Top 5 things to do in Amsterdam for Art Lovers

Amsterdam is an art and culture lover’s dream destination, with more museums and galleries per square kilometre than any other city in the world. The city’s contribution to the world of art is well known, with incredibly important artists like Van Gogh, Rembrandt and many others having made their stamp on world history from here in Amsterdam. In addition to loads of world-class museums and galleries, Amsterdam also has a number of fantastic annual events for those interested in art. 

Here, we take you through the top 5 things to do in Amsterdam for art lovers… 

amsterdam light festival

Amsterdam Light Festival 

The Amsterdam Light Festival is one of the world’s most innovative and beautiful exhibitions of contemporary art, against the backdrop of Amsterdam’s stunning canals. This increasingly popular annual event sees artists from around the world descend on Amsterdam and exhibit their thought-provoking and inspiring light installations on bridges and canals across the UNESCO heritage site. For lovers of contemporary art, getting onboard one of Starboard Boats’ Amsterdam Light Festival cruises will be the perfect way to enjoy the Amsterdam Light Festival 2020. Sitting back in comfort on a heated, covered boat with a complimentary glass of Glühwein is the perfect way to enjoy seeing these art installations as Amsterdam’s canal belt becomes one of the world’s most picturesque living galleries! The 2020 event’s theme has been announced as ‘Disrupt!’ and promises to be the best yet – last year Starboard Boats welcomed over 2000 people onto their boat to enjoy the Amsterdam Light Festival, and this year are hoping to welcome even more! 

Rijksmuseum - the Dutch national museum

Rijksmuseum – Visit the Dutch national museum and see the masterpieces of the Golden Age!

The Rijksmuseum (the Dutch national museum) is home to some of the world’s finest exhibitions and host to some of the Netherland’s most historically and culturally important artwork. For those interested in the Dutch Golden Age (the period of time during which Amsterdam in particular grew, thrived and flourished), the Rijksmuseum demonstrates the best art from this period against a fascinating historical context. The country’s most famous artists are all exhibited here amongst the incredible surroundings of the museum’s awe-inspiring architecture. Rijksmuseum tickets are available here

Van Gogh Museum – See the works of the country’s most famous painter!

Starry Night Painting

A trip to Amsterdam wouldn’t be complete for any art lover than checking out the paintings of the most famous Dutch painter of them all – Vincent Van Gogh. Alongside the Amsterdam Light Festival, Van Gogh is one of the art highlights of the city. This beautiful museum exhibits all of Van Gogh’s best loved and most recognisable works and is a must-do for many people visiting the city. Given the museum’s popularity, it is best to buy Van Gogh museum tickets in advance to avoid the queues and get the best possible value. Buy Van Gogh museum tickets here

Enjoy thought-provoking and contemporary art at Amsterdam’s best Modern Art Museums 

In addition to the huge contributions of Dutch painters throughout past centuries, the country (and Amsterdam in particular) has also had a major impact on contemporary art and the city is home to a selection of excellent museums exhibiting modern art. Museums like the Stedelijk or Moco and numerous smaller galleries show ever-changing exhibitions of world-class modern and contemporary art throughout the year. If you’ve seen enough of the Golden Age, or fancy something a little more thought-provoking or unusual, check out Amsterdam’s modern art museums! 

See the next big thing – Check out up-and-coming talent at pop-up exhibitions and residencies! 

Amsterdam is a creative city that has produced top-class artists throughout history, and this continues strongly to the present day. If you want to see some of the city’s up-and-coming artists and new talent, Amsterdam has a number of pop-up exhibitions and residencies throughout the year, across the whole city. Art is becoming more accessible to a wider audience thanks to the exhibition of art on the street, during festivals, and even in nightclubs at a number of more experimental venues such as De School and OT301.

Although Amsterdam is a popular destination for art lovers, all visitors to the city should really try and check out a gallery or museum or get involved in an art event – it really is a great way to get a feel for the city’s culture and history, and with brilliant interactive events like the Amsterdam Light Festival (check out Starboard Boats’ Amsterdam Light Festival Canal Cruise), or pop up events at the numerous smaller galleries, it’s an aspect of Amsterdam life that everyone should get involved in.