Kröller-Müller Museum Otterlo Netherlands Tips

Last Updated: April 9, 2024

Gerrit Vandenberg

Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

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Hi, I'm Gerrit

I enjoy sharing useful tips about the beauty of this county.

Are you interested in what to see at the Kröller-Müller Museum?

Then you’re in the right place. In this article, I’ll explore what to see and do at and around the Kröller-Müller Museum.

Do you want to know how to get there? Then visit my other article about how to get to the Kröller-Müller Museum.

I’ve been to the Kröller-Müller Museum myself, my last visit was in late 2023.

In 2023, we visited many Van Gogh locations in the Netherlands and France. And since this museum has the 2nd largest collection of Van Gogh paintings, I loved being back.

Why visit the Kröller-Müller Museum?

The Kröller-Müller Museum is one of the top museums in the Netherlands. If you’re interested in works by Vincent van Gogh, modern art, and or sculptures, it’s a fantastic day trip from Amsterdam.

The Kröller-Müller Museum has a world-renowned collection of mainly 19th and 20th-century visual art.

The main reason is that it’s home to one of the largest Van Gogh collections in the world,  the second-largest, to be precise. In terms of numbers, that means over 180 drawings and almost 90 paintings by Vincent van Gogh. That is a lot!

The other reason is the extensive sculpture garden that attracts many visitors, which is the largest in Europe. 

The Museum is located in a National Park called the Hoge Veluwe. Which does require a separate entrance fee, you’ll need both to visit the museum.

Hoge Veluwe - Kröller Müller Combi Ticket

Imagine yourself standing in front of the 2nd largest Van Gogh collection. Secure your combo ticket for De Hoge Veluwe National and the Kröller-Müller Museum today for only €24.75.

Kröller-Müller Museum Tips on how to see Van Gogh paintings.
See Van Gogh’s paintings at the Kröller-Müller Museum – © Hidden Holland

Kröller-Müller Museum History

Jardin d'email sculpture at the Kroller Muller Museum.
Jardin d’email sculpture at the Kroller Muller Museum – © Hidden Holland

Helene Kröller-Müller founded the Kröller-Müller Museum in the early 20th century to showcase her – now world-renowned – collection of mainly 19th and 20th-century artworks.

She came from a wealthy background, and Helene decided to use her resources to build a private collection. And not just any collection: she could collect the world’s second-largest collection of Van Gogh paintings.

But also masterpieces by modern artists like Piet Mondriaan, Picasso, and Monet. 

It also features a well-known sculpture garden.

Helene believed the Hoge Veluwe National Park was the perfect location for her museum, blending art and nature.

The museum at the national park opened in 1938 on her and her husband’s former estate.

The Kröller-Müller Museum is a harmonious blend of art, nature, and the vision of a woman who believed in the transformative power of both.

Paintings at the Kröller-Müller Museum

The Cat by Bart van der Leck on display at the Kröller-Müller Museum.
The Cat by Bart van der Leck – © Hidden Holland

The Kröller-Müller Museum has a vast collection of modern paintings from the mid-19th to mid-20th century, including notable pieces by Impressionists like Renoir, Claude Monet, Georges Seurat, and Pablo Picasso. 

Besides being great masters by themselves, their paintings also provide a unique insight into Van Gogh’s professional growth during his time in France. The impressionist style greatly influenced him. 

Before, when he was still in the Netherlands, Vincent would paint in earthy dark colors and peasant life.

While in France, under the influence of the impressionist movement, he used much more color in his work. The works of him we know him most for today.

Van Gogh Paintings 

My favorite Van Gogh painting at the Kröller-Müller Museum: Café Terrace at Night.
My favorite Café Terrace at Night by Van Gogh – © Hidden Holland

In the heart of the museum, you’ll find the 2nd largest collection of paintings by Van Gogh in the world.

Viewing these alongside his contemporaries offers insight into his evolving style and the progression of modern art. For me, modern art often feels inaccessible. But Van Gogh is one of those artists that make it accessible for me. 

If you’re a Van Gogh fan, getting out here is worth the trouble. If you combine a visit with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam (tips), you can see so many original Van Gogh painting, more than anywhere else in the world.

In Amsterdam his paintings are primarily grouped in chronological order. Making it easy to follow him and his career throughout his life (they even have his last painting there, The Roots.)

At the Kröller-Müller Museum, they’re doing it a little bit differently. Here, they group paintings more by topic.

Another exciting way of seeing his development, especially when you see multiple paintings of the same topic next to each other but in very different styles. 

