Five Must Visit Museums In Amsterdam

Posted in Travel
banksy

When most people think of Amsterdam they think of prostitutes and legal weed and while this is a part of Amsterdam and for some it’s appeal, there’s a whole lot more to the city than this and surprisingly it’s massive in terms of artwork. Having spent three days in the city last month I was lucky enough to have a chance to explore a number of the museums on offer and almost all of them were top quality places to visit. Sadly the sex museum, which was the only place we had to properly queue, was disappointing, although thankfully we only spent 4 euro’s to get in. Here’s five of the must visit museums when you next visit the city.

Red Light Secrets

In keeping with the theme that Amsterdam is about prostitutes the Red Light Secrets museum housed in the Red Light District gives you a closer look at what it’s really like to be a prostitute. The museum is housed in a building previously used in the same way that most buildings in this area are, you can see a mock-up of what the rooms are like, you can stand in a window and look out on a street to know what it would feel like and there’s so much interesting information about prostitution and how the country try to protect the workers. There are some obvious one’s like it’s illegal to not use protection when having sex with a prostitute but did you know that unlike a brothal where you pay for a particular length of time, going to a red lit window just gets you sex and the average length of an encounter is around 6-9 minutes. The museum is a great insight into the industry and for just 14 euro’s it’s a must visit. The museum is open until midnight every night but personally I wouldn’t recommend wondering around that late.

Amsterdam Banksy 2

Moco

The Moco – The Modern Contemporary Museum – was one thing that we hadn’t actually planned to go to but just kind of stumbled upon as it was close to our hotel and the Van Gogh museum. The Moco has a permenant Banksy exhibition and at the moment a Dali exhibition (I’m not sure if this is only temporary). I had no idea Banksy created indoor art as well so the exhibition itself was a shock but showcased a lot of very well known images which was really interesting, especially as each room was themed with the images inside. Outside there’s also an original piece of Banksy work which happened in Amsterdam and had been preserved by the museum which was a police riot van painted over and it was great to see this. Downstairs there was a slightly smaller Dali exhibition. In honesty other than the melting clock which there was a cast of I didn’t know much of his work but it was thoroughly interesting to read about him and see some of his original art pieces.

Anne Frank House

Anne Frank Haus

Amsterdam is famous worldwide for being the home of the Anne Frank house where during the second world war Anne, her family and some family friends’ hid out for a number of years’ in an attempt to avoid being sent to a concentration camp, all because they were Jewish. Booking is the most important thing when it comes to the museum as entry before 3.30pm is only by timed tickets and after then you could easily queue for a few hours just to get in, it’s that popular. It’s eerie being inside the real house where Anne and her family lived for all those years especially when things such as the real bookcase which concealed their entrance, photos put on the wall of her bedroom by Anne and the diary itself were there for viewing. It’s a truly remarkable place and something which will really get you thinking about how horrible it must have been during the war for those living through it.

Amsterdam Body Worlds 2

Body Worlds

From something famous in Amsterdam to a chain of exhibitions which are on location throughout the world including Montreal Canada, Poland, and Finland among others. The Amsterdam exhibition is all about happiness and it’s effect on the human body from good health and eating right to exercise and reproduction. The exhibition houses over 200 anatomical specimens of real human bodies which have were donated to science after death to show the complexity and vulnerability of the body in regards to happiness. It’s kind of freaky looking at human bodies which have had their flesh pulled off but it’s so interesting especially when you can see real body parts and what really is underneath our flesh. Did you know that only 10% of our happiness is determined by circumstances such as health, wealth, relationship status etc and a whopping 50% comes from genetics, with the remaining 40% being down to our actions and behaviours. This was such an interesting exhibition I’d encourage anyone to go.

Amsterdam Van Gogh Bedroom

Van Gogh

To finish off is something inherently Dutch is the Van Gogh museum. Van Gogh was Dutch but not born in Amsterdam instead he was sent to live with his uncle in the city where he completed studies and completed a lot of his work. Firstly it was incredibly interesting to read about his life and how he didn’t actually become famous until after he died and his family members publicized his work, and it was interesting to find out more about the whole ear cutting off incident and how he amitted himself to a mental institute where he continued to create almost one painting a day. Alongside the history there were a lot of original paintings including quite a lot I recognized including the Sunflowers, his Bedroom, some self portraits and floral images. The museum might seem like a bit of a tourist trap but in honesty I don’t think you can head to Amsterdam and not visit.

