Netherlands - An Introduction to Dutch Painters
Home to one of Europe’s fastest developing contemporary markets, the Netherlands’ growing buzz of artistic activity is really nothing new. On this tour, we are privileged to cast our eye over some of the incredible paintings that were created in this wonderful country. From Rembrandt’s The Night Watch to Vermeer’s The Milkmaid, we get the opportunity to stand before some truly fantastic masterworks that are known and loved around the world.
Paint, however, isn’t the only medium in which the creative Dutch excel. This is demonstrated on our visits to the town of Delft, famed for its striking blue and white pottery, and also the Stedelijk Museum, where modern art is celebrated in a broad variety of art forms. Add to this an exclusive out-of-hours tour of the Rembrandt House Museum and a glide along Amsterdam’s legendary canals by private boat, and you have all the makings of a perfectly composed cultural holiday.
- Take a private boat trip along Amsterdam’s scenic canals as we enjoy views of the city
- Be treated to a very special out-of-hours tour of the Rembrandt House Museum
- Experience Keukenhof Gardens, one of the world’s largest flower gardens where tulips carpet the ground
- Pay a visit to the world famous Delft pottery factory, where age old traditions are proudly carried on
- Explore the many delights of Amsterdam, a city that is bursting with culture, art and heritage
- Cultural Excursion
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
Landing in Amsterdam, charming capital of the Netherlands, we waste no time in embarking on our artistic exploits. Beginning with a captivating introductory talk from our expert Guide Lecturer, we continue on to a very special out-of-hours visit to the Rembrandt House Museum, the historic house in which the great master lived and worked for some twenty years. We get up close to its reconstructed 17th-century interiors and view its exquisite collection of sketches and paintings away from the usual crowds.
We round off this remarkable day with our first dinner in the city as a group.
The jewel in the crown of Netherlandish art is undoubtedly the Rijksmuseum: founded in 1800, this is the largest and most prestigious museum in the country. We dive straight in with an exploration of its impressive collections this morning, viewing gems such as Rembrandt’s enchanting work The Night Watch, and The Milkmaid by Vermeer.
Following lunch we take to the water for a private boat trip along Amsterdam’s cherished canals – a chance to see the city’s sights from the most romantic of view points. Later we pay a visit to Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder, otherwise known as Our Lord in the Attic Museum. Hidden behind an unassuming façade in the centre of the city, this historic canal house conceals a stunning attic church. Built for the Catholic community in 1663, this surprising find was a direct response to the banning of mass in the mid 16th-century, and is a tremendous testament to the independent spirit of the Dutch.
For our first stop this morning we skip forward to the 19th century, with a visit to the ultra-modern Van Gogh Museum, home to such much-loved and instantly recognisable creations as Sunflowers, Almond Blossom, and Irises – the largest collection of the artist’s work in the world.
Our next stop is the Stedelijk Museum, a light and airy space housing contemporary masterpieces and innovative installations, including works by Rothko, De Kooning, Matisse, and Chagall.
We pause for lunch, before travelling out to the village of Zaanse Schans. Here we find picture-perfect landscapes punctuated with traditional windmills, and streets lined with artisanal shops — the ideal place to pick up a hand-made pair of clogs, or simply observe a thoroughly traditional version of modern-day Holland.
After setting up for the morning with a filling breakfast, we make our way south to The Hague. This city may be famous for its royal and governmental ties, but there’s so much more to discover. Indeed, The Hague is a real cultural hotspot, bursting with fine mansions, museums and parks, with the added bonus of a beautiful North Sea coastline. Here we stop at the magnificent Maurithuis, a 17th-century palace housing an abundance of Golden Age artwork, including such stellar pieces as Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and Fabritius’ The Goldfinch.
This afternoon we drive to the city of Delft, renowned for its distinctive white and blue pottery, or “Delftware”. We enjoy an illuminating private tour of this world-famous factory, before returning to Amsterdam for our last night of fine Dutch cuisine.
On the morning of our final day, we wind down with some free time in the capital — our chance to visit Anne Frank Huis, take a stroll in the verdant Vondelpark, or simply watch the world go by at one of the city’s many charming cafes. After a morning enjoyed at our leisure, we transfer to the airport for our afternoon flight home.
We depart from London and fly to Amsterdam. Upon our arrival, we have an independent lunch and transfer to our hotel. After check-in, we enjoy a welcome drink and informal introduction, and then we visit the Rembrandt House Museum for our exclusive out-of-hours tour. The interior has since been reconstructed to show how it would have looked when Rembrandt was still alive. Dinner tonight will be at a traditional Dutch restaurant, where we will have ample time to reflect on the opening day’s events.
Today we head to the renowned Rijksmuseum, which is dedicated to the vibrant arts and rich history of Amsterdam. The artworks on display here include masterpieces by Rembrandt and Johannes Vermeer. We stop our tour of its collections for lunch on-site and in the afternoon, we are treated to a private boat trip from the museum to the 17th century canal house and museum, Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder. We spend some time here discovering its captivating interior before sitting down to dinner.
This morning we visit the Hague, stunning Dutch capital famed for its monuments and history, and home to the Dutch King, Willem-Alexander. We tour the Mauritshuis Museum, which boasts an incredible collection of Dutch paintings from the Golden Age. After lunch, we depart this area for Keukenhof - known for being the largest flower park in the world and home to the incredible blooming tulips, famed and loved around the globe. We wander these gardens, admiring the stunning flora, and also take a boat trip before exploring at our leisure and returning to Amsterdam. In the evening, we enjoy dinner together as a group.
A morning of rich culture awaits as we leave the hotel and head to the Van Gogh Museum. Following our tour here, we visit the Stedelijk Museum, which is dedicated to
contemporary art and design. Lunch will see us sampling Dutch cheeses and later, we depart for Zaanse Shans, for an exciting clog-making workshop and tour. The tradition of clogmaking is fascinating, and we learn much about it during our visit. Later, we return to Amsterdam.
This morning, we leave our hotel and travel for around an hour to the canal-ringed city of Delft. We take a walk around the town to see its architecture and sights, and then we visit the Vermeer Centre. This is an interesting information centre that celebrates the life and work of the Delft painter Johannes Vermeer. Afterwards, we have lunch and then enjoy a tour of a Delft pottery factory. We return to Amsterdam and spend our final evening enjoying dinner in the city.
A little free time is ours to enjoy this morning, which gives us the perfect opportunity to explore more of Amsterdam or to pick up some souvenirs, before we return to the airport for our flight back to London.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
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There aren’t many cities as iconic as some of those in Europe. We invite you to explore Europe’s most stunning cities embellished in Renaissance beauty and Imperial splendour of dynasties gone by. These cities, dotted with not only architectural masterpieces, also house some of the world-class artworks of the Great Masters. Discover the romance in works of Botticelli & Michelangelo, the secrets of Da Vinci or look out to the scenes captured by Picasso. Each tour showcases an inspirational city, some of which these world-renowned artists called home and the stunning fine works created in them.
Browse the full selection of specially selected art history holidays and our art & architecture tours below and explore the colours and wonder of Europe’s spectacular cities.