4 Amsterdam Attractions that are Worth the Wait
Marijuana and sex are likely some of the first things that jump to mind when most people think of Amsterdam. Of course, this is not without good reason. Amsterdam’s well-known Red Light District and liberal laws for soft drugs beckon people both young and old to the city. But Amsterdam attractions are more than their stereotypes. The Dutch capital is home to culturally-rich institutions so well-visited that at times it is difficult to get into them, let alone look around. With a little planning and determination, however, visiting these museums is well worth your time, effort, and occasional frustration. I’m all for going off the beaten path, but Amsterdam’s most popular museums are worth it.
This museum is not only the most-visited museum in the capital city but also in all of the country. Two and a half million people visited the museum in 2014 alone. Although the Rijksmuseum is huge, it is still a good idea to plan ahead in order to avoid the crowds. According to its website, April, May, and August are the busiest months during which you may wait 20-30 minutes to buy tickets. Approaching this museum during the off-season allows you to spend more time in the building rather than outside of it. If you’re a museum buff, plan to spend the whole day at the Rijksmuseum. Its massive collection focuses on Dutch art from the Middle Ages to the present as well as other European and Asian art. The eclectic mix and range of works available is incredible, intriguing, and you’ll be glad you braved those crowds.
Van Gogh Museum
Each year, more than one and a half million people visit the Van Gogh Museum, which houses a collection ranging from unfinished works to spectacular masterpieces. The museum is currently expanding which is certainly necessary. When my boyfriend and I visited during the off-season, we waited in line for half an hour for afternoon tickets. To avoid the wait, you can purchase tickets online. While the exhibition is comprehensive and well-displayed, the crowds in the museum are almost unbearable even in the off-season. Waiting to see almost any painting up close is a test of patience due to the sheer amount of visitors. My advice? If you are interested in Van Gogh, plan ahead and brave the crowds. If not, consider spending your time elsewhere as you may end up conflating your frustrations with the chaotic setup with your opinion of the artist’s works.
Anne Frank House
Since this small institution attracts over one million visitors annually, determined museum-goers must plan ahead by either booking tickets in advance or getting in line early. And by early, I mean an hour before the museum opens. For us, getting in line an hour early got us into the museum shortly after it opened, although we were behind about a hundred people (in the off-season). Despite its crowds, the Anne Frank House is truly worth the wait. When I visited, people respectfully and thoughtfully flowed through the house, even forming a line without being told to in the most narrow parts. The reverent visitors and the inherent impact of this site make the Anne Frank House a valuable experience among the Amsterdam attractions.
“I Amsterdam” Letters
Although not a museum, the “I Amsterdam” letters behind the Rijksmuseum are popular with tourists. They provide a perfect photo opportunity as people constantly jostle for a photo with the 6-foot-tall and 77-foot-long slogan. Other “I Amsterdam” letters are scattered throughout the city, with the one set residing at the Amsterdam Airport Schipol and a smaller version at the Amsterdam Museum. While the slogan originally started as marketing for local businesses and organizations, the “I Amsterdam” letters have been taken up and supported by the community as a whole. While visiting Amsterdam, I sensed that it is a city where everyone belongs. The “I Amsterdam” slogan represents the city’s spirit. So go ahead and brave the crazy amounts of tourists to get your picture with the letters that speak to Amsterdam’s soul.
4 Amsterdam Attractions that are Worth the Wait. Have you traveled to Amsterdam? We’d like to hear your tips and advice. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.