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How to Get Into Dutch Museums Free (Kinda)

Museumkaart logoIf you like museums and live or plan on visiting the Netherlands, you should do yourself a favor and pick up a yearly Museumkaart. We finally purchased ours and I really wish we had done it sooner. I can think of several museum trips I’ve taken that would have free with this card.

The Museumkaart allows you to get into some 400 public and non-profit museums in the Netherlands (more in the North than in the South) for free and usually allows you to jump the line as well. In busy cities like Amsterdam that can really save time (the Rijksmuseum being one exception). Here in Maastricht, the Bonnefanten & Natural History museums both take the card.

The downside is that there are some significant exceptions to the card, including the Anne Frank House, the House of Bols, and the Royal Delft Factory. Most, if not all, privately owned museums do not honor the museum card or will only give you a small discount. Other cultural institutions such as zoos and national parks are not included either. We found that we quickly started to make decisions about what museums to visit based on whether we could use the card there.

The Museumkaart is 35 euros for adults 25 years+ and 17,50 for anyone younger. The cards are per person. The first time you purchase one you’ll have to pay an additional administrative fee of 4,95 euros, but afterward you simply can renew your existing card. They can be purchased online or at many of the participating museums. One guidebook we have recommends clearly explaining that you want the yearly card since “kaart” in Dutch also translates to “ticket”.

Is It Worth It for Visitors?
I’d say probably, if you like museums. My in-laws purchased the cards and at least broke even during their 2-week trip. Even if you don’t, the woman we purchased our cards from recommended trying to resell them. Just don’t write in your name and information.

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