The Best Van Gogh Museum Tips For A Enjoyable Visit

Last Updated: October 13, 2023

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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Are you looking for Van Gogh Museum tips to get the most out of your visit?

You’ve found the right place. I am a big fan of the Van Gogh Museum and have visited it numerous times. In 2023 alone, three times.

I’m going to share with you my tips when I visit to prepare you in the best way possible for your visit.

For most people, a trip to Amsterdam would be incomplete without a visit to the Van Gogh Museum. Together with the Rijksmuseum (just across the street), it’s regarded as one of the most famous in Amsterdam and one of Europe’s top museums.

Van Gogh is a Dutch post-impressionist famous painter, and for some people, exploring the Van Gogh Museum is one of the, sometimes the only, reason(s) they want to come to Amsterdam.

It is also one of my favorite museums from an early age. At first, I was intrigued by the vibrant colors and the odd brush strokes.

Later in life, I became very interested in Vincent and the context in which he created his paintings. The museum helps with that tremendously. It provides insights into Van Gogh’s life, techniques, and their influences on his art.

Although the museum focuses solely on Vincent Van Gogh, they have work from other artists from the same period or topic and often from his friends. It gives you even more context around Van Gogh’s life.

Because of this, I can spend hours at the museum, no matter how often I return.

The museum shows many of his masterpieces. The collection is vast. There is no other place in the world with so many Van Gogh paintings exhibited in one place.

This is a truly unique opportunity. The Van Gogh Museum can’t be skipped. But to make it more enjoyable, some Van Gogh Museum tips and highlights won’t hurt.

This guide will cover everything you need to know, from Van Gogh Museum facts and highlights to must-see paintings and the essential practicalities for every visitor, like location, directions, prices, and more.

If you’re short on time, buy your Van Gogh Museum entrance ticket and book your timeslot here. This museum sells out quickly, often weeks in advance.

Tree Roots, the final painting made by Vincent Van Gogh.
Van Gogh’s Final Painting – © Hidden Holland

Where Are The Most Van Gogh Paintings in the World?

  1. Vincent Van Gogh Museum (has the largest collection of Van Gogh’s Works)
  2. Kröller-Müller Museum (in the National Park the Hoge Veluwe)
  3. Musee d’Orsay in Paris

How so?

To answer this question, we must go back into history.

Van Gogh did not have much success during his lifetime. He only sold two paintings when he was alive, but his brother Theo Van Gogh always believed in him.

The many letters that have been saved attest to this. During his life, his paintings mainly went to his brother Theo van Gogh in return for supporting him financially.

In the final stages of his life, many paintings were gifted to his friend and doctor, Paul Gachet, when he took Vincent into his home in Auvers-sur-Oise.

The paintings owned by Gachet were later given to the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. So they have quite a significant oeuvre of his later works (however, it’s good to know his latest ever painting is usually in Amsterdam).

When Theo died, his late wife Jo van Gogh-Bonger played a crucial role that finally brought recognition for Vincent van Gogh. She strategically sold some of his works to large museums worldwide that would then display them.

One person was especially interested in buying his work from Jo, Helene Kröller-Müller. She bought 90 paintings and around 170 drawings. Making it now the 2nd most extensive collection in the world.

If you have the time, you can visit the Kröller-Müller museum in National Park the Veluwe, but it takes some effort to get there from Amsterdam. If you do this, you can buy your Kröller-Müller tickets here.

You must also purchase an additional ticket for the national park Hoge Veluwe).

I have two articles about the Kröller-Müller Museum. The first is about the museum itself: Kröller-Müller Museum Tips. And the 2nd is all about how to get to the Kröller-Müller Museum.

Jo also kept much of his work, which was important to the family, or just because she liked them. For example, “Almond Blossom” since it was a gift to her son (who one day would become the man who started this museum). And some of the “Sunflowers” paintings.

Almond Blossom painting by Van Gogh hanging in the Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam.
Almond Blossom at the Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam – © Hidden Holland

This collection later became the Van Gogh Collection in Amsterdam. Considering how many things could have gone differently, the museum would never have come to be. Thankfully, we can enjoy it today, or you are not reading this post.

The main museum building opened in 1973, designed by the well-known architect Gerrit Rietveld. He was part of the “De Stijl” movement. Although I am not a big fan of how the building looks from the outside, it feels like a square box of concrete to me. I recognize its importance.

