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A Guide to Explore the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam in 2 hours!  

The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam is the largest museum in the city and boasts a collection of over 8,000 artworks!

The museum takes you through Dutch history from the 16th and 17th centuries, which takes at least five hours.

Visitors on a time crunch wanting to explore the Rijksmuseum can do so in two hours!

Read further to find a planned schedule for a complete exploration of the Rijksmuseum in two hours and discover the museum’s highlights. 

A schedule to explore the Rijksmuseum in two hours only!

Exploring such a massive museum in 2 hours can be difficult if you don’t know where to begin.

Here is a schedule that will help you cover the best in the 2-hour exploration journey of the museum!  

1. The Gallery of Honors 

The Gallery of Honors
Image: Victorianweb.org

We recommend you begin your trip at the Gallery of Honors on the second floor of the Rijksmuseum.

It is the most famous room in the museum and gets crowded very quickly.

Rijksmuseum paintings by the most famous artists, including Rembrandt, Jan Steen, Hals, and Johannes Vermeer, are at the Gallery of Honors.

You can also see the Night Watch painting at the end of the Gallery of Honors.

It is the most famous painting at Rijksmuseum, and an informative guide is placed on the wall beside the painting to let you know more about its history.

Even though the Rijksmuseum Vermeer exhibition ended in 2023, his six gorgeous paintings still displayed in the Gallery of Honors are a must-see.

It is a must to observe all the paintings in the Gallery of Honors for as long as you need, as they are the most important pieces of art in the Rijksmuseum. 

Spend some time at the Great Hall, at the entrance of the Gallery of Honors, as it is the most beautiful room in the Rijksmuseum. 

The stained glass windows in the room are a treat to the eyes! 

2. The Golden Age Rijksmuseum Exhibition 

The Golden Age Rijksmuseum Exhibition
Image: Bruno Coelho (Canva)

The 17th century was known as the Golden Age for the Dutch, as it was a prosperous time for artists.

The Rijksmuseum has the biggest Golden Age collection, with around thirty galleries, which you cannot cover in two hours. 

Some of the major highlights you must see in this collection are: 

  • Rembrandt’s self-portrait and other works in room 2.8 
  • Paintings by the Flemish artists in room 2.4
  • Hugo de Groot in room 2.5
  • Henry Avercamp’s artwork on display in room 2.6

3. The Dollhouses by Portnella Oortman

The Dollhouses by Portnella Oortman
Image: Wikipedia.org

The Dollhouses by Portnella Oortman are a must-see display on the second floor of the Rijksmuseum.

The houses are in room 2.20.

Even though they look like toy houses that kids play with, they are made of the most expensive materials available in the 17th century. 

The houses hold miniature porcelain cups from China and other intricate furniture made by local artists. 

They are a replica of their owner’s house, and the women of the house used to have these made for their collection. 

It is a great opportunity to dive into the history and lives of wealthy Dutch merchants in the past while observing the details of the dollhouses. 

Children will enjoy seeing the Dollhouse collection at Rijksmuseum Netherlands. 

4. A Quick Stop at the Rijksmuseum Library and the First-floor  

A Quick Stop at the Rijksmuseum Library and the First-floor
Image: Dorian2013 from Getty Images (Canva)

The Rijksmuseum Cuypers library is a must-visit spot in the museum, as it is famous for its huge art history collection.

You can spend around 10 minutes here, exploring the interiors and books at the library.

We also recommend you walk through rooms 1.13, 1.14, and 1.15 on the first floor of the Rijksmuseum before entering the library.

They have breathtaking landscape paintings from the Romantic and Expressionist art periods.

The Van Gogh Self-portrait in room 1.18 is also worth seeing, with its beautiful colors and deep meaning. 

5. The Asian Pavillion

The Asian Pavillion
Image: Archello.com

The Asian art collection at Rijksmuseum is a unique collection of sculptures, jewelry, and more from Asia.

The Pavillion is a must-see for history buffs and is a great way to learn about the culture of Asian countries through the artwork.

The most famous artifacts in the collection are the two Japanese Guardian statues, which have deep religious meanings.

You can also find holy statues of the Hindu Gods in the Asian art collection at the Pavillion. 

6. Hop into the Rijksmuseum Cafe 

Hop into the Rijksmuseum Cafe
Image: Tastingbites.blogspot.com

End your enjoyable trip with a relaxing visit to the Rijksmuseum Cafe.

This is the perfect place for a small snack with a cup of coffee before you continue your Amsterdam trip to other museums.