Do you have any museum or exhibition recommendations?
March 24, 2017
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  • I went to Amsterdam about 15 years ago so some of these are new to me. Great ideas and I’m particularly interested in the Body Works exhibition

  • Always Carry On.

    Love this post! When I went to Amsterdam we went to Anne Franke house, which was very emotional. We also went to the Sex Museum and the lesser known Kattenkabinet – both are definitely worth a visit! x

  • You know, when I went to Amsterdam I didn’t get the time to visit any of these museums, but they are all on my bucket list!
    Thanks for reminding me JUST how much I want to go back and see all of these 🙂

    Dani x

  • Museums are always fun! Especially for kids. With Easter coming up that will be on our to do list.

    www,mycitymylondon.me

  • Body Worlds would definitely be too much for me. I like to talk the talk, but I’m actually a MASSIVE wimp. Moco sounds great though. I think you mentioned your visit in a previous post right? I’m sure I remember sending it to my girls in a group chat. We’ve been considering Dam and I’m super keen to go.

  • Melanie Williams

    This is a really good quality write up and ideal inspiration for peoples schedules 🙂 Thanks for sharing x

  • I love Amsterdam, it’s probably one of my favourite places! I would love to go to Moco, I can’t believe I haven’t been before x

  • I love Amsterdam. I really enjoyed the Anne Frank museum and it was worth queuing up for 5 hours!

  • I love the sound of Moco! I need to visit Amsterdam very soon! Sounds incredible!

  • i would love ot visit amsterdam its a very interesting sounding place

  • I need to visit Amsterdam again. I didn’t see most of these places.

  • I would love to go to the Moco museum as I am a big fan of Dali and Banksy and of course the Anne Frank one too x

  • Alison Rost

    My husband and I are huge museum fans! If we ever make it to Amsterdam .. we’d love to visit the the Van Gough. The painting he created are so beautiful. Also .. who knew there was a museum devoted to the Red Light District?!

  • I have never been to Amsterdam and it is certainly on my list. I would love to visit the Anne Frank museum and learn more in depth of her time

  • Rani Bruyns

    I am proud to say that I visited most of them! Lovely post ❤

  • David Parker

    Amsterdam is on my bucket list of places to go, and has shot right to the top of the list even more after reading about these museums. Ashamed to say I didn’t know about all of them before reading

  • I truly admire Van Gogh and I would be ecstatic to see his work in person! Also, as a kid I too read Anne Frank’s diary, I cannot imagine how it would feel to physically stand there.
    Kallia

  • We are planning a trip to Amsterdam in Sept so I am going to try and visit at least a couple of these museams.

  • To be honest, I don’t know what to expect if I were to go t Amsterdam. I have a few ideas because of the movies and the blog posts. This post definitely helped clear that up. I would love to see these meseums.

  • Amsterdam sounds really lovely. One of my friend already visited this place and she was so delighted. I hope one day, our family can go here too!

  • Ickle Pickle

    Gosh how fascinating. I would love to see the Banksy exhibition and the Anne Frank Haus too. Kaz

  • Mummy’s Monkey

    I really want to go to Amsterdam. People think I’m crazy when I talk about taking my little one but it’s a beautiful city with so much more than sex and drugs to offer. I’d love to visit the Van Gogh museum and although I think Ann Frank Haus would be a difficult place to visit I would like to go

  • Sarahjane

    Amsterdam is definitely on my list of places to visit and these museums look so interesting

  • I’ve not yet been to Amsterdam, but would love to visit Anne Frank’s House.

  • adapperchick

    If I visit Amsterdam, I’d definitely be interested in visit Anne Frank Haus and Van Gogh

  • I have never been to Amsterdam but when I will go the Anne House museum will probably be the first on my list to visit. The Red Light museum sounds interesting as well, it’s always good to learn about different things before we judge them.

  • I’ve been to this museum. I loved it.
    If it’s a recommendation anywhere in the world, I would recommend Nairobi museum. Having traveled a little bit, I find it among the top 3 in my list.

  • Nadia

    Amsterdam is so much fun to explore! I forever love the city & so excited to be popping in there next week 🙂
    xox Nadia
    http://www.mielandmint.com

  • fashion-mommy

    I’ve never been to Amsterdam but my parents went and said the Anne Frank house was such a sad experience.

  • Emma Oxley

    I’m planning on a girls trip to Amsterdam this summer so I’ll have to show them some of your recommendations – the red light museum seems really interesting actually and I’d love to go to Anne franks house – such an incredible story of courage!

  • Never been to Amsterdam but this places sounds amazing. Ann Frank house is something I would definitely want to visit

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