Are you wondering “is Van Gogh Museum worth visiting?” I will keep it short: it absolutely is!
Now that you know, are you looking for Van Gogh Museum tickets? You are in the right place. In this post, I will highlight the best ways of getting tickets and share useful information that will help you plan your visit and make the most of it.
The Van Gogh Museum follows the life of one of the world’s most famous artists. Here you can learn all about Vincent Van Gogh, from his early years to the time he spent in France as well as his process of working, his inspiration and the meaning behing his most famous pieces.
Along the way you can see over 200 original works by the artist himself, beginning with works which depict the everyday life of peasants in the Netherlands and concluding with works created during Van Gogh’s later years in France.
The museum also showcases an array of sketches and hundreds of letters that Van Gogh wrote to his beloved brother, and to various friends and acquaintances.
This is the place for lovers of art to deep dive into the life and mind of a troubled artist, whose mark on the world is still felt long after he left it behind.
If you are planning a trip to Amsterdam, make sure to read my post The Best Places To Visit In Amsterdam.
What To See When Visiting Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum is a carefully created space where people of all ages and backgrounds can learn more about the artist’s life. Far from being a place of silence, it’s a fun and creative space where everyone is welcomed. I visited recently with a friend and we spent hours browsing at the incredible art and learning about the artist’s life.
When he died in 1890, Van Gogh left his entire life’s work to his brother. Sadly, his brother died soon after and so the work got handed over to his widow, Jo Van Gogh-Bonger. The collection later got left to Van Gogh’s nephew (also called Vincent), which eventually led to a permanent place for the personal collection to be showcased in Amsterdam.
The first Van Gogh Museum was opened in 1973, in a museum building designed by notable local architect Gerrit Rietveld. When we visited the museum held an incredible night-drone show to celebrate its 50th anniversar.
A second, more modern section of the museum, was opened in time for the millennium and later a new addition, the impressive entrance, was opened in 2015.
Although many of the artist’s most famous works of art are now on display in notable art galleries across the globe, the collection at the Van Gogh Museum remains the largest in the world devoted to his work. Not only can you see works from Van Gogh, there’s also a host of works from the likes of Monet, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec.
Visiting the Van Gogh Museum is a fantastic experience for anyone who is even the slightest bit interested in the work and life of Van Gogh.
Walking through the life of Van Gogh
Spanning four floors, the Van Gogh Museum collection starts on the ground floor and leads visitors up to the third flood. The collection on display is large, and it is actually organized chronologically, taking you from the artist’s early period to his latest (and more famous) works. Each floor is entirely dedicated to a period of Van Gogh’s life.
It makes sense, if you think about it – this way you get to know the life and work of Van Gogh in more detail. However, there inevitably are more crowds on the upper level, where his latest works are exhibited – something to keep in mind if you intend to follow the thematic layout of the museum.
Highlights of Van Gogh Museum
There are more than 200 paintings and 500 drawings on display at the Van Gogh Museum.
Highlights from the collection include The Bedroon, which shows Van Gogh’s own bedroom; several self-portraits; paintings of peasants living in Holland such as The Potato Eaters (1885), a dark and sullen depiction of rural life. Elsewhere Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette (1886) is grotesquely comic image of a skeleton smoking.
An important part of the exhibit is dedicated to Van Gogh’s time living and working in Paris. It was during this period, from 1886 onwards, that he began working on self-portraits. The reason for painting himself was poverty: as a struggling artist in the French capital, he was unable to pay for models to sit for him.
Make sure to look out for Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat (1887-88), the dazzling piece showcases the artist’s experiments with a variety of color pallets and pointillism. Today, this is one of the best examples of his body of work from this period.
Following that, you can see one of Van Gogh’s most iconic pieces of art. Painted in Arles, in the south of France in 1889, Sunflowers was a way for the artist to play with using color. The entire painting was created using just three shades of yellow.
While living in Arles, Van Gogh also painted the house he was living in, called The Yellow House (1888). In this painting he continued his experiments with the color yellow.
