Museum Quarter Walk, Amsterdam (Self Guided)

The museums of Amsterdam are among the main tourist attractions of the city. Some of its museums are quite small, but nevertheless important, and some, like the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum are world famous and should not be missed. This tour gives you an opportunity to visit Amsterdam's most renowned museums and learn more about history, art and even the world of diamonds.
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Museum Quarter Walk Map

Guide Name: Museum Quarter Walk
Guide Location: Netherlands » Amsterdam (See other walking tours in Amsterdam)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km
Author: emily

1) Vondelkerk

Amsterdam's Vondelkerk is located just outside an entrance to the Vondelpark. It was built by the architect Petrus Cuypers, named after the poet and writer Joost van den Vondel. Nowadays the construction serves as the office building.
Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat

2) Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat

Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat, Amsterdam's mini Fifth Avenue, is situated in the Museum Quarter. The area is home to high-end classics like Chanel, Gucci, Hermés, Louis Vuitton; jewelry - Chopard, Cartier; lifestyle stores, as well as other boutiques selling luxury labels. The place presents interest to those serious buyers, as well as window-shoppers.
Douwes Fine Art

3) Douwes Fine Art

Specializing in antique paintings and fine art objects, Douwes Fine Art is situated near Amsterdam's famous Museum Quarter. An art business that was established in 1805, the Douwes family tradition started with a restoration workshop as early as the 1760s. Today, its gallery is managed by the family's sixth generation of art, and is considered one of the oldest of its kind in the Netherlands and Europe. The gallery offers a wide collection of 16th to 21st century paintings and drawings, as well as masterpieces from Amsterdam Impressionists, Hague School, Russian Social Realism and Classic Modern Art. In addition, Douwes Fine Art also offers a full package of services, including restoration, valuation and purchase of paintings.

Operation Hours Tuesday - Friday: 9 am - 5 pm; Monday: by appointment only

4) Rijksmuseum (must see)

Standing tall on the Museumplein in Amsterdam is one of the most renowned museums not only in the Netherlands but the entire world. The Rijksmuseum is known to have over a million pieces of artifacts and art pieces that comprise most of its permanent collection.

Founded in the 1800s, the birthplace of Rijksmuseum which was initially called the National Art gallery was The Hague. It was later moved to Amsterdam on the commands of Louis Bonapart, the King of Holland. On its arrival in Amsterdam, it was named the Royal Museum and it was not until 1885 that the Rijksmuseum shifted to its current location, the beautiful Dutch Neo-Renaissance building.

The unique blend of Gothic and Renaissance architecture on the Rijksmuseum structure was brought about by architect Pierre Cuypers. The resultant building was not only handsome looking but was also quite huge. This was done with the sole purpose of fitting the entire collection brought from The Hague.

The Rijksmuseum has a massive collection of art, history, and manuscripts that date back to the 17th century. The museum is a must-see if you want to stare in awe at Rembrandt’s works, as well as other renowned artists like Johannes Vermeer and Frans Hals.

Why You Should Visit:
The place where the Art from your Art classes and books comes to life.

Look until you drop, then take a break from all the art and artefacts in the excellent atrium café and get ready to do another wing.
Consider buying your ticket online (it is valid for one year and will save you a long queue).

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-5pm
Diamond Museum

5) Diamond Museum

If jewelry holds a special place in your heart and diamonds are your best friend then the Diamond Museum is a must see.

This two story museum gives its viewers a detailed tour on the history and yes the geography involved in bringing to you the perfectly cut diamond. In the past Amsterdam has been the hub for some of the finest and most trusted diamonds. Known for its unique cuts, quality and polish, Amsterdam since the 17th century centralized the Diamond market and trade. Today most of the polishing and cutting has moved from the city however it still ranks among the few trusted places in world whose diamonds are most cherished.

On visiting the Museum you are greeted by a short documentary which will get you to speed with how diamonds are obtained and what goes into making of each piece. Learn how to distinguish real from the imitations, be dazzled by the glittery exhibits of royal jewelry and watch the craftsmen at work producing some of the most precious stones on the planet.

