Picturesque Golden Age canals, premier league art, cosy cafés, and liberal urban living combine to make Amsterdam one of Europe’s most vibrant capitals.
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Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands|hermitage.nl|
A 17th-century old people’s home by the Amstel River has been cleverly converted into exhibition spaces to display exquisite treasures from the vast collections of St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum.
Some of the collections focus on Russian history and culture, others on wider European art – recent and forthcoming exhibitions have included masterpiece Impressionist paintings. Usually, two blockbuster exhibitions take place each year.
It may seem odd that Amsterdam is home to such fine Russian art, but Amsterdam has a special relationship with Russia – Peter the Great once lived in the city, and it inspired him to build St Petersburg. He founded the original Hermitage Museum using exhibits collected while in Amsterdam.
Getting there & doing it
The nearest tram stop is Waterlooplein.
Check the museum website for information on current and upcoming exhibitions. Audio tours, in English and Dutch, are created for each exhibition.
The on-site Café Neva is a stylish place, serving international and Dutch dishes (plus drinks and snacks), open daytime and evenings.
When to do it
The museum is open all year round, seven days a week. Most exhibitions are extremely popular, meaning there are often queues to get in, and crowds inside. Late mornings on weekends are usually busiest, while Wednesday evenings and weekday afternoons tend to be the quietest.
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