Rijksmuseum is 800 years of Dutch art and history in one place.
This Art Museum has around 8000 exhibits of Dutch art and history displayed in its 80 galleries.
The exhibits include paintings, portraits, sculptures, weapons, clothes, dolls etc.
With around 2.5 Million tourists visiting Rijksmuseum every year, it is the most visited Museum in the Netherlands.
In this article, we explain everything you need to know before your visit to Rijksmuseum.
The Rijksmuseum is located at the Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
How to reach Rijksmuseum?
The Rijksmuseum is located on Museumstraat and is easily accessible by public transport, cars, and bicycles.
Amsterdam is very car friendly, but we recommend you use public transport to reach Rijksmuseum.
Tram is the best way to access the Rijksmuseum
Tram 2: Amsterdam Central Station to Rijksmuseum tram stop
Tram 5: Zuid Station to Rijksmuseum tram stop
Tram 19: Sloterdijk station to Spiegelgracht tram stop
Tram 12: Amstel Station to Rijksmuseum tram stop
Amsterdam Metro is also a great way to reach Rijksmuseum.
Weesperplein is the Metro station nearest to Rijksmuseum.
However, from the Metro station, you will have to take a Tram to reach the Museum. Tram 1, 7 and 19 to can bring you to the Spiegelgracht tram stop, from where you can walk up to the Museum entrance.
Rijksmuseum is also accessible by regional buses.
Bus number 288 can bring you from Marnixstraat regional bus station to the Rijksmuseum bus stop.
Bus number 397 can bring you from Schiphol Amsterdam Airport to the Rijksmuseum bus stop.
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Rijksmuseum opening hours
Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is open 365 days a year, from 9 am to 5 pm.
Rijksmuseum ticket desk closes at 4.30 pm. That is, the last entry into the Museum is at 4.30 pm.
The Rijksmuseum Gardens, Rijks Shop, and Rijks Café remain open for visitors from 9 am to 6 am and can be accessed without any tickets.
Best time to visit the Rijksmuseum
During the peak tourist months of May to September Rijksmuseum gets crowded.
During these months, visitors end up waiting in the lines for even an hour.
Fridays, weekends and school holidays aren’t the best time to visit Rijksmuseum either.
Some of the most crowded days at this world-class Museum are the Queen’s day, the Liberation day, the New Year period etc.
Now for the best time of the day to visit Rijksmuseum –
Since the Museum opens at 9 am, you can be in the queue at 8.45 am. If you can’t make it that early, the next best time is after 3 pm.
If you visit after 3 pm, you get a maximum of two hours inside the Museum because it closes at 5 pm.
In short, the busiest hours of Rijksmuseum start from 11 in the morning and lasts up to 3 in the evening.
The Amsterdam weather also dictates the crowd at this popular attraction.
If you don’t like waiting in long lines, you must avoid rainy days for everybody lands up at this indoor attraction.
Waiting times at the Rijksmuseum
When you visit the Rijksmuseum, you must queue up at two lines.
The first waiting line is at the ticketing counter and depending on the day and the season, you may have to wait anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour.
To avoid this waiting (and save some energy for exploring the Museum) we suggest you buy Rijksmuseum tickets online.
If you have already booked your tickets in advance, you can directly go and queue up at the second waiting line – to get inside the Museum.
This queue can’t be skipped but the good news is, it moves fast.
How long does Rijksmuseum tour take?
Duration of a tour of Rijksmuseum varies from person to person.
If you have something else planned for rest of the day you can focus only on the masterpieces at Rijksmuseum and finish your tour in 2 hours.
If you are with kids who love exploring or if you are taking a lot of photographs, the length of your Rijksmuseum tour could even extend to 4 hours.
However, the Museum officials recommend keeping aside five hours for exploring all the exhibits.
Rijksmuseum ticket discount
The normal Rijksmuseum ticket price for adults (19 years and above) is 17.50 Euros.
