Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam – The Ultimate Guide
Tragic death and crazily expensive pictures. Countless myths make Vincent Van Gogh the first rock star in art history. Here you can find out everything about the beautiful Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
The new wing of the Van Gogh Museum - Photo: © hollandfoto.net
The Van Gogh Museum is an architectural feast for the eyes located directly at the Museumplein. With many originals, you can relive Vincent's exciting life story - from the first painting exercises to the tragic end.
Opening hours: 2 September - 27 October 2019: 9 am to 5 pm, Fridays: 9 am to 9 pm; 28 October - 22 December 2019: 9 am to 7 pm, Fridays and Saturdays: 9 am to 9 pm. Please note the exceptions to the opening hours (e.g. at Christmas or New Year).
Tip - Buy tickets in advance and skip the line
The line in front of the Van Gogh Museum is almost always incredibly long. 2 hours waiting time is not uncommon. It is the least crowded between 9:00 and 11:00 in the morning and after 3 pm. In any case: buy tickets online and skip the line.
It is not only the marvelous, colorful original paintings that make the Van Gogh Museum so unique: Hardly any other artist is so well known. Letters, brushes and paint tubes - the wonderful collection offers a comprehensive view of the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh. Read on and learn more:
- » Van Gogh Museum at a glance - Opening hours, prices and tickets
- » Building and Floor Plan - Orientation inside the Van Gogh Museum
- » The first rock star of art history - 10 facts about Vincent Van Gogh
- » Highlights of the collection - Overview of the most beautiful works
- » How do I get to the Van Gogh Museum? - Map with the best route
Which paintings hang in the museum and how much does a ticket cost? In our ultimate guide we answer your questions. In the first part, you'll find out how much time you should plan for a visit and how much the audio guide costs.
Your Tour Recommendations
Tickets, opening hours & prices - Van Gogh Museum
You should plan about two hours for a visit. Between 9 and 11 in the morning and after 3 p.m. is the least busy. Opening hours vary depending on the season. We have summarized the most important info for you.
The entrance hall with a view of the Museumplein - Photo: © hollandfoto.net
For adults, the entrance fee is 21 euros. For children and teenagers under 18 years the entrance is free. We recommend booking a time slot online. This way you are guaranteed access to the museum and avoid long waiting times.
Opening hours of the Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam
You can visit the Van Gogh Museum all year round from 9 am to 5 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays the museum is even open until 10 pm. In the high season between the beginning of April and the end of August, the museum is open until 9 pm. You can find the exact opening hours here.
Tip - Book a time slot and skip the line
Usually there is a very long line in front of the Van Gogh Museum (waiting time often more than 2 hours). If you book your ticket online, you can skip the line at the ticket office.
The Van Gogh Museum's multimedia audio guide costs 3€ and is available in 11 languages (including English). It is highly recommended as it shows many facets of Vincent that you would definitely miss without a guide.
Teamwork of the star architects: In the next part, you'll learn all about the museum's spectacular buildings. We also have a free floor plan for you.
Building and Floor Plan - Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam
Rietveld building (square) and Kurokawa wing (round). Two buildings together form the museum. They are connected by underground corridors and form a spacious home for Van Gogh's masterpieces.
Spectacular architecture - Van Gogh Museum - Photo: © Konstantin Tronin
On the right side you can see the exhibition wing (Kurokawa wing) and the entrance hall with the huge panoramic window. The ground floor and the first floor house the changing exhibitions of the museum. In the basement you will find the museum store and the underground access to the main building.
Floor plan for the Van Gogh Museum - free download
Entrances, Exits and Exhibitions - Navigate through the building with the official floor plan. Press this link to download the plan (PDF / 8,7 MB).
On the left you see the edgy main building (Rietveld building). It was designed by Gerrit Rietveld in 1973 and houses the permanent exhibition. On the first floor self-portraits and the most famous masterpieces are shown in chronological order.
Van Gogh's Masterpieces - Stunning Collection in the Main Building
Besides the main works of the master, in the main building you will also find many interesting exhibits such as drawings and letters. The art treasures are distributed over several floors and rooms on different themes:
0 - Ground Floor - Main building
Self portraits, timeline.
1 - First Floor - Main building
Van Gogh's Idols, Peasant Painters, Back to Basics, New Perspectives, Modern Art in Paris, Artist Friends, Flourishing, Dreams of Japan.
2 - Second Floor - Main building
A life in letters, Family treasures, Family, Artistic exchanges, Friends, Friends in Pont-Aven, Van Gogh at work, The illustrator Van Gogh.
3 - Third floor - Main building
Painting against all odds, Inspired nature, inspired by Van Gogh.
Read on. In the next part, you'll learn all about Van Gogh's exciting yet tragic life and his most beautiful works.
Van Gogh – The first rock star in art history
He laid the foundation for modern painting but sold almost no paintings during his lifetime. Van Gogh was the epitome of the tragic hero. And then there was that thing with his ear...
