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: Catherine the Great (18 June 2016 to 15 January 2017). Following this will be 1917. Romanovs & Revolution (scheduled 4 February 2017 to 17 September 2017) and Dutch Master (scheduled 14 October 2017 to 27 May 2018).
A special exhibition Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age was introduced in 2014 and features 30 large group portraits from the 17th century which have rarely seen together. These are on permanent display at a separate exhibit at the Hermitage.
Part of the Hermitage is dedicated to the Outsider Art Museum - featuring works from international artists from the Outsider art movement (referring to people who did not study art). The collection is run in collaboration with the Dolhuys in Haarlem.
A free audio tour is included with admission. 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 (2017): Main 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.
Outsider Art Museum entrance is €12.50 for adults, FREE entry to children 0-11 and Iamsterdam City Card and Museumcard holders.
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
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