A Guide to the Best Museums to Visit in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is famous for its rich culture and amazing museums. While everyone knows about the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum, this guide will help you discover Amsterdam's unique and lesser-known museums. Whether you love art, history, or something interactive, Amsterdam has a museum for you. Here is a simple guide to the best museums in Amsterdam.

NXT Museum – Modern Art

The NXT Museum is all about new media art. Located in Amsterdam-Noord, this museum has cool, interactive digital art installations. It’s perfect for tech lovers and art fans.

Straat Museum – Street Art

The Straat Museum, found in a former shipyard at the NDSM wharf, celebrates street art. It showcases graffiti by famous artists. It’s colorful, lively, and full of urban culture. If you’re lucky, you might catch an artist working on their art.

Art gallery STRAAT museum in Amsterdam
© STRAAT Museum

Moco Museum – Banksy and More

The Moco Museum, also known as the Banksy Museum, is in a beautiful villa on Museumplein. It features art by Banksy, Andy Warhol, and other modern artists. It’s a must-see for contemporary art lovers.

Moco museum in Amsterdam
© Moco Museum

Huis Bartolotti – A Step Back in Time

Huis Bartolotti is a hidden treasure in Amsterdam’s center. This 17th-century canal house is beautifully preserved, giving you a glimpse into the past. Explore its elegant rooms and learn about the Bartolotti family’s history.

Inside Huis Bartolotti in Amsterdam
© Huis Bartolotti, Arjan Bronkhorst

Amsterdam Museum – City History

The Amsterdam Museum tells the city’s story from its medieval roots to now. Located in the historic center, it has interactive exhibits and lots of information. It’s perfect for learning about Amsterdam’s history. 

Art in Amsterdam Museum
© Amsterdam Museum

Fabrique des Lumières – Digital Art

Fabrique des Lumières is an immersive digital art center in a former gas factory. It features large-scale projections of famous artworks with music. It’s a unique, sensory art experience.

National Maritime Museum 

The National Maritime Museum celebrates Dutch maritime history and the legacy of the VOC (Dutch East India Company). Housed in a grand 17th-century building, it features interactive exhibits and historical ships, including a large ship docked outside. 

Cat Cabinet – For Cat Lovers

The Cat Cabinet is a quirky museum dedicated to cats. Located in a charming canal house, it showcases cat-themed art and sculptures. It’s perfect for cat enthusiasts.

Een kat in de kattenkabinet in Amsterdam
© Kattenkabinet

Treasure Room at the City Archives – Free History

The City Archives’ Treasure Room is a free museum showing historical documents, maps, and photos of Amsterdam. It’s a fascinating, cost-free way to explore the city’s history.

Museum Willet-Holthuysen – Canal House 

Museum Willet-Holthuysen is a beautiful 19th-century canal house. It’s filled with period furniture and art, showing how the wealthy lived in Amsterdam.

Museum Willet-Holthuysen
© Museum Willet-Holthuysen

Museum Het Schip – Unique Architecture

Museum Het Schip focuses on Amsterdam School architecture. Located in a striking building, it explores the style’s impact on the city’s design. Architecture fans will love it.

Museum het Schip in Amsterdam
© Museum Het Schip

Muiderslot: A Fairy Tale Castle

A short trip from Amsterdam by ferry, Muiderslot is a medieval castle that looks like it’s from a fairy tale. It offers tours, historical exhibits, and lovely gardens. It’s great for families and history lovers.

© Muiderslot Museum, Maartje Scheers

FOAM – Photography Museum

FOAM is a top photography museum in Amsterdam. It has changing exhibitions of works by famous and new photographers. It’s a must-visit for photography fans.

Art gallery Foam in Amsterdam
© FOAM, Christan van der Kooy

Stedelijk Museum – Modern Art

The Stedelijk Museum on Museumplein is all about modern and contemporary art. It features works by artists like Vincent van Gogh and Piet Mondrian. It’s a highlight for art lovers.

Painting in Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam
© Stedelijk Mseum

Jewish Museum – Culture and History

The Jewish Museum in the Jewish Cultural Quarter explores the history and culture of Amsterdam’s Jewish community. It has a rich collection of artifacts and stories. It’s an educational and moving experience.

Joods Museum in Amsterdam
© Joods Museum, Marijke Volkers

Museum of the Canals – Waterways History

The Museum of the Canals tells the story of Amsterdam’s famous canal system. Located in a beautiful canal house, it uses multimedia to explain how the canals were built and their importance.

Grachtenmuseum in Amsterdam
© Museum of the Canals

Rembrandt House – The Artist’s Life

The Rembrandt House Museum is in the former home of the great artist Rembrandt van Rijn. You can see his studio, living quarters, and many of his etchings. It’s a fascinating look at his life and work.

The Rembrandt Museum in Amsterdam
© Rembrandthuis

Of course, while these hidden gems are amazing, don’t forget to visit the popular museums too. Our most famous museums are:

Plan Your Visit

Book your tickets in advance, especially during busy seasons. You don’t want to miss out on your visit.

Want to visit many museums at once while you’re here? Consider getting an I Amsterdam City Card. It gives you free or discounted entry to 70+ museums and free public transport. Not sure if it’s right for you? We’ve written a full blog post about it.

You may also like our blogpost about The Bests Streets and Neighborhoods You Need to Visit and Best Breakfast Spots in the City.

Want to Read More?

This website is using cookies.

We use them to give you the best experience. If you continue using our website, we’ll assume you are happy to receive all cookies on this website.