The modern extension, opened in 1999 and designed by the Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, is much prettier. It’s light and playful, and the atrium is spectacular with the giant video screen and the beautiful gift shop.

Before the dedicated museum opened, his works were visible at the Stedelijk Museum. Which to me sounds so weird. The Stedelijk Museum is a museum for modern art. But back then, the first Van Gogh art exhibit was in 1905. Vincent created his work from 1885-1890, so it was modern then🤯.

But the collection got a final home at the Rietveld building when the museum opened. The Kurokawa Wing is now home to temporary exhibits.

Here is another article with more information about the current temporary exhibition

TIP: If there is one particular painting by Van Gogh that you might want to see, it’s essential to check if it is actually in Amsterdam. You can do that at the Museum’s website since they might be traveling. For example, “Tree Roots” will travel to Musee d’Orsay in Paris for a temporary exhibition about Van Gogh’s final months.

The Tragic But Incredible Story of Vincent

Did you know Van Gogh did not start painting until he was 27? And just ten short years later, he unfortunately and prematurely died by suicide.

In these ten years, Van Gogh painted 900 paintings and created about 1100 drawings and other works.

Isn’t that amazing?

That is one painting every four days! And one work every other day if you include everything. 

And if you think it came easy to him, you’re mistaken. He was not a natural and had to learn by practice.

In the beginning years, he was insecure and was primarily interested in the harsh realities of peasant life. He painted in dark tones. His works were dark, and he did not feel he was an actual artist until the Potato Eaters.

Learn more about Van Gogh in the Netherlands in my dedicated article here.

But when he moved abroad (a fascinating fact is that Vincent worked and lived in three different countries, far from common at that time), he was influenced by other styles and painters because of that.

His work became brighter and more colorful in France, and he developed the unique style we all associate with him today, especially in his final years.

His unique and most recognizable style was born when he relocated to Arles in Southern France in 1888. Unfortunately, this was also when his mental health started deteriorating, an ordeal that profoundly impacted his artworks.

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Van Gogh Museum Highlights – Must-See Masterpieces

Each painting speaks volumes about his life, experiences, and inner turmoil. Making them more than just an exhibit of paintings. Although his life was anything but a fairytale, most paintings are beautiful and vibrant despite his inner feelings.

Here are some Van Gogh Museum must-see highlights when you visit:

Self-Portraits

Van Gogh Museum Self Portrait Van Gogh.
Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait Painting – © Hidden Holland

Despite only two photographs of Van Gogh, his self-portraits are the best impression of his appearance that we have. However, I learned at the museum that he did not use himself and his portraits to represent himself accurately to the viewer.

Instead, he used himself as a free model to test techniques and paint colors. Just look at his eyes in his different self-portraits. Many of them have different colors.

I never realized that before until my guide pointed that out. It’s pretty cool to see them in a new light after knowing that.

At the beginning of the permanent exhibition, you can see an array of Self-Portraits in glass windows.

The Potato Eaters

Van Gogh Museum Potato Eaters Van Gogh.
Potato Eaters Van Gogh – © Hidden Holland

This painting is one of my favorites. It’s dark, yes, and the people in it are not particularly handsome, but it is beautiful, and I feel almost like I am in the room when I see it. I feel the poverty but also a sense of family.

The painting is also significant. Why is that?

Because this was the first painting that Vincent felt was good enough that he had made it as a painter, he felt that he was now ready to show the world. Unfortunately, the critics shot it down, which must have hurt him deeply.

The Potato Eaters depicts the harsh reality of peasant life in the late 1800s. It’s also when he was still using his dark and earthy tones. Something that would change after he moved to France. It’s one of the gems at the Van Gogh Museum.

You might also enjoy my post: Vincent Van Gogh in Nuenen: Birthplace Of The Potato Eaters because this is where he painted this painting.

Bedroom in Arles

Bedroom Arles Vincent Van Gogh.
The Bedroom – Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

While in Arles, Van Gogh immortalized his bedroom in the Yellow House with this painting (you can also see a painting of the Yellow House in Amsterdam).

It’s interesting to note that the colors we see today are not the original colors because of discoloration. It was more purple when painted initially.

In this painting, you can see his works hanging on the wall and how he lived; it’s supposed to make you feel calm. It also makes you feel the room’s rear wall is leaning. This wasn’t an oversight. In reality, the wall wasn’t at a right angle.

