Netherlands Museumkaart and Museum Reviews

If you think that you’re going to be visiting a few museums on your trip to the Netherlands, it might be worth investing in a Museumkaart which gets you access to quite a few of the main ones with some exceptions and regulations. I looked into all four of the different options available before deciding that the Museumkaart was the one for me as it covered all of the museums I wanted to go to. It costs €59.90, which is on the expensive side. However, some of the museums are pretty pricey so it definitely pays to do your research and figure out if it’s a worthwhile investment.

If you’re not from the Netherlands, the Museumkaart will expire in 31 days, however if you have a friend there who will let you use their postal address or live there yourself, the card will last a year. I originally only planned to definitely to the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Mauritshuis (and Anne Frank but pre-bought my ticket) however with the Museumkaart, every time I passed a museum that I knew was on it…I went in. For a week in the Netherlands, I managed quite a few!

This post will cover which museums I visited in Amsterdam and The Hague, the price that they are, whether or not they were covered by the Museumkaart (most were) and what I thought of them generally.

I’ll start with the museums I visited in Amsterdam before moving on to The Hague.

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The queue for the Anne Frank House at 8:40am…

Amsterdam:

Anne Frank House

Thoughts: This is one of the most touching places I have ever visited. It is emotional and it’s such a touching tribute to all of the people who lived in the annexe. If you want to visit the Anne Frank House and don’t want to queue, either 1) Buy your ticket one month in advance online or 2) Get there at 8am and queue (hopefully you’ll be first) until it opens at 9am. The reviews that you read about the queue are not lying. Luckily, I bought an online ticket for 9am and when I got there at 8:40am the queue was already about an hour long. By the time I left just over an hour later, it was about four times the length. As an employee described it “It goes from here to Japan”.If you want to avoid the queue, keep checking the website for online tickets. Check, check, check! I got mine exactly 1 month and 2 days before the date I wanted. That’s when they were released. Don’t ask me why!

Covered by Museumkaart: Yes, with the exception that you either have to have “bought” your free ticket online in advance or stand in the notorious queue to gain free entry with your Museumkaart. There is not a special queue.

Cost (if not on Museumkaart): €9

Address: Prinsengracht 267, 1016 GV Amsterdam

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More Anne Frank House queue…if you get there late, you’ll queue down the street, around the corner and then around another corner before you reach the end! Don’t spend three hours queueing…plan ahead!

Sex Museum

Thoughts: We found this museum really funny and enjoyable. It’s definitely not for the fainthearted as it covers everything from porn to the red light district to the history of sex (well, it is a museum!). For €4 (not on the Museumkaart), it’s definitely so worth the entry price and we spent a fun hour there.

Covered by Museumkaart: No

Cost (if not on Museumkaart): €4

Address: Damrak 18, 1012 LG Amsterdam

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Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum

Thoughts: This museum was very large, however a lot of the art is Renaissance style – read – depressing. If you’re into that type of art, you are guaranteed to enjoy this museum. However, the main reason I was going was to see the Van Gogh paintings and other modern art. I really enjoyed the Rembrandt exhibit inside (yes, I know I said I hated depressing paintings) and the museum itself is just incredibly beautiful. I actually had a really good time and there is so much to see. You could totally spend all day here if you wanted but I was on a time-limit and needed to get cracking.

Covered by Museumkaart: Yes

Cost (if not on Museumkaart): €17.50, under 18 free.

Address: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam

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The Rijksmuseum is very close to the I-Amsterdam sign, which you’ll obviously also want to see!

Van Gogh Museum

Thoughts: I think I’m a little bit biased here as Van Gogh is one of my absolute favourite artists…so obviously I loved it! There is such a huge collection of Van Gogh and the pride of the collection definitely seemed to be one of the Sunflowers paintings. There are also lots of his self-portraits, as well as art by other artists (like Edvard Munch) and letters from Van Gogh to his brother. The entrance to this museum is deceptive as you actually have to queue outside about 20 metres away to get your ticket before you can go inside the actual museum.If you have a Museumkaart, there is a different queue to people just waiting to buy tickets and it goes a lot faster as there aren’t as many people. If you don’t have a Museumkaart (or the other similar cards)  and haven’t prepurchased tickets online, be prepared to queue for a little while.