Kids 18 years and below get a 100% discount and can walk in for free.
If you are an EYCA card holder, then you will get a flat 50 % discount on the entrance ticket i.e. you will get the entrance ticket at the price of 8.75 Euros.
If you already have or are planning to buy IAmsterdam card, you must know that you will be eligible for a 100% discount on the Rijksmuseum ticket.
If you don’t plan to buy the IAmsterdam, there is one last way to claim a discount on the ticket – go for combination tours, which also include Rijksmuseum.
These tickets individually cost more, but when combined end up giving you at least a 20-25% discount. We have listed below the three best combo tours.
Are Rijksmuseum tickets timed?
No, they aren’t timed.
Even better, these tickets are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.
This one-year validity applies to both tickets bought online and tickets bought at the venue.
There are three types of tickets you can buy for your visit to the best Museum in the Netherlands.
– The basic ticket, which is also known as the self-guided tour ticket
– The guided ticket, where you are part of a small group (approx 10 tourists) and an art expert helps you explore the Museum
– The privately guided tour ticket, where the art expert takes you and your family (or friends) around the Museum
All these tickets are smartphone tickets – that is, there is no need to take printouts.
At the entrance of the Museum, you can show them in your email, on your smartphone and walk in.
1. Rijksmuseum self-guided entry ticket
This is the cheapest and the most popular of all Rijksmuseum tickets.
This is also known as ‘Skip the Line’ ticket because it helps you skip the waiting lines at the ticket counter at the venue.
This ticket has a one-day validity and you can even get out of the Museum and get back in.
Visitors below 18 years of age, walk in free.
Adult ticket (19+ years): 17.50 Euros
2. Rijksmuseum guided tour tickets
This is also a skip the line ticket and quite popular amongst tourists who visit art museums regularly.
If you purchase this ticket, you get an art expert guide who takes you around the Museum.
The guide makes sure you don’t miss the masterpieces and narrates interesting stories and anecdotes to spice up your visit.
The group size is limited to a maximum of 10 adults, for an immersive experience.
The duration of this tour is 2 hours. However, after the tour is over you can continue to hang around the Museum.
Adult ticket (18+ years): 99 Euros
Youth ticket (10 to 17 years): 75 Euros
Child ticket (9 years and below): 59 Euros
3. Private tour of Rijksmuseum
If you can afford this 2-hour tour, we suggest you go for it.
It is the costliest tour of Rijksmuseum but is also the most insightful.
The experienced art expert guide will explain the technical aspects of the paintings, as well as discuss the hidden meanings of some of the works.
If you book this tour, you also get picked up from your hotel in Amsterdam for free.
While booking, you can opt from three languages – English, Dutch or Germany.
Private tour for families: 160 Euros per person
Private tour for an individual: 200 Euros per person
Rijksmuseum combo tours
As mentioned above combo tours are a great way to squeeze out ticket discounts.
Another reason combo tours are quite popular among visitors to Amsterdam is because the tourist attractions are nearby.
For instance, did you know that only 300 meters (985 feet) separate the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum.
Check out three of the most popular Rijksmuseum combo tours.
1. Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum tour
This is a 5.5 hours long tour and you will skip the lines at both the Museums.
An art historian/guide will accompany you to both the Museums, and ensure you don’t miss the best there is to see.
He/she will also share stories and anecdotes to make your trip interesting.
Adult ticket (18+ years): 185 Euros
Youth ticket (10 to 17 years): 135 Euros
Child ticket (9 years and below): 105 Euros
2. Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Canal cruise
This is one of the best combo tickets for a tourist in Amsterdam.
With this tour ticket, you get
– Skip the Line access to Van Gogh Museum
– Skip the Line access to Rijksmuseum
– One-hour canal cruise
– Entry to Diamond Museum
An expert guide will enhance your experience at the Museums by narrating lesser-known stories and anecdotes about the artists and their paintings.
