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The majority of the many millions of tourists who visit the Netherlands each year all have at least one thing in common: they each visit one or more of the many fine Dutch museums. And whilst these museums tend to be especially full on rainy days, it’s also common to see long queues forming outside some of the most celebrated, even when the sun is out. So, if you want to discover the best Dutch museums, then why not check out the top 5 most visited museums in the Netherlands in our list below?
1. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
If Vincent van Gogh had known just how popular his paintings would be one hundred years later, his life might have taken an entirely different turn. In 2012, almost 1.5 million people visited the Van Gogh Museum, which in addition to housing a permanent collection of his beautiful paintings, also organises regular exhibitions.
2. Anne Frank Museum, Amsterdam
The Diary of Anne Frank gave a personal voice to the holocaust, which is why it continues to strike a chord with both young and old alike. A visit to the Anne Frank Huis in Amsterdam provides a fascinating glimpse into daily life in the Secret Annex. Hardly surprising then that this famous museum attracted in excess of one million visitors last year!
3. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
It may have taken a while, but the Rijksmuseum is now fully re-opened. This means that visitors can admire both the renovated building and an impressive collection that includes the acclaimed ‘Night Watch’ by Rembrandt. The Rijksmuseum welcomes nearly 1 million visitors through its busy doors each year.
4. Hermitage, Amsterdam
Since it reopened in 2009, the Hermitage (a branch of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg) has been a top Dutch tourist attraction. Primarily dedicated to Russian art and culture, the Hermitage also exhibits temporary displays that have included works by Flemish painters, impressionists and Vincent van Gogh.
Even children that aren’t particularly fond of museums enjoy a visit to NEMO, the technology museum that encourages them to dabble in physics, chemistry, information technology, biology and behavioural science. In 2012 NEMO drew more than half a million visitors.
You might have noticed that the top 5 most visited museums in the Netherlands are all located in Amsterdam. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t any interesting museums outside of the Dutch capital. On the contrary – there are plenty of other Dutch museums that are well worth a visit, including the Open Air Museum in Arnhem, the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo (which can be conveniently combined with a trip to the breathtaking Hoge Veluwe National Park), the Naturalis in Leiden, the Museum of Sound and Vision in Hilversum, the Museon in the Hague and the Singer Museum in Laren. Go to museum.nl for a comprehensive list of museums in the Netherlands.
Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?