Very few tourists leave Amsterdam without visiting this incredible museum. Its vast collection includes roughly 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 750 letters that comprise most of the works produced by the troubled artist in his short 10-year career. After dabbling in religious vocations and art selling, he finally embarked on his true calling in 1880, which is where the museum’s permanent exhibit begins. Those familiar with only his later works will no doubt be surprised to see the dark greys, browns and blues used in Van Gogh’s earliest still lifes of cabbages and clogs, not to mention some of the subject matter such as a smoking skeleton. The vibrant paintings for which he is now so renowned only appeared later during his time in Paris when he ‘discovered colour’. Although the museum is indeed a shrine to all things Van Gogh, it also displays a varied collection of works by world-famous artists from early mentors like Anton Mauve and Jules Dupré to such icons of Impressionism as Monet, Manet, Pissaro, Gauguin, Renoir, Cézanne and Toulouse-Lautrec from which he drew inspiration. The museum also offers temporary exhibitions in the basement as well as a café and a large shop where you can buy prints, books and other Van Gogh souvenirs. The crowds of visitors at peek times might limit your appreciation of the experience, so why not drop by on a Friday night when you can enjoy your art with some music and a cocktail!