Kröller-Müller Museum by Bicycle

by Lauren on November 11, 2017

If you can’t get enough of Van Gogh, and you want to cycle like a local, and you’re a nature-lover at heart, then have I got the adventure for you.  A dear friend suggested a visit to the Kröller-Müller Museum located in Hoge Veluwe National Park.  Well, it turned out to be one of my most memorable days in the Netherlands.

You can get to the Museum by car, but why not bike through sand dunes and woodlands en route to an exquisite museum, home to the second largest collection of Van Gogh in the world.

To recap: bike through gorgeous national park, visit awesome museum.

The National Park is a cultural estate dating back to the twentieth century, founded by Anton and Helene Kröller-Müller. Anton was a successful businessman with a knack for acquiring hunting grounds (De Hoge Veluwe), while his wife Helene displayed a natural penchant for collecting beautiful works of art.

Anton’s first phase of grounds acquisition began in 1909, while he and Helene collected more than 11,000 works of art between 1907 and 1922. Helene’s dream to display her modern art collection to the public was realized in 1938, when the Museum opened its doors to the public.

The entrance to Hoge Veluwe National Park is approximately one hour from Amsterdam by car, making it a reasonable day trip.  Once you reach the park entrance, you can either continue by car, or purchase a combined ticket to cycle or walk the rest of the way.  Grab one of the free white bicycles and you’re on your way.  We reached the Museum in just under an hour, at a leisurely pace.

Bike path rules are simple: stay to the right to allow others to pass on the left.  It’s permissible to ride side-by-side, but do so respectfully and with an eye towards oncoming traffic.  Unfortunately, signs indicating “wild rooster” do not refer to your pending encounter with an exotic species.  They mean “heads up – cattle guard.”

The Museum boasts modern masters including Picasso, Seurat, and Claude Monet, in addition to the Van Gogh collection.  You should leave yourself 1.5-3 hours to leisurely tour the premises, to include the substantial sculpture garden. There is an outdoor cafe on site, as well as plenty of hidden spots to enjoy a snack.

One of my personal favorites was the Amphitheatre by Marta Pan.  I dare you to stand in the center circle and shout, and hear what happens. 

Floating sculpture, Otterloo by Marta Pan

Jardin d’émail by Jean Dubuffet

Located on the North side of the park is the stately Jachthuis Sint Hubertus, which is easily reached by bicycle, car, or on foot. We opted to cycle by when leaving the Museum, but many folks stop for a quick tour (reservations necessary to view the interior). It was built between 1914 and 1920, and inspired by the legend of St. Hubert. Venerated in the Middle Ages, St. Hubert was the patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, opticians, and metalworkers.

Jachthuis Sint Hubertus

The Kröller-Müller Museum is a perfect way to spend a quiet day exploring art in nature. Give yourself a break from the bustle of downtown Amsterdam, and you’ll be glad you did.

“Van Gogh is not interested in academic perfection, but in expression. According to him, ‘a real peasant painting should smell of smoke, bacon, and potato steam’.” -The Kröller-Müller Museum


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