Interestingly, he seems to have knowingly eschewed the rules of perspective in certain areas. In a letter to his brother Theo, he said he consciously adopted a ‘flat’ approach in painting the interior, eliminating all shadows to evoke the aesthetic of Japanese prints.

Van Gogh held this painting in high regard, stating: ‘Upon seeing my canvases again, I considered the Bedroom the finest.’

His playful experiments with contrasts and bold outlines made this painting a significant influence on many future expressionist painters.

PS: did you know there are multiple versions of this painting? Each is slightly different. You can see them in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sunflowers

Van Gogh Museum Sunflowers Van Gogh.
Van Gogh’s Sunflowers – © Hidden Holland

Another van Gogh Museum must-see painting is the Sunflowers. They hold a special place in many people’s hearts. It was also a favorite of Vincent himself. It represented gratitude to him.

The painting on display in Amsterdam is one of seven. He painted some for his friend Gauguin. They hang in his room in the Yellow House. He intended them as a gift to Gauguin as a thank you for visiting, but in the end, they were never gifted. 

The “Sunflowers” are a bright display of yellows symbolizing the circle of life. You’ll find an original and an exceptional reproduction in the museum.

The latter is a tactile, fragrant reproduction that was made to give visually impaired people a chance to experience his art. Unique!

Explore The Letters

Letter from Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo. One of the Van Gogh Museum Tips to explore.
Letter to Theo – Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Stichting)

The Van Gogh Museum is not just about paintings. To find more in-depth information about van Gogh’s life, the Van Gogh Museum provides an extensive display of his letters.

A wonderful inside into his life. If you’re just here to see some of his most known paintings, or when you’re short on time, you can skip over this area, but if you are interested in the painter, this area is an absolute must-visit.

There is not much we know about many famous Dutch painters other than what we see in the pictures they created and what we find in city records. How different this is for Vincent since there is so much on record because of saved correspondence with mainly, but not only, his brother Theo.  

You might also like my post on Vincent’s time in Drenthe before he moved to Nuenen. Here, he wrote 23 letters in total, which are all recorded.

Floorplan Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam

The floor plan of the museum is chronological, making it easier to navigate around.

You enter underground in the atrium (make sure to spend some time looking at the colossal display near the lockers when, every few seconds, a new painting of Van Gogh is displayed in a bigger-than-life size).

From there, you take the escalator to the main building, where you are treated to his self-portraits. Look at the color of his eyes in each of them!

On this floor, you also find his works from his early days in The Netherlands when he painted darker and peasant life.

On the 2nd floor, you learn more about his friends and the letters he has sent. This is also where you find the Yellow House, the Sunflowers, and his beautiful Scheveningen Beach painting.

On the 3rd floor, you’ll find paintings from his final years, including a few from his time in Auvers. This is also the floor where you find the Almond Blossoms he painted for his little nephew Vincent.

You can download a floor plan from the Museum’s website here.

Can I see Starry Night at The Van Gogh Museum?

Starry Night on display at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.
Van Gogh’s Starry Night at the NoMA – Photo: Wikipedia

You can see it, but unfortunately, not in Amsterdam. The painting is permanently displayed at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City.

Do you find yourself in NYC anytime soon? Then it’s a must-visit. You can get tickets for the MoMA here.  

Why is Starry Nights so famous anyway?

  1. Because of its unique style, Van Gogh’s use of bold and dramatic brush strokes was new. The way he depicted the roiling night sky with swirling colors was groundbreaking. This style later came to be associated with the Post-Impressionist movement.
  2. Expression of emotion: Van Gogh painted “Starry Night” at the asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. His mental health struggles are well-documented, and “Starry Night” is often seen as an expression of his tumultuous inner world. This adds depth to the painting, which has intrigued and moved viewers for over a century.
  3. Cultural Impact: “Starry Night” has been immortalized in popular culture because it has been referenced in everything from song lyrics to TV shows, making it not just a famous painting but also a cultural icon.

Another “Starry Night” by Vincent, “Starry Night Over the Rhône,” is on view at the Musee d’Orsay Museum in Paris. 

There is always a reason to go to romantic Paris, but if you are a fan of Vincent Van Gogh, Paris is a great destination. And it’s so easy to get there. Take a fast Thalys High-Speed train and sit in a Paris bistro within a few hours.

