5 Wheelchair-friendly museums in Amsterdam

5 Wheelchair-friendly museums in Amsterdam

4 min read

Amsterdam is a museum-lover’s paradise. Whether you’re into history, art, photography, science, fashion, or even cheese, there’s a museum for just about everything. While not all museums are wheelchair-friendly, a growing number are acting on the importance of making Amsterdam’s arts and culture scene inclusive to everyone.

In no particular order, here are 5 of my favourite wheelchair-friendly museums in Amsterdam: 

1. Van Gogh Museum

No shortage of Van Gogh souvenirs in the accessible gift shop
The Van Gogh Museum houses a large collection of Van Gogh’s masterpieces, as well as selected works by Gauguin and other artists. The museum is very accessible thanks to spacious exhibition rooms, ramps, lifts, accessible toilets with support beams, and several other features. With the exception of the third floor book shop, the museum’s restaurants and gift shops are also wheelchair-friendly.

The outdoor ticket office is not accessible (stairs only), but I have been told a ramp is in the works. You’ll be happy to know that tickets can also be purchased on the museum website.

2. Micropia

Rolling past Micropia's many jars of fungus-covered food
Micropia educates visitors of all ages about microbes and bacteria. The museum is home to fascinating jars of fungus, microscopes revealing bacteria on household objects (I can never look at a remote control the same way again), and petri dishes full of colourful substances, to name a few.

From experience, I’d say the museum is 90% accessible. Entrance doors are automatic, the layout is spacious, and there’s a massive lift. The only points of inaccessibility are the lockers (stairs only), some of the jars, dishes and microscope installations (hard to see from wheelchair-level) and certain interactive features (up on a platform). I’ve been told there’s an accessible toilet with support rails on the 1st floor, but still have to check it out. 

3. Stedelijk Museum

Modern art at the Stedelijk
The Stedelijk Museum is a great place to check out modern and contemporary art. Home to paintings, photos, sculptures, film projections, and holograms, I found the Stedelijk Museum’s collection really varied and engaging.

The Stedelijk Museum has large exhibition rooms and (platform) lifts where needed. Mobility aids and accessibility floor plans can be borrowed. There is a spacious accessible toilet with support beams. The only potential challenges for wheelchair users include the heavy entrance doors and plastic curtains leading to some of the exhibitions. Thankfully, in my experience, members of staff offered assistance.

4. Amsterdam Museum

Hurray for the Amsterdam Museum's automatic doors
Centrally located, the Amsterdam Museum is the place to learn more about the history of Amsterdam. The museum features interactive installations, maps, photos, paintings and videos depicting Amsterdam at different stages in history.

With the exception of the children’s section, the Amsterdam Museum is very accessible. The museum has automatic doors, ramps, (platform) lifts and plenty of space. Many interactive elements like headsets and electronic buttons are within reach for wheelchair users. Potential challenges include outdoor cobble stones and a few low thresholds as you roll towards the entrance.

5. Hermitage

Big Hermitage, little me
Finally, there’s the Hermitage. This beautiful historic building houses an ever-changing art collection from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia.
In my opinion, the bumpy ride through the cobble stoned courtyard is the only thing that comes close to a challenge for mobility aid users. The museum entrance is threshold-free with automatic doors. Inside, there’s an amazing amount of space to twirl around and pop a wheelie. Lifts lead to every floor and collection. Accessible toilets have support beams and everything within reach.

These were just five fabulous examples of good accessibility. Click here for more tips about wheelchair-friendly museums in Amsterdam. 

Update 13/07/2019: Initially I had written that Micropia does not have an accessible toilet. However, it turns out there’s an accessible toilet on the 1st floor (I missed it during my visit). I’ll have to check out Micropia’s toilet facilities and will update this post ASAP.

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Josephine Rees

My name is Josephine Rees (1993) and I am Dutch-British. I was raised in Tokyo and Moscow and moved to The Netherlands to study Anthropology & Human Geography in 2012. After briefly living in Thailand and Cambodia, I am now based in Amsterdam. I love exploring Amsterdam and hope to help others by sharing accessibility tips.

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