The Rijksmuseum is the main national museum in Amsterdam, dedicated to arts and history. The museum is located at the Museumplein (Museum Square) in the borough Amsterdam South, just south of the city center and is close to the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the Concertgebouw. The Rijksmuseum is definitely one of Amsterdam’s must-see attractions.
The main building was designed by Pierre Cuypers, who also designed Station Amsterdam Centraal (Central Station). The Rijksmuseum opened in 1885. On 13 April 2013, after a ten-year renovation which cost € 375 million, the main building was reopened by Queen Beatrix. In 2013 and 2014, it was the most visited museum in the Netherlands with record numbers of 2.2 million and 2.47 million visitors. It is also the largest art museum in the country.
The museum has on display 8,000 objects of art and history, from a total collection of 1 million objects. The most famous objects are masterpieces by Rembrandt van Rijn, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer. The most famous painting in the Rijksmuseum is De Nachtwacht (The Night Watch), a 1642 painting by Rembrandt van Rijn. The museum also has a small Asian collection, which is on display in the Asian pavilion.
1071 XX Amsterdam
- Rijksmuseum Official Website
- E-Tickets Rijksmuseum; skip the line at the ticket desk
This article was written by a born and raised Amsterdammer. It’s intended for the vast majority of travelers and covers the most important options. If you are looking for detailed information, or if you are traveling to or from less visited locations, then consult other sources:
- Rijksmuseum on Google Maps & Google Street View
- Travel planner NS (Dutch Railways)
- GVB: The municipal public transport operator for Amsterdam
- 9292: For planning the entire trip, including bus, tram and metro
- 9292: Bus/tram stop Rijksmuseum > Departures
- OV-chipkaart Home / Twitter Customer Service
How do I get there?
The city center of Amsterdam is small. Since the Rijksmuseum is situated just a little south of the city center, many people visit the museum simply by foot or by rented bike. For example, a walk from Dam Square to the Rijksmuseum would take 20 minutes and you’ll pass the famous canals of Amsterdam along the way. It is possible to park your car near the Rijksmuseum. However, the number of parking places available is limited and parking in Amsterdam is very expensive. Under the Museumplein is a supervised underground parking garage. The entrance is at the side of the Concertgebouw, next to the Albert Heijn supermarket. Taxis in The Netherlands are expensive and the Rijksmuseum is in a busy area, so the best way to visit the Rijksmuseum is by foot, rented bike, or public transport.
Public Transport Options
The Rijksmuseum is located just south of the city center of Amsterdam, in a busy area. There are many public transport options, which can make it slightly confusing. The one which is the best for you, depends on your starting point (e.g. hotel or railway station). You can reach the Rijksmuseum from 9 railway stations in the Amsterdam area. Located at the Museumplein are three major museums. Museumplein (Museum Square) is a nice public square. So if you arrive anywhere near Museumplein (Museum Square) by public transport and don’t mind to walk a couple of minutes, you should be fine.
The map below shows the main tram and metro stops near the Rijksmuseum.
The metro/tram map below, might help you to find the best options for you.
T = Tram, M = Metro, B = Bus, > = Transfer
|Station Amsterdam Centraal||T2 or T12||Rijksmuseum||Stops next to the museum|
|Station Amsterdam Amstel||T12||Rijksmuseum||Stops next to the museum|
|Station Amsterdam Sloterdijk||T19||Spiegelgracht||+ 3 minutes walk|
|Station Amsterdam Lelylaan||T1||Spiegelgracht||+ 3 minutes walk|
|Station Amsterdam Zuid||M52||Vijzelgracht||+ 6 minutes walk|
|Station Amsterdam RAI||M52||Vijzelgracht||+ 6 minutes walk|
|Station Duivendrecht||M50 > M52||Vijzelgracht||Transfer at Station Amsterdam Zuid|
|Station Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA||M50 > M52||Vijzelgracht||Transfer at Station Amsterdam Zuid|
|Station Amsterdam Muiderpoort||T1||Spiegelgracht||+ 3 minutes walk|
|Amsterdam Noord||M52||Vijzelgracht||+ 6 minutes walk|
|Amsterdam Airport Schiphol||B397||Rijksmuseum||Stops next to the museum|
|Schiphol Airport railway station||Train > M52||Vijzelgracht||More information (click)|
There are 4 entrances to the Rijksmuseum from the Passage. The Passage is a public thoroughfare for cyclists and pedestrians, under the building, running from the north to the south side of the museum. There are no signs to the entrances, but you’ll see the revolving door, and probably museum employees and visitors in lines.
