Top 5 Best Art Museums In The Netherlands: 2021 Museum Guide

January 7, 2021

The best place to learn about art and sculpture is in museums. If you are an antique art freak, the Netherlands is one of the best places to visit. The Dutch have been producing great painters since immemorial and houses some of the best art museums in the world. The only question is, which museum should I visit? In this blog, you will find the top 5 "Best art museums in the Netherlands". This art museum guide will help you choose which museum to visit.

Among the best art museums in the Netherlands, there is the Van Gogh Museum, The Kunstmuseum Den Haag, The Rijksmuseum, The Moco Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

In this article, I will talk about each in great detail so you can understand why you should visit each of them. Keep in mind that this is not a ranking from 1 to 5, but that they are the five best art museums in the Netherlands, in no particular order. So, let's begin.

The 5 Best Art Museums in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is known for many things, but definitely for the great painters that the country has produced. It is therefore not surprising that some of the best art museums in the world are located in the Netherlands.

Due to the wide range of art museums in the Netherlands, it can be difficult to choose which one to visit. With this guide for the "best art museums in the Netherlands", I'm going to help you make the right choice.

The Van Gogh Museum:

When I hear the word 'art', the first name that comes to my mind is obviously Vincent Van Gogh. Who is not a fan of the "Starry Night" or the "Almond Blossoms" or name any painting done by the mastermind himself! As you can guess from the name, The Van Gogh Museum portrays the biggest collection of masterpieces done by this great artist.

Every artist, even the beginners, dream to visit the Van Gogh Museum once in their lifetime. This museum will inspire and motivate you to paint even more and improve your techniques. But this museum is also fantastic to visit for art lovers who do not paint themselves.

A Brief History About Vincent Van Gogh:

The great artist, Vincent Van Gogh was born in the sanctity of the Netherlands. Due to some early life crises, he had to deal with financial burdens and could hardly meet the ends. At one point, the great artist lost his mental balance and suffered from major depression.

Van Gogh also began to hallucinate due to his illness, during one of these attacks he cut off his left ear. When he regained consciousness, he knew nothing about this incident.

He had drinking problems too and soon turned into a mad alcoholic. He had to be admitted into psychiatric wards and asylums for treatment. People considered him a disgrace and mocked him behind his back. He had no help, no therapists to talk to. Eventually, he committed suicide at the age of 37.

During his last days, he made nearly a thousand oil paintings. It is said that he garnished his trauma into beautiful artworks on canvas, with the help of just paint and brushes. During his lifetime, not a single person valued his work.

After his unfortunate death, when his work got published people started to admire him deeply. Today, a single Van Gogh painting is worth a hundred million US dollars. If only Van Gogh knew what his works of art mean to the world today.

His remaining work was auctioned by his wife for the purpose of spreading knowledge and art. From time to time, they have traveled through different museums and finally reached the Van Gogh Museum, where they truly deserve to stay.

What Can You See in the Van Gogh Museum?

This museum is intimately based on the life of Vincent Van Gogh. A walk through the corridors will take you down memory lane, through the story of Van Gogh’s life. How he grew up in the rural world dealing with poverty, how he admired the working people giving them a place in his work.

He moved to Paris and there he learned the true meaning of art. He learned about different kinds of paint and brush-works, so you can see his work on various French destinations, cafes, open fields, self-portraits, and the great Starry Night. All these honorable works of Van Gogh have added to the beauty of this museum.

Main Attraction of the Van Gogh Museum: Starry Night

Van Gogh may have a mental fever or madness, whatever you call it, but the man had an awful lot of qualities in himself. To this day, the Starry Night is considered his best work. Ask anyone, this is the hardest thing to paint even for the most skilled artists of our age!

It comprises a number of techniques and fine brushwork, no ordinary artist can produce. The critics have named Van Gogh "The Post Impressionist Artist" for his detailed work. The Starry Night exhibition held every year is truly to die for!

If I am ever spending a night in the Van Gogh Museum, it's definitely for the Starry Night! Imagine lying down on the floor there and just admire the stars. Trust me you will lose yourself in the beauty of art.

Why Should you Visit the Van Gogh Museum?

This museum bears like 200 of Van Gogh's paintings, about 400 of his drawings, and some 700 letters written by him. Van Gogh fans, this is your chance to see all his work in real-life!

Besides, don't miss your chance to see the world-famous works, "The Potato Eaters", "Sunflowers", "The Yellow House", "Wheatfield with Crows" and many more masterpieces. This museum also bears the works of Van Gogh's fellow artists of that era. Pay a visit here and you will definitely not regret it!

