amsterdam

Related Tours

Rijksmuseum & Van Gogh Museum: Private Half-Day Walking Tour
Enjoy a private walking tour of the two best art museums in Amsterdam: the Rijksmuseum also known as the National Museum, and the Van Gogh Museum, to learn the history of the city through the iconic art of the Dutch Golden age, and the passionate life and post-impressionist work of Vincent Van Gogh. 

On your private tour, you will:

  • Enjoy the expert commentary of your private tour guide and timed entrance tickets to the museums included; 
  • Begin your tour with a walk through the picturesque Museumplein, the square surrounded by Amsterdam's architecturally stunning museums;
  • Explore the magnificent Rijksmuseum, the National Museum of the Netherlands, famous for its incredible collection of Dutch masters including Rembrandt and Vermeer; 
  • Learn all about the rich history of Dutch art from the Renaissance to the Dutch Golden Age;
  • Discover 800 years of Dutch history and paintings in 80 galleries displaying over 8000 pieces;
  • Admire Rembrandt’s mesmerising ‘Night Watch’ and absorb the magic of Vermeer’s ‘The Milkmaid';
  • Enjoy a break for refreshments and restroom, before walking over to the Van Gogh Museum; 
  • Learn about the life and work of one of Holland's most admired and tragic artists, Vincent Van Gogh; 
  • Follow his evolving style through the largest collection of his self-portraits in the world, and see the only surviving photograph of the artist;
  • See beloved masterpieces including the Potato Eaters, the Sunflowers, the Yellow House, the Bedroom, and Van Gogh's very last painting, Tree Roots
  • Finish your tour inside the museum to continue exploring at your own leisure.

Explore two of Amsterdam's most iconic and fascinating museums on this in-depth private tour with an expert guide: the Rijksmuseum - the National Museum of the Netherlands showcasing 800 years of history and art with over 8000 pieces, and the Van Gogh Museum - which is entirely dedicated to the life and works of Vincent Van Gogh. 

Begin your tour with a walk through the Museumplein (museum square), a pretty park around which many of Amsterdam's impressive museums stand. Your expert private guide will take you inside the awe-inspiring Rijksmuseum - the vast National Museum of the Netherlands. 

The Rijksmuseum displays everything from Neolithic artefacts to an extensive collection of Dutch masters, including Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Frans Hals, and Jan Steen. You'll learn the history of the Netherlands through art, and see in exquisite detail Rembrandt's masterpiece the Night Watch, beautifully lit, as well as other paintings from the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, including Vermeer's Milkmaid. 

After a well-earned break, you'll visit the equally impressive Van Gogh Museum, entirely dedicated to the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh. As well as featuring the work of some of his influential contemporaries, this extensive collection boasts more than 200 paintings and 500 drawings by Vincent, the tragic hero of the post-impressionist era who didn't sell a single painting in his own lifetime. Today his works are sold for millions at auction. 

The collection will take you on an in-depth journey through the life of the artist, detailing the different creative periods that characterised Van Gogh’s genius and periods of instability. You'll hear about his friendships, and arguments with Gauguin - and the fateful incident with the knife and his ear. Your tour ends inside the Museum where you are free to explore more at your own pace.

Please note: Vermeer's Milkmaid is currently travelling and cannot be seen at her usual location. However, you can see our other works by Vermeer, such as The Little Street and The Love Letter.
The Best of Amsterdam: Private Full-Day Tour with a Canal Cruise
Explore the major sights and hidden gems of Amsterdam on this immersive full-day tour of the Dutch capital. With an expert guide, discover Amsterdam's vibrant culture, architectural beauty and eccentricity, intricate canal network, kilometres of cycle tracks, the city's top two museums, its major monuments and lively markets. End your day with a fabulous cruise along the canals. 

On your private full-day tour, you will:

  • Start the day with a fascinating tour of the Van Gogh Museum, dedicated to the artist's life and work - with a huge number of self-portraits and the only surviving photo; 
  • Admire such iconic masterpieces as the Potato Eaters, Sunflowers, the Yellow House, the Bedroom and his very last work, Tree Roots
  • Learn about Vincent Van Gogh's passionate life and mental health issues through his art, his letter exchanges with his brother Theo, and through his contemporaries such as Gauguin; 
  • Hear what happened on that fateful night with the knife and his ear, and the questions around his tragic death by gunshot;
  • Take a short comfort break before a guided tour of the highlights of the impressive Rijksmuseum;
  • Admire the architecture of the National Museum of the Netherlands, the 80 galleries that house some 8000 pieces of art and artefacts showing the history of Holland from the 1200s to the present day;
  • Explore the breathtaking collection of art by the Dutch Masters of the Golden Age such as Rembrandt and Vermeer;
  • Enjoy a well-deserved lunch break in the foodie Jordaan district, at a place recommended by your guide;
  • Stroll the highlights of the city centre in the afternoon and discover the canal and cycle networks, the historic buildings and famous monuments;
  • Walk by Anne Frank’s house and hear the tragic story of how the Franks were betrayed and sent to the concentration camps where all died, except Anne's father Otto who published her famous diary; 
  • See the famous and historic Torensluis Bridge, Westerkerk, Dam Square with the royal palace, and the smallest house in Amsterdam;
  • Explore the famously beautiful Bloemenmarkt Flower Market and learn the history of Dutch tulips;
  • Finish the day with tickets to enjoy a one-hour public boat trip on the UNESCO World Heritage canal ring of Amsterdam.

