Taking the trip from Paris to Amsterdam is well worth the three hour jaunt by train. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is alone reason enough to travel to Europe.
The Van Gogh Museum chronicles the life of Van Gogh through his painting. The audio guide for thie museum is particularly good, as it places the works of Van Gogh within specific events in his life. The museum holds some of his most famous works, such as his almond branches, portraits, potato eaters, sunflowers, and irises. But, for me, the most exciting works of the Van Gogh Museum are his lesser-known works, such as his works inspired directly by Hiroshige and the only surviving work of Van Gogh’s in its original frame. In order to maximize your time here, I advise purchasing your tickets from a vendor other than the museum in order to skip the long lines.
Just down the street from the Van Gogh Musum is the Rijksmuseum, which happens to be the largest and most popular museum in Amsterdam. In fact, I found the museum to be too popular. The lines are ridiculous, even if you do have a special “(I)amsterdam” pass. (The City pass- “I Amsterdam” supplies you with a card that will get you into almost any museum in Amsterdam.) If you want to see this museum, arrive thirty minutes earlier than the museum opens to get in line. This museum certainly makes up for the long wait in quantity of art and has many works by Vermeer.
Fortunately for all European travels, you don’t have to go to Russia to see the Hermitage. The Hermitage Amsterdam hosts traveling collections from the Hermitage in Russia. Their latest exhibition held works by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Jordean. The museum is a lovely space and was once a home for the elderly. It is located on a canal, and the museum offers rooms where visitors can sit and look at the boats passing on the canal. The exhibition spaces themselves are rather small, so avoiding peak hours is a good idea.
Amsterdam also offers tours of canal homes and is home to the House Boat Museum. But really, the night life in Amsterdam is a spectacle to behold. If you are interested in supporting the local artists, Amsterdam has several pop-up ateliers, in which local artists sell their work for a limited amount of time. Lastly, a fun option for traveling to and from museums is the museum boat lines that take you museum hopping along the canals. And remember— it’s Amsterdam, relax!