Handbag Museum of Amsterdam


Ok, so its official title is the Tassenmuseum Hendrikje, or Museum of Bags and Purses, but the Handbag Museum sounds much more fun. Either way, it’s not quite the star attraction you’d be expecting in Amsterdam.

The museum is relatively recent – it was started by an antique dealer who put together a collection of 3000 bags in Amstelveen, a suburb of Amsterdam. It proved so popular, that three years ago it transferred into a canal side building in central Amsterdam.


It’s no fluffy Sex and the City theme park – this is a serious collection (now 3500 pieces), which traces the development of the handbag from the Middle Ages (yes, they existed then, it would seem – leather bags with iron frames) to the present day.

Accessory fans, though, will be excited to know that the display includes Judith Leiber Amexander McQueen, Lulu Guinness, Yves Saint Laurent and Tom Ford bags, as well as labels such as Chanel, D&G, Hermes and Fendi.


As well as the permanent collection, there are temporary exhibitions (at the moment, there’s one called Crystal Loves Leather – a collection of crystal-encrusted bags that’s come from the Louvre) and, obviously, a shop stocked with bags (again, locally designed) and books about them.

Despite losing out to the more obvious attractions of Amsterdam, the Handbag Museum has become something of a cult detour. And when the SATC film opens next month, we can only assume it’s going to get more popular. Get thee canal side, ladies.


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