Spend the morning exploring Amsterdam's top two museums: the Van Gogh Museum dedicated to the life and works of Vincent, and the Rijksmuseum, the national museum of the Netherlands, as impressive for its architecture as for its amazing collections of historic artefacts and paintings by the Masters of the Dutch Golden Age like Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Dyck. 

Hop on a tram to explore the beautiful, bohemian Jordaan District and stop for lunch in the area (price not included) which was once traditionally a rather poor neighbourhood, attracting amazing artists and poets, including Rembrandt and the famous 17th-century Dutch writer Joost van den Vondel. 

After lunch, enjoy an in-depth orientation tour of the city centre. See the highlights of Amsterdam including the Torensluis Bridge, Westerker, and the Anne Frank House.   Visit the world-famous floating Flower Market, which has floated on Amsterdam’s innermost canal since 1862. 

See Dam Square, which came by its name the same way Amsterdam did: it began life as a dam of the Amstel River nearly 750 years ago. As the city grew so did the dam, until it became large enough for a town square, and it has been at Amsterdam’s heart ever since! It is also home to a royal palace. 

At the end of the tour your guide will walk you to the dock to join your Public Canal Cruise, to do one of the most iconic things in Amsterdam: see the city by water. Your cruise will take you through the warren of the city's canals, now listed as a World Heritage site. A perfect way to end the day! 
Markets and Masterpieces: Amsterdam Private Full-Day Walking Tour
Get a taste of the culture, beauty, and history of Amsterdam by discovering its markets and masterpieces on this full-day walking tour including the world-famous Van Gogh Museum dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh, the impressive Rijksmuseum, and the Flower Market, the only floating market in the world.

On this private tour, you will:

  • Learn about 800 years of Dutch art history at the Rijksmuseum which holds over one million objects chronicling Dutch history from 1200 to the present day;
  • Explore the must-see Van Gogh Museum with the most comprehensive collection of Van Gogh works in the world;
  • Stop for a lunch break at Leidseplein square, one of the main squares in Amsterdam;
  • Pop to the popular shopping district of Nieuw Spiegelstraat to find special gifts and antiques;
  • Take a stroll in the world-famous Bloemenmarkt, the only floating Flower Market in the world;
  • Visit the enchanting courtyard of Begijnhof in the heart of Amsterdam;
  • Take a short walk to the 17th-century Westerkerk Church in the Grachtengordel neighborhood;
  • Explore the myriad of independent boutiques and cafes at Nine Streets;
  • End your tour at Anne Frank's House located at Westermarkt Square in the charming Jordaan neighbourhood, and learn about the history of Amsterdam’s Jewish community during the Second World War.
Begin your tour exploring the must-see Van Gogh Museum, with the most comprehensive collection of his works in the world, followed by a visit to the beautiful Rijksmuseum, which holds over one million objects chronicling Dutch history from 1200 to the present day. 

Head to the nearby popular shopping district of Nieuw Spiegelstraat- a centre for beautiful Dutch antiques and pottery as well as for thoroughly modern design. 

Making a short stop at the world-famous Flower Market is an absolute must, where you will grab a bite to eat at a local vendor and perhaps buy some colourful and fragrant tulips.

You will also get to discover some of the hidden gems of Amsterdam, including a visit to Spui Square where local booksellers and artists vie for your attention, as well as a visit to the enchanting courtyard of Begijnhof- a place of quiet sanctuary in the heart of Amsterdam.

Explore the picturesque Nine Streets with its myriad of independent boutiques and beautiful cafes. From here it is a short and utterly worthwhile journey to the 17th-century Westerkerk Church with its impressive 85m high tower. 

From here you will pass the iconic Anne Frank’s House, where you will spend some time with your expert guide hearing about the tragic history of Amsterdam’s Jewish community during the Second World War. 

You will end your tour with a stroll around the beautiful Jordaan District, traditionally a rather poor neighbourhood, attracting amazing artists and poets, including Rembrandt and the famous 17th-century Dutch writer Joost van den Vondel. 
Dutch Golden Age: Private Tour of Amsterdam & Rembrandt's House
Step back in time as you walk around Amsterdam in the 17th century at the height of the Dutch Golden Age, marvelling at the art and architecture as you learn about the lives of Rembrandt and the Dutch Masters and the rise and fall of the Dutch East India Company. 