Just a stone throw away from the Van Gogh Museum, the Diamond Museum is open to public at a minimal fee every day of the week.
Van Gogh Museum Shop

6) Van Gogh Museum Shop

What to buy here: Van Gogh Memory Game. Price: €16.50.

Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch post-Impressionist painter. He was quite prolific, producing more than 2,000 artworks in ten years time, including 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches. The Amsterdam Van Gogh Museum has created a fun and educational memory game featuring paintings and sketches by Van Gogh. Each card comes with a description and explanation of the paintings and sketches on the other side.

This game is no ordinary matching game, as the two cards to be paired are not exactly the same but share a similar theme. One pair might be the sketch and the other the resulting painting, or perhaps two self-portraits, or maybe two paintings of flowers in vases. Together the images tell a story about Van Gogh. The artworks are all from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. This game would be a wonderful gift for an art lover, combining entertainment with an education about Van Gogh's art and life.
Van Gogh Museum

7) Van Gogh Museum (must see)

The one place in Amsterdam you just can’t afford to avoid is the Van Gogh Museum dedicated to the works of the melancholic artist and to other works of some contemporary artists.

Vincent Van Gogh, whose name generally makes it to the list of the most underrated artists of their times, was born in 1853 and died at the young age of 37. By the time of his death, he had left behind a collection of some of the most beautiful works which were unfortunately appreciated only after his death. Since Van Gogh was fighting several health issues both physical and mental, today his work is seen as a reflection of his state of mind. With bold strokes and brilliant colour, his work is known for its brutal honesty of emotions and freedom from any technicality in terms of discipline.

Upon his death in 1890, he left his collection to his brother Theo Van Gogh who, in turn, left it in the care of his wife Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, a constant pillar of support throughout his life.

The paintings of Van Gogh make up for the permanent collection of the Museum. His works are categorized into five parts, each comprising a painting from that phase of his life. The Museum that presently houses Van Gogh’s work came into being in 1963.

Why You Should Visit:
The main museum for all things Van Gogh, and absolutely the most popular museum in Amsterdam.

Go straight to the 3rd floor and work your way down. This way you will get 2-3 floors of quieter viewing.
Be sure to also order the audioguide when booking your ticket and then 1.5-2 hours should allow you to view all the works and not just the highlights.

Opening Hours:
Fri: 9am-9pm; Sat-Thu: 9am-6pm
Stedelijk Museum

8) Stedelijk Museum (must see)

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (Municipal Museum Amsterdam), colloquially known as Stedelijk, is a museum for modern art, contemporary art, and design located in Amsterdam. The 19th-century building was designed by Adriaan Willem Weissman and the 21st-century wing with the current entrance was designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects. The collection comprises modern and contemporary art and design from the early 20th century up to the 21st century. It features artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Karel Appel, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, Marlene Dumas, Lucio Fontana, and Gilbert & George. The museum collection holds almost 90,000 objects, collected since 1874.

Why You Should Visit:
Large gallery rooms and a world-class modern collection that makes you rethink history and ponder art.

Make sure that you visit 'The Base' downstairs, i.e. the heart of the museum consisting of works that are part of the permanent collection.
Free audio tours of 'The Base' should are available in six languages.

Opening Hours:
Fri: 10am-10pm; Sat-Thu: 10am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Cornelis Schuytstraat

9) Cornelis Schuytstraat

An exquisite shopping street, home to a large part of the most stylish shops in Amsterdam. This shopping venue is for those who live in the expensive town area and, therefore, provides everything one might need to fit in – the best quality clothes, cosmetics, food and wines.

10) Beethovenstraat

Beethovenstraat is an elegant street in South Amsterdam, stretching from the Apollo Avenue to Buitenveldert. Those who come here in search of fashion, gifts or delicacies, rarely, if ever, leave empty-handed.

