One of Amsterdam’s best known attractions is the Van Gogh Museum on Museumplein located in the pleasant museum quarter of the city. Book your Van Gogh Museum tickets here
The museum houses the world’s largest collection of paintings by infamous Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh who lived between 1853 and 1890 – which makes it a ‘must-see’ for visitors to Amsterdam.
Following the death of Van Gogh, his works were managed by his brother Theo and his wife Johanna. Their son Vincent Willem went on to found the Vincent van Gogh foundation in 1962. Just over a decade later the Van Gogh museum was built in Amsterdam to house the family collection.
The Van Gogh Museum opened in 1973 having been designed by Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld, who actually died before it was built. The modern exhibition wing by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa was added in 1999.
A spectacular new glass entrance hall by Kisho Kurokawa Architect & Associates on the Museumplein side was opened in September 2015.
Over 3 levels, the Rietveld building contains a permanent collection of Van Gogh’s paintings, drawings and letters. The collection is supplemented by works from some of Van Gogh’s 19th century contemporaries – such as Monet and Gaugin.
In terms of numbers, the museum collection contains some 200 Van Gogh paintings, 500 of his drawings and 750 of his letters.
The Van Gogh paintings are divided in sections and charts his development in becoming one of the greatest artists in history. From his darker early work in the Netherlands (‘Painter of Peasant Life’) including The Potato Eaters from 1885 to his move to Paris (1886-88) where he produced many of his iconic self-portraits.
Finally we see the more colourful South of France ‘Heyday’ period including The Yellow House (1888), Sunflowers (1889) and Almond Blossom (1890). You can also see some of the more haunted works made from Saint-Paul Asylum.
Note that The Starry Night (1889) painting is not part of the collection – it can only be seen at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.
A hand-held multimedia tour (€3 for adults, free for children) provides insight and is available in 11 languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Chinese Mandarin, Japanese and Korean.
Alternatively, there are a couple of 50 minute guided tours available which need to be booked in advance: The Van Gogh Masterpieces tour and the Family guided tour. These are available on Saturdays for up to 10 people and cost €95 per group excluding entrance.
The Kurokawa wing hosts temporary exhibitions which are held around 3 times a year. Other facilities include the museum café Le Tambourin (not particularly cheap but offers nice views) and a large shop in the entrance hall.
With its magnificent collection of paintings, the Van Gogh museum is certainly one of the top things to do in Amsterdam.
How To Buy Van Gogh Museum Tickets
To visit the Van Gogh Museum you must book a ticket and timeslot online in advance. It is not possible to turn up and buy a ticket over-the-counter at the museum. Note, even those with a Museumkaart must pre-book their timeslot!
As of winter 2022, tickets are generally sold out 1-2 weeks in advance though you might find some limited timeslots available within that period.
Entry timeslots are offered in 15 minute increments with slots between 1100 and 1500 the most popular.
Van Gogh Museum Essential Info
|Opening Times||Generally daily 0900-1700 (on various days it closes at 1800).|
|Admission Prices (2023)||from €20 for adults, FREE entry to children 0-17 and Museumkaart holders. It is obligatory to pre-book a time-slot ticket online. |
Note, since 1 June 2022 the Iamsterdam City Card has NOT been valid for entry.
|Getting There||The Van Gogh Museum is a 10 minute walk from Leidseplein. From Amsterdam Central, trams 2 and 12 stop at the adjacent Rijksmuseum; or take metro line 52 to Vijzelgracht station which is about 5-7 mins walk away; from Amsterdam Zuid, take tram 5; from Amsterdam Sloterdijk take tram 19 to Spiegelgracht stop; from Schiphol airport, bus 397 also stops at the Rijksmuseum. See Public Transport Tickets in Amsterdam|
Van Gogh Museum, Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam
T: +31(0)20 570 5200, vangoghmuseum.nl
Last updated 7 December 2022. This article was first published in 2008 and has been regularly updated.