If you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam and want to experience some culture and history, look no further. Plenty of fantastic free museums in Amsterdam, the Dutch capital offer an array of fascinating exhibitions.
From world-renowned art galleries showcasing unique artistic works to cutting-edge interactive displays unlocking the secrets behind ancient cultures, Amsterdam’s cultural treasures will give your visit meaning.
And that doesn’t mean breaking the bank! In this article, we share our top picks for the best free museums in Amsterdam – allowing you to make memories while learning something new at the same time.
Free Museums in Amsterdam
Despite being famous for its architecture, culture, and canal tours in Amsterdam, the city is also popular for its museums. The capital of the Netherlands also has free ones to visit. Let’s discover these museums in Amsterdam you can’t miss on your trip.
Let’s start our list with the Rijksmuseum Gardens – While you have to pay to get into the actual museum; you can explore its gardens for free.
Located between Stadhouderskade and Museumplein, right next to the “I Love Amsterdam” sign, these gardens offer a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. You can enjoy numerous monuments and sculptures while strolling along bike paths, around flowerbeds, or alongside the picturesque greenhouses that line the pathways.
Designed in 1901 by Pierre Cuypers, you can find temporary exhibitions during the summer, which definitely adds a layer of uniqueness.
For those who prefer to take a break instead, you can get a coffee on the side, which is very convenient. The Rijksmuseum Gardens offer something for everyone, making it one of Amsterdam’s most essential free museum experiences.
Open Space Contemporary Art Museum – Free Museums in Amsterdam
Next is the Open Space Contemporary Art Museum (OSCAM), a popular destination for art lovers, located slightly off the city center. OSCAM offers everything from innovative exhibitions to workshops and educational experiences for all ages.
The OSCAM was originally launched to celebrate the 50th year of the Bijlmer, home to the Bijlmer Arena and other brand stores. Here, you’ll be able to see unique exhibitions and programs for both youngsters and adults.
For instance, The Future of Fashion presents a potential forecast the fashion in the country. Truth through correspondence covers contemporary art that combines everyday life with a more spiritual and hipster vibe.
It also houses numerous works of art, ranging from paintings to sculptures and photographs. The interesting thing about this museum is that the works-displayed change periodically, which means even repeat visitors can be surprised by something new when they return.
Can you think of a better free museum to visit in the city during your trip?
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Ons’ Lieve Heer Op Solder – Sunday Mass
Amsterdam has some great museums that are free to visit, offering a range of cultural delights and attractions. One of the most interesting is Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic). Originally a Catholic church built in the 17th century when Catholics were not allowed to practice open worship.
It has since been converted into a museum and hosts regular services each Sunday of the month.
The interior is largely intact, with much of its exquisite beauty restored, making it an amazing place to experience the culture and history of Amsterdam up close.
Plus, Our Lord in the Attic Museum is located right in the city center. Making it a lovely break during the day or a super spiritual moment on the first Sunday of the month.
GASSAN Diamond Factory
Amsterdam is a great city to explore. Those interested in fine jewelry should take the opportunity to explore the GASSAN Diamond Factory. This factory has been producing stunning pieces of diamond jewelry since 1945. It continues to be one of the most respected diamond factories on the international market.
You can book a visit to this historic location and explore how diamond jewelry is made by highly experienced professionals. View GASSAN’s showroom, which features modern pieces that exhibit fresh design ideas and timeless elegance.
Learn about the history of diamonds at this amazing venue, from historical facts all the way to cutting-edge techniques used in modern production. Admire Amsterdam’s famous diamonds as you reach the journey’s end, featuring many of GASSAN’s creations.
Lastly, if you’re on the hunt for a special gem for your loved one, this is surely the right place.
Did you know most popular diamonds in the world originate from India.
Amsterdam City Archives (Gemeentearchief)
If you’re looking for some free and interesting museums to visit in Amsterdam, head to the City Archives. This historic museum opened its doors in 2007, making it one of the oldest municipal archives in the world.
Located near the Flower Market, the archive houses a fascinating collection of historical documents, photographs, and city maps. You can learn all about Amsterdam’s long history by exploring this treasure trove of artifacts and documents.
With fascinating exhibitions and informative materials on display, visiting the Amsterdam City Archives is an exciting way to experience Dutch culture and explore hundreds of years of Amsterdam’s history.
The Multatuli Museum is one very interesting place. It is not only about culture or art – In fact, the Dutch writer Multatuli was born in this museum, adding a layer of uniqueness.
Inside, you’ll find a ton of information about him, his books, and his career. What I particularly love about this museum is that his own furniture is still present. For example his writing desk and the sofa where he spent his last years.
On top of that, you’ll be able to get a guided tour by the staff on-site, all for free. All in all, it’s hard to beat the Multatuli Museum when looking for a free museum in the city.
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Amsterdam Light Festival
While it’s technically not a museum, the Amsterdam Light Festival, which takes place in December and January of each year, is a must-see when visiting the city.
From modern light installations and video projections to interactive digital design in every corner of the city center, there is something for everyone to see. If you’re ready to invest in a tour, you can hop on a canal cruise and see all the lights from the boat – what an experience!
The event remains popular due to its stunning selection of innovative visual experiences that have viewers coming back each year since its inception in 2009.
Travel Tips to visit Free Museums in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a city rich in culture, history, and art. With so many incredible attractions to visit, it can often seem daunting. Besides the free museums in Amsterdam that you can explore without spending a single penny, it’s important to remember a few things. Here are some tips that you might forget on your museum-related travels.
Get the I Amsterdam City Card
While these museums are lovely and provide a rich insight into the city’s history and culture, some other, more popular sites are also worth it. And for this reason, I recommend getting the I Amsterdam City Card.
This card provides free access to many of the popular museums in the city, as well as free travel on public transport. On top of that, a canal cruise is included, which costs over $20 by itself if you weren’t to buy this card.
Allow Yourself Extra Time
Some of the more popular museums can be crowded. You may need to wait in line for a bit. Allowing yourself extra time will ensure that you don’t miss out on any exhibits due to long lines.
Book Your Tickets Ahead of Time
When planning to visit more popular museums like the Van Gogh Museum or Anne Frank House, tickets are limited and easily sell out. So, for this reason, you’ll want to book your tickets in advance.
Amsterdam has a wonderful selection of museums to explore. From classic art galleries to modern science exhibits, there are plenty of opportunities to learn and experience something new.
Whether you’re looking for a place to go on your next vacation or just looking for some ideas for a fun day out, these museums in should definitely be on your itinerary!
Thank you for reading until the end. I hope this guide was helpful. Have you taken the time to visit any of these museums? What did you make of them? Let me know!
This is a guest post by by Stefan of Tricks, and Trips.
Stefan is a full-time European traveler. He lived in 6 countries and has been working online for the past 4 years. He started his blog in 2018 to share photos, moments, and trips to make the most of your travels.
Currently, on Tricks and Trips, he covers the places he visited as well as some tricks to make a living on the road. His favorite places to travel to are Europe and Southeast Asia. Check him out!