The Museumkaart (Netherlands Museum Pass) is an annual membership card which gives unlimited free entry into over 400 museums in the Netherlands – including 35 museums in Amsterdam.
Whilst the card offers excellent value, unfortunately we cannot fully recommend this card to many international visitors due to the relatively difficult process of buying one.
To buy the full card directly online you need to navigate a Dutch website, have Dutch internet banking and have it delivered to a Dutch address!
It is possible to buy a temporary Museumkaart over-the-counter at selected museums. However the temporary card is only valid for 31 days and 5 museum visits.
Dutch and EU/UK residents can officially register a temporary card online (passport-style photo required and small fee paid) to upgrade to the full annual card.
The card will then be mailed out to your specified home address. This could be an option to those visitors who make more frequent trips to the Netherlands.
The Museumkaart has always been aimed at the local Dutch market and never really been promoted for use by foreign tourists. Visitors are generally offered the Iamsterdam City Card which is valid 1-5 days and includes museum admission, public transport and some other bonuses and discounts.
The Museumkaart card program (also known as the Museumjaarkaart or MJK) has been running since 1981 and has around 1.3 million card holders including 140,000 children. In 2020 there were 4.9 million visits made with the Museumkaart – this was down from the 9.3 million visits in 2019 due to the lockdown measures.
Museumkaart (Netherlands Museum Pass) FAQ
How much does the Museumkaart cost?
The following purchase prices are valid:
Adult Museumkaart: €64.90
Child/Youth (age 0-18) Museumkaart: €32.45
How and where do I buy a temporary Museumkaart?
If buying a temporary card (tijdelijk kaart) over-the-counter the museum will activate your card there and then. This will count as one visit so the card will only be valid for 4 further visits over the next 31 days.
You can fill in the details required on the temporary card itself – the holder’s name (naam), date of birth (geboortedatum) plus the card’s purchase date (aankoopdatum). Don’t fill in the temporary card if buying it as a present for someone else – but again do note that they will have only 4 visits left.
The following 15 museums in Amsterdam offer the card for sale:
Anne Frank House
EYE Film Museum
FOAM Photography Museum
Jewish Historical Museum (JCQ)
National Maritime Museum (Scheepvaartmuseum)
NEMO Science Museum
Nieuwe Kerk (New Church)
Rembrandt House Museum
Van Gogh Museum
Note, it is not possible to buy the card anywhere else in Amsterdam.
If you are buying a temporary card only it would cost you an average of about €13 per museum visit. Considering admission in the major museums now costs upwards of €20, the temporary card could still save you a little bit of money. Just remember to buy the card in a museum you actually want to visit.
How can I upgrade a temporary Museumkaart to the full card?
Registering a temporary Museumkaart is possible on this page here (in English) with any EU or UK address. You need to upload a passport-style profile photo and give a bank account (IBAN/BIC) number to pay a one-off €3.25 admin fee. The full annual card will then be sent out by standard mail to your address.
If you live outside the EU or UK you will not be able to upgrade the card and have it sent out.
How can I buy a full annual Museumkaart online?
As we mentioned, purchasing a full card online is difficult if you are a non-resident.
The museumkaart.nl website which offers the cards is in Dutch only – although the museum.nl information portal is now also available in English and German. Online purchase and delivery is only made available to residents of the Netherlands who can pay by Dutch internet banking (iDeal).
You cannot pay by credit card or any other payment platforms; you cannot get the full card delivered to outside the Netherlands unless you are upgrading a temporary card as above.
The only way around for non-residents is to have a friend or relative in the Netherlands purchase directly and receive the card on their behalf.
How does the Museumkaart work when visiting a museum?
When visiting a museum you simply present your card at the admission counter and they will scan it. Some museums will give you a printed ticket, others will just let you in.
Many museums now require that you make an online reservation for a specific date and timeslot. There should be an option for Museumkaart holders to select during the booking process. Bring your booking confirmation and Museumkaart with you to the museum.
Do I have to pay any extra fees when using a Museumkaart?
With the majority of participating museums, you normally do not have to pay anything. You simply get standard admission for free.
There are some exceptions. The Anne Frank House charges a €1 booking fee for all tickets including Museumkaart holders. You will have to pay this during online booking when choosing a visit date and time.
