Lonely Planet Writer

Now you can see famous Dutch masterpieces without ever leaving Amsterdam airport

If you’re in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport for a stopover – or even if you didn’t get time to do everything you wanted to do in the city – you can still see some of the most famous artworks in the Netherlands without ever leaving the airport terminal.

Holland Boulevard, Schiphol
Now you can get a dose of culture without ever leaving the airport. Image by Thijs Wolzak

The Rijksmuseum opened its very own branch of the museum at the airport back in 2002 but now a major renovation means it has its very own specially-designed exhibition space, allowing passengers a chance to get a dose of culture before flying out.

Currently, ten paintings from the Dutch Golden Age are on display, including work from Jan van Goyen, Willem van de Velde the Younger, Abraham Mignon and Michiel van Mierevelt. Unlike most museums, it’s open 24-hours-a-day and is totally free of charge to visit. There’s even an adjacent museum shop where you can purchase some last-minute souvenirs.

The Rijksmuseum at Schiphol
Not your typical airport experience. Image by Thijs Wolzak

The exhibition is part of the newly-renovated leisure zone called Holland Boulevard, which can be found after security between Lounges 2 and 3. It’s designed to give passengers a much needed break from the stress of travelling while also promoting Dutch culture. To celebrate the opening, travellers were also treated to the sight of 45 of the most famous works of art to come out of the Netherlands adorning their baggage carousel.

As well as the Rijksmuseum, visitors can visit the airport library, which has 500 books by Dutch authors, explore local culture using touch screens, buy tulips to bring home, try a typical Dutch meal at one of the restaurants or take part in interactive science activities courtesy of Amsterdam’s NEMO Science Museum.

These Dutch masterpieces greeted passengers coming into Amsterdam. Photo by Thijs Wolzak