Just a couple of years later, in 1890, Van Gogh painted what was to be one of his final pieces of work. Wheatfield with Crows is a swirling, almost menacing image of crows flying over a yellow field of wheat under a darkened sky. Van Gogh completed it not long before committing suicide.
The museum also has a large selection of letters (750 to be precise!) which dive into the relationship with Vincent and his brother Theo whom he left his collection of artworks to. Audio recordings of the letters are available to listen to at various listening posts around the museum — an interactive way to learn more about the life of the artist.
There are often temporary exhibits at Van Gogh Museum, and the good news is that these are usually free to access so you don’t have to get a separate ticket for that. Special exhibits are a great addition to the incredible art the museum has to offer.
When my friend and I visited (in 2023), there was a temporary exhibit – “Van Gogh in Auvers” entirely dedicated to the time the artist spent in this small village located south of Paris. The exhibit included pieces Van Gogh painted in his final days, before dying, and lots of letters he exchanged with his brother and sister in law.
Finally, continue reading to learn more about how you can get your tickets to the Van Gogh Museum.
How To Get Van Gogh Museum Tickets
The first thing you should know about visiting the Van Gogh Museum is that you need to secure your tickets in advance online. Before getting into more details, let me cut through the change and give you the overall best options to get your Van Gogh Museum tickets:
TIMED-ENTRY TICKET TO VAN GOGH MUSEUM – You have the option of adding the multi-media guide.
GUIDED TOUR OF VAN GOGH MUSEUM – Perfect if you feel you need a bit more guidance.
THE COMPLETE LIFE OF VAN GOGH – CLOSING TIME TOUR – This guided tour is one of the best options if you would like to avoid the crowds. Keep in mind it does not run every day.
ULTIMATE COMBO TOUR – This excellent tour goes to Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and includes a boat tour along Amsterdam Canals.
AMSTERDAM PASS – The best choice if you are looking to save a bit on attractions.
Now, continue reading for more detailed information.
Way N. 1: Buy your Van Gogh Museum tickets on the official website
This is the Van Gogh Museum tickets official website. Yes, that’s the website of the museum and it is actually quite user friendly.
You will have to select the time and date you wish to visit and then pay for the tickets. The time slot on your ticket not only gives you access to the permanent exhibition, it also covers you for entry into any temporary exhibitions that are currently being held at the museum for not extra cost.
Van Gogh Museum tickets as sold on the official website are priced as follows:
- Adult: €20; as of 1 January 2024: €22.
- Students: €10 with proof of student status, available to international students too but only Monday to Friday; as of 1 January 2024 the fee will be €11.
- Under 18s: Free
There are no free tickets available to disabled visitors, however should they need to be accompanied their companion can get in for free and get a multi-media guide too.
These are the prices of the multi-media guides (available in 11 languages):
- Adults: €3,50
- Visitors aged between 13 and 17: €2
- Children up to 12 years of age: free.
Tickets to Van Gogh Museum sold on the official website cannot be refunded. However, you can modify the date and time of your booking within 48 hours of your scheduled visiting time.
Way N. 2: Buy your Van Gogh Museum tickets on third party reseller sites
You can also pick up tickets to Van Gogh Museum from a third-party ticket seller. This is just as simple as buying the tickets from the official site, but with a few added benefits – in fact, is what my friends and I used when we needed to get tickets. Tickets are actually sold for the same price as on the official site – at times, there is a euro or two in difference, but the benefits are worth it!
Third party ticket vendors such as GetYourGuide and Tiqets have a dedicated team of people on hand to make sure their customers are happy. This means the ability for cancellation up to 24 hours in advance, easy-to-use websites, and responsive customer service.
GetYourGuide and Tiqets are straight forward to use and make buying your ticket really easy. All the information you need for you visit will be listed on the same page, from cancellation policy (which is stated right at the beginning of the page) and opening hours to prices and availability.