Self-Portrait - Paris, 1887 - Photo: © Van-Gogh-Museum
Are his wonderful paintings products of his illness, and why did he commit suicide? Art historians and fans have been asking these questions for over 100 years. A visit to the museum and our 10 facts will help you get to know Vincent a little better:
- Incredibly expensive artworks - Back in the 1980s, a collector paid more than 40 million euros for a sunflower painting. You can admire a whole series of them at the Van Gogh Museum.
- Van Gogh only became famous after his death - He was often short on funds and had no money for models. That's why Vincent painted so many self-portraits.
- It was only at the age of 27 that Van Gogh began drawing - Before that, for example, he tried his hand as an art dealer and priest.
- Vincent was a college dropout - Van Gogh wanted to be a preacher - just like his father. After a short time, however, he discontinued his theological studies. Just like his art studies. Drawing by textbook wasn't his thing.
- Monet, Gaugin, Van Gogh - a top-class group of artists - Did you know that all these important painters knew each other? Van Gogh even lived with Gaugin for a while.
- Brotherly love - Theo and Vincent - The only reason why we know so much about Van Gogh's life today is that he wrote so many letters to his brother Theo. Theo moved Vincent to paint and supported Vincent all his life.
- The thing with the ear - Van Gogh had mental problems. One day he threatened his roommate Gaugin with a knife and then cut off a piece of his own ear.
- The genius in the institution - After the ear incident, Van Gogh was admitted to a psychiatric institution in Paris. In 1889 he created one of his most beautiful works there - "The Starry Night." Today, many people see the wacky brushstroke of the painting as an expression of his mental state.
- Tragic end by suicide - After his time in psychiatry, Van Gogh lived in an artists' village near Paris. He was very depressed. Van Gogh shot himself in the chest on 27 July 1890. He survived at first but died two days later.
- Forerunner for modern painting - Spontaneous brushstrokes and intense colors. Van Gogh painted things not as they really were, but as he felt them. This inspired countless painters after him, and a new style of art arose - "Expressionism."
Quite a wild life, isn't it? Perhaps it was precisely because of this turbulent background that Van Gogh painted such stunning pictures. There' s something to look at again in the next part: We're introducing you to our favorite works at the Van Gogh Museum.
Van-Gogh-Museum - The highlights of the collection
The museum manages a huge treasure of more than 200 paintings and 400 drawings. A scientific treatise could be written on each individual work. We do exactly the opposite.
Almond Blossom - Saint-Rémy, February 1890 - Photo: © Van-Gogh-Museum
Just beautiful pictures and a short description. Check out our favorite works - enjoy the powerful colors and wild brush strokes. Of course, we don't want to keep you from getting more information about a painting - this is best done at the Van Gogh Museum.
The first picture at the top shows one of Vincent's favorite motifs: lush almond blossoms in front of a blue sky. Van Gogh was inspired by Japanese artists for this painting.
Wheatfield under Thunderclouds
This impressive painting was painted by Van Gogh shortly before his death. Sadness and extreme loneliness - in his works Van Gogh tried to express what he could not say with words.
Wheatfield - Auvers, July 1890 - Photo: © Van-Gogh-Museum
Take a good look at that picture. Are you touched by the imposing force of nature? Do you understand how the painter felt? Hardly any artist could transfer emotions to the canvas as well as Vincent Van Gogh.
It's hard to believe this picture was painted in 1887. Who dared to paint like that? The artists of this time were actually concerned with anatomy and lifelike representation. Vincent Van Gogh didn't care.
Skull, Paris in May 1887 - Photo: © Van-Gogh-Museum
This is one of our favorite pictures because it shows how strong and stylish his art was. Look at pictures of Jean-Michel Basquiat. With a little imagination, the skull could be painted by him, just 80 years later. Van Gogh is rightly regarded as a pioneer of modern painting.
Tip - Hang a Van Gogh in your living room
The Van Gogh Museum has a shop where you can buy faithful copies of Van Gogh's masterpieces. The reproductions are a little more expensive, but they look great. You can buy the pictures in the online shop or directly at the museum.
Of course, the works are most effective in their original form. Perfectly illuminated and in all its colorful splendor. In the next part, you will find our map with the best route to the Van Gogh Museum.
How do I get to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam?
The Van Gogh Museum is located at the Museumplein. The name says it all. At the museum square, there are many museums, such as the Rijksmuseum or the Diamond Museum. The best way to get there is on foot, by bicycle or by tram.
The route to the Van Gogh Museum - Click to activate
Address: Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam
By foot: From the main station it is quite a distance to the Van Gogh Museum. You walk about 40 minutes. The route, in the picture above, is gorgeous and leads you over the three main canals.
By bike: If the 3.5 km are too far for you to walk, rent a bike at one of the many bike rental stations in Amsterdam.
By tram: The Van Gogh Museum is only 20 minutes away by tram. From the central station, you can take the 2 and the 5. Get off at the stop "Van Baerlestraat." Here you can buy discounted tram tickets.
Exciting sights in the surrounding area
If you're here anyway and still have some time, check out the area around the Van Gogh Museum - it's full of exciting highlights: Rijksmuseum, Leidseplein, Vondelpark - more information under Sights in Amsterdam.
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