Amsterdam Art Marvels: Rijksmuseum vs Van Gogh Museum!

Amsterdam, a paradise for history and art lovers, houses the world-famous Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.

Rijksmuseum is the National Museum of Amsterdam and has a diverse collection of Dutch art spanning over eight centuries.

The Van Gogh Museum houses the world’s largest Vincent Van Gogh painting, drawing, and letter collection! 

Read further to compare Rijksmuseum vs Van Gogh Museum and find the best art museum. 

Don’t forget to check out our personal favorite among the two!    

Which has the Best Artistic Display in Amsterdam? 

Rijksmuseum vs Van Gogh Museum – Our Recommendation 

Which has the Best Artistic Display in Amsterdam
Image: Flowmagazine.com

The Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum have exceptional art displays in Amsterdam.

We recommend first-time visitors plan to visit both of the museums, as they are only five minutes away from each other.

Visitors who do not have enough time to explore both museums should visit the Rijksmuseum, as it has a bigger art collection and is the National Art Museum of the Netherlands.

Rijksmuseum also has a Van Gogh art display, ensuring you are not missing out on anything. 

Visitors who cannot spend 4-5 hours in the museum should choose the Van Gogh Museum, as it takes only 2.5 hours to explore all of Van Gogh’s works here. 

Rijksmuseum vs Van Gogh Museum: Comparison at a Glance! 

Here are some informative facts about the museums you must know before visiting!

RijksmuseumVan Gogh Museum
Location: AmsterdamLocation: Amsterdam
Number of artworks on display: 8,000Number of works on display: 1,300
Art from years 1200 to 2000   Art from the 19th century 
Timings: 9 am to 5 pmTimings: 9 am to 6 pm
Most famous artists in the Museum: Rembrandt van Rijn Most famous artist in the Museum: Vincent Van Gogh
Ticket price: €24Ticket price: €22
Buy this ticketBuy this ticket 

Art Collection- Rijksmuseum vs Van Gogh Museum  

The Rijksmuseum is one of the largest art museums in Amsterdam and has the biggest collection of over 8,000 artworks on display.

You can see diverse forms of artwork from the Dutch colonies dating back to the 1200s. 

The museum boasts an impressive collection, and being the National Museum of Amsterdam, it continues to build its collection. 

The Rijksmuseum collection includes

  • 17th-century Dutch Paintings
  • Paintings by Rembrandt and his school
  • Work by Hercules Serger
  • Paintings by Johannes Vermeer
  • Navy model and armor display
  • Paintings from the Netherlands by Flemish artists
  • Paintings by Van Gogh
  • An Asian Collection, and much more!

The Night Watch, by Rembrandt, is one of the most famous paintings in the museum and a must-see!

They also organize temporary exhibitions, and the Rijksmuseum Vermeer exhibition in 2023 was the most famous collection displayed in the museum. 

You can see four paintings by Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, which will permanently reside in the museum. 

It is a great place for art lovers to discover the artistic history of many countries under one roof.

The Van Gogh Museum is a tribute to the famous artist Vincent Van Gogh and houses the biggest collection of work done by him.

The museum has around 200 paintings, 400 sketches, and 700 handwritten letters to Vincent’s brother.

The pieces in the museum are organized chronologically, allowing visitors to explore Van Gogh’s life journey and struggles.

The Van Gogh Museum is the only place in the world where you can see famous paintings like The Sunflowers, Van Gogh’s Self Portraits, and The Potato Eaters!

You can also enjoy paintings by French painter Andries Bonger and some French and Japanese Prints that Van Gogh enjoyed collecting. 

Art Collection: Rijksmuseum vs Van Gogh Museum 

The Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum have spectacular art displays and are worth visiting. 

The Rijksmuseum is perfect for visitors who enjoy looking at diverse mediums of artwork and sculptures.

It also has a larger collection on display and visitors can explore the artistic history of many countries.

You can also see some Vincent Van Gogh works at the Rijksmuseum! 

The Van Gogh Museum, on the other hand, mainly focuses on works by Van Gogh and his personal life.

It is an excellent spot for artists who admire Van Gogh’s work. 

Overall, it is difficult to conclude which museum has a better art collection as the choice depends on your expectations.

Ticket Prices: Rijksmuseum vs Van Gogh Museum

Without an entry ticket, you cannot enter and explore the Rijksmuseum or Van Gogh Museum.

The standard entry Rijksmuseum ticket allows access to all permanent exhibitions in the museum for a day for €24.

The Van Gogh Museum ticket provides you complete access to the permanent and temporary exhibitions in the museum for €22. 

