The Museumplein

In Amsterdam, there is a very big park area called the Museumplein.  Along its edges are the Van Gogh Museum, the Modern Art Museum and the Rijksmuseum.  We decided to visit the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum (it’s got the fancy old art from the middle ages on and stuff).


The Van Gogh Museum



So, pictures of the actual art was not allowed. Photos could only be taken in ‘designated areas’ which I never found. Blergh.


We had a nice time and got the 9am scheduled tickets which was really smart. We got to see the galleries pretty darn empty. I highly suggest it! If you’re willing to crawl out of bed early on a vacation.


The current special exhibition is a comparison of the works by Van Gogh and Edvard Munch and was A+! We really liked it.  Actually, we’d seen the permanent galleries and were surprised at the lack of really famous paintings there- but many were in the special exhibition. Whew.

Pater really enjoyed the self portrait area as he like tracking Van Gogh’s progress as a painter and his mental state.  I’m a big fan of his flower paintings- almond blossoms, sunflowers etc.  Mum liked the display about his letters to his family and his work with colour theory.

Rating: 3/5

Pros: Great if you love Van Gogh, looks at his life and work, great special exhibition, stellar shop, nice cafe, friendly staff, stuff for kids

Cons; VERY crowded, relies on the whisper things (which I hate), confusing floor plan, not enough seating/ rest areas, I also wanted a discussion about his influence in pop-culture (not just how his work influenced others in his generation)

The Rijksmuseum


Note the bikers! They are everywhere. Even have a path/ tunnel through the museum.

Its a massive and splendid building with a little bit of everything.  It’s most famous for being the home of Rembrandt’s groundbreaking work, The Night Watch.




They had two ‘Period Rooms’ which show what the style was for home decor. I liked this very green room with the sweet chandelier.  The labels in the museum actually blend into the walls as they use the same colour. I like it because it makes it unobtrusive and lets you look at the item before its interpretations.




In the very bottom floor were a very cool space that was pretty much collections storage. It let you see a sample of all the differnt things they have at the museum. Mum and I loved the costume section that was really well lit and well organised.




Art Nouveau chairs! I love those clean lines




There were a few amazing doll houses and silver miniature furniture pieces.  This thing was a doll house version of an Apothecary! Mum adored it as you can imagine.  All the little jars were full and labeled. Not sure if they contained actual medicinal stuff. Love those details.  It was in the 17th century gallery which was really cool.  They hung art near period furniture and objects de art. It really gives you a sense of what it was like in that time period without being a heritage house.



I just thought this was a super cool display method.  The porcelain statues of animals are all on little steps around a pillar. Nifty!

Rating: 4/5

Pros: Amazing collections, good interpretation, big variety of stuff- something for everyone, beautiful building, cute cafe, nice shop, good for all ages, lots of seating, excellent art, friendly staff, Highlighted objects had extra interpretive panels that were really handy.

Cons: the building is confusing and all the floors do not connect.  We had to go up or down a floor to get to the other side of the floor we were on. It was nuts on the stairs and the elevators- tricky for anyone with mobility issues and anyone could just get lost easily.


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