This post will help you with that: 3 Options From Amsterdam to Paris From Canals to Cafés 🥖🇫🇷.

My Top 11 Van Gogh Museum Tips For Visiting

Interior Vincent van Gogh Museum 2023. Celebrating 50 years.
Van Gogh Museum entrance main building – © Hidden Holland

To help you plan for a better experience at the Van Gogh Museum, here are my top Amsterdam travel tips:

  1. Get Your Tickets in Advance. Book your tickets for the Van Gogh online and in advance. Van Gogh Museum tickets are only available in advance, online. Same-day reservations are tough to come by.

    At the moment I’m writing this article, the museum is sold out for the next three weeks. You don’t want to fly across the Atlantic and not be able to get in. There are no at-the-door sales. You can buy your ticket by clicking on the calendar at the top right.
  2. Choose the right Time. When buying your Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam tickets, you must choose a time slot simultaneously. With over 2 million visitors yearly, it can get busy and crowded.

    I advise booking your slot as early in the day as possible. If you can get the 9 a.m. slot, I would snap it. If not, try to get in before 10 a.m. You can arrive within 30 minutes from your slot. Even if 10:15 is the earliest you book, you can get in from 9:45 (till 10:45).

    If you have no other options than an afternoon visit, book later, like 3 or 4 p.m., when most crowds (and tours) go home.

    A handy tip is using Google’s Busyness Indicator. You can check Google maps for the busiest times in the museum.
  3. Bring Water. There is a restaurant and two cafes. But I don’t particularly like them, and they’re costly.

    Bringing your water is wise to do. You can’t take it into the exhibition rooms, but you can store it in the lockers and drink it there.
  4. Explore with a Guide. If you have the resources, I advise you to explore with a private guide. Booking a museum guide is reserved for groups only. You can book me as your private guide for a 2-hour introduction tour here.

    When I am fully booked, I recommend this tour by With Locals. It’s recommended to book these also in advance.

    Sometimes you can join a group tour for only €5. This is excellent value for money if you can be part of one. I loved the one I did. You can book these at the information desk after you arrive, but they run very limited.

    Alternatively, you can rent an interactive audio guide at the information desk, providing background information about the artwork.  
  5. Research beforehand. The museum has excellent digital resources available, making it easy to research before your visit, including their virtual tour on the website and their YouTube channel. These resources can help make your visit fun and provide additional background information.
  6. Check for Special Exhibits and Events. The Van Gogh hosts rotating exhibits and special events throughout the year. Check the calendar before your visit to see if you can visit one that interests you.

    Currently, there is an excellent exhibition: Van Gogh Along The Seine.

    If you missed the previous excellent exhibition of Van Gogh in Auvers, his final three months. You can see a spectacular YouTube video of the exhibition.
  7. Wear Comfortable Clothing. Maybe not the advice you expect for a cultural visit, but you’ll likely be on your feet for a few hours, strolling and standing a lot. It’s super important to wear comfortable shoes.

    Also, the /van-gogh-exhibit-amsterdam/ to preserve the artworks. Dress in layers, as the museum’s temperature may vary from the outside.
  8. Visit the Museum Shop. The “Museum café” might not be great, but the shops are excellent. A big one is in the main lobby, another on the first level, and a bookstore upstairs. Here, you’ll find tasteful Van Gogh-inspired souvenirs, gifts, and books. 
  9. Explore the Museumplein. After your visit, take some time to explore the surrounding Museum Square. There are many other significant museums nearby, like the Stedelijk, The MOCO museum, and the Rijksmuseum. You can also find a large official shop here if you cannot go in person.
  10. Follow Etiquette: It’s essential to respect the rules for a pleasant visit. Remember not to come too close to the paintings, even if it’s only pointing your finger or a camera. It’s a surefire way to get in trouble with security.

    They’ll be on your toes to ensure you won’t do it again. Flash photography is prohibited. Officially, taking photos of artworks is not allowed, but in reality, a blind eye is turned to this rule as long as you respect other visitors and the works. Large backpacks must be stored in a locker (luggage is prohibited).
  11. Use the interactive Audio Guide: The museum offers an audio guide with a screen that provides new insights into Van Gogh’s life and work, available in 11 languages.

    If you see a headset symbol next to an artwork, select that number on your device, and you get more information both spoken and on your screen.