If you want a comprehensive experience in Amsterdam, purchase the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Canal Cruise combo ticket

The ticket includes a fully guided tour of museums by a local guide and a canal cruise with an audio guide for €159. 

When comparing the ticket prices of the Rijksmuseum vs Van Gogh Museum, the Van Gogh Museum tickets are cheaper, but both are affordable.

It also gives access to all the exhibitions, while you cannot view the temporary Rijksmuseum exhibitions with the Rijksmuseum entry ticket. 

Don’t forget to check for age-based discounts on these tickets! 

Features of Rijksmuseum 

The Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum have spectacular art pieces, making them a sought-after destination in Amsterdam. 

Here are some of the best rooms at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam! 

1. Gallery of Honor

The Gallery of Honor is the main exhibition room in Rijksmuseum, attracting the most tourists on a visit.

The Gallery, as the name suggests, displays the most famous paintings in the museum.

The architecture of the Gallery is what makes the paintings stand out, as it has navy blue walls and flooring, with great lighting.

A huge chandelier is at the center of the room, surrounded by beautifully painted walls.

The Gallery of Honor leads to the Night Watch Gallery, which was made specifically to display Rembrandt’s famous paintings.

2. Asian Pavillion 

Another famous exhibition room in the Rijksmuseum is the Asian Pavillion, which has simple interiors and walls made of glass and sandstone.

The only artwork on display in the Pavillion is the huge Asian collection from Japan, China, Indonesia, India, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Some items in the Pavillion are statues, jewelry, prints from Japan, Holy temple items, and much more. 

3. The Great Hall

The Great Hall
Image: Gabriel Albu’s Images (Canva)

Like the Gallery of Honors, the Great Hall is another architectural masterpiece in the Rijksmuseum.

The hall is lined with beautiful colored glass windows, walls painted with intricate designs, and paintings.

Many sculptures are scattered around the room, acting like pillars to ensure people don’t bump into each other.

The hall’s flooring has inlaid mosaic designs, making the Great Hall an artistic marvel to behold! 

4. Rijksmuseum Gardens

The Gardens surrounding the Rijksmuseum act as an extension of the museum, with many sculptures on display.

It is a relaxing picnic spot with beautiful pathways and many flowering plants.

The Rijksmuseum Garden is a romantic spot, and the well-maintained greenery makes it perfect for photography. 

5. Rijks Restaurant

The Michelin-star Rijks Restaurant is located in the Philip Wing of the Rijksmuseum and serves the most authentic Dutch Cuisine in Amsterdam.

The Restaurant has welcoming interiors with floor-to-ceiling windows and a kitchen island counter, allowing guests to watch their meals being prepared in front of them.

It is an excellent spot for foodies and a must-stop restaurant for those visiting Rijksmuseum for a date! 

6. Rijksmuseum Cuypers Library

A paradise for book and art lovers is the Cuypers Library at Rijksmuseum, one of Amsterdam’s oldest and largest libraries of art history.

You can explore the library for free with a Rijksmuseum entry ticket and explore over 450,000 books and other resources!

The library is perfectly symmetrical and has a beautiful skylight for a ceiling, with white walls to make it appear bigger and brighter.

The Rijksmuseum also has a souvenir shop where you can purchase trinkets to remember your trip! 

Features of Van Gogh Museum 

The Van Gogh Museum displays many beautiful artworks.

Here are some rooms you must visit at the Van Gogh Museum for the best experience! 

1. The Entrance 

The Van Gogh Museum has a transparent wall and ceiling entrance, which makes it look open and bright on all days.

It connects the Rietveld Building and Kurokawa Wing and is the first thing you see in the museum.

It is an excellent photography spot, and many conferences happen here in the Van Gogh Museum. 

This entrance is designed by the famous Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa. 

2. The Rietveld Building

The Rietveld Building is the main building of the Van Gogh Museum, and most of the permanent exhibitions are in this building. 

Gerrit Rietveld designed the space in 1964 using geometric shapes and open spaces to make the room look bigger than it is. 

The building has a beautiful glass skylight and a huge central staircase. 

3. The Kurokawa Wing 

The Kurokawa Wing 
Image: Wikipedia.org

Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa designed the famous wing of the Van Gogh Museum.

It is the most beautiful wing in the museum, as its architecture and natural elements are well-balanced.

The room is asymmetrical and creates a magical view for all visitors. 

4. Le Tambourin Cafe and Restaurant in Van Gogh Museum

Located in the Rietveld building, Le Tambourin Cafe serves refreshments and snacks.

The cafe also has many vegetarian and vegan options and serves delicious beverages. 

All the dishes on the menu are made from local and organic ingredients and are a must-try! 