Read more: Van Gogh in Nuenen (Netherlands)

Famous Van Gogh paintings you’ll find at the Kröller Müller museum are:

  1. A 2nd version of the ‘Potato Eaters’
  2. The Sower
  3. Café Terrace at Night (my favorite)
  4. Portrait of Joseph Roulin
  5. Moulin de la Galette
  6. Four Sunflowers Gone to Seed
  7. Bridge at Arles

Sculpture Garden

Sculpture Jacques at Kröller-Müller Museum.
Sculpture Monsieur Jacques at Kröller-Müller Museum – © Hidden Holland

Personally, sculptures are not exactly my thing. I appreciate paintings much more. It’s not my forte. If it is not yours either, don’t worry, you don’t have to like it. There is enough to see without it.

But if you are a fan, you’re in for a treat. There are a lot of famous names in this garden, spanning over 75 acres and nestled within the national park. It is the largest in Europe. More than 160 sculptures by iconic artists can be found here.

It’s a testament to Helene Kröller-Müller‘s vision of blending in art, architecture, and nature.

The garden showcases a diverse collection of modern and contemporary sculptures, featuring works by artists such as Auguste Rodin, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Jean Dubuffet, and Marta Pan.

Additionally, architecture enthusiasts can admire the garden’s museum buildings designed by Henry van de Velde and Wim Quist and pavilions by Gerrit Rietveld and Aldo van Eyck.

Restaurants

I chose the Cheese sandwich at the museum restaurant.
I chose the Cheese sandwich at the restaurant, delicious – © Hidden Holland

There are two restaurants at the Kröller-Müller Museum itself.

Museum Restaurant Monsieur Jacques is the main museum restaurant. Located inside the museum.

This restaurant provides a variety of warm and cold beverages, sandwiches, soups, and homemade sweets. The spacious and well-lit space offers a beautiful view of the garden. The restaurant operates during the museum’s opening hours but closes at 4:30 p.m.

Buitenrestaurant MJ is an outside restaurant amidst the art in the sculpture garden. The menu emphasizes fair and sustainable products. No prior reservations are required. Like Monsieur Jacques, it also closes at 4:30 p.m. and follows the museum’s opening hours.

Outside the museum, but still inside the national park, there are different places for refreshments.

Near the museum, you’ll find the Park Pavilion restaurant in the central area that offers an extensive menu, just like the restaurant Monsieur Jacques inside the museum. 

Jachthuis Sint Hubertus Park Hoge Veluwe

Jachthuis Sint Hubertus  at the Park Hoge Veluwe, beloved by the Kröller-Müller family.
Jachthuis Sint Hubertus at the Park Hoge Veluwe – © Hidden Holland

But there is more; you can also go to the tea dome for refreshments (no meals) near the Jachthuis Sint Hubertus, a former hunting house and one of the most iconic buildings in the Netherlands. Berlage, the same architect who designed the stock exchange building (De Beurs) in Amsterdam, designed it.

This is a little further away from the central area, like the museum. It’s not within walking distance. But it will take only 15-20 minutes by one of the free white bikes you can take (they’re included in your entrance fee). 

If you want to visit the house, booking a tour of the Jachthuis Sint Hubertus is necessary.

If you can’t visit the building in person, you can still book a virtual tour of the Jachthuis Sint Hubertus.

PS: I’m unaffiliated with them. But I like their products. They offer virtual tours of other iconic buildings in the Netherlands, so you might want to browse around a bit.

Other Things to Do

Museonder at the visitor center at the Hoge Veluwe national park.
Museonder at the visitor center – © Hidden Holland

There is more to do at the “De Hoge Veluwe National Park in Otterlo” besides visiting the Kröller-Müller indoor museum with its Van Gogh collection, the sculpture garden, Jachthuis Sint Hubertus, and different restaurants.

There is also a visitor center to learn more about the park, the free Museonder Museum about life below ground, and bicycle trails to see more of the park, which you can experience with a complimentary white bicycle available everywhere. Or you can rent a more comfortable one from the bike rental across the visitor center.

Getting there might be trouble, but when you do, and the weather plays nicely, you can have a wonderful day in the park.

How Much Time to Spend Here

At minimum, I advise you to spend 90 minutes to see the museum’s highlights indoors. And the same time for the sculpture garden outside.

If you have a more profound interest in the museum and the museum is what you’re coming for, I would advise a minimum stay of 4 hours.

Since you also have a travel time of 2-3 hours roundtrip, plan for 6-9 hours.

If you’re also interested in the National Park, reserve another 2-3 hours for that.

How to Get There?

Taking the train to the Kroller Muller Museum From Amsterdam.
Get to the Kröller-Müller Museum by train and bus – © Hidden Holland

I wrote a complete article on that specific question since there are four different ways of getting there: by public transportation (not great options on Sunday), by rental car, private driver, or by tour bus.

