Do you want to know the first-hand tips for the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam?

I have visited the Van Gogh Museum numerous times since moving to the Netherlands ten years ago. To give you the most detailed guide to the Van Gogh Museum, I revisited it in November 2023.

This guide will share everything you need to know before visiting the Van Gogh Museum to get the most out of your visit.

Prebook your tickets

Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, and Rijksmuseum are the most famous museums among tourists.

Reserving your Van Gogh Museum tickets two months in advance is a must.

The official Van Gogh Museum website releases the tickets two months before the visit date.

However, I recommend buying combo tickets to get the best rate for your visit. Traveling in Amsterdam is expensive, so get the combo tickets for the Van Gogh Museum here.

If the tickets are no longer available on the official website, visit Tiqets or Get Your Guide.

If you wish to have the best experience at the museum, like having a professional guide with you, join this tour, and you will also get priority access to the museum.

Pick the best time slot to avoid the crowd

I’ve visited the Van Gogh Museum multiple times, in the morning, around lunchtime, and just before closing.

The best time slot for Van Gogh Museum is before 10.00 am or two hours before closing.

Why? There are fewer people and nearly no guided tour after 16.00.

Moreover, it is best to pick a workday, but not Friday.

I was at the museum in November 2023 and have been to it numerous times, so I know what it was like.

Arrive at least 10 minutes before your time slot

Another tip is that you still need to queue even though you have reserved the time slot for entering the museum.

Also, you can enter the museum 30 minutes before/after your reserved time slot.

On the day of my visit, I waited in the queue for around 5-10 minutes since many other tourists were also trying to enter the museum.

My time slot was 14.15, but I waited in line to enter the museum at around 13.35.

Stay at least two hours at the Museum

There are so many things to see at the museum, so staying at least two hours gives you plenty of time to enjoy the famous artworks of Van Gogh.

Take a canal boat trip near the museum afterward

Once you decide how long to stay at the museum, you can book a canal cruise!

Personally, I like to have a good rest after visiting the museum, and taking an Amsterdam canal cruise is the best way to end your day.

Two canal companies depart near the Van Gogh Museum, and I took both last year because I wanted to experience them before giving my honest opinion.

Canal Cruises Options Near Van Gogh Museum

Comfortable Boat Ride With A Heating System- Stromma

This tour uses a big boat equipped with a heating system. The boats can be open or semi-open. I recommend taking this tour if you visit Amsterdam in winter.

Inside look of one of the best canal tours in Amsterdam city center

Compared with the boat companies departing from Amsterdam Central Station, Stromma departing near Museumplein is a much better option. Fewer people are onboard, and you can spend more time on the boat for the price you pay.

However, it is a big boat with an audio guide, so the interaction can be improved. Its advantage is that it is very comfortable and has a heating system.

Cozy-Vibe Boat Trip with Live Guide – Flagship

This tour comes with a live guide and a cozy vibe. Most importantly, it is a small electric boat, so you can cruise like a local in Amsterdam. You can also enjoy your drinks during your boat trip; it is perfect for families and friends.

It is your best choice if you want a fun boat trip. The guide has a secret route to explore Amsterdam’s local boathouses; I didn’t get this when I was on the Stromma boat. It was totally worth the price.

I took the boat tour on a raining day in November. I had a good time, but if I took it in Spring or Summer, it would be much more fun! Don’t let my picture discourage you. You should join this tour!

The disadvantage of this tour is that there is no heating system, but they offer the blankets for every guest, but still have warm clothes!

Are you worried that you might get wet? No worries; the boat will be covered if needed.

Choose “Museumburg 4” as your meeting point when booking.

Rent an interactive audio guide

I highly recommend renting a guide to fully immerse yourself in Van Gogh’s artworks. You can book the guide when buying the tickets.

Price: 3.75 euros for adults and 2 euros for young people aged 13 to 17.

Join An Affordable Guided Tour

If you are a big Van Gogh fan and want the best experience, but renting an audio guide is boring, join a guided tour!

If you have tickets, take this affordable but highly-rated guided tour. The local guide knows the paintings and the museum inside out.

Travel Light and comfortable

The museum’s cloakroom is unsuitable for big luggage or items over 45×25×25 cm.

In addition, the museum is at the Museumplein, a lovely area to explore afterward.

Therefore, traveling light on the day is very important.

Traveling with big suitcases on the day? Get a storage locker at Amsterdam Central Train Station. Prices and conditions, please check here.

Design your best route to see the art pieces at Van Gogh Museum

Before visiting the museum, I recommend listing the artworks you want to see first.

I was not interested in self-portraits, so I spent most of my time on the first floor.

Here are some notes for you to understand where the critical paintings are, or you can check the floor plan.

Ground Floor: Face to Face with Van Gogh

It mainly introduces the timelines of Van Gogh’s work and story.

If you want to see the self-portraits, take advantage of this area.

First-Floor: Van Gogh and his time

Some world-famous artworks include The Potato Eaters, Courtesan, Irises, Bedroom in Arles, and Sunflowers.

Second-Floor: Van Gogh’s Friends and Family

There are family treasures here, sketches from Van Gogh, and paintings like The Yellow House.

After seeing the sketches, I admired Van Gogh even more. It took him so much time to have a great work. I also encourage you to check the sketches section.

He spent a lot of time sketching before painting

Third-Floor: Van Gogh and Beyond

Almond Blossom is one of the most famous art pieces at the museum.

When I was there, I had to queue in line for 5 minutes to see the work in detail.

It was the last painting I saw during my visit, and I felt highly emotional. Van Gogh’s love for his family and passion for his work were evident.

If Almond Blossom is your must-visit painting, reserve some time in advance.

End your trip at the museum cafe

I know this one is an unpopular tip, but I love visiting museum cafes to give myself time to end this perfect trip.

Sit next to the window to have a nice view of the Museumplein.

I know it is not cheap, but one cup of coffee is all you need. How expensive can it be?!

Visit the museum shop before leaving

The museum shop is just next to the cloakroom.

Many people rush to the shop first, so please do not do that.

You have plenty of time to visit it later.

Go To Rijksmuseum on the same day

Rijksmuseum is just across the street, so if you’d like to see more of the masterpieces of Dutch painters, arrange to see them on the same day.

If you plan to visit these two museums simultaneously, take one of the canal cruises near Rijksmuseum after visiting one so you can have a good rest on the boat before entering another museum.

Have a picnic near Museumplein!

Van Gogh Museum is at the Museumplein, where the locals can enjoy their time.

If the weather is nice on the day of your visit, grab some sandwiches or food to have a picnic at Museumplein.

Visiting Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam Tips

In short, reserving your tickets with canal cruise deal is the smartest move. In addition, the best time slot to enter the museum is before 10 am or two hours before closing on a workday. Most important of all, travel light, bring a bottle of water and visit the museum cafe before leaving.

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