This stalwart museum in the heart of Amsterdam has digitised images of almost 700,000 works of art for your online browsing enjoyment. It's also hosting live virtual tours and curators have been sharing short videos from home with stories about their favourite works of art. The museum's free app is a treasure trove of multimedia tours and you can also channel your own inner artist with their RijksCreative YouTube series that walks you through how to use the techniques of the great masters in follow-along videos.
Van Gogh Museum
There’s an excellent collection of art and activities available on the Van Gogh Museum website. From the Google Street View virtual experience of the museum to homeschooling lessons about art and printable colouring pages for kids, there are resources aplenty to teach you about the life and times of this brilliant artist, while keeping you thoroughly entertained along the way.
Anne Frank House
Take a virtual step inside the Secret Annex where Anne Frank and her family lived in hiding for more than two years during World War II. You can look around eight different areas of the annex, including the revolving bookcase that hid the entrance to their living space and Anne’s bedroom, where she wrote in her diary. There’s also an Oculus VR tour that takes about 25 minutes and can be downloaded for free from the Oculus Store.
Amsterdam’s popular photography museum FOAM has produced a digital archive of its yearly exhibition Foam Talent 2020, where you can discover the up-and-coming international artists who are shaping the future of photography. Surrounding this exhibition, they have also produced a wealth of podcasts, talks, and artist interviews for you to explore. Keep an eye on their Instagram page for live streams of curators tours, artist Q&As and more: @foam_amsterdam.
For your fix of contemporary art, the Stedelijk Museum gives you access to an abundance of fascinating content in the form of audio tours and exhibition walk-throughs with curators – all available to enjoy from the comfort of your sofa. Learn about groundbreaking photographer and performance artist Ulay or delve into the history of Surinamese painting. You can also use the mini-docs archive to discover some of the notable exhibitions of the past few years you might have missed, from artists such as Mike Kelley, Nam June Paik or Keith Haring.
This museum, dedicated to all things Amsterdam, has digitised its entire collection, with more than 30,000 high-quality images of its carefully curated chronicle of Dutch history. The online archive covers the art and artefacts owned by both Amsterdam Museum and Museum Willet-Holthuysen. This gives you an inside look at the many pieces that are not on display, which actually represents more than 90 percent of the collection.
The National Maritime Museum
Perfect for those looking for fun and unusual ways to keep the little ones entertained, The National Maritime Museum can be experienced at home through videos, podcasts and audio tours. Sail through the vast collection of paintings, ship models, maps and navigational instruments on Google Street View. Or budding seafarers can get creative and crafty with nautical-themed activities such as sketches, knot-making, or recipe ideas from the museum’s top chef. All aboard!
Join the Head of Gardens & Collections at Amsterdam's botanical gardens for a weekly video tour around the grounds and greenhouses. Learn some fascinating insights into the world of all things green, including how plants communicate with each other and play host to various insect species and local fauna. You can also get in touch with nature – even when it’s raining – with a selection of DIY projects to do at home. They have a tutorial for a seedbomb, which in a few weeks’ time will brighten up a drab spot with some cheerful flowers. And when homework has finished, download and print some plant illustrations for some colouring downtime.
Rembrandt House Museum
How much do we know about Rembrandt really? Have a poke around the historic dwelling of this iconic painter through a series of video tours and explanations. Find out how artists of the era concocted a rainbow of paint pigments using ground minerals and natural dyes or watch a mini documentary about the exhibition, 'HERE: Black in Rembrandts Time', which investigates the representation of Black people in 17th century Dutch artworks.
NEMO Science Museum
After having a peek inside NEMO Science Museum on Google Street View, take part in some of their interactive and inspiring Experiments at Home. Why do raisins move up and down in fizzy water? And how do you power a light bulb with a balloon? NEMO’s series of easy experiments using a handful of household objects and food cupboard essentials are sure to keep children entertained for hours. Follow the step-by-step guides and make eye-popping discoveries, or read bitesize lessons on Marie Curie and other mind-boggling facts. If you value your sleep, however, beware of the 'Want to wake up your parents?' project.
Other ways to digitally discover destinations
Google Street View
Google Street View will let you peek inside the Royal Palace Amsterdam for a glimpse behind the velvet curtain of kingly living. Google Street View also invites you to virtually explore many other major sights in Amsterdam via interactive panoramas of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, NEMO Science Museum, the Tropenmuseum and more. artsandculture.google.com
If Google Street View doesn’t have what you’re looking for, 360Stories can likely fill in the gaps. This website has a mix of high-definition 360-degree video and photography capturing around 50 of the city’s attractions, including ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo, Heineken Experience and the National Maritime Museum. 360stories.com/amsterdam
Culture also happens outside of the confines of art institutions. Check out this 360-degree tour of the Amsterdam Area for an immersive look at the region’s historic castles, iconic windmills, stunning beaches, sprawling tulip fields and more.