Visit the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam: tickets, prices, opening hours

Rijksmuseum

Visiting romantic Amsterdam? Be sure to visit the Rijksmuseum, the famous Dutch art museum!

Brand new after a 10-year renovation, it’s time to visit Amsterdam’s famous Rijksmuseum! For its inauguration in April 2013, the museum returned to center stage in the presence of Queen Beatrix and thousands of spectators, in the building designed by architect Pierre Cuypers.

Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum (literally State Museum) is certainly the best art museum in the Netherlands and rightly very popular with visitors, who numbered over 2 million in 2014. Its most famous painting, Rembrandt‘s Night Watch(De Nachtwacht), is also its main attraction. In addition to this masterpiece, you can also enjoy other paintings from the Dutch Golden Age inside the museum, including works by Vermeer, Steen and Hals.

Would you like to visit the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and discover all its secrets? We’ve put together this short guide with all the information you could possibly need.

History of the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum

Expo Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Photo credit: Flickr – Eric de Redelijkheid

The origins of the Rijksmuseum date back to 1800, when it was just a national gallery based in The Hague. It was Louis Bonaparte, Napoleon I’s brother and King of Holland, who ordered the collection to be moved to the Royal Palace. A few years later, following the accession of King William I of Orange-Nassau, the museum once again came under state ownership and was transferred to the Trippenhuis, which was later renamed the Rijksmuseum.

In 1863, the desire for a new building gave rise to a competition, followed by a second one in 1876, which Pierre Cuypers won. The interior decoration was also the subject of competitions, won by Bart Van Hove and François Vermeylen for the sculptures, Georg Sturm for the ceramics and paintings, and W.F. Dixon for the stained-glass windows.

When the museum opened nine years later, visiting the Rijksmuseum was already a way of seeing masterpieces that can still be seen today.

What to see at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum?

Rijksmuseum

Photo credit: Unsplash – Michael D Beckwith

The most interesting things to see on a visit to the Rijksmuseum are works from the Golden Age of Dutch art dating from around 1620 to 1680, in particular the collection of paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, Steen and de Hooch. But the collection is not limited to paintings alone.

Most of the paintings have been placed in the context of other arts and crafts, such as sculpture and the decorative arts (Delft earthenware, furniture, porcelain, dolls’ houses…). The most famous works, however, are on display in the Galerie d’Honneur. Here, one masterpiece follows another: Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, Vermeer’s The Milkmaid, Frans Hals’ Wedding Portrait of Isaac Abrahamsz, Rembrandt’s The Jewish Bride, Jan Asselijn’s The Threatened Swan

In all, there are 12 paintings by Rembrandt, 4 by Vermeer and numerous works by less famous painters such as Johannes Verspronck, Torrentius, Jan Lievens, Willem Heda and Nicolaes Maes.

How to visit the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

Rijksmuseum

Photo credit: Unsplash – Christian Fregnan

The museum is spread over four floors, numbered from zero to three. However, the numerical order of the rooms does not reflect the chronological progression of the collection.

If you want to see the works in the order in which they were created, you should start on the first floor (the main entrance is also on this level) with the Middle Ages (rooms 0.1-0.6), then go up to the second floor for the 17th century (rooms 2.0-2.28), then go down one floor and cross the building diagonally and continue your visit on the second floor through the 18th and 19th centuries (1.1-1.18).

Finally, if you want to see the (very limited) 20th century collections, you’ll have to go up to the top floor. So it’s quite complicated.

Rez-de-chaussée Rijksmuseum Etage 1 Rijksmuseum Etage 2 Rijksmuseum Etage 3 Rijksmuseum

The new Asian Pavilion, which is a separate structure from the main museum, features an important collection from China, Indonesia, Japan, India, Thailand and Vietnam, and is accessible via a passage from one corner of the entrance hall.

How to get to the Rijksmuseum?

The art museum is located on Museumplein, a 10-minute walk from Leidseplein.

You can get there by various means of transport:

  • From Centraal Station: streetcars 2 or 5 (Rijksmuseum stop)
  • From South Station Zuid station: streetcar 5 (Rijksmuseum stop)
  • From Sloterdijk station: streetcar 12 (Concertgebouw stop)
  • From Amstel station: take the metro to Weesperplein, then streetcar 7 or 10 (Spiegelgracht stop).
  • From the Marnixstraat regional bus station: bus 26, 65, 66, 170 or 172
  • From Schiphol: bus 197, Rijksmuseum stop

Once your visit to the Rijksmuseum is over, you can visit other museums on the Museumplein, such as the Van Gogh Museum.

Rijksmuseum rates & opening hours

Rijksmuseum

Photo credit: Unsplash – Ståle Grut

RATES

For all discounts and prices, visit the museum’s official website.

  • Adults: €20 on site / €19 online
  • Under 18s: FREE
  • European Youth Card: €10 on site / €9.50 online

You can buy your ticket online on the museum’s official website.

It’s also possible to take a guided tour of the Rijksmuseum in French, again avoiding the long queues. This can be booked online or on site, for around €5 per person.

SCHEDULES

The Rijksmuseum is open 365 days a year from 9am to 5pm. The Rijksmuseum gardens, the Rijks store and the café are also open to non-ticketed visitors from 9am to 6pm.

Good to know: During the Whitsun weekend (Sunday June 9 and Monday June 10), the museum will be open from 9am to 9pm!

GOOD TO KNOW

If you’re visiting the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, here are a few things you should know:

  • Spring and summer are seasons when the museum is extremely busy. The « quietest » times, especially in the main gallery, are probably on weekdays, during the early morning opening hours(from 9am), or during the last two hours of the day(3pm-5pm). Winter is obviously a quieter season too.
  • Guided tours of the museum are available, but it’s a good idea to download the free Rijksmuseum app for a multimedia tour on iOS or Android (this option costs €5 for visitors to the museum without a smartphone).
  • Free WiFi is available throughout the museum
  • The Rijksmuseum is accessible to people with reduced mobility (with the exception of mobility scooters). Accompanying persons may enter the museum free of charge. For further information on accessibility, click here.
  • Strollers are allowed
  • You can leave your belongings in the changing rooms free of charge.