Housed in an impressive building overlooking the Singelgracht, this is easily one of the best museums in the world. It contains an outstanding collection of Golden Age paintings by Rembrandt (including 'Night Watch' and 'The Jewish Bride'), Johannes Vermeer (including 'The Milkmaid'), Frans Hals (with 'The Jolly Drinker), Jan Steen (including 'The Feast of St. Nicholas') as well as many more. The museum is currently under restoration until 2010. So the collection is much smaller than usual. It is still, however, worth the cost. Location: Jan Luijkenstraat 1 - Hours: daily: 9-18hrs., fri: 9-22hrs. Adults: 10 euros. website
Van Gogh Museum:
The other ‘must see’ art museum in Amsterdam, with its tremendous and rather large collection of the great Dutch impressionist ’s works. It is truly incredible to behold for oneself the wonderful colors and bold brush strokes that Van Gogh laid out on canvas, in this well designed yet often very crowded and loud museum. Location: Paulus Potterstraat 7 - Hours: daily: 10-18hrs., fri: 9-22hrs. Adults: 10 euros. web site
Anne Frank Huis:
Very poignant and interesting museum housed in the very building where Anne Frank herself (and seven others) hid, in a secret annex behind a bookcase, during the German occupation of Amsterdam before being betrayed and arrested on August 4, 1944. Only her father survived the war. Location: Prinsengracht 267 - Hours: Sept-Mar 9-19hrs.; Mar-Sept 9-21hrs. Adults: 7.50 euros. website
A one time Rembrandt home, this very nice museum contains a interesting collection of his prints, as well as live demonstrations of printing and paint mixing techniques, and rooms restored to look as they did in Rembrandt’s day (with interesting painted works of art of his lesser known contemporaries adorning the walls).
Location: Jodenbreestraat 4 - Hours: daily 10-17hrs. Adults: 8 euros. website
The city's main museum of modern art. Here one will find the works of Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Mondrian, and Warhol, as well as several interesting lesser known artists. Temporarily relocated to Oosterdokskade 5. - Hours: daily 10-18hrs. Adults: 9 euros. website
Joods Historisch Museum and the
This museum, housed inside two of Amsterdam's old synagogues (which I recommend visiting in combination with another - Portuguese Synagogue across the street- a combo ticket can be purchased at either location) has a rather interesting collection of Jewish historial artifacts, ranging in age from the time when the first Jewish refugees arrived in Amsterdam (fleeing Spanish persecution) to the Holocaust, and beyond. Highlights include a document excommunicating Spinoza out of the Amsterdam Jewish community because of his heretical beliefs, some nice oil paintings, and intricate prints.
Location: Nieuwe Amstelstraat 1 - Hours: daily 11-17hrs. Adults: 10 euros when purchased in combination with the Portuguese Synagogue. website
Museum Van Loon:
This elegant canal mansion, the ancestral home of the Van Loon family, offers up many attractive interior spaces, a pleasant symmetrical back garden (rare in Amsterdam), beautiful furniture, some pretty oriental objects, and a couple nice paintings by Jan Miense Molenaer and Michiel Mierevelt. The house was given as a wedding gift to the first Van Loon to own the house was a founder of the VOC - The Dutch East Indies Company - the house's first resident was the painter Ferdinand Bol. I think the price maybe one or two euros too much (especially that one room is missing its painted walls- removed for renovation until "late 2008".
Location: Keizersgracht 672, Amsterdam
Hours: 11-17hrs (closed Tuesdays). Adults: 6 euros. website
Museum Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder (Museum Our Lord in the Attic):
A 17th century household converted into a hidden catholic church (when catholics were forbidden to hold public services), Our Lord in the Attic offers some very beautiful interior spaces (the highlight being the gorgeous chapel); beautiful artwork, tile work, reliquaries, and more. Well worth a visit.
Location: Oudezijds Voorburgwal 40, Amsterdam. - Hours: Monday to Saturday 10.00 - 17.00
Sundays and public holidays 13.00 - 17.00 Adults: 7 euros. website
Amsterdams Historisch Museum:
Housed in a particularly historic and interesting building in the city center. This museum provides an excellent introduction to the history of the city. Archaeological artifacts, very large and very detailed maps, objects of daily life, paintings, important documents, and other interesting objects, follow the city’s rise through to today.
Location: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 357 - Hours: mon-fri 10-17hrs. wk ends 11-17hrs. Adults: 7 euros. website
Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum Amsterdam:
With interesting exhibits on Dutch nautical history (including dramatic paintings), including a full size replica of a Dutch East Indies Company ship outside that the public is free to explore (above and below deck), this museum is worth a visit to gain insight into those two things more important than any other to Dutch history: the sea and trade. The museum is closed, however, until 2009 for major renovations. Location: Kattenburgerplein 1 website
Founded in 1638 as a medicinal herb garden, with more than 6,000 plants (4,000 individual species), plants in the Hortus were shipped to Holland from all over the world by the Dutch East India Company (or VOC) for research purposes. Highlights include: a 300-year-old Eastern Cape giant cycad, a desert garden (that made me miss Arizona) and a butterfly greenhouse.
Location: Plantage Middenlaan 2a. - Hours: weekdays 9-17hrs., weekends and holidays 10-17hrs. Adults: 6 euros. website
Gifted to the city of Amsterdam in the will of Mrs. Willet-Holthuysen, this 17th-century contains a great deal of valuable porcelain, an attractive garden, intricate statues, and elegant minitures, as well as some interesting artwork (most notably a couple pieces by Jacob de Wit - including a ceiling painting removed from another house and brought to the Willet-Holthuysen residence).
Location: Herengracht 605 - Hours: weekdays 10-17hrs., weekends and holidays 11-17hrs. Adults: 5 euros. website
Also worth visiting:
The Allard Pierson Museum (with its Egyptian, Etruscan, etc. archaeological collection - a friend of mine complained "too many replicas");
the Bijbels museum (with its bible collection);
the Tropenmuseum (with its exhibits focusing on the tropics);
the FOAM (with its ever changing cutting edge photo exhibits);
the Artis (zoo and aquarium);
the Hermitage Amsterdam (changing art exhibits drawn from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg Russia);
the Museum Vrolik (a fascinating anatomical collection housed in a hospital - near Holdendrecht station - that features pickled embryos - most with deformities - and the organs of adults sliced and diced in every way imaginable- for the desensitized. No pictures allowed);
and Nemo (biggest science center in the Netherlands mainly for kids- but fun for adults too).