The Museumkaart (Netherlands Museum Pass) is an annual membership card which gives unlimited free entry into over 400 museums in the Netherlands – including 36 museums in Amsterdam. Note, museums are closed until at least 20 April 2021.
Whilst the card offers excellent value, unfortunately for visitors and non-residents the Museumkaart membership rules were significantly tightened up in 2016. When buying over-the-counter you now get a temporary card which is only valid for 31 days and 5 museum visits.
Dutch and EU/UK residents can officially register the temporary card (photo required) to upgrade to the full annual validity.
The Museumkaart card program (also known as the Museumjaarkaart or MJK) has been running since 1981 and now has around 1.4 million card holders. In 2019 there were 9.3 million visits made with the museum card, with each card holder making an average of 6.7 visits per year.
Museum visits were down significantly in 2020 due to the ‘coronavirus’ measures.
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.
However, anyone can buy a temporary (tijdelijk) Museumkaart over-the-counter at various museums which are listed below. The 31 day Museumkaart still offers value if you plan to visit 5 major museums on your trip.
The following purchase prices are valid:
Adult Museumkaart: €64.90
Child/Youth (age 0-18) Museumkaart: €32.45
When buying a temporary card over-the-counter the museum will activate your card. This will count as one visit so the card will 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 this in if buying the card to give as a present for someone else (but again note they will have only 4 visits left).
When visiting a museum you simply present your card at the admission counter and they will scan the barcode or QR-code. Some museums will give you a printed ticket, others will just let you in.
Dutch Museumkaart FAQ
Where can I buy a Museumkaart over-the-counter?
The following 16 Amsterdam museums offer the card for sale:
Anne Frank House
FOAM Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam (FOAM Photography Museum)
Joods Historisch Museum JHM (Jewish Historical Museum)
Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam (Royal Palace)
NEMO Science Museum
Nieuwe Kerk (New Church)
Rembrandthuis (Rembrandt House)
Scheepvaartmuseum Amsterdam (Maritime Museum)
Van Gogh Museum
All the above museums give standard free entry with the Museumkaart although note that the Nieuwe Kerk, Hermitage, Rembrandt House and Stedelijk often require a small supplement during special exhibitions.
Can I buy a Museumkaart at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport?
No, unfortunately it is not possible to purchase a Museumkaart at Schiphol. You need to head into the city and visit one of the above museums to buy the card.
Can I buy/register a Museumkaart online?
Purchasing online is a bit difficult if you are a non-resident. The museumkaart.nl website is in Dutch only (although the museum.nl info portal is now also available in English and German). Online purchase and delivery is only available to residents of the Netherlands who can pay by Dutch internet banking (iDeal).
Registering a temporary Museumkaart is possible on this page here 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.
Museumkaart members 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.
Which other museums in Amsterdam offer free entry with the Museumkaart?
Allard Pierson Museum
Amsterdam Pipe Museum
De Appel Arts Centre
Diamant Museum (Diamond Museum)
Embassy of the Free Mind
Grachtenhuis Museum (Museum of the Canals)
Micropia (Microbe museum)
Museum Het Schip (“The Ship” building of Amsterdam School style)
Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder (“Our Lord in the Attic” Museum)
Museum Tot Zover (Dutch Funeral Museum)
Museum van de Geest (Museum of the Mind – Outsider Art)
Museum Van Loon
Ons’ Lieve Heer Op Solder Museum (Our Lord in the Attic)
Oude Kerk (Old Church)
Portrait Gallery of the 17th Century
Portugese Synagoge Amsterdam (Portugese Synagogue)
Stadsarchief Amsterdam (City Archives)
Verzetsmuseum (Dutch Resistance Museum)
Note, Museumkaart uses the Dutch names for the museums; we have noted the English names in brackets where applicable.
Can I jump the queue with a Museumkaart?
Normally you just queue up as usual and present your museum card at the ticket desk. Most museums nowadays require or recommend you pre-book a time-slot online to control visitor numbers.
Can I jump the queue at the Anne Frank house?
If you wish to visit the Anne Frank House you must pre-book your ticket online which gives you a specific entry time. Museumkaart holders get free entry but need to pay a €0.50 fee during the online booking process. You only need to show the card (with ticket) when you arrive at the museum.
Can I visit a museum more than once?
Yes, the full card gives unlimited entry to 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)
Zaans Museum (Zaanse Schans)
Spoorwegmuseum (Dutch Railway Museum, Utrecht)
Access to over 460 museums in total in the Netherlands – each major town and city should have a museum where the card is valid.
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.
The Museumkaart still remains a no-brainer if you wish to visit a number of museums during your stay in Amsterdam and/or the Netherlands. Considering the current entry fees (€16-27) to get into each of the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Hermitage, Maritime Museum, NEMO and Stedelijk – means the card would pay for itself after 4 visits.
For expats and residents 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.
This article was originally published in 2008 and has been regularly updated. Last update 21 January 2021.