    One painting where I enjoyed this device the most was the painting “View of the Sea at Scheveningen” where you have to hold up your arm and get a different perspective. You would miss that without the interactive audio guide.

    The guide is often included in your ticket. If not, it’s only a small charge at the information desk.

Practicalities

The Van Gogh Museum is well-connected and easy to reach and located at the Museumplein in Amsterdam. Public transport options like trams and buses run frequently, connecting the rest of the city.

Depending on the tram line you’re using, your nearest stops are “Van Baerlestraat” or “Museumplein” (the latter the most common when traveling from Central Station). The Airport City Bus also stops near the museum.

It’s a little tricky to find the entrance. When you exit the tram, it almost looks like there is an entrance on the “Paulus Potterstraat,” but that is the former ticket office and main entrance.

Since the extension opened, this entrance is now closed, and the main entrance is underground and accessed from pretty much the middle of Museum Square (between the two buildings).

Average Visit Time

The average visit duration is 75 minutes to an hour and a half. But to me, this doesn’t sound enough at all. At a minimum, you should allow at least 2 hours for your visit, enough to see the highlights.

But I like to spend 3 to 4 hours here, especially if a fascinating temporary exhibition is on display, to see and appreciate everything.

Accessibility

This modern building is accessible to visitors with disabilities. There are facilities like lifts, stools, and wheelchairs. You will be able to get around the museum without much hassle. Disabled parking spaces are provided by the city in the surrounding neighborhood in case you need one. 

There is also an excellent program for blind and partially-sighted visitors and their guides. Part of this program is a 3D reproduction of the painting Sunflowers. Here you can feel his brushstrokes and even smell the sunflowers.

Van Gogh Museum Price

The admission prices vary a bit. I advise you to book your tickets from this trusted vendor. They have an excellent cancellation policy that the museum does not offer. It’s a tiny bit cheaper to buy your ticket at the museum itself, but the cancellation policy is far less flexible. Whatever you do, make sure to book in time!

Sold out sign at the Van Gogh Museum entrance in Amsterdam.
This sold-out sign was up every time I visited this year – © Hidden Holland

Even with a slot, queue times can be lengthy during the busiest times. Remember that everyone has a booked time in that line. There is security staff outside making sure that is the case. Don’t try to skip the line because “you have reserved a slot” everybody does.

I Amsterdam Card – Important Information

I still see other websites saying the Van Gogh Museum is included in the I Amsterdam Card. That is not the case!

Years ago, it was already taken out of the card. It’s still a valuable card with 70 free attractions (mainly museums, including the Rijksmuseum).

I read on some sites 40 attractions are included that is not true either. The I Amsterdam City card has 70.

These websites are either very outdated, or they did not do their research.

PS: with that count, they might have confused the I amsterdam City Card with the Go City Pass Amsterdam, with 40 attractions included.

Both city cards are valuable. Here is my full review of the I Amsterdam Card, and h

But again – the Van Gogh is no longer part of the I Amsterdam Card scheme.

If you want to visit this museum, you’ll need to book your tickets online in advance separately from the “I Amsterdam Card.”

But even without this museum included, the I Amsterdam Card can still be of fantastic value, it offers free access to over 70 museums and attractions. And with that number, it’s the largest city card available. On top of the free offering they also offer discounts at even more venues. I’ve created an entire article about it: I Amsterdam Card Worth It Or Trap – 2023 Comprehensive Guide.

And here is my full review of the Go City Pass. Another insanely valuable city pass but very different. With things like the Heineken Brewery, The Adam Lookout, and a half-day trip to the Zaans Schans included.

The Dutch Museumkaart (Museum Jaarkaart) is the only pass that offers free access. The catch is it will be mailed to your home within four weeks, and it needs to be a Dutch address.

That is not going to work for most visitors. But you can buy a temporary pass at the Museum, valid for 30 days, and five museums only. Then you won’t use, the year and unlimited part of the card but still can get your money’s worth.

However, my experience is that most visitors are better off buying a Van Gogh Museum ticket + the I Amsterdam Card and saving the most. The Amsterdam Card also has transportation included and a canal cruise, for example, that the Museumkaart does not.

Opening hours

The museum opens every day at 9 a.m., and the closing time is usually at 6 p.m. Sometimes extended opening hours are available, while in winter, they’re shorter. When you book your time slot, you can see the available times for the date you want to visit. 

