Flynt Bed and Breakfast Amsterdam

Great location, well appointed rooms, each with its own character

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Suddenly Mr. Pijbes, standing near the open walkway that will allow the country’s fanatical bicyclists to continue riding through it on their way around Amsterdam, saw something he didn’t like. City workers were starting to demolish parts of the street that is the roof of the underground entrance. Excusing himself, he raced to confer with some yellow-jacketed workers.

It was just the latest in a series of difficulties that have dogged the museum since the national government’s decision more than 10 years ago to upgrade and remodel the museum — a program that has ended up costing nearly $500 million.

The problems will have to be solved by April 13, when the 80-room museum, home to works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, van Gogh and hundreds of other artists, finally reopens at a black-tie gala hosted by Queen Beatrix at one of her last official events before she abdicates at the end of that month.

Mr. Pijbes and his staff say they believe that the renovated museum will attract two million visitors annually, roughly double the number who have been showing up yearly — even recently, when just 400 works remained on display.

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Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum reopens today, and while many visitors will appreciate the architectural renovation and old masters on show, others might be more excited about being able to ride their bike through the museum again.

The 19th-century museum has had a 10-year, €375 million (£318 million) renovation, which notably includes the reinstatement of the Rijksmuseum's pride and joy: Rembrandt's 17th century painting, The Night Watch.