9 Alternative Museums in Amsterdam

January, 16th 2020

musei alternativi amsterdam

We at Youseum have counted up our favourite alternative museums in Amsterdam, which isn’t to say that you shouldn’t visit the heavy-hitters. But we always love to look closer and think bigger, and in a city with over 70 options, there’s huge variety to choose from.

1. Outsider Art Museum

This museum started as a project of the Hermitage Museum Amsterdam and has Youseum vibes written all over it: outsiders, alternative perspectives, and work from the people you’d least expect to see showcased.

musei alternativi amsterdam

© Outsider Art Museum

2. Electric Ladyland

This is the only museum in the world totally dedicated to flourescent art, and trust us: it’s a trip. Truly representing the alternative of museums in Amsterdams, this isn’t one to miss.

musei alternativi amsterdam

© Electric Ladyland

3. Katten Kabinet

The Cat Cabinet on the Herengracht is one of the more idiosyncratic of the alternative museums of Amsterdam, in that it’s exclusively dedicated to art about cats. There’s definitely a sense of humour that pervades the collection, but don’t go looking for any self-portraits here.

musei alternativi amsterdam

Photo by: Katten Kabinet

4. De Nieuwe Kerk

Okay, this one is pretty famous. And big (it’s in a 15th century church on the Dam Square). But bear with us: the Nieuwe Kerk programs some of the most exciting special exhibitions on offer in Amsterdam. In the last year alone, the museum has featured work by Chagall, el Greco, a history of Marilyn Monroe, and the annual World Press Photo competition.

musei alternativi amsterdam

Photo by: C Messier

5. Micropia

This museum dedication to showcasing microscopic life is a project by Artis Zoo in Oost (our turf 😉) and is absolutely worth the trip. Let your mind be blown by the unseen world that exists around and underneath us everyday.

musei alternativi amsterdam

© Micropia, Artis Amsterdam

6. Eye Film Museum

An oldie but a goodie. Not only is there a fantastic cinema in this museum that plays first-run and indie features, but the permanent and temporary exhibitions here dive deep into cinematic history for cinephiles and newbies alike. One of the all-time best alternative museums in Amsterdam, hands-down.

musei alternativi amsterdam

© Eye Film Museum

7. Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder

This is maybe the most alternative museum in Amsterdam. The museum comprises a 17th-century Catholic church built into a canal house on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal. Built for religious dissenters at a time when Catholicism was a no-go in the the northern low-countries, the place is steeped in secret history.

musei alternativi amsterdam

Photo by: Opsolder

8. Foam

This photography museum has, in our opinion, the most exciting rotating schedule of temporary exhibitions in the city. Catch work by photographers big and small, living and dead, and from all around the world. Foam is truly a window to the world.

musei alternativi amsterdam

Photo by: Christian van der Kooy

9. Youseum

We’re not blowing smoke when we say that Youseum is a true alternative to the regular crop of museums in Amsterdam. At Youseum, you get to be the artist, the artwork, and the critic. Discover what it means to see and be seen in the contemporary digital age ✌🏻🔵