Van Gogh Museum With Kids

If you’re visiting with children, there are a range of activities to keep the little ones engaged. They offer a special audio tour for families with children between 6 and 12.

You can also pick up a free treasure hunt from the information desk. There is one for 6-12-year-olds, and even one for toddlers.

Every Saturday, there are kid’s workshops, and for older children, you can get a free checklist so they see if they know all about the paintings they could. 

Nearby Supermarket

There is a very convenient underground Albert Heijn supermarket under Museumplein. This full-sized store has snacks and drinks at much lower prices than the Museum’s cafe.

Pokemon at the Van Gogh Museum

My prize: the Van Gogh Pikachu Pokémon card you get at the exit at the Van Gogh Museum during the Pokemon Exhibit. Only if you have a token or did the treasure hunt.
My prize: the Van Gogh Pikachu Pokémon card – © Hidden Holland

I revisited the Van Gogh Museum last Tuesday (October 10, 2023) during the special exhibition about Pokémon and Van Gogh.

I have to tell you, as two adults, we had a blast. I collected Pokemon cards as a kid (and Pokemon Balls, too), so the idea of the Van Gogh Museum teaming up with Pokemon was a bonus.

The exhibit is super tiny, a corner on the first floor with a few artworks inspired by Van Gogh but with Pokemon figures inserted. But still, so much fun.

Like seeing Pikachu, Smeargle (his picture is so cute, representing Van Gogh’s self-portrait painting behind his easel, Mew, Corbiknight, Snorlax, and Sunflora hidden in the sunflowers.

Want to see it for yourself? The exhibition is at the Van Gogh Museum from September 28, 2023, until January 7, 2024!

My mom and I did the treasure hunt, and we received a special Van Gogh Pikachu Pokémon card as our prize.

You pick up this treasure hunt from the information desk on the ground floor next to the audio tours. It’s available in Dutch and English and is free. They’re very strict: one for each person.

If you don’t want to do the Pokemon treasure hunt, you can tell them, and then you get a token you can exchange for your Pokémon card at the exit (at the group exit). Staff will inform you about the location. But doing the hunt is so much more fun.

Note: the cards have a limited edition of 75,000. And it’s insanely popular. So they might run out before you visit.

The card is a Van Gogh Pikachu image. It looks just like Van Gogh’s painting with his red beard. It’s adorable.

It caused a collector’s craze. When you leave the museum, there are lines with adult men waving cash and trying to convince you to sell your card to them.

They offer €40. Re-couping your entrance ticket plus lunch. If you insist, you can get up to €100. But if you sell them online, they go for around €180-€200 right now, and there were news reports that over $1000 has been paid internationally. So I leave it up to you. I kept my card!

Update: Since October 13, 2023, you can no longer get the special Pokemon card due to safety concerns. Collectors became too pushy towards visitors at the exits, so the museum stopped the campaign immediately. What a bummer. But you can still enjoy the Pokemon artwork until January 7, 2024.

There is(was) exclusive Pokémon x Van Gogh Museum merchandise available at the museum’s souvenir shop, but most is already sold out because people went crazy during the first few days, hitting each other to get their hands on stuff. It was like those Black Friday videos that come out every year.

Only the most expensive items were still available when I visited.

PS: my mom and I enjoyed solving the treasure hunt. But it was not easy. You need to explore the museum to find the answers and search online for answers, for example, for Pokemon names. But it was such a different museum experience.

The hunt starts at the self-portrait section on the ground floor. The exhibition itself is one floor up where you’ll find answers to most of the other questions.

If you’re stuck, it’s an excellent opportunity to interact with other guests doing the same hunt.

Tickets go so fast right now; reserve your timed slot and Van Gogh Museum ticket as soon as possible.

PS: if you are curious about what my favorite Pokemon artwork was, Van Gogh’s bedroom in Arles with Pokemons inserted everywhere. The one on the bed is obvious, but did you see Mew behind the window?

Frequently Asked Questions Van Gogh Museum Tips 

Van Gogh Museum or Rijksmuseum?

Choosing between the Van Gogh and the Rijksmuseum is almost impossible since both offer a unique experience. If you can, I would visit both. Hands down. But not on the same day (since both are so large, the second visit won’t be as enjoyable).

