If I would be writing a list of five best museums in the Netherlands, Kröller-Müller Museum would definitely have a place on it. Located in a beautiful Hoge Veluwe National Park in Otterlo and being home to the second largest collection of Van Gogh’s work in the world, it’s a museum that shouldn’t be missed. Here is a short guide for visiting the Kröller-Müller Museum, with the best ways of travelling there and some other useful tips.
Kröller-Müller is a museum of modern and contemporary art with more than 20,000 art pieces in its collection. It’s a great place to see the development of modern art, from the first Impressionist painters to some significant contemporary artists. Some of the most famous paintings in its collection are works of Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, George Seurat, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian etc.
Besides a beautiful collection (of mostly paintings) inside the museum, it has a beautiful sculpture garden located right in the beautiful nature of the Hoge Veluwe National Park. That connection between art and nature is something which makes this museum so unique.
How to get to Kröller-Müller Museum
The only problem with it is that it’s a bit dislocated. And if you’re visiting Kröller-Müller Museum from Amsterdam or Rotterdam, you should make a day trip out of it. Here are some options of how to best get there:
# – By public transport – I went to Kröller-Müller Museum from Amsterdam by using public transport. I’ve taken a train from Amsterdam to Ede. And have taken a bus to Otterlo from there then. Once in Otterlo, I’ve taken another bus to the Kröller-Müller Museum. It took me around two hours to get from Amsterdam to Kröller-Müller Museum with public transport.
*TIP: If you’re going to do the same, download the public transport app 9292. You can see the latest updates and the best options for the public transport in the Netherlands that way.
# – By a car – That’s definitely an easier option. It will be much quicker travelling to it in the car. There is a large parking space in front of the museum where you can leave your car.
*TIP: Rent a bicycle! Kröller-Müller Museum is located in beautiful nature, and you can explore it on a bicycle. Many bicycles could be rented at the entrance to the national park in which the museum is located. All of the bicycles provided have a child seat, so it could be a great family activity, as well. Oh, yes, and they are free of charge!
How the Kröller-Müller Museum was created
Kröller-Müller Museum is quite interesting because it was originally founded as a private collection, created by a really fascinating woman, Helene Kröller-Müller (1869 – 1939). She was one of the most important art patrons and collectors in Europe at the beginning of the 20th Century. Being from a wealthy family, she decided to invest her money into art. She has created an art collection she could display at the museum and, in the end, donate to Dutch people.
While on a trip at the Hoge Veluwe National Park she decided it would be an ideal location for her museum. The idea of displaying art in a peaceful nature is something that works so well still today. Construction of the building was finished, and the museum opened its doors in 1938.
Paintings at the Kröller-Müller Museum
Central and my favourite part of the Kröller-Müller Museum is a large collection of modern paintings from the mid-19th Century until the mid-20th Century. There are some famous Impressionist paintings there, like the work of Renoir, Monet or Pissaro. These are a great introduction to the large collection of Van Gogh’s paintings in a central part of the museum. You can see his contemporary painters and many influences from them, visible in his art. That was one of my favourite things in the Kröller-Müller Museum. It’s a great way to understand the development of Van Gogh’s unique style. But, also to understand the development of modern art in general.
Van Gogh Collection at Kröller-Müller Museum
The reason I visited the Kröller-Müller Museum in the first place was its Van Gogh collection. With almost 90 paintings and around 180 drawings, it’s home to the second largest collection of his work in the world.
I really liked the way his paintings are displayed and interpreted there. They are not exhibited in chronological order, but, by the subject instead. It was interesting to see the changes in his style throughout time, especially on the paintings showing the same subject.
Some of his very famous paintings, like ‘Moulin de la Galette’, ‘The Sower’ or ‘Bridge at Arles’ are on display there. I was so surprised to see another version of his ‘Potato Eaters’ there, as well. It’s a beautiful place to enjoy in many Van Gogh’s paintings because it’s not as crowded as the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. You can come close to his paintings and enjoy them in peace and quiet. Some of my favourite of his paintings there were ‘Terrace of a Cafe at Night’, ‘Portrait of Joseph Roulin’ and ‘Four Sunflowers gone to Seed’.
Besides a great Van Gogh collection, another thing that was really beautiful there is its garden with sculptures. Although the weather wasn’t the best on a day I was visiting, that garden was still amazing.
Being a part of the Hoge Veluwe National Park, nature there is just so beautiful. All the different kind of trees and some of the first spring flowers, made that place so relaxing.
Helene Kröller-Müller’s idea of connecting art and nature is really understandable and visible there. To me, that garden had a feel of a modern version of the 19th Century Romantic garden. And with many contemporary sculptures, it looked almost surreal.
Restaurant & Museum Shop
It’s easy to make a day trip out of your visit to the Kröller-Müller Museum because there are many different things you can do there. After enjoying art and walking around the sculpture garden, I had lunch at a museum restaurant there. Walls of that part of the building are made completely out of glass. So, while having a nice lunch there, I enjoyed so much in a beautiful view of the forest.
There is a lovely gift shop in a museum, as well. It has a large selection of art books and usual gifts with motives or prints from the paintings in a museum.
Kröller-Müller Museum is one of the top museums in the Netherlands, and you should definitely pay it a visit. Lovely for a day trip from Amsterdam or even a weekend if you would like to explore more of the Hoge Veluwe National Park.
You can read all of the posts from my Van Gogh trip below:
# – I’m going to follow the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh
# – Visiting Kröller-Müller Museum
# – Vincent Van Gogh in the Netherlands
# – Vincent Van Gogh in Belgium
# – Vincent van Gogh in Paris
# – Vincent Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise
# – Vincent Van Gogh in Arles
# – Vincent Van Gogh in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
# – General info about my Van Gogh trip
*I have visited Kröller-Müller Museum as a part of my ‘Follow Van Gogh’ trip, that was supported by Route Van Gogh and Kröller-Müller Museum. Thanks to both of them for helping me organise it and providing me with a complementary visit!
*This post contains some affiliate links!