The following museums in Amsterdam occasionally charge a small supplement for Museumkaart holders to enter special exhibitions – Amsterdam Museum, Nieuwe Kerk, Hermitage, Rembrandt House and Stedelijk. This will generally be €2-€5.
Can I use someone else’s Museumkaart?
No, the Museumkaart is strictly personal and not transferable. Security was tightened some years back with the introduction of the holder’s photo onto the card. Before then it was common that people ‘borrowed’ cards to use.
Which other museums in Amsterdam offer free entry with the Museumkaart?
Allard Pierson Museum
Amsterdam Pipe Museum
Embassy of the Free Mind
Museum of the Canals
Museum Het Schip
Museum Tot Zover (Dutch Funeral Museum)
Museum of the Mind – Outsider Art (Hermitage)
Museum Van Loon
Ons’ Lieve Heer Op Solder Museum (Our Lord in the Attic)
Oude Kerk (Old Church)
Portrait Gallery of the 17th Century (Hermitage)
Portuguese Synagoge (JCQ)
Stadsarchief Amsterdam (City Archives)
Van Eesteren Museum
Verzets Resistance Museum
In which Amsterdam museums is the Museumkaart NOT valid?
Cat Cabinet, Electric Ladyland, Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, MOCO Museum, Nxt Museum, STRAAT Museum, Torture Museum and Vrolik Museum.
It is not valid at attractions such as A’DAM Lookout, Amsterdam Dungeon, Artis Zoo, Heineken Brewery and This Is Holland.
The Houseboat Museum offers a €1 discount to Museumkaart holders.
How can I monitor my museum visits?
Museumkaart holders can register with the ‘Mijn Museumkaart’ portal where you can see your membership and museum visit details. Due to the museum closures in 2020/21, current members are getting extensions to their card expiration dates.
Can I visit a museum more than once?
Yes, the full card gives unlimited entry to all participating museums. The temporary card only allows 5 visits.
Which major museums of note in the Netherlands offer free entry to Museumkaart holders?
Paleis Het Loo (Apeldoorn)
Nederlands Openluchtmuseum (Open Air Museum, Arnhem)
Airborne Museum ‘Hartenstein’ (Oosterbeek)
MOTI, Museum of the Image (Breda)
Mauritshuis (Den Haag) – includes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earing
Panorama Mesdag (Den Haag)
Groninger Museum (Groningen)
Frans Halsmuseum (Haarlem)
Teylers Museum (Haarlem)
Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (Leiden)
Zeeuws Museum (Middelburg)
Kröller-Müller Museum (Hoge Veluwe National Park, Otterlo)
Maritiem Museum (Maritime Museum, Rotterdam)
Feyenoord Museum (Rotterdam)
De Pont (Tilburg)
Rijksmuseum Muiderslot (Muiden)
Kasteel de Haar (De Haar Castle, Haarzuilens)
Centraal Museum (Utrecht)
Museum Park Archeon (Alphen aan den Rijn)
Zaans Museum (Zaanse Schans)
Spoorwegmuseum (Dutch Railway Museum, Utrecht)
You get access to over 460 museums in total in the Netherlands – each major town and city should have a museum where the card is valid.
Is it worth buying a children’s Museumkaart?
Many museums already allow free entry for children although the age range for free entry varies considerably. See our guide Museums in Amsterdam with Free Entry for Children
For example, NEMO Science Museum, the National Maritime Museum and Tropenmuseum only allow free entry to those aged 0-3. So it may be worth buying the card if you plan to visit those.
Will the price of the Museumkaart go up in the future?
It’s possible, the price last went up (by 5 euros) on October 1st 2018 after remaining stable for some years. The purchase price includes a €4.95 admin fee which is waved for renewal.
At the end of the membership year Museumkaart sends a renewal payment slip. Once the payment is made a new card is sent out to your address.
Museumkaart – our take
We absolutely recommend the Museumkaart to any Dutch residents and expats. It can offer fantastic value over the whole year. The card is great for the ability to just pop into a museum for 30 minutes and visit a new exhibition – and you won’t feel the pressure to see everything.
It can also be very useful to frequent visitors to the Netherlands or those coming for an extended visit – as long as they are able to get their hands on a full card.
Those on a short visit may be able to get some limited value out of the temporary card. Otherwise consider buying the Iamsterdam City Card
Last update 15 October 2021. This article was originally published in 2008 and has been regularly updated.