Johannes Vermeer, Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt van Rijn, Frans Hals, Piet Mondriaan: the Netherlands has been home to many world-class artists. On this weeklong tour, you'll learn more about the Dutch Masters, viewing their greatest works in person and visiting the places where they lived and worked. Along the way, you'll also enjoy a private boat tour along the canals of Amsterdam, explore the cobblestoned streets of Leiden, and ride an e-bike through a national park. While taking in such beautiful sights and landscapes, you'll understand the inspiration behind some of the great Dutch artists' finest paintings.

Highlights

  • Learn all about the lives of Dutch artists from the Golden Age
  • Visit a range of museums and historic monuments
  • Ride through a protected forest on an e-bike
  • Take a private boat tour on the canals of Amsterdam
  • Explore De Hoge Veluwe National Park

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Amsterdam and Visit the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Day 2 Tour Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam
Day 3 Explore the University City of Leiden Leiden
Day 4 Discover the Many Museums of Rotterdam  Rotterdam
Day 5 Enjoy Art and Nature at De Hoge Veluwe National Park Otterlo
Day 6 Check out Dutch Modernist Architecture in Utrecht Utrecht
Day 7 Return to Amsterdam & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Amsterdam and Visit the Stedelijk Museum

A young Dutch artist painting in the street

Welcome to the Dutch Lowlands! You'll arrive in Amsterdam and transfer to your hotel for check-in. Then kick off your tour of the Netherlands by visiting the Stedelijk Museum, featuring important collections of modern and contemporary art and design. The museum displays visual art from 1860 to the present day, with key works by van Gogh, Mondriaan, and Henri Matisse, among others. 

Later, take a stroll through the picturesque neighborhood of the Jordaan. Situated on the west side of the city center, the Jordaan is full of beautiful arched bridges, cobblestoned streets lined with trees, and numerous Dutch cafés where you can spend a cozy evening enjoying local food and beer.

Day 2: Tour Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum

Admiring Almond Blossom by Vincent van Gogh

After breakfast, you will be picked up by a small private boat to take you for a tour along the canals. After about two hours on the water, the boat will drop you off in front of The Rijksmuseum, the most famous museum in the Netherlands. It's home to the most important painting in the country: Rembrandt's The Night Watch. You'll also view Vermeer's The Milkmaid and various other 17th-century works by Dutch Master painters. 

Next, move onto the Van Gogh Museum, taking a break for lunch in the museum's café before exploring the collections at your own pace. The museum houses some of van Gogh's most famous works, likeThe Potato Eaters, Sunflowers, Almond Blossom, and one of his very last works, Wheatfield with Crows.

Day 3: Explore the University City of Leiden

A picturesque Dutch canal

After breakfast, you'll take a short train ride to the charming city of Leiden. You'll stop along the way at the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, celebrating the life and work of one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age. The nearby Teylers Museum, the oldest museum in the Netherlands, is also worth a stop for its collections on science and art.

Then continue onto your final destination for the day, just a 20-minute train ride from Haarlem. Leiden is a pretty university city with wonderful museums, scenic canals, and inner courtyards lovingly called hofjes. The town center itself is gorgeous and busy with bicycles; Leiden University, founded in 1575, is the oldest university in the country. You'll explore it all with a private guide with expertise in art history. First, you'll see ancient Egyptian, Roman, and Greek objects at the National Museum of Antiquities, then you'll visit the Latin School, where Rembrandt famously studied. Stop into the Lakenhal Museum to see some of his famous works in person. The rest of the day is free for sightseeing or just walking around and enjoying the city.

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Day 4: Discover the Many Museums of Rotterdam 

Quirky Dutch architecture

Catch the train onward to Den Haag (known as The Hague in English), seat of the Dutch government and home to one of the most magnificent paintings in the country, Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring. View it inside the Mauritshuis, a museum that also displays works by Rembrandt and Hals.

Have a quick coffee before continuing by train to Rotterdam. This diverse city is known for its colorful port history, vibrant nightlife, and unusual architecture. Enjoy lunch at a café before heading off on a private excursion to the Museumpark, a creatively landscaped outdoor space that connects Rotterdam’s major museums, including the Kunsthal Rotterdam art museum. Another museum nearby is the famous Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. Currently undergoing extensive renovations, it's home to masterpieces by Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh, Rothko, and others. From 2021, even as construction continues at the main site, it will be possible to view parts of the collection at the Depot Boijmans van Beuningen.

Day 5: Enjoy Art and Nature at De Hoge Veluwe National Park

Towering trees in De Hoge Veluwe National Park

The adventure continues with a drive to De Hoge Veluwe National Park, one of the largest forested areas in the Netherlands. It once served as the private hunting grounds for Dutch royalty. Check into your hotel in Otterlo, right next to the park gate, and travel by e-bike to the Kröller-Müller Museum. The museum has the second-largest Van Gogh collection in the world, with almost 90 paintings and over 180 drawings. Among these are a version of The Potato Eaters (1885), Cafe Terrace at Night (1888), Sorrowing Old Man (1890), and Country Road in Provence by Night (1890). You'll also find masterpieces by Georges Seurat and Pablo Picasso.

In the sculpture garden, one of the largest in Europe, stroll around hundreds of works sculptures by artists including Aristide Maillol, Jean Dubuffet, Marta Pan, and Pierre Huyghe. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the surrounding park on your e-bike.

Day 6: Check out Dutch Modernist Architecture in Utrecht

Reflections at Rietveld-Schröder House

Travel from Otterlo to Utrecht, where more artistic and architectural attractions await. Tour Rietveld-Schröder House, a home designed by famous architect Gerrit Rietveld in 1923-1924. The house is strikingly modernist, standing out from the surrounding architecture with its open spaces and bright white walls. Today, it's listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

Then walk down to Centraal Museum to check out a great collection of contemporary Dutch art. On sunny days, the garden café is a great spot for a snack or cup of tea. On your last evening in the Netherlands, dine in style at one of the many restaurants along the city's canals.

Day 7: Return to Amsterdam - End of Trip

Map of the Netherlands

Your Dutch art tour has come to a close. Catch the train to Amsterdam to make your connection home or onward to explore other destinations in Europe. Safe travels!

More Great Netherlands Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to the Netherlands? Check out these other Netherlands itineraries, including a 5-day Family Tour of the country, a 7-day Best of Holland & Flanders trip, and a longer 10-day Highlights of Holland adventure.

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