Another bonus is that often third party ticket sites will have their own app for customers to download. The handy app will mean you can keep all of your tickets in one place and have quick access to your booking should you wish to modify or cancel it. In fact, if you download the tickets in your app you can also access them offline.
You can try getting this Van Gogh museum ticket sold on GetYourGuide – the flexible cancellation policy means there are usually higher possibilities of getting a last minute ticket.
Another option is to book tickets to Van Gogh museum on Tiqets, which is another reputable third party booking site.
GetYourGuide also offers a nice combination ticket that includes admission to the Van Gogh Museum and a canal cruise,
Way N. 3: Take a guided tour of the Van Gogh Museum
Opting for a guided tour is the best way to get an in-depth insight into the museum and of the life of Van Gogh. Your expert local guide will lead you around the various exhibits and works and explain the meaning and history behind some of the most important pieces.
With the help of a guide, you won’t have to worry about the tickets, finding your whereabouts in the museum, or scouting the Van Gogh’s most important pieces in the museum.
Guided tours do cost more money than the regular tickets to Van Gogh Museum, but are worth the extra cost.
The museum gives visitors the possibility of booking a group visits – you can find more information about it here. But if you are looking for a guided tour rather than just making bookings for a group, you are better off using a third party booking sites.
There are several options available online – but there actually aren’t that many tours, so I recommend booking in advance if this is how you want to visit. Here are my top recommendations:
Guided tour of Van Gogh Museum – this tour sold on GetYourGuide is offered in a variety of languages and is one of the best available. It lasts 2.5 hours, after which you are free to explore the museum on your own if you wish.
The complete life of Van Gogh – Closing Time Tour – Sold on reputable Take Walks, this really is best tour options if you would like to avoid the crowds. Again, this tour lasts 2.5 hours – however keep in mind it does not run every day.
Ultimate Amsterdam Combo Tour – This is a great option sold by Take Walks that is perfect if you want to see the city’s top attraction in a day. Your guide will take you to Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and then on a boat tour along Amsterdam Canals. The tour lasts 7 hours.
Way N. 4: Get the Amsterdam Pass
As of 1 June 2022, the iAmsterdam City Pass no longer includes the Van Gogh Museum and can’t be used to book tickets. However, there are other options that will include access to the Van Gogh Museum. With all of these passes you will still need to go online to the official website and book a time slot. Your pass will be scanned at when entering the museum.
The most convenient option is the Amsterdam Pass sold on Tiqets, which includes tickets to the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and a canal cruise from the Central Station.
The Van Gogh Museum official website is quite confusing regarding the use of the Rembrandt Card and the ICOM Card to book tickets. When you try to book a time slot (you have to follow the same procedure you’d follow when getting a ticket) the only card that seems to be accepted by the online ticketing system is the Museumkaart, which also grants you free entry for a year to around 400 museums in the Netherlands.
Way N. 5: Join a workshop
This is probably the most fun way of visiting Van Gogh Museum, perfect for budding artists who love to paint their own pieces. The museum’s rotating schedule of workshops is the perfect way to get to grips with how the artist worked and to pick up a few new skills along the way.
The workshops are led by a professional teacher and help to promote painting that is ‘”filled with emotion”.
Workshops in English are held on Sunday at 2:00 pm. They cost €28 and you must be at least 16 to participate, though no previous painting experience is necessary. For more information, and to see what’s on schedule, check out the museum workshops page.
Useful Guide For Visiting Van Gogh Museum
Van Gogh Museum hours
While it is open daily, Van Gogh Museum hours vary with the season so I recommend checking the official website for accurate opening hours when you are visiting.
As a general reference, keep in mind that the museum tends to be open later during the the summer months, when special events often take place on Fridays.
Van Gogh Museum tickets price and free visits
Van Gogh Museum ticket prices are as follows:
- Adult: €20; as of 1 January 2024: €22.
- Students: €10 with proof of student status, available to international students too and only Monday to Friday; as of 1 January 2024 the fee will be €11.
