The Rijksmuseum is among the world's finest art museums, packing in works by local heroes Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh as well as other masterpieces in the 8000 works on display over 1.5km of galleries. To avoid the biggest crowds, come before 10am or after 3pm. Start on the 2nd floor in the Gallery of Honour with the astounding Golden Age works. Prebooking tickets online provides fast-track entry.
Intimate paintings by Vermeer and De Hooch allow insight into everyday life in the 17th century, while Rembrandt's The Night Watch (1642) takes pride of place. Initially named Company of Frans Banning Cocq (the militia's leader), The Night Watch title was bestowed years later due to a layer of grime that gave the impression it was an evening scene.
Other must-sees are the Delftware (blue-and-white pottery), intricately detailed dollhouses and the Asian Pavilion. The sculpture-studded gardens around the exterior are free to visit and the Rijks restaurant has a Michelin star. There is also a cafe inside the museum serving light lunches.
I Amsterdam and Museumkaart cardholders get in free with no need to queue at the ticket office.