The Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum are Amsterdam’s must-sees for art lovers. Explore the highlights of both with an expert art historian guide.
The Rijksmuseum part of the tour focusses on the iconic Dutch Golden Age art. We examine paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Jan Steen, and other Dutch masters.
At the Van Gogh Museum, we survey the art and the life of Vincent van Gogh through some of his most famous and lesser-known works.
* tour price based on 3-4 hours including VAT, excluding entrance fees. For more hours the price will be adjusted accordingly.
- Major masterpieces of the Dutch Golden Age at the Rijksmuseum: Night Watch, Jewish Bride and Self-portrait by Rembrandt van Rijn, Milkmaid and Woman Reading a Letter by Johannes Vermeer.
- Paintings by Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Jacob van Ruisdael and other Dutch and Flemish masters.
- Highlights of the Van Gogh museum collection, from Vincent’s early works to his last paintings: self-portraits, Potato Eaters, Sunflowers, Bedroom, Almond Blossoms, Reaper, Wheatfield with Crows
- Van Gogh’s influences and artistic context: paintings by Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Georges Seurat, Paul Gauguin, Jean-François Millet.
What our guests say about this tour
"Fantastic tour with Hanneke"
We had a wonderful tour around the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum with Hanneke. We were enraptured for three hours and it really helped us to see the highlights in both museums and have a real understanding about what we were seeing. We all loved it – and would thoroughly recommend it!
"The very best!"
Hanneke was not only skilled at explaining the art, including the historical, religious, and cultural context in which it was made, but also she was skilled at working her way through the crowds of people right up to each painting so that we could see exactly what she was talking about. In doing so, we could clearly see each piece, and we could move at our own pace.
Meet Rembrandt, van Gogh and more Dutch masters
This combined tour, led by an expert art historian, offers you the best of both museums in an optimal time. The highlight of the Rijksmuseum are the paintings and artefacts of the Dutch Golden Age. The Van Gogh Museum holds the world’s largest collection of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings, as well as works by the artists of his circle.
This tour is not only time-efficient. It is designed as a captivating insight into the connections between Van Gogh’s modern style and the art of the old masters.
The tour comes with skip-the-line tickets for both museums. During the short walk between the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, there is usually time for a quick coffee and a snack.
Start at the Rijksmuseum
We spend the first part of the tour at the Rijksmuseum, exploring the art of the Dutch Golden Age. First we pay a short visit to the 16th century Flemish masters who paved the way to the famous Dutch painters. Then we head to the Gallery of Honour, which features major works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Frans Hals, among others. The very architecture of this majestic hall offers a fascinating insight into Dutch history. Its symbolism highlights the relationship between the modern-day Netherlands and their Golden Age.
Like the rest of the building, the Gallery of Honour was designed around the crown jewel of the Rijksmuseum collection: The Night Watch by Rembrandt. As we look at it up close, we’ll discuss its historical significance and Rembrandt’s techniques.
After The Night Watch, we’ll quietly explore more iconic works by Rembrandt and other Dutch masters. Another gem of the Rijksmuseum collection are several works by Vermeer, including The Milkmaid.
We also take a look at lesser-known genre paintings, still lifes and landscapes. This beautiful art can reveal fascinating details about the 17th century people’s ideas, values and everyday life. At the same time, its fundamental qualities will set a frame of reference for talking about Van Gogh.
Continue with the Van Gogh Museum
The Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum are located within a short walk from one another, on the opposite sides of the Amsterdam’s Museum Square. If you wish, we can stop for a quick coffee and a snack along the way.
Vincent van Gogh is one of the most iconic painters of all times, and a harbinger of modern art. The entire Van Gogh museum is dedicated to his life and work. It houses an exceptional collection of Vincent’s own paintings, including the world famous Sunflowers and Potato Eaters, along with his drawings, letters and personal items.
Van Gogh’s style changed dramatically over the course of his short career. The time he spent in Paris was especially important to his artistic evolution. To provide a larger context for van Gogh’s work, the museum also displays paintings by other artists – his friends, mentors, or competitors.
We’ll see what van Gogh learned from Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat and other French artists: realists, impressionist and post-impressionists.
We’ll also examine how van Gogh inspired the following generations of painters. His sensitivity to colors and expressive brushwork anticipated most of the 20th century art.
Van Gogh’s life story unfolds as we look at his paintings. “I am what my work is,” he wrote once. We debunk the common myths around his name. There is more to van Gogh than a tortured mad genius. He was a loving son and brother, a voracious reader, a self-taught artist with a tremendous visual culture, a deeply religious person.
We’ll figure out together what van Gogh’s life was, and what his legacy is.
Standalone Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum Tours
If you’d like to explore more thoroughly both the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, we recommend taking two separate tours. If your schedule allows, better on different days. You could begin with a Rijksmuseum tour and follow with a Van Gogh Museum tour. Both can be adapted for a family visit (for children over 6).
Please bear in mind that the Van Gogh Museum is often sold out in high season. It is recommended to plan early.