Kunstmuseum Den Haag:

The second one on the list is the Kunstmuseum Den Haag. A visit to this museum is highly recommended for art lovers. A trip to the Kunstmuseum will not just soothe your minds but also enrich your storehouse of knowledge with various art techniques and works from great minds like Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, and many more!

A Brief History of the Kunstmuseum Den Haag:

This museum doesn't hold much historical background. It was established to honor the work of great artists like Picasso, Monet, Mondrian, and many others. It was established in the 19th century. The main attraction is the last work of Piet Mondrian "Victory Boogie Woogie".

The name of this museum has been changed several times. Now it is famous as the Kunstmuseum Den Haag. It is very near to the city center of The Hague and is easy to reach by car or public transport.

What Can You See in the Kunstmuseum Den Haag?

The collections of this museum are versatile and include many different types and styles of art. Besides canvas work, they portray elements of pottery, glass sculptures, nearly fifty thousand posters or drawings and printed works, fashion collectibles, assets of music and so much more.

Works of artists from different parts of the world are seen here. Besides, you can also see some work by Vincent Van Gogh.

Main Attraction of the Kunstmuseum: Victory Boogie Woogie

Piet Mondrian intertwined colors and geometry in this beautiful piece of art "Victory Boogie Woogie". The combinations of the busy lines interrupted rhythmically by colors in this artwork have produced an abstract image of the busy New York city life.

It takes a great mind to understand the depth of this artwork. Some people underestimate the brainstorming behind this artwork; nevertheless, it has secured its rightful place in the world's top art museum, the Kunstmuseum.

Although this is the last unfinished work of the great artist, it has caused a great stir in the world of abstract art.

Why Should you Visit the Kunstmuseum Den Haag?

If you are an art lover, this is definitely your go-to place. The museum has a very diverse range of art, which ensures that there is something for everyone to see. This also makes it very suitable to visit with families.

The Rijksmuseum:

The Rijksmuseum is one of the national museums of the Netherlands. This museum holds interests in artwork, literature, history, and all aspects that define the nation's civilization. A trip to the Rijksmuseum will take you to the depths of Dutch history and culture.

A Brief History of the Rijksmuseum:

First found in the 18th century, this museum is the warehouse of all Dutch antiquities. It holds the proof of Dutch history in the form of paintings, craftworks, drawings, jewels, ornaments used by the old kings and queens, books and so much more.

For its historical background, this museum is often compared to the Louvre of Paris. Some have called it the Louvre of Amsterdam! For many years, the museum remained shut and people gradually became hopeless about its reopening.

Then again, the story of the grand reopening of the Rijksmuseum is known to you all. The museum came back with all its glory and is still among the top picks until this time.

What Can You See in the Rijksmuseum?

The museum specializes in all aspects of Dutch culture but as an art lover, your mind searches for the art jewels you can explore. So, you won't be disappointed because the Rijksmuseum has a huge collection of antique artworks.

These paintings reiterate the Golden Age of Dutch history. They emphasize how the Dutch people transformed from their roots and reached the modern age. It is better understood through the works of Vermeer, Rembrandt, Ruisdael and so many other historical artists.

Main Attraction of the Rijksmuseum: the Night Watch

This masterpiece from the 17th century by the great artist Rembrandt van Rhijn was based on the civic guards. The detailed work involves the use of clever techniques. The picture is so lively that you will feel you are up there with the characters.

The picture isn't actually named the Night Watch. The real name of the painting is "The Shooting Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch", but it is commonly known as the "Night Watch".

The clever technique used here is Motion. Rembrandt put great detailing in working the figures at the center of the painting and gave a fading effect to the guards in the background. It looks like everyone is busy in their own lives.

This aesthetic painting has left us with many theories. Pay a visit there and discover your own theory!

Why Should you Visit the Rijksmuseum?

The breath-taking beauty of the museum and the precious artworks will steal your heart right away! Besides, when the museum was reopened many buildings were renewed and the garden was renovated.

New collections were added and some services were reformed. So, you can enjoy the beauty of the galleries and then take some nice photos in the garden. The view is exquisitely designed and the building still has an antique look. Not a thing has been changed about its appearance.

The Moco Museum:

This is one of the modern age museums as it is ruled by the artists of the 21st century. This makes the Moco Museum very popular with younger people. It mainly exhibits 'Modern' and 'Contemporary' art; hence the name - the Moco museum came from the initials.

A Brief History of the Moco Museum:

For the new generation and the millennials, this is just the right place. A lot of people think art museums are boring; not everyone admires the acquired taste of antiques. For this progressive fraction of the population, the Moco museum was found.

The Moco museum opened its doors in 2016. The beauty of the museum lies in how it has embraced modern artwork and how it has honored street art. The collections are still brand new and waiting for more people to check them out!

