Anne Frank House – A Must-See Museum
Seventy-one years ago, during World War II, 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 has been restored and looks the way it did during the Second World War.
The building next door — with the type of modern facade that looks completely out of place in this neighborhood of picturesque houses — includes an exhibition on racial repression.
Both buildings can be visited during your tour of the Anne Frank House museum.
The museum recently received a 910.000 euro donation1 that will be used to adapt its exhibition.
A spokesperson for the museum says little will change in the Achterhuis — the Secret Annex — and the museum.
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.
Record number of visitors: The Infamous Queue
Often people will try and sell tickets they bought online to visitors waiting in the queue — usually at twice the real cost. Ignore them, as ticket scalping is not permitted.
Likewise, the Anne Frank House does not authorize online resellers to sell entrance tickets.
The Anne Frank House offers ‘no waiting’ (skip-the-line) service at the regular price when you buy your tickets online from the museum’s own website (see below).
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 2014. It was the sixth year in a row that the number of visitors increased.
That means it will take some planning if you want to visit.
For the better part of the year — certainly during the high season — huge lines form 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]
If the line reaches to the homo monument (the triangles at the Keizersgracht side of the church), count on at least 1-1½ hour waiting time.
If the line is particularly long — i.e, if the end is somewhere near the French Fries and Fish stalls — a 2+ hour wait is 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.
Note: 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.
[See also: Busiest Times]
Last year Dutch broadcaster NOS made a documentary about the ‘eternal’ queue in front of the museum. This is the trailer for that documentary:
It’s a good idea to bring some snacks and something to drink. If you forget to do so, you can buy something hugely overpriced from the canal-side kiosk. But just on the other side of the Westerkerk — the church the line throngs around (and the bells of which Anne Frank describes hearing) is an Albert Heijn supermarket.
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.
Bypass the queue: Buy tickets online
If you don’t want to stand in line, buy your tickets online instead.
Once purchased, the tickets give you access to the special entrance to the left of the main entrance. You do not have to stand in line.
- Online tickets can only be purchased for specific time slots. Show up on time!
- The I Amsterdam City Card is not valid for entrance to the Anne Frank House
- The Museumkaart is valid, and can be used for purchasing tickets online. With this pass, a ticket costs 50 cents
- If you purchase tickets online, on certain dates and at certain time a 30-minute introduction program is available at an additional fee.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November 1 through March 31
Daily from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm (Saturdays from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm).
April 1 through October 31
Daily from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, (Saturdays from 9:00 am – 10:00 pm).
In July and August the museum is daily open till 10:00 pm.
Thirty minutes prior to closing.
January 1: 12 noon – 7:00 pm
May 4: 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
December 31: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
People start queuing at or before 7:30 am — 1½ hours before the museum opens.
The lines tend to be longest from about 9:00 am till about 11:30 am.
During the months that the museum is open until 9:00 pm, try and queue between 6:00 and 7:00 pm.
Saturdays tend to be very busy.
Tickets | Admission Prices
Adults: euro 9,-
Age 10-17: euro 4,50
Age 0-9: free
Note: Ticket bought online (highly recommended!) include a 50 cent reservation fee.
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.
This entry was first published on April 28, 2006. As with all information in our Amsterdam Tourist Guide, this page is updated regularly.
- The money is donated by the BankGiro Loterij, a legal Dutch lottery that donates half the income of its ticket sales to cultural charities and organizations ↩
Do not republish or repost.