Rijksmuseum critics: What you need to know before you visit.

When in Amsterdam...the Rijksmuseum is the national museum of the Netherlands located in Amsterdam.

We have taken the biggest criticisms and provide solutions or awareness for you to enjoy this world class museum.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
(Source: Wiki Commons)

1. Tickets

"It's crazy how expensive this is at 14 Euro, and even more with the audio guide. Compared to the incredible museums that I went to in Paris, which were all under 10 Euro, including The Louvre, this was extremely disappointing." Darwin G. Yelp review

Critics of the price will be further annoyed. As of November 1 2014 the price will increase to 17.50 euro. Children 18 years of age and under are free. There are no student discounts.

It took 10 years and 500 million dollars to restore the Rijksmuseum. Be mindful with the economy slowly recovering from crisis, the cultural budget was slashed. Also, to see a Hollywood movie in Amsterdam costs 10 euro per adult.


  • Buy a museum card (Museumkaart) instead. This gives you unlimited access and express lane privilege. If you visit the Anne Frank, Van Gogh and Rijksmuseums you have received the value of the card and received express lanes on the latter two.
  • Benefits of the Museumkaart; You can also visit the Rijksmuseum more than once rather then cram it all into one visit. You can also pop into one of the smaller Amsterdam museums that you would not normally have visited for free with the MuseumKaart.
  • Benefits of the Museumkaart; If you book online a pre-purchased ticket for Anne Frank tick Museum Card on the booking form. It will cost you 50cents. You skip the line and the price of your Museumkaart has more value. 
  • Benefits of the Museumkaart; You do not require the Museumkaart when you purchase this ticket online. The museum card is only required with your print out of the 50 cent ticket when you visit the Anne Frank House.
  • Small tour companies like Omy Amsterdam Tours will drop new Museumkaarts to you at your hotel for an added fee if you are staying in central Amsterdam. If you join one of their tours they charge face value of the card.

2. Lines

"Although there is a remark on the website,that you may not be able to enter the directly, there is no mention of a 2 hour wait before you can get in. E-ticket or not,join the queue and wait... wait...wait..." Christina B. Tripadvisor review

Getting into the building, lining for tickets, the cloak room and the cafe are often criticised. At times there are more people with pre-paid tickets then can enter the building safely. 


  • Be clear if you have a pre-purchased ticket. Pre-purchased tickets have a bar code on a print out or a card like the Museumkaart mentioned above. 
  • The pre-purchased ticket line does not include vouchers/coupon discount cards like the IAmsterdam card or the Holland Card. You need to line up for this in the no pre-purchased ticket line.
  • Most hotels will sell you a pre-purchased ticket(with a bar code) or tell you where a reseller is located.
  • The shop on the Museumplein (Museum Square) 100 yards from the front of the museum sells pre-paid tickets to the Rijksmuseum.
  • If you do not take an umbrella or a bag (larger than A3 paper) you do not have to enter the cloak room. This will save you valuable time. Large bags like suitcases will not be allowed.
  • Best time to visit is during the week and between the hours of 2pm -5pm. On the weekend try to get to the museum before it opens to ensure no line.

3. Layout

"Completely renovated so that it is even more confusing to get around. SOOOOO MANY STUPID STAIRS! Badly designed and laid out. Too many queues as they don't have enough staff. Poorly ventilated so that it is stuffy everywhere. Toilets only on the ground floor in a four storey building." Sandro B, TripAdvisor.

The Museum is a very large museum with 4 floors and can be very disorientating. Understand what you would like to see and what time periods.


  • Make a plan. The museum is very large and impossible to cover fully in one visit. Be mindful of this. Start on the 3 floor in the Hall of Masters for the highlights and see how much time you have.
  • Look at the website and download the app before you go. Have an understanding of what you would like to see before you go. You then do not have to pay for the audio guide.
  • The museum has free WiFi so you can access the app throughout the building. Charge you battery before you go.
  • Remember the TOILETS are only on the bottom floor. Go before you explore the museum.

4. Disability Access

"Holland is a fantastic country with generally great facilities for the disabled and a very caring population. Here- and only here- it goes horrendously wrong and there is a lot of work to be done on this newly refurbished building to ensure disabled people get a look in.
As for my Wife (a Nurse) and I, we found the whole experience was a struggle from beginning to end. Sorry MUST do better
" Theflyingdoctor, TripAdvisor

The Rijksmuseum does have wheelchairs available but in limited number. You must first enter the building to access the wheelchairs. Most criticism regards lining up with a disabled person.


  • Bring your own wheelchair. Most hotels will provide a wheelchair if provided notice of your need. 
  • Familiarise yourself with the layout of the museum before you go to the museum. You can download the app to the museum for free.


  • Create a plan of what you want to see. Familiarise yourself with the museum layout.
  • Look for the signs to know which line you should be enter the museum.
  • Do not take a large bag or umbrella if you can help it. Avoid the cloak room.
  • Lage bags like suitcases are not allowed.
  • Museum has free Wifi.
  • Use the toilets on the ground floor before you visit the exhibition.
  • If disabled bring your own wheelchair.

Now you have the knowledge to overcome the biggest criticisms of the Rijksmuseum.

Here is information on the exhibition at the Rijksmuseum from February until May 2015 Late Rembrandt: Rijksmuseum

 When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

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