Hermitage Amsterdam is a major museum showcasing exhibitions from the vast collection of the grand State Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia.
The museum is spectacularly located on the banks of the river Amstel in the Amstelhof building. This was a former old people's home which has been converted into a magnificent exhibition space.
Following a €40 million renovation of the building, the Hermitage opened its doors in 2009 to much fanfare by former Dutch Queen Beatrix and the Russian President. It has since established itself as one of Amsterdam's principal museums with almost 400,000 annual visitors.
From the Amstel side you enter the museum via a courtyard garden and then into a foyer where you can purchase tickets.
The all-white decor and signage is a bit disorienting at first but you can go off to either side to reach the exhibition wing space. You have to scan your ticket at the barrier and the glass doors open automatically. The exhibition is located over 2 floors including a large main hall on each wing.
At the front of the building you will find the light and airy Church Hall - a pleasant place to sit down with views looking out onto the Amstel. You can also see some side-rooms with period furniture and an 18th century cellar kitchen.
There is no permanent collection at the Hermitage Amsterdam. Special exhibitions are held and generally run for about 6 months. You will find them beautifully presented with info in Dutch and English.
The current main exhibition at the Hermitage
is: Spanish Masters from the Hermitage.
The World of El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Murillo & Goya (28 November 2015 to 29 May 2016). Following this will be Catherine the Great (scheduled 18 June 2016 to 15 January 2017).
A special exhibition Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age features 30 large group portraits from the 17th century rarely seen together. These will be on exhibit at the Hermitage from November 2014 to the end of 2016.
A free audio tour is included with admission. The Spanish Masters exhibition has a mix of Spanish music; the Portrait Gallery exhibition has a commentary in 6 languages.
There is the chic Café Restaurant Neva (open 1000-1730) on the first floor of the foyer which is open to the public. An alternative place to eat is at the Hoftuin, a glass teahouse located in the courtyard garden behind the Hermitage.
There is a Hermitage for Children at the Neerlandia building on the Nieuwe Herengracht - this is used as an educational space and mainly caters to Dutch school groups.
The setting of the Hermitage makes it well worth a visit - particularly if the exhibition on show is of interest to you. On the downside, Hermitage has recently increased admission and is charging for 2 exhibitions separately - so it's worth getting a Museumkaart to save money.
Hermitage Amsterdam Essential Info
Opening Times: Daily 1000-1700.
Admission Prices (2016): Spanish Masters exhibition is €17.50 for adults, FREE entry to children 0-11 and Iamsterdam City Card holders. Museumcard holders pay a €2.50 supplement.
Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age is €17.50 for adults, FREE entry to children 0-11 and Iamsterdam City Card holders. Museumcard holders pay a €2.50 supplement.
Combination tickets for both exhibitions cost €25 for adults. Note Museumcard holders only need to pay the €2.50 supplement once to access the 2 exhibitions.
Guided tours (max 15 people, 10 languages) cost €90+admission and must be arranged at least 2 weeks in advance.
Getting There: The museum is short walk from Waterlooplein along the eastern side of the Amstel river. Take trams 9 or 14 to stop Mr. Visserplein or metro lines 51, 53 and 54 to Waterlooplein (Nieuwe Herengracht exit). There is also a boat jetty outside the Amstel main entrance - some tour boats stop there.
Amsterdam, Amstel 51, Amsterdam
Are you looking for a convenient hotel near the Hermitage in Amsterdam? Please click here to search at Booking.com which offers guaranteed low rates, unbiased reviews and no booking fees.