If you were lucky enough to score tickets to the Rijksmuseum’s acclaimed Vermeer exhibition in Amsterdam, you’re in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s the first and likely last time this number of the Dutch master’s paintings will be displayed together (28 of 37 known works) and demand is so high the entire run sold out two days after opening. That means this already bustling destination is about to get even busier—especially with warm weather and a host of seasonal events around the corner.
To make the most of everything that’s on offer, we recommend planning and reserving your hotel and activities as far in advance of your holiday as possible. So, what’s available now, what’s coming up, and where should you start when you’re here for Vermeer? We’ve got you covered.
Must-See Exhibition and Museum Highlights
Several paintings in the Vermeer exhibition are on loan from international museums and galleries and not all of them will be on display for its full duration. For starters, don’t miss The Girl with a Pearl Earring (on loan from Mauritshuis, The Hague) which returns to its home on 31st March. You can also catch Woman Holding a Balance (on loan from The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC) as well as Girl Reading a Letter at the Open Window (which has never been on public display before).
When you’re finished with Vermeer, the rest of the Rijksmuseum has more than 8,000 pieces and 80 galleries to explore (though it’s a lot to cover on a single visit). If you’re pressed for time, we recommend the “Best of the Rijksmuseum” guided tour for 5€ per person. Alternatively, you can delve into their digital collection to curate a list of what you want to see. Renowned works from Rembrandt, Cuyp, Steen, and other icons of Dutch painting are all on view in breath-taking spaces like the Great Hall and Gallery of Honour.
Credits:Max van den Oetelaar
Upcoming Festivals, Holidays, and Events
The Vermeer exhibition is well timed with other major events happening in Amsterdam and The Netherlands. Adults travelling in March can enjoy the Amsterdam Wine Festival from the 23rd to 26th, which includes masterclasses, tastings, and food pairings. For families, tulip season [link to other blog when published] starts in mid-April and runs until early May. King’s Day celebrations take place on 27th April, while Molendag, or National Mill Day on 13th May, will see 950 watermills and windmills across Holland open to visitors.
There are also plenty of opportunities to supplement your Rijksmuseum experience with more of Amsterdam’s incredible art offering, including the Van Gogh Museum, Moco, and the Stedelijk which are all conveniently located around Museumplein park.
Credits: Jean Carlo Emer
Where to Stay
If you prefer to stay close to the museum but outside of the busiest parts of the city, Park Plaza Vondelpark is just an 18-minute walk away and directly beside Amsterdam’s most attractive park. Or, if you like to be in the heart of the action, Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam is 11 minutes from the Rijksmuseum by transit and a two-minute walk to Central Station. Whichever you choose, we look forward to welcoming you on your next visit and would be happy to assist you with making reservations for any of your desired activities. Book your stay today.