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“So much better for its renovation” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Rijksmuseum (National Museum)

The Rijksmuseum (National Museum)
Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, The Netherlands
+31 20 674 7000
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Ranked #5 of 306 Attractions in Amsterdam
Type: Art Museums, Museums
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Attraction Details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Rijksmuseum is the museum of the Netherlands. The completely renovated Rijksmuseum tells the story of the Netherlands from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Including works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Frans Hals, and more! Most famous is Rembrandt's masterpiece the Night Watch. A new display of the collection, a renewed building, new public facilities, a revamped garden and a new Asian Pavilion. Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“So much better for its renovation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

I have visited the Rijksmuseum previously but have had to put up with what seemed like a never-ending renovation. The good news is that the renovation has been completed. The great news is that it has provided a brilliant update to a gorgeous building and has certainly enhanced one of the world's great museums. (To be fair, the Rijksmuseum is part museum and large part art gallery.)

I suspect for most people the highlight of the Rijksmuseum is its extensive Rembrandt collection, with the focal point being "The Night Watch", a magificent, large painting staggering in its detail and life. The gallery leading towards this painting now houses a collection of Dutch art from before and during Rembrandt's time. In particular, there is a fine collection of works by Franz Hals. I have previously visited the Franz Hals museum in Haarlem, but there is no way there to compare Hals' work with that of others. The display at the Rijksmuseum left me questioning whether Hals wasn't every bit as great and influential an artist as Rembrandt. The Hals display includes one of the most stunningly beautiful still life paintings, extraordinary in its detail and use of both light and reflection, probably the first wedding portrait of its era to include husband and wife in the one work, and several 'character' paintings where the people are so life-like and vivacious that you could almost talk to them.

The museum goes well beyond Dutch art however. Displays cover the Dutch colonies of Batavia and Surinam, glass, ceramic and silverware of the 15th to 17th centuries, and an art nouveau section (though beware - the museum map suggests there's an Yves St Laurent section. It consists of one dress only, based on art by Mondrian).

Displays that particularly took my eye included a striped concentration camp coat, clearly identifying the wearer as Jewish, worn by a Dutch woman who survived four concentration camps including Auschwitz (where, sadly, her parents were murdered). This was adjacent to a Nazi chess set, allegedly presented to one of the regime's leaders, which was hardly shy in setting out the Nazi agenda. Pieces were in the shapes of Stukas, bombs, panzers and Wehrmacht troops.

I was also taken by a sculpture done by a Japanese artist in the 1960s during the era of opposition to the Vietnam war. It represented a human-sized figure whose head morphed into a Buck Rogers' style cannon. Its posture was overbearing and threatening. The sculpture is entitled 'Made in America' and it seemed even more pointed today than when it was made, given the many mass murders committed in the USA which have been expedited by that society's obscene attachment to unfettered availability of high powered weaponry.

The museum also features furniture and tapestries, maritime models and extraordinary, large dolls houses which were not for children but were the hobby of very well-to-do ladies in Amsterdam (especially) when Holland was one of the World's major trading powers. The detail in these dolls houses is simply amazing.

We spent a complete day in the Rijksmuseum and could, if time allowed, easily have spent longer. Admission was 15 euros each, which we felt was great value. The museum is a 'must see' when you visit Amsterdam.

Visited January 2014
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Williamsburg, Virginia
Top Contributor
151 reviews 151 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
“Must see”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

This has many one of a kind notable works. The crowds can be a bit much so buy your tickets on line (they don't have a particular time slot) and go on an off day. The audio guide is useful but they also have handouts near major works which are worth reading.

Visited January 2014
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East Rutherford, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“World Class Museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

Great collection and a nice place for lunch!

You must check your back pack or pocketbook. They are very efficient at doing this.

Visited October 2013
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Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
251 helpful votes 251 helpful votes
“Excellent Museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

I'm very lucky, I can visit this museum after under renovation for years. What I like on this museum is the Rembrants collections especially The Night Watch. Easy to reach and not far from Amsterdam Central. You can take photos inside.

Visited June 2013
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Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
36 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“A must see”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

As with most museums we lost track of time. The sun was up when we went in, but down when we came out. There are some interesting pieces inside. The rooms are time period themes, so if you are short on time, locate the rooms with styles you want to ensure you see first. There is an I Amsterdam sign behind the museum. It's a great place to take pictures.

Visited January 2014
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