On your private tour, you will: 

  • Explore the charming Museumplein, surrounded by Amsterdam's most prestigious museums;
  • Enjoy a guided tour of Rembrandt's House Museum and learn all about the life of this seminal painter;
  • Visit the famed BloemenmarktAmsterdam's Flower Market and maybe buy a tulip bulb to bring home;
  • Walk by Mult Tower, originally part of one of the main gates in Amsterdam’s medieval city wall;
  • Walk through Dam Square, home to the iconic Koninklijk Palace, a royal residence;
  • Pass by Museum Van Loon, a canal-side house along the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam;
  • End your tour outside the famous Rijksmuseum, home of the largest collection of Dutch Masters, including Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck, Frans Hals, and many more. (Tickets not included)

Amsterdam was the capital of the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th Century: a city where world trade, incredible wealth and famous art converged. 

The Dutch East India Company (the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) or the VOC, founded in 1602 expanded Dutch trade all over the world and prospered for 200 years. At the same time, science and the arts flourished under the influence of the Dutch Masters: from Rembrandt to Vermeer. 

On this relaxing and fascinating historic walking tour of Amsterdam, you will see Rembrandt’s masterpieces in the studio in which he lived and worked, with timed entrance tickets included. Called Rembrandt's House Museum, where he lived and worked from 1639 to 1656, you will learn all about his life and influences.  

You will stroll along picturesque canals and admire the architecture of the royal palace, as your guide transports you back in time to the 17th Century. 

See the harbour on which the warehouses from the 17th century still stand to this day, as well as the Head Quarters of the Dutch East India Company, where you’ll learn about the darker side of the VOC – its colonization of land, trading of slaves and monopoly of the spice trade.  

Your historic tour ends outside the famous Rijksmuseum where you can purchase tickets to see the finest and largest collection of Dutch masters in the world if you are interested in visiting.

This tour is also a must-see tour for fans of books such as The Girl with the Pearl Earring and The Miniaturist. 
The Rijksmuseum: Art of the Dutch Masters & History Private Tour
The Rijksmuseum, the impressive National Museum of the Netherlands, ranks among the world’s greatest collections of art and historical artefacts, including a veritable treasure trove of art from the Dutch Golden Age. Explore the works of Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh in one of the grandest and largest museums in Amsterdam designated the National Museum of the Netherlands

On your private Rijksmuseum tour, you will: 

  • Explore over 8000 pieces of art, covering 800 years of history, displayed in 80 galleries;
  • Learn all about the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century in the resplendent halls of the museum; 
  • Admire works by its leading artists including RembrandtVan Dyck  and Vermeer;
  • Gain expert insight into the lives of the artists and the era in which they worked;
  • See in exquisite and perfectly-lit detail, Rembrandt's The Night Watch, and Vermeer's The Milkmaid among other masterpieces;
  • Admire more recent works by the Dutch post-impressionist painter, Vincent Van Gogh and learn about his tempestuous, passionate, and ultimately tragic life; 
  • Be amazed by the dimensions of the museum building, a true architectural masterpiece;
  • Learn about the history of the Netherlands and Amsterdam, from its humble beginnings as a fishing village, to its importance as a trading port during the 17th Century, and why the museum rests at the heart of Dutch culture today. 

Inspired by the Louvre, the Dutch government decided the country needed a national museum, so the Rijksmuseum was begun in November 1798, and opened its doors over 200 years ago, in 1800 in the Hague. It was intended to detail the history of the Netherlands from 1200 - the present day and to inspire patriotism in the Dutch people. 

In 1808 Louis Napoleon Bonaparte moved it to the royal palace in Amsterdam; it was again moved to the Trippenhuis - which was just too small - and finally, the architect Pierre Cuypers was commissioned to design a new building. 

After much debate, the building you see today is a blend of neo-gothic and renaissance in style. The museum underwent a major renovation between 2003-2013, costing 350 million euros. Today it attracts around 3 million visitors every year!  

Famous for its extensive collection of Dutch Masters of the Golden Age (1600s) you will see world-famous masterpieces including the Threatened Swan by Jan Asselijn, which was the first purchase ever made by the museum and remains a highlight of the tour, alongside the Night Watch by Rembrandt (beautifully lit in the hall created especially for the painting ), the Milkmaid by Vermeer, and other works by Van Dyck, Frans Hals, Jans Steen and many more. 

The museum also houses a self-portrait by Vincent Van Gogh and works by more recent Dutch artists like Breitner

You'll also see artefacts and objects detailing the history of the Netherlands from humble beginnings to one of the world leaders in trade and seafaring during the 17th century, in the grandeur of the 80 galleries, including the Cuypers Library and the Gallery of Honour.  


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