Anne Frank House – A Must-See Museum
During the Second World War1 Amsterdam was occupied territory, forcing Jews like Anne Frank and her family to go into hiding.
The Anne Frank House, the place where Anne wrote her famous diary – and where the original notebook is on display – tells the history of the eight people who hid there, and of those who helped them.
The original building — the Achterhuis (Secret Annex) has been restored and looks the way it did during the Second World War.
The building next door — with the type of modern façade that looks completely out of place in this neighborhood of picturesque houses — includes an exhibition on racial repression.2
Both buildings can be visited during your tour of the Anne Frank House museum.
Record number of visitors
The Anne Frank House is one of Amsterdam’s most popular tourist destinations.
In 2015 the museum welcomed 1.268.095 visitors — 40.000 more than in 20143 It was the sixth year in a row that the number of visitors increased.
That situation has now been addressed.
May 2016: New Ticket and Entry System
In an effort to alleviate the legendary queues the Anne Frank Museum switched to a new ticket and entry system starting May 1, 2016.
- From 9:00 am to 3:30 pm (9:00 to 15:30) the museum is open only to visitors who have purchased an online ticket for a particular timeslot.
- From 3:30 pm to 9:30 pm (15:30 to 21:30) visitors who have not bought an online ticket can buy a ticket at the museum entrance.
A spokesperson for the museum says the new approach works well. The queue of visitors who have not bought a ticket online is now “significantly shorter.” Those who do have tickets can walk right up to the museum entrance.
If you bought a ticket online, arrive on time (i.e. just before your time slot) and walk up to the entrance.
People who did not purchase a ticket online start lining up at about 2:30 pm (14:30).
If the line reaches to the homomonument4 (the triangles at the Keizersgracht side of the church), count on at least 1-1½ hour waiting time.
If you’re standing across from the house at number 6, the wait is 30-45 minutes.
Under the previous system, the queue often ended near the French Fries and Fish stalls — in which case a 2+ hour wait was not unusual.
In the fall and winter months waiting times may be as short as 30 minutes — in weather that you may not necessarily like.
It’s a good idea to bring some snacks and something to drink. Just on the other side of the Westerkerk and across the road is an Albert Heijn supermarket. There is a bakery (fantastic cup cakes) as well.
The church square also is home to a french fries stand, a herring cart (be brave — you’ll love it), and at times a hot dog vendor as well.
The Anne Frank House website says “When visiting with a group, the entire group should wait in the, possible, queue.”
In other words: you can not have someone stand in the queue in order for him or her to reserve a place for you. Don’t even try to game the system. The museum’s employees keep an eye out for that kind of behavior. If and when caught, you and your group may have to move to the end of the line.
With the introduction of the new entry system the busiest times to visit the museum have changed.
The queue for those who have not purchased a ticket online now starts forming at about about 2:30 pm (14:00). The ticket window opens at 3:30 pm (15:30), and the busiest time is from then until the end of the afternoon.
The best time to visit is from about 6:00 pm (18:00) on.
Through October the museum is open until 10 pm (22:00). Last entrance is 30 minutes before closing time — though if it does turn out to be particularly busy, the ticket window may well close earlier than that.
Duration of Visit
Once you are inside, a visit to the entire museum lasts about 60 to 80 minutes.
Add extra time if you also want to visit the museum’s café and the bookstore.
Frankly, we’d advice you give the café a miss, in favor of any of dozens of cafes and restaurants in the immediate neighborhood.
Also, while it’s easy to be tempted into purchasing books and videos while the experience of the museum is still fresh, keep your luggage limitations in mind.
Free, Printed Tour Guide. No Guided Tours.
The Anne Frank House museum does not provide guided tours.
The house — with its narrow hallways and stairs, and its small roomm — makes that impossible.
However, at the entrance, free tour brochures are available in 12 languages
The 24-page guides provide background information about the different rooms in the museum.
You can preview the English-language version right here.
Anne Frank Story & Private Walking Tour
Either before or after your visit to the Anne Frank House you may want to (re-)familiarize yourself with Ann’s story.
This private tour takes place in the south of Amsterdam, where she spent her childhood from the moment she moved to Amsterdam until she went into hiding.
You’ll hear the story about her diary and how it came to be published.
Note: this tour does not include entrance to the museum.
An Emotional Experience
While most people are familiar with the story of Anne Frank and its context — the horrors of the German occupation and the Holocaust — many people describe their visit to the museum as an intensely emotional experience.
The museum’s collection is very sensitively done, and there are no images a child should not see. However, if you bring young children along, you may want to prepare them by providing some background information.
Also be prepared to discuss the experience with them after your visit. Some helpful tips for teachers, provided on the museum’s official website, will come in handy.
