From the classic famous ones like the Rijksmuseum and the NEMO, over the years large-scale digital art meets playful installations have become much loved new spots in Amsterdam, otherwise known as Instagram museums.
What are Instagram museums you may ask? Well, they’re not officially for or by Instagram, the fun photo-sharing app we all know of. But these museums are a reflection of how social media plays a huge role in curating images and has taken the concept of what makes a fun photo… and exploded it into whole immersive buildings. Now you can explore and be in complete wonder of these creative spaces coming to life.
From traditional museums that have mind-blowing photo spots to new media creations that encourage snapping a photo in each room - this is our round-up of Instagram museums in Amsterdam that you don’t want to miss out on. Curious? Follow me on Instagram and YouTube for more adventures!
1. Upside Down Amsterdam
Fun for families, friends, or a date spot - going to the Upside Down Amsterdam is like being Alice herself, falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. First, you take the drink, then the drink takes you - or so the saying goes. But at the Upside Down Amsterdam, an actual Instagram Museum space, it’s first you take the photo, then the photo takes you. Well, that’s how it feels as you step into this Instagram Museum that houses over 25 unbelievable rooms that push your creative boundaries and redefines what playful visuals mean.
When I tell you, each room has been so carefully thought out - it’s spectacular and not one is even remotely similar to the other. When I was here with my group of friends, there were times we all wanted to be in the photo together, and the Upside Down was already one step ahead with their self-taking photo camera set-ups. I just had to scan a QR code and at the end of the museum, we all download high resolution photos to our emails. I know - this Instagram Museum in Amsterdam truly treated us well.
Honestly if you go, prepare for an extremely fun time (hello aesthetic ball pit with super adorable huge bath ducks) but make sure your phone is fully charged! Book your tickets for the Upside Down Amsterdam in advance online here.
2. AMAZE Amsterdam
The name of this place already cuts to the chase - this Instagram museum in Amsterdam is here to amaze you straight away. AMAZE Amsterdam is like travelling through the multi-verse (ok, so not like I actually know, but this is what I think it would be quite similar to). It’s a creative ground with dazzling rays of visuals, from strobe lights that match funky tunes to a bee-hive-like getaway where it feels like you’re walking into a simulation.
AMAZE Amsterdam creates the echoes of what it feels like to go to a Berlin nightclub but in an Instagram museum in Amsterdam ambience. Exploring the space, it’s like a labyrinthine that you traverse through from smokey rooms to laser-show media. There’s even a room where you can be your own festival DJ, allowing you to spin tracks that sync with the innovative light technology! To book your journey into this far-out multimedia experience at AMAZE Amsterdam, click here.
3. Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Ask any Amsterdammer and there’s usually a memory associated with this museum. It’s just that the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is an absolute classic - and either us locals have been here when we were young on a school trip, or recently because it’s one of those must-visit institutions in town. The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam isn’t built as an Instagram Museum per se (ok, definitely do not say that to anyone), but as a contemporary art museum, it is just so visually appealing.
There are art pieces by Jackson Pollock and Matisse that absolutely pulls you in. There are also rooms in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam that are like grand canvases themselves - and you are the art that moves through it. Even though this is a long-standing national museum, literally Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was even here to open up a new wing, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is welcoming and there’s no air of pretentiousness about it. So go ahead, don’t be shy and take an Insta-worthy story. Book your tickets in advance online here.
4. WONDR Experience Amsterdam
As an Amsterdammer, I’ve been spoiled for fantastical places to go in this canal-lined city. Whether I go with my friends, or even go by myself - a place like the WONDR Experience makes it an amazing time no matter what age or which company you explore with. For solo travellers, WONDR Experience Amsterdam is a great place, since they have such kind and helpful staff located in each of their 15 eccentric rooms to help take photos. Also since everyone going here has the same mindset - hello, we want to take cute photos at this Instagram museum in Amsterdam - it’s all about the good vibes.