I also offer private transfers myself (more information).

What is good to know is that the museum is usually closed on Mondays (school holidays exceptions). And if you travel by public transportation, Sundays are not a good day since options are limited, and travel time increases.

Gerrit Amsterdam Backdrop 280x280.

Private Transfer

Kröller-Müller Museum Tips on how to see Van Gogh paintings.

This is a private transfer. I will stay with you for questions and as your driver. You’ll visit the museum on your own. And there is time to visit the park, too.

  • Meet at your accommodation
  • Pre-transfer call included
  • Private transportation
  • Visit the Kröller Museum
  • Visit NP Park Hoge Veluwe
  • Duration: 6 hours

€599

Per PARTY

MORE DETAILS
Gerrit Amsterdam Backdrop 280x280.

+ Castle Or Medieval City

View on Amersfoort from the Muurhuizen.

After the Kröller-Müller Museum we visit either Amersfoort’s medieval gorgeousness or Palace Het Loo, Holland’s most famed castle in Apeldoorn.

  • Meet at your accommodation
  • Pre-tour call included
  • Private transportation
  • Visit the Kröller Museum
  • Choose Het Loo or Amersfoort
  • Duration: 10-12 hours

€999

Per PARTY

MORE DETAILS
Gerrit Amsterdam Backdrop 280x280.

+ Nuenen (Van Gogh)

The vicarage in Nuenen, Van Gogh lived here with his parents. One of the Van Gogh in the Netherlands locations.

Pair a trip to the Kröller-Müller Museum, home to the second-largest Van Gogh collection, with a visit to Nuenen, where he created most of his Dutch works.

  • Meet at your accommodation
  • Pre-tour call included
  • Private transportation
  • Visit the Kröller Museum
  • Visit Nuenen > Van Gogh Village
  • Duration: 12-13 hours

€1099

Per PARTY

MORE DETAILS

Hotels Near Kröller-Müller Museum

I don’t blame you if you’re considering spending some time in nature and staying overnight. But this is a very camping-rich area. Luxury hotels are harder to find. 

With one exception: Boutique Hotel de Sterrenberg in Otterlo in the Netherlands, a stone through away from the park entrance. From here, you can take the 106 bus to the Kröller-Müller Museum. Or take one of the free white bikes and cycle there within 15 minutes.

The hotel has near-perfect ratings, is adult-only, and is super modern.

Tickets

Every visitor to the museum needs two tickets. One for the national park entrance and another for the museum. Buy a combination ticket here and save 5%.

Note: If you take a guided group tour, tickets to the park and the museum are already included. With a private transfer, you still need to get your own tickets.

More Helpful Resources

Are you interested in the life of Van Gogh I’m sure you’ll also like some of my other articles on Vincent and his life:

  1. Vincent Van Gogh in The Netherlands
  2. Vincent van Gogh in Drenthe
  3. Vincent van Gogh in Nuenen, where he painted potato eaters.
  4. Vincent van Gogh Museum Amsterdam Tips.
  5. Vincent van Gogh Museum Special exhibitions.
  6. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Tips.

PS: Did you know that Vincent van Gogh visited the Rijksmuseum himself just after it opened? One painting (a view of Amsterdam) was still wet in his bag when he did, and that painting is now (since 2024) on display there. Incredible idea, right?

You can stand in the same spot as he stood admiring Rembrandt’s paintings (which he adored; his favorite painting was The Jewish Bride) and other 17th-century Dutch Golden Age masters. 

More information about the Rijksmuseum can be found in my article: “Rijksmuseum Famous Paintings: Top 12 Must-See Masterpieces

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Does All Of This Feel Overwhelming?

Planning a trip well is a lot of work and can feel overwhelming. Know I’m here to help when you need assistance with your Netherlands vacation.

I offer Itinerary Consultations, where I help you improve your itinerary and make your trip planning much faster and less stressful.

Even if you already have a plan, I have local insights you don’t get from a guidebook. Is that truly a nice restaurant? Is your plan efficient or even doable? What to do once you’re inside a museum. The Rijksmuseum is massive. A call is also great if you doubt which options to choose. I can genuinely personalize my advice to you.

What are you most excited about the see at the Kröller-Müller Museum?

I’d love your thoughts: Are you visiting for the Van Gogh paintings, the sculpture garden, something else, or all of it? I'm excited to know.. Please share your thoughts in the comments below, and let’s start a conversation 💬.

Save the article (#20) (#31)

WANT TO SAVE THIS ARTICLE?

Enter your email below & I'll send it straight to your inbox!

And each week, I'll send you new tips to plan your Netherlands vacation. If you decide it's not for you (any longer), unsubscribing is always just a click away.

Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

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