• Monday, 1 May 2017

    Amsterdam Travel Guide Two: The Museum Quarter

    If you've read anything about Amsterdam ever, you'll know it's famous for it's museums, amongst other things. Amsterdam has more museums per square meter than any other city in the world, one of the main reasons I wanted to visit it (yep, go ahead and laugh at the nerd). If you're like me and this appeals to you, then you're not going to want to miss the Museum Quarter. location of three of the largest museums in the city, otherwise known as the Museum Quarter, or triangle, depending who you're talking to. Also location of the the I Amsterdam sign, so expect plenty of tourists and cameras. You can get there on the tram very easily and there's plenty of places to eat, including some excellent street burgers and hot dogs. If you're feeling really skint, there's a supermarket underground where you can get some very tasty pastries for a couple of euros. Queues can be long, particularly for the Van Gogh museum so where possible book online. Just a few quick tips, every museum asked us to put rucksacks in lockers (all free) or carry my rather small one on my front, so avoid taking big bags if you can. There's also a public loo in the underground car park in the triangle if you need it, though it is a euro to access it.

    Tickets: 17.50 euros, or 15.00 euros with the I Amsterdam card.
    The Rijksmuseum is dedicated to Dutch art and history dating back from the Middle Ages to the present day. Spread over four floors, it takes a good few hours to cover it all properly, we started from the ground floor in the left wing, worked our way up, left and took a lunch break at a nearby cafe and then came back to do the same for the right wing. We got there around 10am and didn't have to battle with too long crowds and we were out by about 2pm. It's thought of as one of the top sights in the city and I totally agree. It's full of fascinating art work ranging from Rembrandt and Vermeer to Yves Saint Laurent. There's also an incredible library that every single book lover will audibly gasp in pleasure at when they walk in. If it's sunny when you go, check out the gardens on your way out.

    Van Gogh Museum

    Tickets: 17.00 euros or free with the I Amsterdam card.
    We honestly spent about three days of our holiday trying to get in here. On our first day we just wandered there casually, very naively not expecting queues, despite the fact that we were there over the Easter holidays. The next day we tried 10am and the guides told us they expected it to be a three hour wait at least. On our third day, we got up early to get there for 8.30am, yep, on our holidays. It took us a 45 minute queue in front of some very annoying Americans getting high in line (who has to get high before seeing classic art? Me and my art degree were personally offended). But it was totally worth it. You can book online in advance, but if you have the I Amsterdam card, it's the queue for you I am afraid. Van Gogh is a fascinating artist and the display of his art work combined with his history and family relations made for a very enjoyable morning. All of his classics were there, excluding Starry Night which is unfortunately in New York (on my travel list as soon as Trump's not in power anymore!). Seeing one version of his Sunflowers - he painted five in total - was quite an overwhelming experience, but then I am the girl that can cry at adverts and cat videos. You don't need to be an art buff to enjoy it, his work is very accessible to all. One of the things I found incredible was how many of his painting were double sided. Van Gogh famously didn't value his own work or skills very much so would happily use the reverse of his own art.

    Stedelijk Museum
    Tickets: 15.00 euros or free with the I Amsterdam card.
    Most travel guides I read before I went told me that this one was good, but not quite a 'must-see.' I highly disagree. The Stedelijk museum holds some fantastic modern art work, including some Warhol's and Van Gogh's that I hadn't seen before. It has quite a similar feeling to the Tate Modern, which is probably my favourite place in London. It's got some good interactive elements so if you're bringing kids, that's probably one of the better ones to take them to. It's not quite as large as the other two so will only take you about an hour and a half to get round it. It was an excellent way to spend an afternoon, with absolutely no queues.


    1. Amsterdam it's such a beautiful city!! I can't wait to go and see all that :)

      xx, Melissa

      1. Yeah! It's incredible, definitely worth a trip. :) x