With tourist numbers booming, Amsterdam has seen an increase in museum visitors over the last few years. In this article we list the top 10 Amsterdam museums as measured by visitor numbers.
Figures are sourced from the museums themselves and are for the year 2015, the last full calendar year. The percentage increase/decrease from 2014 is also shown.
We will update this list for 2016 when the new attendance figures are announced.
Between them, the top 10 museums in Amsterdam attracted around 8.3 million visitors in total for 2015. Not surprisingly, 3 of the top 4 spots are made up of the Museumplein trio of the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk.
Note, this is a museums list and we have not included well-visited Amsterdam attractions (such as Artis Zoo, Heineken Brewery etc) in the top 10 list.
Top 10 Museums in Amsterdam (by Visitor Numbers)
1Rijksmuseum (2.35 million) [-6%]
Rijksmuseum is Amsterdam’s premier museum and was awarded the European Museum of the Year in 2015. Visitor numbers for 2015 included 325,000 child visitors – those aged 0-18 get free entry. The grand total was down 6% from the record year of 2014 (2.5 million).
2Van Gogh Museum (1.9 million) [+18%]
A record year for the Van Gogh museum with an increase of 18% from 2014 (1.6 million). About 80% of the museum’s visitors are international guests. Visitors are expected to top 2 million in 2016 and it could possibly challenge the Rijksmuseum for top spot.
3Anne Frank House (1.268 million) [+3%]
The Anne Frank House attracted a record attendance for the 6th consecutive year with numbers firmly above the 1 million mark. 2015 saw a 3% rise from the 1.227 million visitors in 2014. A new entry system for ticket holders is in place for 2016.
4Stedelijk Museum (720,000) [-10%]
The modern and contemporary art museum saw visitor numbers decrease by 10% from the record 800,000 in 2014. The major Matisse exhibition in 2015 attracted an impressive 360,000 visitors.
5NEMO Science Center (590,000) [+0.3%]
NEMO is a science museum for children that gets a lot of school groups. Visitor numbers in 2015 remained firm with a very small increase (0.3%) from the previous year’s 588,000 visitors.
6Hermitage (444,000) [+18%]
2015 was an excellent year for the Hermitage with an increase of 18% from the 375,000 visitors in 2014. The number included visitors to the Alexander, Napoleon & Joséphine exhibition as well as the Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age.
7Maritime Museum (300,000) [-7%]
Annual visitors to the Scheepvaartmuseum were down 7% from the 322,000 visits in 2014. Visitor numbers could also be affected in 2016 as the museum has spent a number of weeks closed because of EU Presidency meetings.
8Rembrandt House (249,000) [+5%]
A solid year for the compact Rembrandt House museum with visitor numbers up a reasonable 5% from the 237,000 visits in 2014.
9Nieuwe Kerk (230,000) [+13%]
Nieuwe Kerk on Dam Square saw a 13% jump in visitors from the 203,000 of 2014. With the Marilyn Monroe exhibition in late 2016, visitor numbers should again be solid.
10Amsterdam Museum (222,000) [+1%]
Amsterdam Museum had a small increase in visitors, up 1% from 2014’s 220,000. Figures do not include the significant number of people visiting the museum’s freely accessible Civic Guards’ Gallery (Schuttersgalerij) passageway.
Let’s also take a look at some Amsterdam attractions and museums that didn’t make it onto our top 10 list.
Artis Royal Zoo (which includes the Micropia Museum) had a total of 1.342 million visitors in 2015. That would have put it into 3rd place on the list but was excluded as it is classed as a zoo rather than a museum.
Heineken Experience in Amsterdam had 900,000 visitors in 2015, though we would class it as an attraction. Likewise with Madame Tussauds on Dam Square which receives a similar amount of visitors.
The Jewish Cultural Quarter announced 284,000 visits in 2015. This figure comprises the Jewish Historical Museum (122,000), Portuguese Synagogue (100,000) and Hollandsche Schouwburg – National Holocaust Memorial (63,000). It’s not ranked in our top 10 as some visitors could visit all 3 (on a single ticket) and would theoretically be triple counted in the total visits figure.
Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis) on Dam Square had an impressive 277,000 visitors in 2015.
FOAM photography museum just missed out on the top 10 with 200,000 visitors in 2015.
Tropenmuseum would have ranked in 12th spot in 2015 with 182,000 visitors.
EYE Film claimed to have 700,000 visitors in total in 2015 although 40,000 visited the temporary exhibitions and 40,000 saw the free Panorama exhibit.
Other Amsterdam Museum visitor numbers in 2015:
Ons’ Live Heer op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic) 110,000
Verzetsmuseum (Dutch Resistance Museum) 100,000
Allard Pierson Museum 91,000
Van Loon Museum 82,000
Tassenmuseum (Bags & Purses Museum) 70,000
Willet Holthuysen Museum 53,000
Huis Marseille Photo Museum 40,000