With more than 50 museums in Amsterdam, you pick a new museum every day. Most popular are the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh museum and the Anne Frank Museum. Most famous among younger tourists, to get that real ‘Amsterdam’ feeling are: the Sex Museum, Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, the House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience and the Torture Museum. And for everyone else who can’t be bothered to suck in some real culture: the Heineken Experience, Madame Tussaud’s wax museum at Dam square and the Amsterdam Dungeon.
Here are some more unknown but worthwhile museums and their exhibitions.
House Boat Museum
Always wondered what it is like to live on a houseboat? Take a look inside in the museum Houseboat.
The Hendrika Maria was actually a freighter, built in 1914, and transported sand and gravel. The skipper and his family lived in the stern with his family. Only after that it was converted in a houseboat. The Houseboat Museum is located in the Prinsengracht in the Jordaan Quarter.
Photography and video art
Two Amsterdam museums have dedicated themselves to the art of photography: Foam and Huis van Marseille. The Netherlands Media Art Institute, previously known as MonteVideo, exhibits artists working and experimenting with art and new technologies, such as installations, video performances, software based and internet art.
Canal House Museums
Take the opportunity to visit one of the old, elite patrician houses that stand along the canals. There are several canal house museums where you can take a look inside in one of the grand Amsterdam canal houses. Walking around in the rooms you get a good feel of how wealthy people lived in Amsterdam in the 18th and 19th century.
The Museum Hermitage shows artwork from its famous Russian counterpart in St. Petersburg. The Hermitage was opened in June 2009. The building had been used as a home for the elderly for 324 years. It is located on the banks of the river Amstel.
There are temporary exhibitions. The permanent exhibitions focus on the connection between Holland and Russia and the former function of the building, Amstelhof, a home for the elderly.
Cats, cats, cats
The Cat Cabinet museum on Herengracht 497, is the only museum in the world that dedicates itself completely to the depiction of cats in art. Looking at paintings, drawings, sculptures of cats by Picasso, Rembrandt, Henri de Toulous-Lautred, Corneille, Sal Meijer and many more, you realize the impact of cats in arts and artists.
Amsterdam History Museum
Formerly known as the Amsterdam History museum, the Amsterdam Museum tells the history of Amsterdam from the Middle Ages onwards. Old maps explain the expansion of the city in the 16th and 17th century; paintings depict the glory of Amsterdam during the Golden Age, old photographs show the poverty of the former slums of the Jordaan in the 19th century, the arrival of the immigrant workers from the Mediterranean countries in the 20th century and the creation of the Bijlmer in the South East.
The Amsterdam Museum is located in the centre, near Dam Square (Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 357 – Kalverstraat 92).