Must-See Art Guide: Amsterdam

Amsterdam has the most museums of any city in the world.

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Pim Palsgraaf, Multi Scape. Courtesy of Kers Gallery.
Alicia Framis, I'm in the wrong place to be real (2014). Courtesy of Annet Gelink Gallery.
Miguel Ybáñez, La mirada que humedece mis ojos (2008). Courtesy of Grimm Gallery.
Michael Ryan, 6th Symphony, Gustav Mahler . Courtesy of Borzo modern and contemporary art.
Marlene Dumas, Het Kwaad is Banaal (1984). Courtesy of Stedelijk Musem.
Piet Mondrian, Mill in Sunlight (1908). Courtesy of Amsterdam Museum.
Tino Sehgal
Nobuyoshi Araki, Sentimental Journey/Winter Journey (1971/1990). Courtesy of Nobuyoshi Araki.

If you’re looking to spend your holidays in a place with the highest number of museums of any city in the world, it’s time to visit Amsterdam! In total, Amsterdam has 51 museums, 165 canals, and 1,281 bridges. The port city, nicknamed the Venice of the North, is located on the river Amstel, next to the Ijsselmeer. Apart from the many coffee shops and vibrant Red Light District with its special windows, there is plenty to see for art lovers.

Start your tour with a visit to the 10th annual independent art fair, Art in Redlight, at the Beurs van Berlage, a national heritage site of the Netherlands. This year, the art fair is expected to draw around 11,000 national and international visitors, and will present more than 200 talented artists. Take a step into the Forbidden Rooms by Alicia Framis, a series of installations and paintings at Annet Gelink Gallery, a leading contemporary art gallery in the Netherlands. At the Stedelijk Museum (Municipal Museum), located next to the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum in the Museum Quarter, you have the chance to see almost 200 drawings and paintings by the South African artist Marlene Dumas. The exhibition is the artist’s first solo show in the Netherlands in 20 years. Or, stop by the photography museum Foam to see photographs by one of the most celebrated Japanese contemporary artists Nobuyoshi Araki.

Have fun in the city of bikes, cheese, tulips, and art, and home to Karel Appel and Rembrandt van Rijn. Enjoy your holidays, and Happy New Year!


Art Festival: “Art in Redlight”

When: December 27–December 30, 2014

Where: Beurs van Berlage, Damrak 243, Amsterdam


Exhibition: “Alicia Framis: Forbidden Rooms”

When: November 27, 2014–January 3, 2015

Where: Annet Gelink Gallery, Laurierstraat 187–189, Amsterdam


Exhibition: Dios Mio Cuantas Gracias

When: November 27, 2014–January 3, 2015

Where: Grimm Gallery, Frans Halsstraat 26, Amsterdam


Exhibition: Michael Ryan: The Observer is the Observed

When: December 13, 2014–January 3, 2015

Where: Borzo modern and contemporary art, Keizersgracht 516, Amsterdam


Exhibition: Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden

When: September 6, 2014–January 4, 2015

Where: Stedelijk Museum, Museumplein 10, Amsterdam


Exhibition: Mondriaan in Amsterdam 1892–1912

When: October 11, 2013–January 5, 2015

Where: Amsterdam Museum, Nieuwezijds Voorburgswal 357, Amsterdam


Exhibition: A Year at the Stedelijk: Tino Sehgal

When: January 1–December 31, 2015

Where: Stedelijk Museum, Museumplein 10, Amsterdam


Exhibition: ARAKI Ojo Shashu – Photography for the Afterlife: Alluring Hell

When: December 19, 2014–March 11, 2015

Where: Foam Photography Museum, Keizersgracht 609, Amsterdam

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