The ticket also includes a light lunch at Rijksmuseum.
Adult ticket (13+ years): 109 Euros
Child ticket (4 to 12 years): 54 Euros
3. Rijksmuseum and Canal Cruise ticket
This is Skip the line ticket, so you avoid the queues.
This is a two in one ticket which gives you access to the Museum and a beautiful canal cruise through the city of Amsterdam.
Besides, you can also check out the Holland Casino.
Adult ticket (19+ years): 30.50 Euros
Youth ticket (13 to 18 years):17 Euros
Child ticket (6 to 12 years): 8.50 Euros
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Famous paintings in Rijksmuseum
If you are short on time, the best way to explore Rijksmuseum is by focusing on the masterpieces.
Of course, it is difficult to choose the best because every exhibit makes it to the Museum only when it is worthwhile.
Here is our list of the most popular paintings in Rijksmuseum –
1. The Night Watch
It was painted by Rembrandt van Rijn in 1642. The Night Watch was Rembrandt’s most famous painting during his period.
This is an oil painting on canvas of dimensions 12 inches by 14 inches.
2. The Milkmaid
The Milkmaid was painted by Johannes Vermeer between the years 1658 and1660.
In the painting, a typical kitchen maid is shown pouring some milk from a jar.
3. Marriage portrait of Isaac Massa and Beatrix van der Laen
This was painted by Franz Hals in 1622.
This is an unusual portrait with respect to the 17th century standards because of the two main reasons.
First, it was rare to show the sitters smiling and the second, it was unusual for a couple to be sitting so close to each other.
4. The threatened Swan
This masterpiece was created by Jan Asselijn in 1650.
The painting was the first acquisition of Nationale Kunstgalerlj (the Museum which went on to become Rijksmuseum).
That’s why in a way ‘The Threatened Swan’ had become the symbol of the Dutch national resistance.
5. Battle of Waterloo
It was painted by Jan Willem Pieneman in 1824.
The painting depicts the Duke of Wellington, who is receiving the message that Prussian forces are coming to his aid.
6. Interior with woman beside a lenin cupboard
It was created by Pieter de Hooch in 1663.
In this painting, the painter depicted two contrasting views of the world – outdoors and the interior.
This is relatively bigger than the rest at approximately 28 inches by 30 inches.
7. Winter landscape with ice skaters
It was painted by Hendrick Avercamp in 1608.
This painting has a lot of characters and incidents.
This was one of his earliest and most successful artwork.
8. Early self-portrait of Rembrandt
Rembrandt van Rijn painted this in 1628 when he was only 22 years old.
Interestingly, when the paint was still wet Rembrandt is known to have used the butt end of his brush and made scratches to accentuate the curls of his tousled hair.
9. Jeremiah lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem
It was painted by Rembrandt van Rijn in the year 1630.
This painting is based on a Biblical story. The focus of the painting is on Jeremiah’s sorrow after the king is blinded and Jerusalem is set on fire.
10. Portrait of Lizzie Ansingh
This portrait was created by Therese Schwartze in 1902.
This was an informal portrait of Schwartze’s niece and fellow painter Lizzie Ansingh.
11. Portrait of Sir Thomas Gresham
Created by Anthonius Mor in the years 1560 to 1565.
In this portrait, Mor depicts the famous English merchant alongside his wife in a companion portrait.
12. The Merry Family
This painting with many characters was created by Jan Steen in the year 1668.
This was one of his famous art piece in which he painted a family drinking alcohol together. He wanted to warn the viewers about the dangers of profligacy.
The Rijksmuseum is divided into various sections, zones, and floors – mostly depending on the year when the paintings were created.
For a first-time visitor, Rijksmuseum can be confusing.
That’s why we recommend you carry along with you a map of Rijksmuseum.
Take a print out or bookmark the link we have provided below, and trust us when we say that it will come in handy even as you explore the best Museum in Amsterdam.