Whether you’re a keen art historian or just looking to experience the city’s unique culture, a visit to the Rembrandt House Museum is a must. As the name suggests, this one-of-a-kind museum celebrates the famous figure from his old home in Amsterdam. It’s the perfect place to learn about his legacy, see some artistic masterpieces, and explore a traditional canal house while you’re at it!
But first, let’s help you get there.
Getting to Rembrandt House Museum by train
The Rembrandt House Museum is conveniently located in Amsterdam’s inner canal ring. This means it’s easy to get to on foot if you’re already exploring the heart of the city. Whether you’re staying in a central Amsterdam hotel or visiting other attractions, stroll to the museum and soak up the friendly Dutch atmosphere along the way.
If you’re based in an outer neighbourhood, or you’re across the city on other business, you might like to take public transport to the Rembrandt House Museum. This should be no problem since Amsterdam is served by a quick and convenient transportation network. Take a bus, metro, tram, or train and get to the museum in no time.
Which station is nearest to the Rembrandt House Museum?
Because of its central location, the Rembrandt House Museum is practically surrounded by bus, metro, and tram stops.
Take the bus to Waterlooplein and wander through Waterlooplein Market for a lovely way to arrive. It’s just a couple of minutes’ walk to the museum from this stop. The nearest metro station is also called Waterlooplein, making this option straightforward too.
Or travel by tram, alighting at Mr. Visserplein, which is also just moments away. We love riding the trams around Amsterdam as an excellent way to see the city without walking too far.
Choosing tickets for public transport in Amsterdam
Whichever type of transportation you choose, you can make all your journeys simple when you use a multi-day travel card for your ticket. These travel cards, like the OV-chipkaart or I Amsterdam Card, let you swipe on and off any bus, metro, or tram without purchasing a new ticket. Just choose the duration of your stay when ordering your card online, or ask for help purchasing yours at one of the city’s central train stations.
What to see at the Rembrandt House Museum
Rembrandt’s house remains filled with art. From sketches and etchings to paintings and work by other artists, there’s excitement around every corner.
Visitors today can enjoy viewing an almost complete collection of Rembrandt’s etchings, some of which are permanently displayed, while others rotate throughout the year. You can also see some of the artist’s famous paintings and sketches.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights you can expect to see when you visit the Rembrandt House Museum.
The house itself
The house itself is an integral part of the Rembrandt House Museum, so be sure to take notes as you wander around.
The Rembrandt House Museum occupies the artist’s former home in central Amsterdam. It was the setting for his passionate love life and the home of his extensive art collections. Not to mention Rembrandt’s studio, where talented students came to train, and many of the artist’s best-loved pieces were created.
In 1658, at the age of 52, Rembrandt fell into bankruptcy and was forced to leave his house fro a more modest accommodation in Jordaan. This would be where the artist spent the last decade of his life. The place was unimpressive and was demolished in the 19th century, long after Rembrandt’s residence there.
Rembrandt’s original house, the home of the museum we know today, was in a state of despair at the start of the 20th century. Few even knew that the famous artist had ever lived there. In the early 1900s, people started to realise how significant this central Amsterdam residence was in the life of the city’s championed artist, and thorough restoration began to save the building and convert it into a museum.
The interiors have been restored to their original condition, according to the style of the time. Seventeenth-century furniture, objects, and utensils represent the style of Rembrandt’s life until he went bankrupt. We’ll cover this in a little more detail later.
A unique selection of paintings hangs on the walls of the Rembrandt House Museum. Most of these are by artists who were living and working in the Dutch capital before the Rembrandt years. The most prominent of these is Pieter Lastman, who taught Rembrandt in Amsterdam. Some Lastman pieces to look out for include:
- The Crucifixion (1616)
- The Lamentation of Abel (1623)
- The Sacrifice of Abraham (1612)
- The Triumph of Mordecai (1617)
As well as his celebrated paintings and drawings, Rembrandt also produced around 290 prints. He was and is one of the great masters in this medium, and boasted a fine reputation around Europe for this graphic work. Because these printed etchings could be easily reproduced, they were widely circulated and therefore much better known than Rembrandt’s other paintings and sketches.
When you visit the Rembrandt Museum, you can enjoy lots of these pieces on display. The Dutch countryside is covered extensively through the artist’s etchings. Some of these are accurate representations, while others include imagined features like mountains and exotic buildings.
There are also lots of etched portraits to discover. Many of these were commissioned, while others are of Rembrandt’s friends and relatives. Look out for self-portraits, nudes, and biblical scenes too!
Rembrandt History and Facts
All these paintings and etchings are well and good, but who was Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn the man? Let’s skim through the figure’s history, so you can head to his house with a little more context.
Moving to Amsterdam
There was much more to Rembrandt than his artistic talent. He was born in Leiden, in South Holland, in July 1606. He was discovered by the great poet and scholar Constantijn Huygens at age 25 and went to live and work in Amsterdam. The Dutch capital was one of the cultural centres of the world, and a perfect place for the young artist to make his mark.
