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Come for the conference, stay for amazing Amsterdam

This conference has now passed, in 2020 we’ll be holding a virtual museum conference featuring speakers from around the world. Find out more about MuseumNext Disrupt here.

This year the MuseumNext Digital Summit takes place in Amsterdam on Friday 25th October.

If you’re one of the many museum or digital professionals travelling to the Netherlands from across Europe for the conference, we hope that you’ll stay in town for the weekend.

Amsterdam has a huge amount to offer, from its world-class museums and galleries to it’s architecture, markets and nightlife.

We asked a local to share some highlights:

See Great Art

Amsterdam is well known for its amazing art museums.

Amsterdam’s most famous museum cluster can be found at the Museumplein. This offers visitors the chance to delve into Dutch art history with Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, Vermeer’s Kitchen Maid at the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers in a museum dedicated to the artist.

As if this wasn’t enough, the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum sit alongside the Stedelijk Museum, which exhibits works by Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse, De Kooning, Lichtenstein and Warhol.

See the city from the canal or on two wheels

Seeing Amsterdam from the canals is one of the most memorable ways to discover the city’s sights and attractions.

Most canal tours take about an hour and offer you the chance to learn more about Amsterdam’s history, while other cruises offer hop-on-hop-off services.

One alternative to sitting back and relaxing on a cruise is to hire a bike and take advantage of being in one of Europe’s most cycle friendly cities. Bikes can be hired across the city.

Explore the Neighbourhood Markets

If you’re staying in Amsterdam for the weekend after the MuseumNext Digital Summit, then you can’t miss the smells, sights and sounds of the cities neighbourhood markets.

Noordemarkt takes place every Saturday from 9am at the edge of the Jordaan district. Take a stroll through the stalls and stumble upon fine antiques, curiosities, old books and records.

Or enjoy organic food, from fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese, as well as fresh herbs, pasta, grains and olive oil.

Albert Cuypmarkt is Europe’s biggest market with gorgeous fabrics, trendy clothing, textile, nice leather goods, and jewelry, this is open every day but Sunday.

The Albert Cuypmarkt can be found in the centre of the 19th century quarter De Pijp: the Quartier Latin of Amsterdam and it is a 10-minute walk from the Rijksmuseum and just steps away from the Heineken Experience.

Lindenmarkt takes place every Saturday with 232 market stands lining the Lindengracht. Together with the nearby Nordermarkt, this is probably the best food market in Amsterdam.

Bars in Amsterdam

With its rich heritage in brewing and distilling it can sometime seem impossible to walk 50 metres in Amsterdam without stumbling across a bar of brown café (so called because of their nicotine stained walls and cosy wooden décor).

If you’re staying in the town for the weekend then you’ll be spoilt for choice. Beer fans should try Gollem, one of the cities best known beer bars with more than thirty on tap or In de Wildeman which has more than 200 bottled beers and 20 on tap.

If you’re looking for cocktails then try Door 74. This is a secret speakeasy is hidden behind a non-descript door. You’ll need a reservation which can only be booked by calling the same day (+31 (0)6 34 04 51 22)

With it’s dark wood interior and chandeliers, Tales & Spirits is another stop for cocktail lovers visiting Amsterdam. Unlike many other cocktail bars in the city, T&S also offers food.


Amsterdam is one city where it’s still possible to escape the chain stores and discover exciting independent shops with unexpected and unique styles that suit most budgets.

The Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes) is located in the cities historic canal district and it’s dotted with boutiques, jewellers and vintage stores.

The Haarlemmerdijk is stretches east to west towards Amsterdam Central Station. You’ll find everything from second hand clothes to designer items and shoes.

The Utrechtsestraat can be found at the eastern edge of Amsterdam’s canal belt. The street is packed with fashion boutiques, record stores, concept stores and interior design shops.

Visit a Museum

As well as the cities world-class art museums, Amsterdam is home to many other fascinating cultural institutions.

The EYE Film Institute is the Dutch centre for film culture and heritage; this is housed in a breath-taking building on the banks of the river IJ and combines exhibits with film screenings.

The city has over seventy museums, but the Amsterdam Museum is a real favourite of mine with a permanent collection exploring the cities rich history and a temporary exhibitions that mix the contemporary with the past.

Anne Frank House is on of the cities most moving places to visit. Anne Frank and her family lived in the annex of the building at Prinsengracht for more than two years before being discovered in August 1944 and deported to various concentration camps.

Tickets for Anne Frank House are often sold out months in advance so if you intend to visit, book ahead.

So what are you waiting for?

his year the MuseumNext Digital Summit takes place in Amsterdam on Friday 25th October  with a programme packed with actionable advice from leading digital and museum professionals.

But we encourage you to stay in Amsterdam for the weekend and enjoy this fantastic city.

Images : Shutterstock

About the author – Jim Richardson

Jim Richardson is the founder of MuseumNext. He has worked with the museum sector on digital and innovation projects for more than twenty years and now splits his time between delivering consultancy, innovation workshops and keynote presentations.

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