Museum Quarter Walking Tour, Amsterdam

Museum Quarter Walking Tour (Self Guided), Amsterdam

The Museum Quarter (Museumkwartier) of Amsterdam gets its name from the major museums located in Museum Square therein, namely: the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Van Gogh Museum. In fact, it is the construction of the former that boosted the development of the whole neighborhood. Other than museums, the area is also home to the world-famous IAmsterdam letters, as well as exclusive fashion, jewelry and shoe shops found in the PC Hooftstraat, where you can literally shop till you drop. Take this self-guided walk to explore the other side of Amsterdam, and to learn more about its history and art.
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Museum Quarter Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Museum Quarter Walking Tour
Guide Location: Netherlands » Amsterdam (See other walking tours in Amsterdam)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.7 Km or 0.4 Miles
Author: emily
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Rijksmuseum
  • Diamond Museum
  • Van Gogh Museum Shop
  • Van Gogh Museum
  • Stedelijk Museum
  • Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat

1) 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

2) 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

3) Van Gogh Museum Shop

In the course of his 10-year artistic carrier, Vincent van Gogh, the Dutch post-Impressionist painter, had created more than 2,000 artworks, including 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches. Today the Van Gogh Museum is one of the top tourist sights in Amsterdam, and the in-house shop is also quite an attraction in its own right.

If you are looking for exclusive gifts – jewelry, souvenirs, posters or books – inspired by the life and work of one of the world's most famous artists, you can find them all in the Van Gogh Museum Shop. The shop's mission is to make the legacy of Van Gogh accessible to as many people as possible in a bid to enrich and inspire them. All the products sold here tell the story of Van Gogh – books, reproductions, puzzles and silk scarves have been designed with Van Gogh's heritage in mind.

The shop is located in the entrance hall and can only be accessed through the museum. It is open daily during regular working hours. Profits from the sales are used to support the museum and expand its collection further.

Also, on the third floor there is a bookshop with around 1,500 titles about Vincent van Gogh, as well as other educational material about his contemporaries, plus a unique children’s book corner.
Image Courtesy of Shoshannah Hausmann.
Van Gogh Museum

4) 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

5) Stedelijk Museum

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.
Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat

6) Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat

The P.C. Hooftstraat is a shopping street in the Museum Quarter of Amsterdam, within a walking distance from major attractions such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum. Since 1876 it has been named after Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft (1581–1647), a Dutch historian, poet and playwright.

In the last decade it has evolved to become one of the most expensive thoroughfares in the Netherlands. Several Dutch and international and exclusive brands have established their stores here, making it a sort of Amsterdam's mini Fifth Avenue. The area is home to high-end classics like Chanel, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Valentino; jewelry - Chopard, Cartier, Tiffany & Co; lifestyle stores, as well as other boutiques selling luxury labels, and as such presents interest to the serious buyers, as well as window-shoppers.

A walk along this street is a pleasant way to see a different side of Amsterdam – no canals but pretty boutiques, and well remodeled or newly-built stylish houses, plus tons of restaurants and outdoor cafes. It is also a great place to watch people; lots of young folk hanging out regularly, filling it with fun energy. Alternatively, you can head to the large Vondelpark nearby, an oasis of greenery, for a moment of relaxation away from the crowded streets of the inner city.

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles

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