During the nineteenth century, Amsterdam burst out of its restraining canals, gobbling up the surrounding countryside with a slew of new residential suburbs. Neither did the developers forget to impress for it was here in the 1880s, on the southern edge of the city centre, that Petrus Josephus Hubertus Cuypers, the creator of Centraal Station, built the city’s Rijksmuseum, an imposing edifice designed in an inventive and especially attractive historic style. No mistake, the museum possesses one of the most comprehensive collections of Dutch paintings in the world and although it is in the throes of an extraordinarily long-winded revamp, the kernel of the collection – Dutch paintings from Amsterdam’s seventeenth-century Golden Age – is still on display in the Philips Wing, the only part of the museum to remain open during the refurbishment, which is supposed to be completed in 2013. Equally enticing is the neighbouring Van Gogh Museum, which boasts the most satisfying collection of van Gogh paintings in the world, with important works representative of all his artistic periods. Taken together, the two museums form one of Amsterdam’s biggest draws – and they are supplemented by the modern and contemporary art of the newly reopened Stedelijk Museum. From the Stedelijk Museum, it’s a brief walk northwest along van Baerlestraat to the sprawling greenery of the Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s loveliest park. As an alcoholic counterblast to all this culture, the area is also home to the Heineken Experience – a hoppy hop round the old brewery with tasting included.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Netherlands features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

7 Dutch cities to explore beyond Amsterdam

7 Dutch cities to explore beyond Amsterdam

Amsterdam — with its museums, gabled Golden Age houses and network of historic canals — is a sure bet for a weekend break. But it's not all the Netherlands…

27 Apr 2017 • Stuart Forster insert_drive_file Article
An expert's guide: the best area to stay in Amsterdam

An expert's guide: the best area to stay in Amsterdam

Almost 50 years after John Lennon and Yoko Ono promoted world peace from room 702 of the Hilton, Amsterdam’s hotels are more worthy of the spotlight than ev…

08 Mar 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
The best places to go in spring

The best places to go in spring

Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…

14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month