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Turtles06

Seeking guidance on A4 bag size for museums in Amsterdam & elsewhere

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We'll be visiting Amsterdam next year, and both the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum say they limit the size of what you can bring in to small bags up to "A4 size."   I'm a female and don't normally use purses or handbags when traveling (small backpacks are my preference), so I am a bit confused here.  I have of course done some internet research before posting here, and it seems that A4 is pretty much 8.5 x 11 inches, but when it comes to a handbag, what does that really mean?  A Google search for A4 handbags turns up zillions in varying sizes in terms of width, etc.  They all look different, and some look like they would be too big.   

 

When traveling, I usually have a wallet, phone, camera batteries, map, Purell, odds and ends like that; I'm trying to get a handle on what will be acceptable in terms of the bag size.  Also, the Van Gogh Museum says "no rucksacks."  If I have a small "backpack" that I only carry on one shoulder (more like a sling purse than a backpack, though it could be worn as a backpack), does anyone know if that would be prohibited? 

 

I would appreciate any information and advice.  Thanks! 

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You might wonder why they have these rules:

 

rucksack is the kind of bag that hikers use and is carried on the back. Museums and other places with fragile things on display don't allow them because it's so easy to knock things over as you turn around.

 

An A4 bag is clearly a small(ish) bag no larger than 9" by a foot. Some ladies seem to carry huge handbags and I guess that they don't like them because they are cumbersome and a nuisance. I doubt that your "small backpack" would concern them.

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3 hours ago, Bob++ said:

An A4 bag is clearly a small(ish) bag no larger than 9" by a foot. Some ladies seem to carry huge handbags and I guess that they don't like them because they are cumbersome and a nuisance. I doubt that your "small backpack" would concern them.

...but you might be asked to carry it at your chest.

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The Rijksmuseum has lockers that you can use to store your valuables in. The lockers are free to use, but they require a coin of €0.50 to close. The coin will be returned when you open the locker.

The Van Gogh museum has a coat check where you can store your bag, again free to use.

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Think of A4 as the size of a piece of paper, that's a fairly good size bag.  You can get a lot in that bag, everything you mention above. 

As for a sling backpack purse, those are the least secure purse you can carry.  Thieves can slit the bottom; if you wear it behind you you don't have your eyes on it, straps can be cut etc. 

A crossbody purse is the best thing you can carry.  Wear it in front of you, you have both hands free and you can keep an eye on it even when sitting at a sidewalk Cafe. 

Edited by Sauer-kraut

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