- Under 18s: Free
Disabled visitors should also get tickets online and, if they need assistance for their visit, they can bring a companion for free.
Audioguides at Van Gogh Museum
To make your experience more meaningful, you also have the option of purchasing a multimedia guide when you book your Van Gogh Museum tickets. This is what my friend and I did when we visited and we wholeheartedly recommend it.
The guide is clear, easy to follow and to the point. You have the option of picking a guide in 11 languages, included English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.
What we really loved about the multi-media guide is that it literally is a small device with a screen that you take around the museum, with the actual picture of the pieces you are looking at. The guide has several itinerary options within the museum. If you are tight on time, just follow the “see the highlights” option as it will walk you through the most important pieces.
The price of the multimedia guide is as follows:
- Adults: €3,50
- Visitors aged between 13 and 17: €2
- Children up to 12 years of age: free.
You can grab a guide at the multimedia desk located inside the museum. I recommend booking it in advance so that you can avoid having to stand in line to pay for it once you are at the museum.
Modification to the reservation and refunds
Van Gogh Museum tickets sold on the official website cannot be refunded. You can, however, change the time and date of your ticket up to 48 hours before the date and time of your visit. You can do this by using the official contact form on the website.
Tickets bought on third party booking sites have more flexible cancellation policies. For example this Van Gogh museum ticket sold on GetYourGuide can be cancelled up to 24 hours before the visit to receive a full refund.
Can you get Van Gogh Museum tickets at the door?
You can’t buy Van Gogh Museum tickets at the door. As clearly stated on the official website, all visitors, included visitors that have the Museumkaart, are requested to book in advance when visiting Van Gogh Museum.
In fact, the museum requires visitors to book a specific time slot for your visit.
There are often some time slots left available even if you book a few days in advance, but these are usually either earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon and may not fit your itinerary.
If you know what time and date you wish to visit, I actually recommend booking your tickets as early as possible, especially if you are traveling to Amsterdam in busy seasons such as the tulip season or the summer holidays.
For reference, my friend and I booked our tickets at the beginning of February for a visit on 3 June and when we met other travelers in the city some of them told us they were actually unable to visit because they did not find tickets!
What to do if Van Gogh Museum tickets are sold out
If the time and date you want to visit to museum isn’t available on the official website of the museum, don’t panic. You can likely find Van Gogh Museum tickets on third party booking sites for the date and time you want to visit.
These types of sites buy tickets in bulk and will usually have some last minute tickets still for sale. You might even be able to pick something up with a last-minute cancellation from someone else.
You can try getting this Van Gogh museum ticket sold on GetYourGuide – the flexible cancellation policy means there are higher chances of getting a ticket there.
You can also find last minute tickets to Van Gogh museum on Tiqets, another well known third party booking site.
The best time to visit the Van Gogh Museum
Tickets for the Van Gogh Museum are allocated in times slots, this means that it never gets too crowded inside the museum.
Most people visit during the middle of the day, so if you want to explore the art with fewer crowds then I recommend going earlier in the day, at mid-week (try to avoid the weekend if you can). It obviously helps if you are visiting Amsterdam in the off season.
My friend and I booked the first time slot (that’s at 9:00 am) to visit, and while there certainly were quite a bit of visitors, we did not find the museum to be too crowded.
Make sure to arrive at the museum around 15 to 20 minutes before your allotted time slot.
How long does it take to visit Van Gogh Museum?
When my friend and I visited Van Gogh Museum, we ended up spending three full hours there, and honestly wishing we could have stayed more. And let me stress we only followed the “see the highlights” itinerary recommended by the multi-media guide and then visited the Van Gogh in Auvers temporary exhibit.
There really is a lot to take in at this museum – paintings to admire, letters to read and so much more. I’d recommend factoring in a minimum of two hours for your visit, and probably three if there is a temporary exhibit you wish to check out. Make sure to keep this in mind when planning the rest of your day in the city and booking other attractions!
