The Rijksmuseum, or the National Museum, is the most important museum in the Netherlands, and it houses the largest collection of paintings from the 17th century Dutch Golden Age. All of the Old Masters are present and accounted for, including Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals.
Since 2003, the museum has undergone a long period of extensive renovation, which won’t be concluded till 2013. Until then, the exhibits will be located in the Philips Wing, the only area of the museum that is open to the public.
The main draw of the Rijksmuseum is The Night Watch, one of Rembrandt Van Rijn’s most celebrated masterpieces. It is temporarily on display in the Philips Wing, together with several other famous works of the Dutch master, including The Jewish Bride and several portraits.
Other works on display include Johannes Vermeer’s The Little Street, The Love Letter and The Milkmaid; Frans Hals’ The Jolly Drinker and several portraits; and Jan Steen’s The Feast of Saint Nicholas. Also on display is the metal stern piece of the HMS Royal Charles, the English ship that was captured by the Dutch in the raid on the Medway.
Tip: Try to visit the museum on a weekday and as early as possible – lines can get quite long on weekends and especially during the summer. You can avoid the lines altogether if you buy your tickets online (only credit card payments are accepted and you’ll need to print your tickets).
For free: The Renaissance and Baroque Gardens of the museum are open to the public, free of admission. Visitors may wander around and view the impressive sculptures, and impeccably manicured rose bushes and hedges. Open daily from 9 am to 6 pm; closed on weekends.
Museum Location: The main building faces Museumplein, but the entrance to the Philips Wing (and the only current entrance) is Jan Luijkenstraat 1.
Opening Hours: Open daily from 9 am to 6 pm; closed on January 1st
Admission: Adults – € 12.50; children under 18 – free
Official Website: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en