Visiting the Iconic Rijksmuseum – Amsterdam

The Rijksmuseum is known as the national museum of the Netherlands, but the massive collection of renowned art held here has made it well known worldwide. If you have an interest in art or seeing some interesting aspects of the Netherlands’ history and culture, we definitely recommend a visit to this iconic museum when in Amsterdam. Below are some details needed for planning a visit.

Cuypers Library
Cuypers Library inside the Rijksmuseum

About the Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum originally opened in 1800 as the National Art Gallery, but the exhibits were not held in the current museum location. The gallery became established in Amsterdam in 1808, then moved to the current building constructed specifically to hold the museum in the 1880s.

The gallery collection continued to grow and additions to the building  were made. In 2003, a massive reconstruction and expansion took place to modernize the exhibit and make more space for the museum’s works. The new exhibit opened in 2013.

Today, there are over 8000 pieces on display at any time, including many famous masterpieces, such as Vermeer’s ‘The Milkmaid,’ Asselijn’s ‘The Threatened Swan’, multiple works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, and numerous others.

The Threatened Swan
The Threatened Swan

Getting to the Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum is conveniently located in an area with many other museums and attractions. Being not too far from the heart of Amsterdam, it can be easily reached on foot.

The nearest public transport hubs to the Rijksmuseum are the Rijksmuseum/Spiegelgracht and Museumplein stops. These serve various trams and buses, including trams 1, 2, 5, 7, 12, and 19 and buses 347, 397, N47, N88, and more. The closest metro to the Rijksmuseum is Vijzelgracht served by line 52. There are various route options, so check lines and timetables here.

If driving your own car, there is a paid parking garage near Museumplein.

Once at the museum, enter via the passage running through the center of the building.

The Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum


Tickets to the Rijksmuseum cost €22.50 per adult. Entrance is free for those 18 and under.

This is an incredibly popular attraction and tickets must be booked online with a time slot in advance. The museum does not permit the purchase of tickets upon arrival. Visitors must enter the museum at the selected time, but there is no limit on how long you can stay in the museum.

Amsterdam Passes

Holders of the I Amsterdam City Card, GoCity pass, and certain other museum passes can enter the museum for free.

Note that you still must book a slot online. Head to the tickets page, select the “I already have a ticket/voucher” option, then choose your date and entry time. Upon arrival at the museum, present your reservation along with your city or museum pass.

A ship model on display in the museum
A ship model on display in the museum


The Rijksmuseum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Both the shop and café are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the museum ticket is needed to access them until 5 p.m.

During the summer, the gardens near the museum are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Hours may differ for holidays and certain rooms of the museum may be closed for maintenance or events, so check the website before your visit.

Visiting the Iconic Rijksmuseum


First, some important notes on the Rijksmuseum regulations.

Visitors can take A4-size bags (basically a small purse, tote, or belt bag) into the museum. There is a free cloakroom where you can store umbrellas, backpacks, jackets, and other similar items. However, note that the cloakroom does not accept luggage or other larger items. There is a Lockerpoint paid storage space down near Museumplein if needed.

As you explore the museum, please be respectful of other visitors and displays. Visitors can take photos, but no flash.

If you plan to buy anything at the gift shops or restaurant/café, note that the museum only accepts card.

One of the many beautiful paintings in the Rijksmuseum

Exploring the Museum

We arrived to the Rijksmuseum after a visit to the Moco Museum – it was definitely an artsy type of day! We were eager to see some of the famous works by renowned artists and admire the many other beautiful pieces held here.

This museum is big, and unless you’re planning on spending the whole day here, we’d recommend looking at some of the pieces or exhibits you most want to see to allocate your time accordingly. The place was well laid out and it was easy to navigate.

There are different areas of the museum to visit, from the Cuypers Library and the Gallery of Honour to the Special Collections and various rooms covering different centuries. We spent three to four hours in here and still feel like there was much more to see. Of course there are the famous pieces that draw in the crowds, but there are so many other beautiful works in here, so definitely allocate some extra time to wander the galleries!

Van Gogh
Van Gogh

If you’re hungry after wandering the museum, there’s the café that has pastries, wine and beer, coffee, salads, soups, and more. There’s also the Michelin RIJKS restaurant that serves up some unique dishes in a fine dining atmosphere.


There are organized tours offered in in multiple languages by the Rijksmuseum. For an hour, a guide will take the group through the museum, hitting the works of art regarded as the highlights. Tours cost an extra €7.50 per adult. Private tours cost €125 per group in addition to the entrance fee.

The general group tours take place daily at various times. Book tours online in advance while purchasing your entrance ticket.

Another option for a deeper dive into the works of the Rijksmuseum are the audio guides you can add to your ticket purchase for an extra €5 per person. Additionally, there is the free Rijksmuseum app that provides route options, audio guide, and more info on visiting.

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