Amazing cultural attractions in Amsterdam: museums, art galleries, theatres and more
Planning on visiting Europe? including Amsterdam in your itinerary is a must!
“Painting is the grandchild of Nature. It is related to God.” – Rembrandt
The iconic city of Rembrandt is known for its pretty flower markets, picture-perfect canals, mansions and windmills – but, perhaps above all, it is a true cultural hub with numerous cultural attractions. A result of cosmopolitan influences, the multifaceted Amsterdam is bursting with museums, galleries and theatres, having the world’s highest museum density. On top of that, lining the UNESCO World Heritage canals, one can find narrow streets, beautiful historical buildings, crowded cafes and a plethora of shops to browse in, making Amsterdam the perfect destination for any type of traveler.
If you are an art, history or highbrow culture lover, you have found the right article! We’ve curated a list of Amsterdam’s hidden gems for you to consider when planning your next holiday:
Museum Het Rembrandthuis
This year, the world celebrates the 350th anniversary of one of the Dutch Golden Age master’s death – Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn.
When visiting Amsterdam, one should not miss Rembrandt’s home and workshop – the house at Jodenbreestraat 4 where he lived and worked from 1639 to 1658, now a museum. Here you can find an impressive collection of Rembrandt’s drawings and etchings that reflect his vision – one of colliding forces of light and dark, life and death, introspection and observation. The Rembrandt House Museum is also a venue for exhibitions of work by contemporary artists who have been inspired by the work of Rembrandt, their seventeenth-century predecessor.
The Royal Concertgebouw
A wonder of neoclassic architecture, the Concertgebouw is a world-renown, majestic concert hall dating back to 1881.
It was Dolf van Gendt who created a perfectly resonant hall and throughout time, the secret of the Main Hall’s unparalleled acoustics was never revealed. The Concertgebouw, that once hosted Brahms and Strauss, now hosts a variety of concerts with genres ranging from orchestra and early music to jazz, pop and contemporary music. If this isn’t enough to convince you, find that this attraction organizes lunchtime concerts every week, free of charge, as no-one loves a bargain quite like the Dutch!
The Moco Museum
The Moco Museum in Amsterdam is a boutique museum showcasing inspiring modern and contemporary art by proven artists with unique vision. The museum features artists like Banksy, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein offering visitors art in which irony and humor reflect modern society.
The Eye Film Institute
For the cinema world enthusiasts, we’ve included into our cultural attractions list the unmissable Eye Film Institute. Sometimes called ‘the cinematic memory of the Netherlands’, it features a stunning architectural design – a graceful structure with sleek angular lines designed by Delugan Meissl.
This national museum for film manages more than 40.000 films from all genres. It also hosts permanent and temporary exhibitions, archive documentaries or classics from Tarkovsky to Rademakers. As a bonus, the museum has a bar-restaurant from where one can enjoy stunning views of the IJ Harbor and Amsterdam’s Central Station.
Het Schip Museum
If you are interested in (Dutch) architecture, ‘Het Schip’ (The Ship) is a place to explore. The structure was built according to characteristics of the Amsterdam School – a movement that happened between 1910 and 1930 and places the use of bricks at its core. Visiting The Ship is an eye-opener for people who want to learn more about Amsterdam’s architecture; after your visit, you will discover Amsterdam School’s fingerprint on a multitude of buildings throughout the city.
The best-preserved 18th century public knowledge institution for the arts and sciences in the world – Teylers Museum – is one of Amsterdam’s remarkable cultural attractions worth visiting. One can admire its paintings and drawings by the Old Masters, ingenious scientific instruments, centuries-old fossils, magnificent minerals or precious books.
Open since 1784, more than 110.000 annual visitors glance at its interior in the Oval Room, which is the only authentic 18th century museum interior in the world.
Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam
A hidden hotspot in an outer neighborhood, Amsterdam’s botanical gardens date back to 1638 and are considered a true sanctuary for rare and exotic plants. This green oasis in the middle of the city contains an impressive collection of medicinal plants, south African plants, carnivorous plants, cycads, palms, container plants and species of trees.
In the Hortus one can also experience three different climates in a single room. The Three Climate Greenhouse has three zones with different climates, representing the subtropics, the desert and the tropics with their own temperature, humidity and air circulation. We think that’s pretty impressive!
De Appel Gallery
De Appel is a contemporary art institute that organizes exhibitions, performances, film screenings, lectures and gatherings, thus crossing boundaries between arts and other disciplines. It does so in an experimental, inclusive manner, feeding the emotionally and intellectually curious art enthusiasts.
Additionally, the institute features a world-renowned curatorial program for those who want to develop or deepen their curatorial competencies. The institute also houses an extensive archive and library. Among the locals, De Appel has the reputation of showcasing ‘everything that’s happening right now’.
If you consider planning a trip to Amsterdam, then make sure you follow these two steps:
first, think about planning an extended trip, so you have plenty of time to soak in all the wonderful cultural attractions this city has to offer.
Secondly, check out our website and reach out to our helpful staff for insider knowledge to curate your perfect Amsterdam tour.
What do you think of our list? let us know in the comments section below!
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