We were blessed to be able to enjoy a second visit to the museum. Here is what we learned along the way. If you are taking the train into Amsterdam Central and do not want to go directly to your hotel, you can store your luggage at the train station. Just follow the signs for baggage lockers. Place your luggage in the appropriately sized locker and shut the door of the locker. The display menu will ask you to insert money or card. Pay the fee and you will be issued a scan card with the appropriate locker number on it. Upon return, just scan the card and the locker will pop open.
Either do a ticketing kiosk or go to the travel office in the station to buy tram tickets. Lots of options so pick what suits your needs. Exit the station and walk across the street to find Tram #5. There are 3 stops near the Van Gogh Museum starting with stop, Rijk Museum and ending with Museumplein. We liked the second stop option, Van Baerlestraat, which is stop #9 from Central Station. It's about a 15 - 20 minute ride at best.
Make sure you have bought tickets on line before you go here. The tickets allow you to avoid some horrendous lines and give you a specific entry time. You must come at the appropriate time. The ticket will tell you how "tardy" you can be and still get in. Once you present your tickets and precede down the escalator, hang a left to drop off any coat, back pack, or bulky item you have. In the same location, pick up the multimedia head set. You should have paid for these head sets on line along with your tickets. If you didn't do it on line, no big deal. Just make sure you get the head sets.
The head sets are simply awesome. We have never experienced better production than what you will receive here. Concise information that is both informative and inspiring. Beautifully rendered story lines that bring Vincent to life. You also have the option to delve into more information and background as the presentation unfolds. Your choice. All you have to do is go to a painting, find it's corresponding number on your head set, and hit play. This is a must.
We love the museum cafe. The food is well above average and beats anything we have encountered in the states. We read great reviews about the cafe at the Rijks Museum. We tried the Rijks cafe on this trip, and for my money, I would take the Van Gogh cafe any day.
The gift shop and the special exhibit this year, "Van Gogh in Japan", are both located on the ground level. Your head set will have all the relevant information for the Japan expedition as well. You can choose to go in depth or simply do the highlights for the Japan exhibit.
The Van Gogh museum continues to move me. As a lifelong Vincent fan, this place stirs in me so much emotion, and when I looked around, I believe most people were likewise moved.
My biggest issue with the museum is that they do not allow photography. I won't debate the policy, but it is rather hypocritical that the 3 awesome Van Gogh's across the park at the Rijks Museum can be photographed. I cannot tell you how awesome it was to take some great pictures of Vincent at the Rijks Museum without feeling like a criminal. If you bought tickets on line, the museum will send you a follow up email about your experience. If you, like me, wish you could have taken a few pictures, please note that in your comments about your experience.
Lastly, we find the elevators to be slow and jammed with people. If you can manage it, the best way to move between floors is by the staircases which are wide and easy to navigate.
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