Yep, you read that correct - there are 15 rooms that are just as funky as they’re designed for. In some rooms, I dance like I’ve stepped into a disco ball, in other rooms I’ve literally jumped into a pile of huge plushy teddy bears that are the size of a door frame. There was also a karaoke room where my friends and I belted out to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance at the top of our lungs - only to find out that the museum filmed it and sent us the hilarious clip afterwards. As an Instagram museum in Amsterdam, the WONDR Experience is such a surreal escape into a child-like joy that makes it fun for anyone. Book your tickets for the WONDR Experience Amsterdam in advance online here.
5. MOCO Museum
Even though the MOCO Museum is an established institution right on Museumplein - the prestigious address in Amsterdam's affluent Zuid neighbourhood, the MOCO is anything but stuffy. Case in point - its proud collection of Banksy artwork that speaks against capitalism and the money-driven society we’re in.
The contrast between a gorgeous heritage mansion hosting a huge collection of contemporary and modern art makes it an al-facto cool must-see when you’re in Amsterdam. Now, what makes the MOCO Museum an Instagram museum is the plethora of powerful visuals throughout the building. Depending on what ongoing exhibition they have, the MOCO museum creates different rooms where you can feel like you’ve stepped into an artist’s work itself. There was a Lichtenstein-inspired comic book room where you can lay on a comic-book bed and interact with the items displayed like you were in a graphic novel. Recently there was Yaoyi Kusama’s infinity room - where you can step into a million colourful reflections like a kaleidoscope. This is one place where you’re encouraged to take as many photos as you want and enjoy your time through the artworks that make it a punch on Instagram. Book your tickets for the MOCO Museum in advance online here.
6. NXT Museum
Ready to truly trip out and ascend to a higher plane? Alright, not literally - but the NXT museum in Amsterdam’s hip up-and-coming neighbourhood of Noord will take you there. This is actually one of my favourite Instagram museums in Amsterdam since it’s not your typical set-up but rather a full immersion experience.
NXT Museum combines lighting, sound, and movement all into different curated technology that really inhabits you into a futuristic world. Collaborating with different artists, technologists, designers and even scientists, NXT Museum wants you to feel the art in a spiritual sense, along with the physical and emotional aspects. Some rooms are meant to make you question how we use technology, ala taking photos and Instagram museums, other rooms are crafted to push your perspective with moving images and sound.
I don’t want to spoil too much of how interdimensional NXT will leave you feeling - but one room was like a simulation of a black hole, and what it would be like (in a minuscule sense) if you were there for its formation. If you want to dive into this trippy world, definitely book your tickets online here.
7. NDSM Wharf
I’ll confess, most Amsterdammers don’t make it out to the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Amsterdam Noord as often as we should. Even though there’s plenty of free ferry from Amsterdam Central going back and forth around the clock, unless you live in Amsterdam Noord it’s not as frequented as much. And with that confession, I’ll admit - this is a huge shame (okay, on my part too), because Noord has been transforming itself into an edgy, makeshift alternative neighbourhood that’s filled with great street art, delicious bites, and just half the crowd given at any time compared to the city centre (which is only a 10-minute ferry away).
One of the gems that have been repurposed and renovated, heralding Amsterdam Noord into this new counter-culture vibe is the NDSM Wharf. It’s a space that encourages local artists, street artists, and budding creatives to come and play… literally outdoors on the leftover shipping containers themselves. This is where you’ll see freshly sprayed graffiti art alongside detailed murals telling the stories of Amsterdammers and their expression. While the NDSM Wharf isn’t a museum in the traditional sense, it is dubbed an art city that you can walk through for free. Definitely have your camera on hand, since this open-air Instagram museum in Amsterdam is one not to be missed out on. Whether you enjoy art or not, the NDSM has now become an established fabric of can’t miss places to see when you’re in this Dutch capital.
