Van Gogh Museum

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The queues for this museum are extremely long and confusing, stretching along the pavement. Buying in advance is supposed to provide fast-track entry, but people seem to end up queuing anyway. When we arrived it was also drizzling so, with my husband already in great discomfort after walking from our hotel, we asked the assistants if there were any special queues for disabled people. Fortunately, they let us straight through. It was worth the visit just to see iconic paintings such as Pair of Shoes, Almond Blossom, Irises and Bedroom. However, it was difficult to appreciate them fully whilst being shuffled along within a queue of people, and unable to stand back and view them from a distance. There was one electric wheelchair user who was trying her best to see the pictures through a sea of backs: she and I worked out when the tour groups were were honing in on particular painting and dove back into the spaces left by their wake.

It was interesting to see the paintings that had inspired van Gogh and I enjoyed seeing his paints and easel. However, Gauguin’s painting of Van Gogh in the act of painting the sunflowers was the closest I came to seeing them: the actual sunflowers had gone on holiday to London, and there was no trace of Cafe Terrace at Night or Starry Night – which are on exhibition elsewhere. No photography was allowed inside but I was able to take a snap of one of his self portraits in the neighbouring Rijksmuseum where photography is allowed.

There is a lovely gift shop inside the museum but husband had had enough so I had to get him back to the hotel. I was not sure I could brave the queues again to get back inside just to look at sunflower tee shirts and silk almond blossom scarves, though I was sorely tempted.

Tickets are 15 euros each and can be purchased on line for specific time slots which should ease the time spent queueing. Visit However, if you are planning on visiting several other attractions and travelling by public transport it is worth considering buying an an “Amsterdam City Card”: which will get you in for free.

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