Address and Contact Information
Anne Frank House
Phone: 020 556-7105 [Amsterdam phone info]
How to get there
The Anne Frank House is just north of the Westerkerk, the church whose bells Anne wrote about.
It is a 12 minute walk from Dam square (green marker), or a 20 minute walk from Central Station (red marker).
Trams 13, 14, and 17 stop at Westermarkt (trams 13 and 17 can be boarded at Central Station). The stop is announced as ‘Westermarkt’ and ‘Anne Frank House.’
Buses 170, 172 and 174 also stop at Westermarkt.
Tickets and Admission Prices
Adults: € 9,00
Age 10-17: € 4,50
Age 0-9: free
European Youth Card: € 4,50 (Proof of identity may be required)
Online ticket: + € 0,50 extra
- No free entry with the I amsterdam City Card
- Museumkaart: free (Do not skip the line unless you have purchased a ticket online)
- When visiting with a group, the entire group should wait in the, possible, queue
- Children up to 10 years must be accompanied by an adult. Holders of youth discount cards may be asked for proof of identity on entry
The Anne Frank Museum is the only authorized ticket seller.
The museum does not authorize online resellers to see entrance tickets.
Sometimes people will try and sell tickets they bought online to visitors waiting in the queue (or via online forums) — often at twice the real cost. Ignore them, as ticket scalping is not permitted. The museum is under no obligation to honor tickets purchased from third parties.
It is highly recommended that you purchase a ticket online, and that you do so from the only legal seller — the Anne Frank Museum itself.
Between 9:00 am and 3:30 pm (9:00 – 15:30) the museum is open only for those who have bought online tickets.
The online ticket is valid for a specific day and timeslot. Expired tickets cannot be used for another date or timeslot. They are non-transferable and non-returnable.
Online tickets allow entry to the museum during the timeslot indicated,
Please note that the time of your visit depends on whether or not you have purchased a ticket online ahead of time:
November 1 through March 31
Daily from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm (9:00 – 19:00) — Saturdays from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm (9:00 – 21:00).
April 1 through October 31
Daily from 9:00 am – 10:00 pm (9:00 – 22:00).
Last entry to the museum is 30 minutes before closing time, but the queue for the Anne Frank House closes earlier. Depending on how busy it is, this can be as much as 2 hours before closing time.
January 1: 12 noon – 7:00 pm (New Year’s Day)
May 4: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm (Remembrance Day)
June 9: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
Closed on Yom Kippur: In 2015, on September 23th
November 7: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (Amsterdam Museum Night)
December 25: 12 noon – 5:00 pm (First day of Christmas)
December 31: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (Old and New)
People who have difficulty walking may have trouble climbing the steep staircases that are characteristic of most old Amsterdam houses.
Also, the old part of the Anne Frank House, which includes the Secret Annex, is not accessible to wheelchair users.
Amsterdam is a small city with a finely-mazed, efficient public transport system. So it is not necessary to look for a hotel near the museum. Then again, why not? It’s a fantastic area, right in the heart of the old city.
Also in This Area
The Anne Frank House is located in the Western Canal Belt. Across the canal, the Prinsengracht, one can see the Jordaan – one of Holland’s most popular neighborhoods. South of the Westerkerk, across the Rozengracht thoroughfare, is the so-called ‘Nine Streets’ shopping district.
Remember the Infamous Queue?
Until the May 2016 introduction of a new ticket and entry system a visit to the Anne Frank House meant standing in line for a l-o-n-g time.
For the better part of the year — certainly during the high season — huge lines formed outside. The average waiting time during spring and summer months is 1-1½ hours — and at peak times 2 hours — or longer. [See the queque]
In 2014 Dutch broadcaster NOS made a documentary about the ‘eternal’ queue in front of the museum. This is the trailer for that documentary:
And a video from a visitor:
This entry was first published on April 28, 2006. As with all information in our Amsterdam Tourist Guide, this page is updated regularly.
- The Netherlands was occupied on May 10, 1940, and liberated on May 5, 1945 ↩
- The museum recently received a 910.000 euro donation from the BankGiro Loterij, a legal Dutch lottery that donates half the income of its ticket sales to cultural charities and organizations. The money will be used to adapt its exhibition.
A spokesperson for the museum says little will change in the Secret Annex. But the museum plans to add more context, which will provide details about the persecution of Jews and the way Jews were excluded from daily life in Amsterdam during the occupation.
In addition, information about the betrayal and arrest of the Frank family will be added to the cellar of the Achterhuis. ↩
- Compare to 885.000 in 2000; 647.000 in 1990; 336.000 in 1980; 180.000 in 1970, and 9.000 in 1960 (Opened May 3) ↩
- The Homomonument is a memorial in the centre of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. It commemorates all gay men and lesbians who have been subjected to persecution because of their homosexuality — Wikipedia ↩
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