Amsterdam through British eyes

How to Avoid the Queues at the Van Gogh Museum

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The Van Gogh museum re-opened on the first of May 2013 after temporarily moving to the Hermitage Amsterdam for nearly 9 months so the interior could be updated. The newly-refurbished museum in Amsterdam has attracted visitors keen to see his famous paintings. After a bad experience trying to get in to the Van Gogh museum quickly (to maximise the amount of time I had in the museum itself), I wanted to post my tips for avoiding the queues at the Van Gogh Museum.

Order your tickets online. This will save you so much time because you will be put into the priority lane, meaning you can just walk in (depending on how busy the museum is). You will need to select a date and time that you will visit the Van Gogh museum. The tickets can then be sent to your phone (iphone or android), or printed off. On a good day this will save you up to an hour of queuing, which isn’t very fun, and can be a real drag if you have kids in tow.

If you can’t get a ticket online for any reason, get there early, specifically as soon as it opens at 9am. There are less people waiting to get in, so the queue for the cloakroom will be less busy and there will be less waiting all round. Also consider going on a Friday evening, when the museum is open until 10pm. There is live music, theatre, talks and a DJ and they give guided tours in English. In the future there will hopefully be an app which will tell you how long the queue at the Van Gogh museum is. See here for more information.

Pick your day.If it is raining it is more likely there will be a queue full of people who are trying to escape the bad weather. If you go on a sunny day it is less likely to be as busy, meaning you will get a good look at the paintings, without as much hustle and bustle.

Don’t take a rucksack. You won’t be able to go into the museum with it, and they might not tell you this at the cloakroom – this results in getting to the scanner and having an incredibly tired security guard telling you that you can’t take it in, then having to go back and queue up to have your bag put into the cloakroom. Instead opt for a small bag. Note that you will also have to check your bag in to the cloakroom if you have a bottle of water in it.

As of June (date TBC), you will be able to download the multimedia tour to your phone from the app stores for both apple devices, and android. This eliminates the need to queue. It is only €5 and takes you around the museum. For now though, pre-order the multimedia tour on the website. This will save you some time at the desk, and it is totally worth it. It takes pitstops at 23 different paintings including some of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings – ‘The Potato Eaters, Sunflowers, and The Bedroom’ to name a few – where it will tell you something about the painting, and Van Gogh’s working style. There are also audio guides for kids which cost only €2.50. Note: I have checked the site and the audio tour still isn’t available through the app store. (updated January 4th 2014)

Practical Information

How to get there: Tram lines 2, 3, 5 and 12 and buses 170, 171 and 172 stop at, or very close to the Van Gogh museum. The address is Paulus Potterstraat 7. If you are coming by car there is a car park at Museumplein. The entrance is at Van Baerlestraat.

Museum ticket prices: Adult museum tickets cost €15. Children between the ages of 0-17 go in free. If you have a museum card, entry is also free. Audio tours cost €5 per person, and €2.50 for children.

What was your experience of the Van Gogh Museum? Do you have any time-saving tips for getting in to the museum? Please share them in the comments

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2 Comments

  1. peggy@peggynolan.com'

    Hi Ashley,

    If ever I’m in Amsterdam, I will remember this post and make sure I have it with me. Your museum instructions reminded me of the near fiasco a group of friends and I experienced trying to get into the Ufizi Museum in Florence, Italy. :-)

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