You can also have an affordable lunch at the cafe, with any alcoholic drink of your choice. 

Rijksmuseum Tickets for a 2-hour Exploration

The Rijksmuseum standard entry ticket allows visitors to access the museum until the end of the day, from your booking time for €24.

Tourists on a strict budget can choose this ticket and use the schedule mentioned above to explore the museum in two hours. 

The Rijksmuseum ticket for the group guided tour has a 1.5 hours duration and allows you to explore all exhibitions with a professional guide by your side for €45.

The guide will take you through the most important artworks in the museum, and you don’t need to worry about checking the time throughout the trip.

You will also learn more about the history behind each artwork on this tour. 

We recommend you choose the guided tour ticket instead of the standard ticket if you want to make the most of your visit to the Rijksmuseum.

This guided tour is also recommended for first-time visitors and history buffs as the guides provide context to all the artwork you will see! 

The guide’s narrative enhances your visit by making it interactive and engaging.

If you do not have enough time to stand in long lines, you can choose the guided tour with reserved entry access for €50.

Please note: Check for age-based discounts when purchasing your ticket to save more money! 

Other Must-see Highlights at the Rijksmuseum 

The Rijksmuseum is full of beautiful pieces of artwork, and here are some pieces you can check out if you finish exploring the popular parts of the museum early.

1. Naval Ship and Weapon Display

One exciting display at the Rijksmuseum is the Naval and Weapon display, set up by the Department of the Navy. 

The display holds many real-life ship replicas, which helped construct the actual vessel for transport across the seas. 

You can see various replicas of figureheads, anchors, steam engines, canons, and more. 

We recommend this exhibition for tourists traveling with children and engineers!

One of the biggest ship models, known as the William Rex in room 2.15 is extremely popular among tourists. 

2. FK 23 Bantam Aircraft

The FK 23 Bantam is a famous aircraft that was used during the first World War!

You can see a massive replica of the aircraft in room 3.2 in the Rijksmuseum, designed by Frits Koolhoven.

You feel like you have stepped into the past when watching this model, even though it is just made of wood. 

A fun fact about the FK 23 Bantam is that it could fly at 220 kilometers per hour as a fighter plane.

3. Delft blue- Delftware

Drawing inspiration from Chinese artwork, the Dutch began making similar ceramics with intricate patterns and delicate material.

The Rijksmuseum has a stunning selection of pots, ceramic tiles, and more on display.

Each ornament is decorated with scenery, flowers, and other patterns, only using shades of blue on a white surface.

You can purchase a household item with a similar design and pattern to take home from the Rijksmuseum souvenir store! 

The most famous items in this collection are the gourd-shaped vases and a plaque of the Gaal family.  

4. Rijksmuseum Gardens

The Rijksmuseum has a beautiful garden, a fun, relaxing spot and a continuation of the art in the museum. 

They have two beautiful reflecting pools and well-maintained flowering plants which give it a magical look when they bloom. 

It is great for a nice stroll after a meal at the Rijksmuseum and a picturesque photography spot! 

FAQs on how to explore the Rijksmuseum in two hours

1. How many hours do you need to explore the Rijksmuseum?

You need around four to five hours to explore the Rijksmuseum completely. You can also explore the Rijksmuseum in two hours if you only explore the famous exhibits. 

2. How long is the guided tour of the Rijksmuseum? 

The guided tour of the Rijksmuseum takes around 1.5 hours for €45. 

3. What is the best time of the day to visit the Rijksmuseum?

You should visit the museum as soon as it opens at 9 am. The crowd enters after 11 pm. You can also visit between 3 pm and 5 pm for less crowds on weekdays. 

4. What are some highlights of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam that all visitors should see?

Some must-see artworks at the Rijksmuseum are The Rijksmuseum Night Watch Painting, Dollhouses, The Milkmaid by Vermeer, and more. 

5. Which rooms should I cover to explore the Rijksmuseum in two hours?

You should walk through the entire second floor of the Rijksmuseum. Spend a longer time at the Gallery of Honors for the best experience. The Asian Pavillion is also a must-visit. 

6. What is the most famous work at the Rijksmuseum?

The Night Watch by Rembrandt Van Rijn is the most famous painting at the Rijksmuseum. You can see the painting at the Night Watch Gallery, connected to the Gallery of Honors. 

7. What is the ticket price to visit Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Netherlands?

The standard Rijksmuseum ticket for entry costs €24 for adults 19 to 99 years. Children 18 years and below can visit for free.

Featured Image: Yasonya (Canva)

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