5. Van Gogh Museum Library

The Vincent Van Gogh Museum library houses books and publications on visual art from 1800 to the 1920s.

Most of these books were owned by Vincent Van Gogh and his family, and you can learn about his techniques from them! 

You must view the contents in the library itself, as the books cannot be taken home.

You must also book an appointment to visit the Van Gigh library. 

Rijksmuseum vs Van Gogh Museum: Which Art Museum has Better Features?

The Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum both have unique features that make them worth visiting.

The Rijksmuseum has better architecture and a Michelin-star restaurant, which makes it stand out more than the Van Gogh Museum.

The Cuypers Library is always open to the public, whereas the Van Gogh Library needs a prior appointment to visit. 

Hence, when we compare the features of the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum is a clear winner! 

Rijksmuseum vs Van Gogh Museum: Popularity & Crowd Expectations

Even though the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum are five minutes away, they attract different crowd levels throughout the year.

The Rijksmuseum received over 2.7 million visitors in 2023.

The Van Gogh Museum receives more than 1.3 million visitors annually, making it slightly less crowded than the Rijksmuseum.

Both these museums receive maximum visitors in the summer months of July and August.

Amsterdam is the least crowded in March, April, September, and November, and this is the best time to visit the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.

To avoid the crowd, we recommend you visit both museums as soon as they open in the morning or after 3 pm. 

When we compare the popularity of the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum is an obvious winner as more tourists visit it in Amsterdam. 

Opening Hours: Rijksmuseum vs Van Gogh Museum 

The Rijksmuseum is open from 9 am to 5 pm on all days of the week.

The Rijksmuseum Cafe and Shop are accessible from 9 am to 5 pm with an entry ticket, and you can enter without an entry ticket from 5 pm to 6 pm.

Rijks Restaurant is open for lunch service from Wednesday to Sunday and for dinner from Tuesday to Sunday.

The Van Gogh Museum timings change every month, so check the official website before planning a visit.

In January 2024, the museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm.

In February 2024, the Van Gogh Museum will be open from 9 am to 5 pm on all days except 17 to 25 February, when it will remain open till 6 pm. 

Check the official Van Gogh Museum website for timing details from March 2024. 

Location: Rijksmuseum vs Van Gogh Museum

The Rijksmuseum stands in the Museumplein area in Amsterdam, Netherlands. 

It stands in the Museum quarter of Amsterdam and is within walking distance from the Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum.

Address: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands. Get Directions

The Van Gogh Museum is in the same Museumplein area as the Rijksmuseum.

It is a five-minute walk from the Rijksmuseum.

Address: Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands. Get Directions

Both of these museums are easily accessible by public transportation and have good parking spaces close by. 

Rijksmuseum vs Van Gogh Museum: Which is Best?

Choosing the best art museum between the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum depends on the artwork you want to see.

The Rijksmuseum offers diverse work, from paintings to sculpture, printing, and many more mediums.

The Van Gogh Museum has a limited display, only from Vincent Van Gogh’s artistic collection and his works.

You can also see some of Van Gogh’s work at the Rijksmuseum!

Hence, we recommend the Rijksmuseum as the best option for first-time visitors. 

FAQs for Rijksmuseum vs Van Gogh Museum 

1. Is the Van Gogh Museum the same as the Rijksmuseum?

No, the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum are different museums in Amsterdam. You can visit both museums, as they are only five minutes away from each other. The Rijksmuseum has six paintings by Van Gogh. 

2. Which museum in Amsterdam has the best Van Gogh paintings?

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam houses the biggest Van Gogh painting collection in the world.

3. What Van Gogh paintings are in the Rijksmuseum?

The Van Gogh paintings at Rijksmuseum are Van Gogh’s Self Portrait, Portrait of Dr. Gatchet, Farming Village at Twilight, and more. 

4. Between the Rijksmuseum vs Van Gogh Museum, which can I explore sooner?

You can explore the Van Gogh Museum in around 2.5 hours. The Rijksmuseum would take a minimum of 4 hours to explore entirely. 

5. Does the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum have better dining options?

The Rijksmuseum has the Rijks Restaurant, which is a one-star Michelin restaurant. It has better food than the Van Gogh Cafe. 

6. Among the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, which has more artworks on display? 

The Rijksmuseum has more artworks on display than the Van Gogh Museum. The Rijksmuseum has 8,000 works, whereas the Van Gogh Museum has 1,300 art pieces. 

7. Can I purchase a combined Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum ticket?  

Yes, you can purchase a Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum combo ticket for €159. It offers a guided tour of both museums and also allows you to ride the Canal Cruise.

Featured Image: Cascoly (Canva)

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