What Can You See in the Moco Museum?

The Moco museum specializes in street art. Dating back from 2016, the political street art of the British artist Banksy, the great work "Connecting Time" from Daniel Arsham, works from the pioneer of street art, Keith Haring and so much more.

The 3D room with the work of Roy Lichtenstein and the work of "the Princess of Polka Dots", Yayoi Kusama needs special mention. These are the top-notch collections that draw audiences of all ages, especially the youngsters.

Main Attraction of the Moco Museum: The Diamond Matrix

It's so tough to name one artwork from the huge pile of brilliant works. But the collaboration with Studio Irma has given birth to absolute beauty, "The Diamond Matrix". Basically, this is art intertwined with rhythm, lights, and music. This artwork is absolutely to die for!

Why Should you Visit the Moco Museum?

The best part of this museum is that it has highlighted modern art and given a special place to it. Street art, digital art, etc. are not really appreciated in the way they deserve to be, in most parts of the world. But the Moco Museum has given this the honor it deserves.

There are outdoor exhibitions, exhibitions which keep revolving, beautiful garden exhibitions and so much more to see here. If you have kids at home, yes this is the right choice to inspire them towards Modern Art!

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam:

Just like the Moco Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is also dedicated to modern art. So if you are a real modern art fan or if you are a progressive artist yourself, you have come to the right place at the Stedelijk Museum.

A Brief History of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam:

This museum was built during the last days of the 19th century. So, the main collection actually started to enrich from the 20th. Since then, the Stedelijk Museum has tried to put special emphasis on modern art.

Throughout the whole 20th and early part of the 21st centuries, the museum was renovated several times and went through significant reconstructions. The outside of the building now looks very modern, unlike before. This modern look may well match the art in the museum.

What Can You See in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam?

There are artworks on impressionism and its different forms, photographs of aesthetic values, books that have earned huge honor, works from notable sculptors, live pictures, soundtracks, drawings, paintings, posters, digital art, and many more!

Main Attraction of the Stedelijk Museum: Le Berceuse, Woodcutter, Composition XII

The Stedelijk Museum is well known for having a good collection of impressionist and abstract paintings like "Woodcutter" by Kazmir Malevich, "Composition XIII" by Theo Van Doesburg, and many more. 

Though it doesn't have a specific workpiece that draws in hundreds of people like some other museums in this list have, the varied collection it does have of various famous paintings makes it a must-visit.

Why Should you Visit the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam?

A modern art lover must visit the Stedelijk Museum. If you are thinking it might not be worth the ticket, you are totally wrong. You will feast your eyes on this beautiful museum and spend hours wandering among the many different types of artworks by some of the best artists. There are even some works of Van Gogh in the Stedelijk Museum.

Miscellaneous Information

If you have already chosen your best picks from the top 5 "best art museums in the Netherlands", it's time you get to know when and where to go; how much will it cost, etc. Pricing may vary according to age groups and your card/billing preferences. The average amount for an adult is mentioned in the table below with some facts you should know.

Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam
Entry fees (adults 18+):
€ 10 – 19 or $ 12 - 23
Opening Hours:
09:00 to 17:00 hours, depending on the number of tickets sold.
Closed on Sundays and will remain mostly closed on Mondays until March 2021.
Kunstmuseum Den Haag
Entry fees (adults 18+):
€ 15 or $ 18
Free entry on the first Sunday of every month!
Opening Hours:
10:00 to 17:00 hours
Closed on Monday.
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Entry fees (adults 18+):
€ 20 or $ 24
Opening Hours:
09:00 to 18:00 hours
Open every day, even on vacations and national holidays.
Moco Museum Amsterdam
Entry fees (adults 18+):
€ 15 - 20 or $ 18 - 24
Opening Hours:
09:00 to 18:00 hours (Monday to Thursday)
09:00 to 20:00 hours (Friday to Sunday)
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Entry fees (adults 18+):
€ 19 or $ 23
Free for children under 18
Opening Hours:
10:00 to 18:00 hours Open every day, all 365 days.

Conclusion

The Netherlands has amazed the world from time to time with its fertility in producing talented artists of all ages. To honor their artwork, to remember them, there could be no other better option than visiting and building more art museums.

By now you know all the in and outs about the top 5 "best art museums in the Netherlands". I hope this article helped you in finding what you were looking for and has helped you to decide which art museum to visit. From here, I would like to wish you a lot of fun visiting these great museums.

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Written by

Leo van den Berg
As a Dutchman I am extremely proud of the beautiful country in which I live. My goal is to convey my passion and love for the Netherlands to as many people as possible.

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