Top 5 inexpensive museums of Amsterdam
What usually comes to mind when thinking of Amsterdam is no doubt rich nightlife, plenty of coffee shops, dozens of bicycles and a vast number of canals cutting the whole city into picturesque sections. Still, what you may not know is that Amsterdam boasts well over 50 different museums, ranging from world-famous wonders to locally-themed gems. Still, if you’d like to explore the collections of the most renowned places, like Stedelijk Museum or Rijksmuseum, you can purchase an advantageous museum card which entitles you to visit over 400 museum in the whole Netherlands, 34 of which are available in Amsterdam alone; the card is valid for one year, so you may consider that option if you expect to be a more frequent visitor. However, the list below focuses on the most noteworthy spots to check out if you wish to enjoy quite much for quite little.
Nested in the heart of the beautiful Canal Belt, Huis Marseille is Amsterdam’s oldest photography museum. Whether you’re into landscapes, portraits or abstractions captured and ‘eternalized’ in smaller or bigger format, this place is bound to win your heart. Apart from the images themselves, the museum pays much tribute to the art of photography alone, covering its history and diverse use over time. Expect to be enchanted by both past and present on display in the inspiring interiors of Huis Marseille – there are six exhibition rooms and each of them offers a slightly different feel and mood, yet the transitions are really smooth, so that you can stroll without losing focus on your object of interest. As for the house itself, it has managed to retain a somewhat ‘gentleman’s’ character and the elegant halls seem to match the exhibits on display perfectly. The standard admission fee is €5 and the discounted fee (€3) applies for students, senior citizens (65+) and groups of at least 8. For full pricing and current collections, check out the website of this fantastic museum.
As you will probably notice when wandering along the charming bridges and riverbanks of Amsterdam, much of local life is strongly connected with water. Indeed, the floating Flower Market, the multitude of pedal boats cruising along the canals and the sole structure of the Canal Belt seem to prove the affinity of the Dutch with ‘marine’ lifestyle. Still, the most notable feature of this marine landscape is the presence of houesboats – houses moving on water. This invention is so special that it is now celebrated as a living exhibit – and this is where the famous Houseboat Museum enters the stage. Located on Prinsengracht in the ever-exciting area of the Jordaan, this museum explores the theme of living on water with serving a unique opportunity to visit remarkable interiors of an original houseboat. The houseboat measures 23 x 4.5m and offers a living space of 80m², which is even more than a usual modern apartment! Admire the historical items and artifacts, separate yourself from the hurly-burly of the streets and be carried straight into the magical past – all of that for only €3.75!
If happen to go on exploring the nooks of the Jordaan, you will surely find a visit to Electric Ladyland truly memorable. This place is the only museum in the world devoted solely to ‘fluorescent art’. So, what to expect inside, you may ask. Well, first you’ll have to take off your shoes, put on a pair of special slippers and slip inside the small but really amazing ‘cave’ of all things illuminated! From ultraviolet lights to glowing stones transforming into fabulous installations, the museum is a truly fun place to be. And apart from the regular display, it also invites the visitors to become actively involved as part of the exhibition by way of ‘participatory art’. What is that? Come and find out yourself. But you can be sure that you won’t be disappointed. Spare €5 and discover the joys of Electric Ladyland.
There’s at least one good reason to explore the area of Zeeburg in the western part of Amsterdam. At Zeeburgerkade 10 you will find the small but really astonishing Persmuseum – a museum focusing on the subject of the press in the Netherlands. It’s true that it may sound quite specialized – and as a matter of fact, it is, – but the place alone is really amazing; it enjoys a modern feel and is full of intriguing items related to the printing industry including machines, posters and photographs. Before you embark upon an educating visit, you will be able to watch a film about the history of the Dutch press. Note that everything is shown and displayed in Dutch, but the museum will provide you with free and reliable description leaflet in English. So, if you’re a bit of a journalist deep down and enjoy the smell of original print and paper, you know where to go. Pay €4.50 and hop inside! Learn more at the museum’s website (available only in Dutch, though).
It is said that Anne Frank House is a must-see if you’re visiting Amsterdam. This is all true, but the surroundings of this museum hide some other precious gems, like the Pianola Museum – a place where you’ll find a rich collection of pianolas (automatic pianos) set in a really atmospheric background. The dimmed light, old furniture and a cosy, intimate mood will make the visit truly pleasant and memorable. The exhibition is highly recommended for all those into music and its history, as well as for those who enjoy a bit of the past in today’s times. It is one-of-a-kind opportunity to listen to original compositions played by machines which caught the attention of the public over a century ago. The museum features over 25,000 music rolls and almost all of them can be played on the different instruments available inside. A truly magical experience it is – and for the ‘astounding’ price of €5.