Amsterdam’s rapidly growing economy had made many of its citizens very wealthy, which was excellent news for artists. Millions of paintings were being produced and sold at the time, from amateur attempts to some of the masterpieces we recognise today. Rembrandt started to accumulate wealth and status quickly.
Rembrandt produced art at an impressive rate. Altogether, he made around 300 paintings, 290 etchings, and about 2,000 drawings. Alongside this, he taught students from his home studio, which you can visit at the Rembrandt House Museum today.
The confident artist inspired his students with his signature style, producing dynamic, dramatic scenes with a focus on light and shade. This way, Rembrandt had a significant influence on the development of western art.
It wouldn’t be unusual for a 17th-century artist to struggle from their lack of income. After all, it’s a notoriously difficult way to make money even today. Rembrandt, however, was financially successful for most of his life.
As a businessman as well as an artist, Rembrandt’s income came from commissioned portraits, workshop sales, and teaching. He lived lavishly, and in 1639 bought the house that is Rembrandt House Museum today for a considerable sum. But his finances weren’t always peachy. Two-thirds of his home was mortgaged, which led to a period of bankruptcy in 1656.
There are lots of elements of the Rembrandt House Museum to enjoy. You’ll be given an audio guide for your visit, so you can learn about the artist’s life and work in more detail as you wander around.
Restaurants, bars, and shops near the Rembrandt House Museum
Looking for a bite to eat after you visit the Rembrandt House Museum? There are lots of excellent cafés and restaurants nearby, so you won’t need to travel far to find what you fancy. Here are some of our favourites.
The best restaurants near the Rembrandt House Museum
- Bistrot des Alpes – A Dutch-Asian spot in a sleek, minimalist setting. An excellent choice for dinner.
- Eerlijk – A bright, airy spot for brunch or lunch, a locals’ favourite with stand-out food.
- Dignita Hoftuin – Another excellent choice for brunch or lunch with ample outdoor seating.
- Box Sociaal – Join the locals at this all-day café-restaurant, for a selection of breakfast, lunch, and delicious burgers.
- Restaurant Kyo – A Japanese-style casual spot with a modern-traditional menu and lots of tempting drinks.
- Lion Noir – For a French-inspired menu, eclectic décor, and late-night hours.
- Trattoria Graziella – A cosy Italian trattoria with a relaxing atmosphere and skillfully made food.
- Café de Sluyswacht – Set inside a picturesque building, this friendly restaurant serves simple food and local beer.
- Betty Blue – Spacious, laid-back, with delicious food and coffee to boot.
Shopping at the Rembrandt House Museum
While there are lots of art shops scattered around Amsterdam, the Rembrandt House Museum is a perfect place to pick up a print for your collection. The museum shop is open every day, so you can browse and buy things to remember your trip forever.
Choose your favourite Rembrandt piece and buy a print to hang in your home. Or pick up a coffee table book filled with etchings and drawings to display proudly for guests. There are lots of beautiful accessories and objects to discover in the museum shop, as well as art kits to start out your own creative journey.
Rembrandt House Museum Opening Times and Ticket Prices
Like with most museums, galleries, and tourist attractions, it’s a good idea to book your tickets to the Rembrandt House Museum online in advance. This means you’ll be able to choose a timeslot for your visit and avoid queuing outside.
The Rembrandt House Museum is open every day, except Mondays. The only days you can’t visit are Christmas Day and the 27th of April, which is King’s Day in Amsterdam. Opening hours are between 10:00 and 18:00. The museum closes at 17:00 on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and opens at 11:00 on the 1st of January.
How much does it cost to visit the Rembrandt House Museum?
The cost of your visit to the Rembrandt House Museum will vary depending on who’s visiting. Here are the most recent prices for 2020. Still, be sure to check online and reserve your slot before you go.
Children (age 6 to 17)
Children (under 6)
You can also visit for free if you have an I Amsterdam Card, which is also a great way to use public transport during your time in Amsterdam. All prices include use of the museum’s audio guide, which can help add interest to your tour.
Taking the train to Amsterdam?
Taking the train to Amsterdam is one of the easiest and quickest ways to travel from many major destinations across Europe. Modern high-speed trains are ready to whisk you from one city to another, and some of the most popular train journeys include Paris to Amsterdam (3h 12m), Brussels to Amsterdam (1h 45m) and London to Amsterdam (4h 2m).
On your way home you'll also enjoy quick journey times, including Amsterdam to Paris (3h 13m), Amsterdam to Brussels (1h 46m) and Amsterdam to London (5h 11m - although a new quicker direct route is launching later this year).
Feeling inspired to take the train? Why not find out more about travelling around the Netherlands by train in our trains in the Netherlands guide.