Amsterdam, Netherlands for Van Gogh/Munch Existential Combo

I visited Netherlands a couple of months ago and stayed in the Hague, which was pleasant enough, but not that culturally exciting (unless you’re really into international law, I guess). Once I learned there was a Munch/Van Gogh exhibition in Amsterdam, I decided to use the benefits of the Dutch impeccable railway system and the fact that no two places in this country seem to be more than an hour away from each other for a quick visit to this city.

Getting into the exhibition was a bit more complicated then usual – it included booking tickets online and scheduling the precise time of your visit, waiting in a line, then waiting in another line, then finally stepping into the glorious world of these two artists. The paintings were set up in rooms with different themes, juxtaposed to give the visitors a chance for a bit of a comparative analysis. Even though there were swathes of people, everyone was civil enough and it was easy to block out the crowds if you really immersed yourself in the experience. The staircase that led from one floor to the next featured interactive ways of expressing how you felt about the artwork – writing about your feelings, past experiences or even getting a little stamp of the “Scream” for a truly existential tourist memorabilia.

The rest of Amsterdam was nice enough, even though I wasn’t a fan of the overcrowded central area and De Wallen/Red Light District. Luckily, the Mountain Goats played that Saturday in the northern, more quiet part of the town, so we were able to escape the craziness of the more tourist parts.

Insider Tip

Definitely book your tickets in advance, so you don’t have to wait even longer than I did!

Where I stayed / started

Flying Pig Hostel

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