On our third day in Amserdam we were up bright and early to head over to the Van Gogh Museum! I was really excited to explore this one, as I had heard so many awesome things about it. We strolled over, enjoyed the morning quiet, and even got to stop at the I Amsterdam sign! It was fun to have the museum square all to ourselves.
We were among the first people in line at the museum (I can’t imagine how busy it gets in the summer) and we quickly made it inside and picked up our audio guides. I’m so glad we did this – we gained a much better appreciation for what we were seeing! We spent several hours exploring the exhibits. I loved learning about his travels, artistic influences, and changing styles. The museum did an excellent job contextualizing his work and the new emerging style he was so integral in creating. I really enjoyed all of the exhibits.
After taking a quick break at the café, we headed over to the Diamond Museum. It was free with the City Card, and right next door, so why not?! No. Never go here. This was a poor life choice. This wasn’t a museum, it was a huge show room! It was crazy and a complete waste of time. Oh well.
Next was an attempt to appreciate modern art at the Stedelijk Museum. This turned into a bit of a challenge. Neither Teddy nor I has the strongest appreciation for this style, particularly after we really loved everything we saw at the Van Gogh museum. Though we spent an hour or so here, it wasn’t really in the same mind set. We enjoyed the furniture and housewares, but didn’t appreciate the art quite as much. A short visit was perfect!
Since we were both a bit museumed-out, we decided that a canal boat tour would be the perfect thing for an afternoon break. We enjoyed a 90 minute cruise around the city’s vast canal system. We even saw the cleaners pull an old rusty bike out of the water! We learned lots about the history of the canals, houseboats, and traditions of the city. It was really neat to be on the same level as the water – everything looked so different! I’d highly recommend taking advantage of one of the many tours of this type in Amsterdam. It was a great way to see lots, and a very traditional experience.
Ready to jump back into the museum circuit, our next stop included a visit to a historic canal house. This was really interesting, and it was great to see how a typical (wealthy) family during the 1800s would have lived. The tour provided lots of information about the family, the types of household staff, and the daily live of these people. Plus is was great to see the canals from a second story window!
In a similar vein, we then went to a “palace” on the canals – another beautiful historic home! Teddy knows my love for all things related to old houses, so he was patient with me on this one Again, I really loved exploring the home and beautiful gardens. The library in particular was very beautiful. I’d recommend either of these places if you’re looking for a glimse into the past.
Since the Photography Museum, FOAM, wasn’t too far from the house we were visiting, we decided to stop in. Again, we appreciated the flexibility afforded by the City Pass! The exihibits were hilighting the work of Araki, and interesting Japanese artist. Some of the collections weren’t exactly my style, but I really liked the photos of the sky that were combined with watercolor prints!
Finally, we squeezed a final museum in – the Amsterdam Tulip Museum! This cute place was close by and just had a few exhibits, but I’m so glad we went. Tulips are so associated with the country, and I’m glad we were able to learn a bit more about that history. Even though we weren’t able to visit the Netherlands during the Spring, we got a good impression of how stunning it is. Plus, the place smelled great!
We enjoyed a special meal at a local Indian restaurant and relaxed while reflecting on the sheer number of museums in the city. There is no way to see them all!
Our last stop of the evening was at the Amsterdam Symphony Hall, Concertgebouw. The Dvorak symphony on the program caught our attention, and we were able to snag day-of tickets at a really great price. We loved the concert – the hall was beautiful and the performances were fantastic! Nothing like a good night at the symphony. It reminded me of Vienna!
After a long day of sightseeing, we headed home. It was another great day!