Record year for Amsterdam museum attendance

The interest in Amsterdam museums has increased significantly. The total number of visitors to museums in Amsterdam almost doubled in the last ten years, culminating 2013 with 11.7 million visitors.

2014 also promises to be a great year. In the first ten months of this year more than 9.9 million people visited an Amsterdam museum. This number is expected to increase with the traditional crowds visiting the museums during the holiday season.

The crowds of the last two years are partly due to the reopening of the Rijksmuseum. This crowd pleaser also ensures more visitors to surrounding museums such as the Van Gogh Museam and the Stedelijk. The financial crisis also played its part, forcing people to spend their holidays in their own country.

Because museums have to deal with a smaller subsidy from the government, they focus on providing an even better experience for the visitor. Besides their regular exhibitions, they offer special programs for children, youth or young professionals. As an extra service for those waiting to get in, the museums offer, for example, free WiFi, ponchos when it rains or hot chocolate on cold days. This policy is paying off. Last year the percentage of personal income in the total budget of Dutch museums increased from 38 to 42 percent.

The Tropenmuseum and the Hermitage are notable exceptions to the growth figures. In both museums the number of visitors has declined in recent years.