Walking Tours in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Create Your Own Walk in Amsterdam

Create Your Own Walk in Amsterdam

Creating your own self-guided walk in Amsterdam is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
New Side (Dam Square) Walking Tour

New Side (Dam Square) Walking Tour

This walking tour takes you to and around New Side (Dam Square) in the historic center of Amsterdam whose notable buildings and frequent events make it one of the most popular and important locations in the city, much as the whole of the Netherlands. The tour's highlights include the Centraal Station, the neoclassical Royal Palace, the 15th-century Gothic Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), the Madame...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Western Canal Belt Walking Tour

Western Canal Belt Walking Tour

The Western Canal Belt is one of the most scenic parts of Amsterdam, it is where the web of historic canals is most tranquil. Various attractions are found here, from tiny shops and cafes to churches, museums and galleries. Take this tour and see the best sites of the Western Canal Belt.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 2

Souvenir Shopping Part 2

It would be a pity to leave Amsterdam without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Amsterdam, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km
Jordaan Walking Tour

Jordaan Walking Tour

The Jordaan is a district of the city of Amsterdam. It was originally a working class neighborhood, but in recent years it has become quite upscale and home to many museums and art galleries, particularly those focused on modern art. The district is also dotted with specialty shops, markets and restaurants. This tour is a perfect opportunity to see the main attractions of the district of Jordaan.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Southern Canal Belt Walking Tour

Southern Canal Belt Walking Tour

Grachtengordel (Dutch for the Canal District) is an international icon of urban planning and architecture in Amsterdam. Still very much intact after four centuries, the area is known for its small bridges, crossing the canals, and 17th-century homes. Forming a horseshoe around the Old City Centre, the Canal Ring comprises Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht canals, built during...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Churches Walking Tour

Churches Walking Tour

Amsterdam's numerous churches are an unique example of architectural diversity. Whether you are a keen church goer or simply interested in the architectural and historic aspects, Amsterdam will not disappoint. Take this tour to visit the most important religious sites in the city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 km

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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Amsterdam for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Amsterdam has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting Amsterdam's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the I Amsterdam City Card, Amsterdam City Pass, Amsterdam City Pass Plus, or Amsterdam Pass (by Stromma).

A city pass combines all or multiple Amsterdam' top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Amsterdam hotels that are conveniently located, but at the same time, also not so ridiculously expensive: NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Hotel TwentySeven, Swissôtel Amsterdam.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Amsterdam, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Amsterdam typically costs from around US$25 up to US$40 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off sightseeing boat calling at all of Amsterdam's major attractions, museums and shopping centers. En route, you can listen in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages and get on and off at any of the stops along the way as often as you like.

- Discover Amsterdam with the taste of beer on a relaxing 75-minute canal cruise gliding past beautiful bridges, buildings and houseboats, calling at the former Heineken brewery for an ultimate cultural experience and a free pint to enjoy.

- Pedal your way around Amsterdam's quirky quarters and picturesque waterways on a guided city bike tour. In the course of 3 hours you will visit the city's eclectic sights stopping at the most notable of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the city from an informative group leader.

- Take a morning walk around Amsterdam with a knowledgeable guide for an insider view of Holland's most fascinating city. This tour will take you along Amsterdam's enchanting canals to its must-see attractions away from tourist crowds. A complete overview of Amsterdam from the ground up!

- Treat yourself to some of the best Dutch and international delicacies Amsterdam has to offer on a 3-hour food journey across the city visiting, among other locations, a typical local market, beer garden, and a family-run restaurant.

- Step back in time to the dark years of the German occupation of Holland during World War II on a 2-hour historical walking tour of Amsterdam. Feel what it was like, learn the story of Anne Frank, visit the Jewish Quarter and other memorable places.

- Visit the infamous Red Light District, once the most dangerous part of Amsterdam, now synonymous with the city itself. See how the area has transformed, over the years, from the dark “gutter” with shady dens of vice to the lively district with welcoming pubs and restaurants.

Day Trips

If you have a day to spare whilst in Amsterdam, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Giethoorn, Bruges, Zaanse Schans, Keukenhof, and Holland’s countryside. For as little as US$50+ to US$180+ per person you will get a chance to discover “Venice of The Netherlands” and the Garden of Europe, visit one of the most captivating cities in Belgium, explore the charming Dutch villages with eye-catching windmills and picturesque canals, acquaint yourself with the traditional Dutch crafts (clog- and cheese making), taste the local pancakes and cheeses, and so much more! For any of these tours you may be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in Amsterdam, and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned coach or minivan to the destination of your choice and back again.