When you think of Amsterdam you usually think of Dam Square, perhaps the coffee shops, Heineken beer, and of course the Rijksmuseum showcasing the city’s well-known “I amsterdam” sign. But low and behold, just around the corner are a few other museums, one of which is the Van Gogh museum. With it’s newly renovated entrance, it’s quite the sight from the very first moment.
What you need to know about this museum, is that getting in is not so easy. I can’t speak for how it is on other days, but we happened to go on the first day that the new entrance was open, a sunday, making it even more chaotic. They have a Yellow line and a Green line, the Yellow for ticket holders without a time reservation, and the Green for those without tickets. I am not sure if it is possible to buy tickets for a specific day and time, but I presume this would be the best way to bypass the line.
We bought our tickets in advance, therefore stood in the Yellow line. At first it seemed that the Green line was shorter, but in fact, at the front, the Green line curved, whereas ours went straight for the ticket office. For every 15-20 ticket holders, they only allow 5 persons without tickets, making the Yellow line move even faster.
The museum itself is not very large, and you could go through it within an hour and a half (in detail). It includes some of Van Gogh’s early works, and shows the learning process of his painting career, which only begun at age 29. It’s possible to see many of his self-portraits, and other well-known paintings. My personal favourite in this museum was Almond Blossom, due to its soft colours, but bold details. The museum even showcases some paintings of artists who inspired Vincent Van Gogh, and those who were his friends.
Now the main question is: do you really want to wait outside in a long line? The 45-minute lineup in the cold and rain was well worth it, and we picked the right time of day to go in order to avoid standing longer. In the morning, the line was about three times longer than at 3:00pm when we arrived. If you are worried that you will not see everything between 3:30 and 5:00pm (current closing time of the museum), don’t, because this is not the Louvre that could take a full two days to see everything. If you move through the rooms and floors at a fair pace, you will be able to see all the pieces.
Hopefully that gives some insight to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, and convinces you to give it a try. Are there any other museums around the world you think are a must? Is there any lineup or ticket advice you can give to someone planning to go?