If you had to choose one, this would be how I would decide:

I would choose the Van Gogh Museum if you’re into colorful art. For me, the bright colors of his paintings always lift me. Another reason to visit is when you are interested in his fascinating life. This museum is dedicated to his life and work like no other and focuses solely on Van Gogh’s artwork.

The Rijks, on the other hand, is the largest art museum in the Netherlands. It is a treasure house of Dutch art, from world-famous paintings to doll houses to a real-life airplane.

The paintings are by masters like Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Hals, and there is also a Van Gogh. You can compare the quality of the Rijks with that of the Louvre in Paris. If you want to sample something of everything or are interested in different 17th-century painters, this would be the museum of choice for me. 

How Long Does The Van Gogh Museum Take?

The length of your visit can vary. I recommend visitors spend 3-4 hours at the museum to see it well.

Two hours is sufficient to see the highlights if you’re short on time.

On many other sites, I see a visit time of 75 minutes to an hour and a half, which sounds too short. Since you find this recommended visit time mostly on articles from ticket sellers and tour companies, this shorter time seems motivated by the wish to sell more tickets on the same day.

If there is one recommendation I would like to give you overall, is to do less overall but do the things you do well. Your experience will be richer.

Is The Van Gogh Museum Worth It?

Absolutely!

Whether you’re an art enthusiast or a casual visitor, the Van Gogh Museum offers a beautiful experience. The museum really is one of a kind and presents a comprehensive insight into the life of Van Gogh and his work.

If you’re not an art fan, it’s still great to see paintings of such a famous artist in real life from up close. Most of his paintings are also very bright and colorful, making you happy just by looking at them. 

If you are a big Van Gogh fan, this is a mecca for you. There is no other place in the world where you can see so many authentic paintings from him in one place, including Van Gogh’s last painting ever made (Tree Roots). The Museum also does an excellent job of telling his story and highlighting mental health issues. 

The museum allows you to go as deep as you want. Whether you’re just here to see bright and colorful paintings or want to go more in-depth, you will have a fantastic time, regardless!

What is the best time to visit the Van Gogh Museum?

Make sure you visit wisely and plan your visit to ensure an enjoyable time in the museum and enhance your visit to Amsterdam. The best time to visit the Van Gogh Museum is early morning. Period. I recommend booking a 9 a.m. slot, or as close as possible to it, but no later than 10 a.m. A late afternoon visit is second to best if early is not an option.

Weekday visits are better than weekend visits. When you visit on a weekend, it will be busier. But also there are lots of cool things to do in Amsterdam during the weekend that you can not do during the week, like the Noordermarkt on Saturday and a Sunday Morning concert in the Concertgebouw.

Can I bring my kids to the Van Gogh Museum?

Yes, the Van Gogh Museum is very kid-friendly. The museum offers all kinds of activities. For example, free treasure hunts for toddlers and 6-12-year-olds, checklists for older kids, and even kids workshops (Saturdays only). This helps keep the little ones engaged, while it will also help develop an interest in art.

The Van Gogh Museum is indeed one of the best in Europe. It offers a unique look into the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh. With this guide full of useful tips, you can prepare for your visit and make the most of your time at this remarkable museum. Whether you’re a dedicated art lover or just curious, a visit to the Van Gogh Museum will be an enriching experience. 

Remember, you don’t need to rush. Take your time to enjoy the museum, soak in the beauty of Van Gogh’s art, and immerse yourself in his world.

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Find A Place To Stay In Amsterdam Near The Van Gogh Museum

Are You Travelling To The Van Gogh Museum?

I’d love to hear your thoughts: What is your favorite Van Gogh Painting? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and let’s start a conversation 💬.

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2 thoughts on “The Best Van Gogh Museum Tips For A Enjoyable Visit”

  1. Ger! Your posts are chock-full of really important information, and cleverly written too. Today, my traveling companion (who lives in another city) and I used your website/ links to book our GVB cards, and timed entries for Van Gogh and the Rijksmuseum. We look forward to trying the cafe at the Public Library too. If you’re there, we’ll buy you lunch or a coffee at least!

    Reply
    • That makes me so happy to read. And smart booking the timed entries, especially the Van Gogh sells out days, often weeks in advance. I can not stretch that enough. So many people get dissapointed. I’m glad you get a change to explore these two museums and the rest of Amsterdam. Sent me a private message or email with your travel dates and lets see if we can make a coffee or lunch happen!

      Reply

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