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Van Gogh Museum advice

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Oct 24th, 2016, 05:12 PM
  #1
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Van Gogh Museum advice

Mr. Wonderful and I will be in Amsterdam at the end of a river cruise and have a free afternoon on Monday December 5. I would like to visit the Van Gogh Museum however Mr. W will hate it if it is crowded like our Vatican visit in May 2014 (wall to wall people, shuffling along a few steps at a time). I know we can book tickets online and avoid the line to get inside but how crowded do you think it will be inside on that date? Thank you for any insight you can provide.
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Oct 24th, 2016, 07:26 PM
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I was just there in the afternoon on Friday, 10/15/16 (around 3pm). There were definitely plenty of visitors, but it was absolutely not teeming with hordes of visitors.

If you'd like a fascinating and non-crowded museum, head to the other end of town and visit the Maritime Museum. Highly recommend.
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Oct 24th, 2016, 10:22 PM
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No one knows how crowded it can get. You odd for less people is better near the closing time. Of course, you can have unusual concentration of tour groups hitting the museum.

Maritime Museum was not crowded and fascinating if you are interested in the Dutch maritime history. It is a not a place for those looking for fine art masterpieces.

What you encounter these days at museums with masterpieces are a lot of "I was there" people. They don't linger around pieces once they are done with "I was there" pictures. I can usually get close to the pieces in a few minutes to look at the details. (Van Gogh is one of the increasing number of museums prohibiting selfie sticks.)
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Oct 24th, 2016, 10:53 PM
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IME Van Gogh museum was nothing like the hoards at the Vatican museums.
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Oct 24th, 2016, 11:10 PM
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5 December is Sinterklaas. Dutch people will be home early for the family celebration. There will be tourists, of course, but you will be unlikely to see school groups. It's probably a good day for the Van Gogh.
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Oct 25th, 2016, 01:37 AM
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December 5th is probably the best day to visit as far as lack of local visitors to the museum, because it is as Tulips says the day the Dutch celebrate Sinterklaas. I also really doubt there will be that many tourists.
It is a well planned museum and it is generally easy to to enjoy the paintings.
As an alternative you could consider the Hermitage http://www.hermitage.nl/en/
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Oct 25th, 2016, 01:56 AM
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Let's get real here. "Other" museums are NOT filled with Van Gogh works so I disagree with going somewhere else.

The last time I visited, very unfortunately, a cruise ship was docked in Amsterdam and it appeared that at least half of the entire poop deck cabin people were also there.

Adding insult to that injury was the fact that "Starry Night" had been "loaned out" just like the "Hay Wain" had been "loaned out" when I tried to see that in London. Hey, those things happen.

If you want to go to the place I would suggest either going early or late but I would not go somewhere else.
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Oct 25th, 2016, 08:48 AM
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Thanks everyone I think we'll go to the Van Gogh museum and choose a time later in the day (based on closing time of course). I appreciate all your comments.
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Oct 25th, 2016, 09:10 AM
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It's only open till 6 pm.
Go and have a drink in the Conservatorium Hotel, around the corner on Van Baerlestraat, afterwards. It's beautiful.
And don't forget to eat speculaas and pepernoten, for Sinterklaas.
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Oct 25th, 2016, 12:37 PM
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5 December is Sinterklaas>

what festivities will there be- anything special?

dank u
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Oct 25th, 2016, 04:49 PM
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This museum as well as the Riksmuseum was on my to do list on my free day in Amsterdam prior to a Tulip Time River cruise. It was fairly crowded when I was there in early April 2015 on a very cold and windy day. As I stood in the lobby trying to get my bearings, a very helpful museum employee saw me hesitating about which way to go and suggested I take the elevator to the top floor working my way down which is the chronological design/layout of Van Gogh's works. If that info/tip was in the literature I browsed before going I somehow missed it.

This worked out well. Lo and behold, I was going opposite the crowds. I took the stairs down to each level and from one of the higher landings, looked out of the window to see a huge rendering of the famous self portrait on the outside wall. I took a photo at an angle and got a nice shot of the wall and grounds below, a great souvenir for my photo book.

Hope this helps. Happy travels!
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Oct 25th, 2016, 08:24 PM
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Travelchat, thank you for the touring plan. Were you able to visit both museums in a day?
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Oct 25th, 2016, 11:07 PM
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PalenQ; people celebrate Sinterklaas at home with family or friends. There are no public festivities on December 5.
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Oct 26th, 2016, 05:53 AM
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<>

It wasn't "loaned out". It's in the permanent collection of the MOMA in New York. If you were looking for "Starry Night over the Rhone" you would have to go to the Orsay in Paris.

I was at the Van Gogh Museum recently on a Sunday morning, and while it was crowded, it certainly wasn't difficult to get around and see the paintings. Nothing like the Rembrandt gallery at the Hermitage (St. Petersburg, not the Amsterdam branch) where one could hardly move when I was last there.

A Monday afternoon in December? I doubt that you will be bothered by crowds at all.
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Oct 26th, 2016, 07:10 AM
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On 5 December there will be one sea cruise ship docked in Amsterdam, the Aidasol (2,686 passengers maximum), and no river cruise ships (season is over).

In the afternoon, the museum will be pretty empty.
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Oct 26th, 2016, 10:14 AM
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Scootoir:
I did see both museums starting in the early morning leaving from Central Station (s
near my hotel taking the #5 tram, getting off at the Museumplein stop. First, I chose the Highlights Tour of an hour which was very helpful to scope out the huge, two building complex of the Rijksmuseum, then wandered a bit on my own for another 45 minutes viewing as much as my wonky knees could stand and thankfully sat for a restful cup of tea at one of the tiny refreshment cafes I happened upon tucked away inside.

After a short stop at the Rijksmuseum gift shop to buy my usual take home souvenir of a book mark or two I walked around and through the outdoor plaza area, had my photo taken at the I-AMSTERDAM sculpture, then followed the signage over to the Van Gogh Museum.

I am more of an overview, not a "read every blurb, stop and study" kind of museum goer so it was a easy for me to cover both these museums in less than a full day.

BTW, I found the Central Station, designed by the Rijksmuseum architect, is a marvelous place to wander and make a bathroom stop. There's a HEMA (loved browsing here) for interesting toiletries, makeup, etc., a book store, a pharmacy and convenience store for munchies and bottled water.
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Oct 26th, 2016, 10:16 AM
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Argh - forgive the (s above. Not sure how that happened.
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Oct 26th, 2016, 09:51 PM
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traveller1959, there will be at least one river cruise ship docked at that time--the one we are on! Several lines run Christmas market cruises on the Rhine that begin or end in Amsterdam.

Thank you Travelchat for sharing your rich, full day in Amsterdam. Sounds like a great time.
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Oct 27th, 2016, 12:08 PM
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I've been to Van Gogh Museum several times - last time in August,a busy season and the way the museum is laid out I doubt if crowding will be a problem.
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Oct 27th, 2016, 05:18 PM
  #20
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PalenQ, thank you for the encouragement. How much time would you recommend we allow?
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