8. Fabrique des Lumières Amsterdam
From the esteemed institution of Atelier des Lumières in Paris, the immersive digital art concept has arrived to Amsterdam in the form of Fabrique des Lumières. In our Dutch capital’s rendition, Fabrique des Lumières is hosted in the former industrial gas plant of Westergasfabriek. Located in Westerpark, this is a perfect combination of going where the locals go - this laidback lush side of Amsterdam West, along with attending an illuminating art installation in the vein of an Instagram Museum in Amsterdam. With a rotation of exhibitions, Fabrique des Lumières collaborates their cultural space with a legendary artist, take Gustav Klimt for example or Van Gogh, and craft moving abstract art in a huge centre for them.
As you explore through the space, your senses will peak with rhythmic music that matches the digital projections that are on display at your feet, behind you, in front of you and above you on the ceilings. It’s like stretching a traditional canvas into the digital sphere, one where projected animations light up your surroundings and you feel what the original artist on display had meant for you to feel. So instead of looking at art in a conventional way, ala staring at a frame in a traditional museum, you’re moving through the world of the art piece at the Fabrique des Lumières. Want tickets to this stunningly gorgeous Instagram museum in Amsterdam? Click here to book them in advance.
Wearing the crown as Amsterdam’s number 1 social media experience - Youseum is a true Instagram museum in Amsterdam that unabashedly celebrates a playful world that’s all about you. Earning its title, Youseum backs up its championship moniker with a surreal 30-room installation of eye-catching creations. Here, you can be the artist or the artwork, the critic or the poser, whichever way you want!
The only thing you won’t ever be able to be at Youseum is bored - yup, no boredom is guaranteed since each of its 30 rooms are different from each other, curating crafty design that caters to the creative in all of us. It’s an unforgettable trip as you step through a hall-of-mirror-like room, or swing on a gigantic disco ball ala Miley Cyrus in Wrecking Ball (just with a lot more pink). No matter what your vibe or your age is, Youseum will make you forget the hours, as well as where on Earth you are right now. Book your tickets in advance to experience the fun and interactive world of Youseum here.
10. Electric Ladyland
This little gem of an independent museum is a favourite amongst many travellers at Live the World. It’s been dubbed “the world’s first museum of fluorescent art” and while it’s true that technically it isn’t an Instagram museum in Amsterdam (not in the sense that we know of), Electric Ladyland is one wild place for insta-worthy photos.
Electric Ladyland has a name that just teases you on what the place is about, but once you step in, you’ll be floored to explore what it really is. Set up and owned by a Dutch geologist who has a passion for the neon, black-light lit minerals, in a wee basement are fluorescent artworks and permanent collections of glowing relics. Some artefacts go back to the funky era of the 50s, and you can even go into a room where it’s like you’re a glowing fluorescent amoeba yourself.
11. Street Art Museum Amsterdam
As a community-based eco-museum that showcases contemporary works, the Street Art Museum Amsterdam (SAMA) has a collection of over 300 street art that tells the stories and dialogue of local artists. Located in Amsterdam Nieuw-West neighbourhood, Street Art Museum Amsterdam isn’t a literal museum in the definition. Rather, it’s an open-air walk through a local’s neighbourhood, taking you through the movement of outdoor murals and graffiti.
On a walking tour of the Street Art Museum Amsterdam, you’ll get to see artworks spread throughout a 3-kilometre radius area. So while it’s not the conventional way to see art - it’s one of the best way to experience it, getting out there and learning about the artists, the style behind each piece and the stories that are behind these works of art. Another cool thing about this open-air Instagram museum in Amsterdam? It’s all free! With the ethos of being fully democratic, the Street Art Museum Amsterdam created a free GPS-guided tour you can download here for a self-walking tour.
Curious about some secret spots in Amsterdam that only locals know about?
Then you should definitely pair your Amsterdam Instagram fun with these non-toursity things to do in Amsterdam.