What to see at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam: timetables, prices and advice

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is one of the most important museums in the Dutch city, second only to the Van Gogh Museum, and houses the largest collection of Flemish art in the world. Rembrand, Vermeeer and Van Gogh are just some of the great artists present in this unmissable art gallery. Let's find out together what to see at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.


  1. What to see and how to visit Rijksmuseum
  2. La Ronda at night
  3. Self-portrait of Van Gogh
  4. The Milkmaid
  5. Still life with cheese
  6. Children of the sea
  7. Jewish bride
  8. Self-portrait with tousled hair
  9. The threatened swan
  10. Winter landscape with skaters
  11. Morning ride on the beach
  12. Hours and prices
  13. Online tickets and guided tours
  14. User questions and comments

What to see and how to visit Rijksmuseum

The Museum is housed in a historic building in the Gothic-Renaissance style and was designed by the architect PJh Cuypers. Inside the 4-storey art gallery there are more than 8.000 works divided into 80 galleries and the collection is grouped into categories: paintings, sculpture, applied arts, Dutch history and Asian art. Certainly the undisputed protagonists of the museum are the masterpieces belonging to Dutch painting created between the 600s and the 800s by great artists such as Rembrandt and Vermeer which have a dedicated lounge.

Since the museum is very large, we suggest you consult the map that will be given to you together with the entrance ticket to evaluate what interests you most. Here 10 works that we advise you not to miss.

1 - The Night Watch

This painting depicts the Dutch company of arquebusiers gathered in the streets of Amsterdam. Here the artist makes an unparalleled use of light and the dominance of the composition as well as the incredible intensity of the portraits, make La Ronda di Notte the symbolic painting of the Dutch Golden Age.

  • creation date: 1642
  • Author: Rembrandt
  • Dimensions: 363x437 cm
  • Technique and subject of the work: oil painting on canvas

2 - Self-portrait of Van Gogh

This self-portrait, painted by Van Gogh in Paris, was made using bright colors and hard, rhythmic brushstrokes typical of the artist's painting

  • creation date: 1887
  • Author: Vincent Van Gogh
  • Dimensions: 42x34 cm
  • Technique and subject of the work: self-portrait in oil on cardboard

3 - The Milkmaid

The work portrays a waitress who pours the milk, a scene of everyday life and authenticity that Veermer manages to paint perfectly. The stillness of the milkmaid contrasts with the flow of milk in the bowl that the artist makes fluid thanks to the use of a painting technique that is sometimes smooth, veiled, rough and made up of small dots

  • creation date: 1658 - 1660
  • Author: Jan Vermeer
  • Dimensions: 45,4x40,6 cm
  • Technique and subject of the work: oil painting on canvas

4 - Still life with cheese

In this work Floris Van Dyck manages to make the painting real thanks to the colors used: shiny damask tablecloths cover the table full of cheeses, olives, fruit and bread to which are added ceramics and crystal glasses.

  • creation date: 1613
  • Author: Floris Claesz Van Dijck
  • Technique and subject of the work: still life, oil painting on canvas

5 - Children of the sea

This painting like many others by Jozef Israëls portrays a scene from the daily life of humble people. In the work I bambini del mare, the artist depicts the children of a fisherman playing on the seashore following a wooden boat: a beautiful but at the same time sad scene.

  • creation date: 1872
  • Author: Jozef Israels
  • Dimensions: 48,5x93,5 cm
  • Technique and subject of the work: oil painting on canvas

6 - Jewish bride

The painting represents a man holding a woman to himself with a very intimate embrace that suggests a love bond. Behind them someone spies on them but the subject is ambiguous and leaves room for different interpretations.

  • creation date: 1665
  • Author: Rembrandt
  • Dimensions: 121,5x166,5 cm
  • Technique and subject of the work: oil color

7 - Self-portrait with tousled hair

This painting is Rembrandt's first self-portrait executed at the age of 22. It is thought that the work did not have a portrait purpose rather it was a study on light grazing a face. In fact, the painter's face is in dim light and it is difficult to recognize his features.

