Europe: The Netherlands
Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is one of the top of the top, world-class art museums in the world. It alone is worth a trip to Amsterdam! I recommend getting there as soon as they open in the morning and immediately head to the exhibition hall where “The Night Watch” and a host of masterpieces are displayed. This helps avoid the crowds and gives you a better opportunity to get up close to the paintings and enjoy them to the fullest. The various city passes available are excellent and worth the money spent. There are several options; check them out to see which one fits our itinerary, budget and wish list best. https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en
Van Gogh Museum
Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam can’t be missed! Get your timed tickets in advance to avoid long ticket lines. Key art includes his Sunflowers. This museum is included in the Amsterdam city passes. It is right next door to the Rijksmuseum, so a good plan for a “day trip” and do them back-to-back. I highly recommend doing the Rijksmuseum first in the morning when it opens and head to the floor with key paintings by Rembrandt (Night Watch) and Vermeer. There is a lovely green space next door for relaxing – and great people-watching!
Other blog discussions on Van Gogh’s paintings include: “Irises”
Anne Frank Museum
Anne Frank is one of Amsterdam’s most well-known former residents. The Anne Frank House/Museum at Prinsengracht 263-267 is where she lived in hiding with her family for more than two years during World War II. It is a museum with a story. You, as a visitor, can walk through the actual house which has been furnished as it was during her stay. In the Diary Museum, her story can be experienced through quotes, photos, videos, and original items. After the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museums, it is the third most visited museum in Amsterdam. NOTE: The atmosphere is authentic and subdued, including the narrow stairs and crowded spaces, so consider this if you plan a visit.
The rooms at the rear of the 17th century canal house on the Prinsengracht Canal where they hid are known as the Secret Annex. While Anne did not survive the war, her diary did; it was published in 1947. Ten years later the Anne Frank Foundation was established to protect the property from developers who wanted to demolish the block. The museum, opened on May 3, 1960, preserves the hiding place, has a permanent exhibition on her life and times, and exhibition space about all forms of persecution and discrimination.
In planning a visit, note that the entrance is around the corner at Westermarkt 20. It is within easy and pleasant walking distance from the main part of the city. Timed Tickets must be purchased ahead on time and only online. GET THEM EARLY as they book fast. The wait-line to enter is outside, so dress appropriately as it can be long, even with timed tickets. You will tour the house first, a walk through from room to room. You exit into the museum portion in the next building. The gift shop is excellent and should be left to the end so you have a better idea of what you might like to purchase. https://www.annefrank.org/en/anne-frank/secret-annex/
To fully grasp everything in the House/Museum, I recommend reading – or re-reading – the “Diary of Anne Frank” before your visit. Enjoy my blog pages which discusses the book – the film – and more on her life –
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