Since July 2018, metro 52 (North/Southline) runs between Amsterdam Zuid station and Amsterdam Centraal station (and on to Amsterdam-Noord). The stop at Vijzelgracht, exit Vijzelgracht, is just a 6 minutes walk from the Rijksmuseum. Make sure you travel in the right direction. Use the metro map below to determine whether you have to take metro 52 in the north or south direction.
After exiting the metro train follow the signs Uitgang (exit) Vijzelgracht / Museumplein.
Use the 2 escalators to go upstairs and exit the station. As soon as you’ve left the last escalator, turn to the left and make a 180 degree turn. Walk to the corner at Weteringschans (only 30 meters). At the corner, turn to to the right. There’s a signpost pointing to the Rijksmuseum at the corner.
Now follow the Weteringschans to the tram stop Spiegelgracht. When you look to the left at Weteringschans, you might already see the Rijksmuseum. Use the pedestrian crossing at the end of the tram stop to cross Weteringschans. Take care, at busy moments cars, trams, taxis, and bicycles usually come from everywhere at this point. Cyclists in Amsterdam might ring their bicycle bells, but usually don’t stop and might kill you.
Now just follow the sidewalk to the museum. You’ll cross the bridge at Stadhouderskade. Use the pedestrian crossing to cross the street. Take your time and wait for the green pedestrian light, as this street is usually very busy.
As soon as you’ve reached the other side, you walk to one of the entrances at the left or right side in the arcade. To avoid long lines at the ticket desk, purchase E-Tickets for the Rijksmuseum online.
Metro (51), 53, 54
This is the old metro line (Eastline), starting at Station Amsterdam Centraal, and going to Amsterdam-Southeast (Bijlmer, Amsterdam Zuid-Oost). You can still take all 3 metros and transfer to tram 1, 7, 19 just outside metro stop Weesperplein. Get off at tram stop Spiegelgracht. From the tram stop it’s a 3 minutes walk to the museum.
Tram 1, 7, 19
These trams pass the Rijksmuseum at the city center (north) side. Get off at the tram and bus stop Spiegelgracht. From the tram stop it’s a 3 minutes walk to the museum.
Tram 2, 5, 12
These trams stop next to the Rijksmuseum at tram stop Rijksmuseum. This is the closest tram stop near the museum. Walking to the entrance takes a minute or 3. Just follow the small side walk as shown below.
Tram 3 circles within the old part of Amsterdam, but outside the city center and canal area, passing the Rijksmuseum at the Concertgebouw (south) side of the Museumplein. Get off at tram stop Museumplein. from here, it’s just a matter of crossing Museumplein (Museum Square) to the Rijksmuseum at the other side of the square. This might take 4 minutes.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
The Amsterdam Airport Express is a fast and easy way to travel by bus between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and the center of Amsterdam. Every 7.5 minutes bus line 397 departs from bus stops B15-19 at Schiphol. The bus brings you directly to bus and tram stop Rijksmuseum, next to the museum. Walking to the entrance takes only a minute or 3. Just follow the small side walk as shown below.
Schiphol Airport railway station
The railway station is under the airport. Every 6 minutes, you can take a train to Station Amsterdam Zuid. 7 minutes later you’ll arrive. From Station Amsterdam Zuid, you can take metro 52 (also every 6 minutes) and exit 5 minutes later at metro stop Vijzelgracht. From Vijzelgracht, it’s a 6 minutes walk to the Rijksmuseum. So, it’s possible to travel from Schiphol Airport railway station to the Rijksmuseum within half an hour. For a description of the walking route to the museum, CLICK HERE.
Enjoy your trip to the Rijksmuseum!
Last update: October 30, 2019