Van Gogh Museum
8.30am (depending on location)
Meet and greet with your English-speaking guide in the hotel lobby, from where you will be taken for a scenic walk to, and guided tour of the Van Gogh Museum, where you will step into Van Gogh’s world. You enter the Van Gogh Museum through the glass entrance building, located on Museum Square that beautifully complements the exhibition wing created in 1999 by Kisho Kurokawa Architect and Associates.
Discover what Vincent wanted to express in the redesigned exhibit of Van Gogh Museum’s collection.
In the layout, you step directly into Van Gogh’s world. You obviously see his masterpieces like the Potato Eaters and the Bedroom, but also his drawings and letters. You discover the ideas and ambitions behind his art. Van Gogh experienced life and the world intensely and wanted his art to portray the great themes of life, such as anxiety, suffering, love and hope. You follow the on-going search of an artist who was constantly trying to improve himself. In this way, you get a new view of an artist you thought you knew. www.vangoghmuseum.nl
We continue the tour with an interesting walking tour of the historical city center.
Amsterdam, the city that was named after the Amstel river, is world-famous for its canals, locks, bridges and well-preserved centuries-old buildings. Most of which can be seen in the ‘canal district’. This unique area was laid out in the early 1600s and would obtain its final shape by the 1660s. Amsterdam, by then, was Europe’s third most populated city and admired for being so well organized, tolerant in religious matters and for the system of aid for the poor it had developed to deal with the needs of the urban poor and sick. An international and accommodating city that forms the splendid embodiment of what has been named ‘The Golden Age’. The architecture of the elegant town homes that were built in the residential sections of the ‘New Town’, continues to impress up to today.
The Van Loon Mansion is housed within the former residence of the Van Loon family and together with its garden and carriage house, constitutes an ensemble that is typical of the ‘Golden Age Grand Town Home’. Today, it is the only remaining architectural ensemble in town. The rooms inside all reflect on fashions associated with wealth and refinement. The walls are graced with family portraits that are grouped so as to showcase the unions between Van Loon and other powerful families.
Since Amsterdam is an excellent walking city, strolling down the paved streets, your guide will point out famous landmarks such as the Royal Palace on Dam Square, the former civic orphanage on Kalverstraat and the neighboring Begijnhof (scenic courtyard complex of centuries-old homes still in use by a community of women, formerly addressed as “begijnen” – a lay catholic sisterhood established in 1389), the Sephardic synagogue in the former Jewish district and the former home of Rembrandt van Rijn. All are within walking distance of most hotels.
De Jordaan or de Pijp neighborhoods are lovely areas than can easily be incorporated in your tour, should you so desire. Both are home to famous street markets and offer plentiful opportunities for a lunch or coffee break. The Nine Street district with its local stores and boutiques is also interesting to walk through.
Along the way there is leisure time for lunch. Your guide will give you suggestions based on where you are at the moment you would like to have lunch.
The walk will end at the famous Rembrandt House Museum, for a guided tour. The Rembrandt House Museum, home and workshop of the Netherlands’ greatest artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, where he lived between 1639 and 1658 until he went bankrupt. What was Rembrandt’s life like? Where did he etch and paint his masterpieces? Where did the most dramatic events of his life take place?
The Rembrandt House Museum with a 17th century inventory as a guide tells the story of the multi-faceted Rembrandt. He is known above all as an artist, the maker of dozens of self-portraits, intriguing tronies, compelling history paintings and convincing portraits. But Rembrandt was much more than a talented painter, etcher and draughtsman. In the museum you will encounter Rembrandt the man, the teacher, the collector, the entrepreneur and the Amsterdammer. Come and meet him in his own home!
It was not only in the 17th century that Rembrandt’s house was full of art. Art surrounds you in the museum now; in the old house and in temporary exhibitions. The museum has an almost complete collection of Rembrandt etchings, with a selection on permanent display in the Print Room. In the modern ‘temporary exhibitions’ wing you can dive deeper into the work of Rembrandt himself, his predecessors and contemporaries, and modern and contemporary artists who were inspired by the Dutch artist. www.rembrandthuis.nl
We continue a short walk to, and an exclusive guided tour of Microbrewery De Prael. This small brewery located in a former auction house is located in one of the oldest areas in Amsterdam. Since around 1300 this was the place where wooden ships delivered their beer from Germany. Later this was the place where breweries where built, the first ones in Amsterdam. It is a small unique place where they still brew beer according to traditional recipes.
After the guided tour, there will be a tasting of 4 local beers. www.deprael.nl
From here, you will be taken back to your hotel, where you have the remainder of the day for your own leisure. You will be back at your hotel around 6pm.