Covered by Museumkaart: Yes

Cost (if not on Museumkaart): €17, under 17 free.

Address: Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam

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A Van Gogh self-portrait inside the Rijksmuseum. Don’t worry, the Van Gogh Museum have about 16 more!

Stedelijk Museum

Thoughts: I walked through the majority of this museum muttering to myself “This is not art”. Maybe I just didn’t understand it (beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all!) because the majority of the captions were in Dutch, but I don’t see how putting chairs and carpets and books and rocks on display qualifies as art just because it’s in a gallery. Bit average. I liked the room with a bunch of Picasso paintings but definitely a stop you could miss out.

Covered by Museumkaart:Yes

Cost (if not on Museumkaart): €15, under 18 free

Address: Museumplein 10, 1070 AB Amsterdam

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The queue for the Anne Frank House at 8:40am…

Amsterdam Museum

Thoughts: I loved the way that this museum was set out! Audio guides were free and you scanned them at certain points around the museum to find out more. You can spend as much or as little time in this museum as you want to and it’s so great!

Covered by Museumkaart: Yes

Cost (if not on Museumkaart): €12.50

Address: Kalverstraat 92, 1012 PH Amsterdam

 

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The ceiling was also art inside Mauritshuis!

The Hague

Mauritshuis

Thoughts: I have to be honest – the main reason I went to see this museum was for the painting The Girl with the Pearl Earring. It was definitely just as stunning in real life as it is in photos! The building housing this museum is very beautiful  and the art – even more so!

Covered by Museumkaart: Yes

Cost (if not on Museumkaart): €14, under 18 free

Address: Plein 29, 2511 CS Den Haag

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The Girl with the Peal Earring

GEM – Museum of Contemporary Art

Thoughts: When I visited this museum there was an amazing photography exhibition by a Dutch photography, and in a cinema room to the side there was a documentary about her making the exhibit.

Covered by Museumkaart: Yes

Cost (if not on Museumkaart): €8, under 18 free

Address: Stadhouderslaan 43, 2517 HV Den Haag

 

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This painting is apparently very famous (inside the Gemeentemuseum)

Gemeentemuseum

Thoughts:This museum had an excellent Klimt exhibit when I was there (unsure if temporary or permanent), and an exhibit by the Dutch artist Karel Appel. The appel exhibit wasn’t really my type because the art, to me, just looked messy but it’s a matter of personal opinion!

Covered by Museumkaart: Yes

Cost (if not on Museumkaart): €17, under 18 free

Address: Stadhouderslaan 41, 2517 HV Den Haag

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This painting by Klimt is EXTREMELY famous (Gemeentemuseum)

De Mesdag Collectie (The Mesdag Collection)

Thoughts: This museum was actually never on my list, but I was walking past on my way to the Peace Palace and realised I could get in for free with the Museumkaart. I thought that it was definitely worth it, particularly if you’re only paying €9 for entry (if you don’t have the card). There is a temporary exhibition and a permanent exhibition and you’ll definitely recognise some big names in the art world inside.

Covered by Museumkaart: Yes

Cost (if not on Museumkaart): €9, under 17 free

Address: Streets around 7 F, 2517 AB Den Haag

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Monet inside the Gemeentemuseum

Madurodam (Mini Holland)

Thoughts: I was such a big kid here! This place is awesome! It contains tiny, scale replicas of pretty much every cool place in the Netherlands. The majority of people there on a Sunday were families with kids, but I spent an enjoyable hour and a half (I did it very quickly, had a lot on my list to see!) first thing in the morning wandering between the tiny buildings with moving parts, including working canals, trainlines and the airport.

Covered by Museumkaart: No

Cost (if not on Museumkaart): €16.50

Address: George Maduroplein 1, 2584 RZ Den Haag

The Netherlands has such an amazing history and I wish I could have spent even more time exploring but my eyes were so tired from dim lighting in museums that I just couldn’t so any more! I think I made a solid effort though and made the most out of my Museumkaart! Have you visited any other museums which you’d recommend? I’m definitely going to go back!

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