Amsterdam's most famous museums cluster around this public square, which has that Amsterdam essential: a skateboard ramp, as well as a playground and ice-skating pond (in winter). Locals and tourists mill around, everyone picnics here when the weather warms up, and there are food and craft stalls on the third Sunday of the month. The space is also used for public concerts and special events.

Museumplein was laid out to host the World Exhibition in 1883, but gained its lasting title only when the Rijksmuseum opened two years later.

One of many facelifts raised a triangle of turf at the southern end, dubbed the 'ass's ear' for its shape; it's now a popular spot for sun worshippers. There's a large supermarket concealed below.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Amsterdam attractions

1. Van Gogh Museum

0.03 MILES

This wonderful museum traces Van Gogh's life and artistic development via the world's largest collection of his work. More than 200 canvases are on…

2. Moco Museum

0.04 MILES

A private house, the 1904 Villa Alsberg has been converted into the 'Modern Contemporary' (Moco) museum by a couple who are private collectors and…

3. Stedelijk Museum

0.09 MILES

This fabulous museum houses the collection amassed by postwar curator Willem Sandberg. The ground-floor Stedelijk Base exhibition displays a rotating…

4. Van Gogh Museum Library


The Van Gogh Museum's library has a wealth of reference material – some 35,000 books and articles – for serious study.

5. House of Bols

0.11 MILES

Cheesy but fun: here you undertake an hour's self-guided tour through this jenever (Dutch gin) museum. In the 'Hall of Taste' you'll try to differentiate…

6. Diamond Museum

0.15 MILES

The extensive bling on display at the small, low-tech Diamond Museum is all clever recreations. You get a lot of background on the history of the trade…

7. Rijksmuseum

0.21 MILES

The Netherlands’ top treasure house, the Rijksmuseum (pronounced ‘rikes’), is among the world's finest art museums. With over 1.5km of galleries, it packs…

8. Vondelpark

0.29 MILES

Attracting over 12 million visitors per year, Amsterdam’s favorite playground is the green expanse of Vondelpark, with its 116 acres (47 hectares) of…