Here is another article about my three favourite cards or subscriptions I absolutely cannot live without nowadays. I just happen to be writing about them during a time when I am not using any of them due to Coronavirus. The other two cards you can read about in our blogs section. This article is all about the essential and brilliant Museum Card.
This card is the best value access to culture you can find anywhere in Europe. One card to rule them all! The Netherlands is a small country. That is a fact. But, for a small country, it had an absolutely outstanding selection of brilliant museums. Some of them are really well known and world-class museums. Others are smaller, but perfectly formed and important venues you will love. This card gets you in over 400 of them. Read on to see more about the card and a Q+A about museums in The Netherlands.
Museum addiction is OK
Years of living in Paris turned me into a culture and museum addict. I went everywhere and saw everything. There was so much to see too! But there is no one general museum card in Paris, which is a real shame. I had yearly cards for the Louvre and the Pompidou, but what was really needed was a card to see all the museums. What a shame.
In The Netherlands, I quickly heard about the national Museum Card and I have had one for years now. It is hands down the best value for getting a lot of culture in your life. For adults, it is under 65 Euros for a full year. I easily covered that cost in the first week with a visit to the Rijks, The Van Gogh and the Stedelijk museums. And, because I have the card I use it to discover many more great museums.
Another great reason for having it is to see all the fabulous temporary exhibitions that happen during the year. These are of such great quality, that you will most likely want to visit them more than once anyway. This is especially true for the larger museums that rely on impressive temporary exhibitions to pull more people in. As mentioned earlier, you can use the card in over 400 museums. That’s more than enough, even for a culture vulture like me.
I visited many museums across the country as I have the Weekend Vrij subscription with the NS. Basically, I can travel anywhere in The Netherlands for free after paying the 40 Euros a month subscription. That is the subject of another article. It means that I was travelling all over the country to visit as many museums as possible.
The Museum Card – Culture for kids
My kids have museum cards too. I love taking them to museums as I often learn just as much as they do. I love it when they start to recognise the work of the various artists. These things build over time and seeing them enjoy art, history and culture is a great feeling. Many museums have events and exhibitions specifically for children and you can see this on the Museum kids site. That’s really useful when looking for something fun to keep them busy at the weekend.
A Q&A with the Museums Union
There is a whole world of culture and fun to discover with the Museum Card. It gives so much value it is hard to calculate. It is a must-have card we all need to have and use. So, in order to learn more about the card, here is a Q+A with the Museum’s Union, who created the card in the first place.
Q1. Tell us how the Museum card started.
It was created in 1981, to offer people who love museums, or who are curious about them, an easy means of going to any museum they are curious about, at a fixed annual price.
Q2. How many members do you have? Are they mostly Dutch?
Around 1.3m million people have a card. They generally live in the Netherlands. We do not ask them about their nationality.
Q3. The Museum Card is of excellent value. How do you do it for such a great price?
Efficiency, and the commitment of museums to being accessible. At the same time, the card helps to increase visits to museums. This can help increase turnover in the shop or the café. But in general, being accessible is an important reason.
Q4. We all know the big, popular museums. Tell us about some really under-visited gems.
There are lots! Everywhere in the Netherlands. On museum.nl, you can find them all and sort them by location, theme, current exhibition, being extra fun for children (kidsproof), etc. The website is available in Dutch, German and English.
Q5. There is a Museum card for children. What are the advantages of those cards? Aren’t most museums free for kids?
The national museums are free until the age of 18. There are almost 30 national museums. The rest have varying policies – lower prices for children are extremely common.
Q6. How have the museums managed during the lockdowns
Each week that they are closed, they lose 10 million euros in turnover. Part of that is covered by government support, but certainly not everything. For the public, they have organized many things online, offering videos, live streams, games, guided tours, 360-degree tours etc. Most of these activities are free. A fun recent addition is the escape room on museumkids.nl . It’s fun for adults, too.
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All photos by David Raleigh
Thank you for those answers to our questions.
So, without any doubt, the best card you can get for access to over 400 museums in The Netherlands. Head on over to the official Museum Card site to get yours.
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