  • creation date: 1628
  • Author: Rembrandt
  • Dimensions: 22,6x18,7 cm
  • Technique and subject of the work: self-portrait painted in oil on canvas

8 - The threatened swan

It is the first canvas purchased by the museum for a very strong political significance: the painting portrays a swan that after noticing a dog swimming towards its nest, gets up in flight. In reality the author did not want to give this meaning to his work but simply intended to portray a scene with animals in Holland in the 600s.

  • creation date: 1650
  • Author: Jan Asselyn
  • Dimensions: 144x171 cm
  • Technique and subject of the work: oil painting on canvas

9 - Winter landscape with skaters

In this work the author represents the population of a small town that enjoys ice skating: the frozen lake is lost in the horizon and the silver patina transmits to the viewer the rigor of the climate

  • creation date: 1609
  • Author: Avercamp Hendrick
  • Dimensions: 77,5X132 cm
  • Technique and subject of the work: oil on the table

10 - Morning ride on the beach

In this work you can admire a group of well-dressed knights with a lady riding the Amazon. The characters descend from the dunes to Scheveningen beach as their horses leave their excrement on the sand

  • creation date: 1876
  • Author: Anton Mauve
  • Technique and subject of the work: oil painting on canvas

Hours and prices

  • The museum is open every day from 9:00 to 17:00 (including Christmas and New Year)
  • Best time to avoid queues: the ideal is to visit the museum early in the morning so that you can have many hours available and see everything that interests you
  • admission € 17,50
  • Reductions: for holders of the amsterdam City Card there is a discount of € 2,50 on the ticket
  • Free: children and teenagers up to 18 years enter for free

Online tickets and guided tours

Useful tips for visiting the attraction

  1. Get up early: the ideal would be to reach the entrance by 8.30 in order to get in line immediately to get the tickets
  2. Buy the city card: if you are interested in visiting other museums or attractions in the city, you can buy the city card and save on admissions (Holland Pass - buy online)
  3. Online ticket: buy the ticket with priority entrance to avoid the endless queues and waste time - buy online
  4. Watch out for restrictions: in some attractions and museums it is not allowed to bring water or food, remember to always read the billboards posted at the entrance
  5. Minimum time: we advise you to consider a minimum of 4 hours for the visit. Connoisseurs and enthusiasts can also stay for a whole day
  6. Multimedia tour and guided visits: The Rijksmuseum offers various guided tours in Italian. There is also a multimedia tour for mobile devices in Italian; it is necessary to inquire on the official website or at the ticket office.
  7. Any other business: The museum has a café, the Rijksmuseum Café, and a shop, the Rijksmuseum Shop, both located in the Atrium. There is also a library (opening hours from 10:00 to 17:00, every day, but it is closed on Sundays and holidays)

Where is it and how to get there

The Rijksmuseum stands in thefamous Museumplein square, where the three main museums of the Dutch capital are located: the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk and the Rijksmuseum. It is possible to reach the art gallery on foot or by public transport depending on your starting point.

  • On foot: from Dam square with a 21 minute walk you will reach the museum which is 2,3 km away - Get directions
  • By bus: buses 170, 172, 174, 758, N97 stop at the Rijksmuseum
  • By tram: lines 2 and 5, which have the central station as their terminus, lead to the museum in 14 minutes.

Historical notes and curiosities: what to know in brief

The museum was founded in 1800 in The Hague, the third largest city in the Netherlands, but Louis Napoleon, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, in 1808 ordered to move it to Amsterdam. In over the years the Rijksmuseum underwent several changes , but from 2003 to 2013 the architects Antonio Cruz and Antonio Ortis completely renovated it.

Today visitors can travel through the centuries, savoring moments of intense beauty. The history of the Netherlands is presented in an international context, along a chronological path set up on four floors of the museum in 80 new rooms.

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