You may have to go through bags checks to enter the museum. In order to make the process move smoothly, make sure to leave any oversized baggage at home.
Lockers at Van Gogh Museum
Located in the museum you will find free to use lockers where you can leave items such as coats, handbags, backpacks and umbrellas. The lockers available are electronic and you’ll be asked to enter a code of your choice.
If you have items that you want to keep with you during the visit, I recommend completely avoiding using a backpack when visiting the museum, as no matter how small it is you will be asked to leave it in the locker.
When we visited, I carried a really small leather backpack that was actually smaller than my friend’s crossover bag, and I was still asked to leave it in the locker, while she was not!
Another thing to note is that space in the locker is limited and large backpacks or bags and suitcases will not be able to be stored there.
If your luggage is too big you may also be refused admission to the museum. You really should leave your larger bags in your hotel room, but if you have to check out of your hotel, you can find luggage storage points located around Museum Square.
Toilets at the Van Gogh Museum
There are a number of toilets available for visitors to the museum located on various floors. In addition to those, there also are toilets for disabled visitors.
The museum also has a café and a truly nice souvenir and book shop where you can buy some nice gift to bring home with you. Here you will find all sorts of Van Gogh themed souvenirs – from the classic fridge magnets to stationery and prints, from mugs to tea-towels.
The Van Gogh Museum has worked hard to make the museum space accessible for everybody, with programs for visually impaired visitors, deaf visitors and visitors with reduced mobility among others.
Visitors with disabilities are given priority access and are also offered access to a choice of facilities. The museum website includes an informative page which details how those with various disabilities can enjoy the museum to its fullest.
Photography without a flash is permitted at the museum but only within specific areas. The museum actively encourages photography in spots such as the “selfie walls” and inside the main atrium. Photography is not allowed inside any of the galleries and exhibition spaces – this is done so as to not disturb other visitors.
How to get to the Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum is located at Museumplein 6 (that’s Museum Square).
The easiest way to get to the museum is by public transportation or – if you are staying in the area – by walking.
Keep in mind the museum has two entrances – one for individual visitors, and one for groups. If you are not with a group, you will have to visit the individuals’ entrance located in Museum Square as they won’t let you in from the group gate – not even if you made a genuine mistake. As we stayed really close to the museum and walked from our hotel, we ended up at the group entrance and stood in line for a good five minutes before realizing we needed the other gate.
The nearest tram stops are Van Baerlestraat which is served by tram 2, 5 or 12 and Museumplein which is served by tram 3, 5 and 12 and bus numbers 347 and 357.
If you are traveling from the Amsterdam Central Station area, you will have to take metro 52 (Noord/Zuid route) and change at De Pijp station in order to catch tram 12 to the museum.
Other nearby attractions
The Van Gogh Museum is located on the bustling Museumplein. This famous square is packed full of top attractions, places to eat and transport connections for exploring further afield.
Nearby here is the location of the Rijksmuseum – probably the best in Amsterdam – where you can see Rembrandt’s masterpiece The Night Watch alongside a vast collection of over 8,000 pieces of notable art and historical artifacts.
The Concertgebouw is also close to the museum: this internationally renowned performance venue is famous for its acoustics.
If you just want to take a break and a breath of fresh air, then you should head over to Vondelpark. This iconic green space is the place to be in Amsterdam when the sun is shining. Pack a picnic or get a takeout and lay out on the grass for a very chilled out afternoon in the city.
If shopping is what you want to do, make your way down to the nation’s most expensive shopping street: PC Hooftstraat. The street is packed full of chic shops and designer boutiques. Just don’t forget your credit card.
These other posts will be useful when planning a trip to Amsterdam:
- The Best Tips For Visiting Amsterdam
- How To Visit Anne Frank House In Amsterdam
- Where To See The Cats Of Amsterdam
- The Best Hidden Gems In Amsterdam
- What To See And Do In Jewish Amsterdam