The Anne Frank House was at the top of my must-see list for our trip to Amsterdam. I’ve always had an interest in this period of history and having visited the Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany several years ago, I knew I couldn’t pass up a chance to learn more about Anne’s life and powerful story (read about my experience at Dachau here). The Anne Frank House is located in the Jordaan district of Amsterdam which ended up being one of my favorite neighborhoods to explore. The Anne Frank House isn’t a very prominent looking building and would most likely be passed by without a second glance if it wasn’t for the long line of people snaking around the building waiting for tickets.
Note: If you want to know the best way to purchase tickets, check out this article: Anne Frank House Tickets: How to Buy & What You Need to Know
Most of us are familiar with the story of Anne Frank. Anne was a Jewish girl that left Germany with her family to settle in Amsterdam when Hitler began his rise to power. Several years later when Holland was occupied by the Nazis, Anne and her family were forced to go into hiding. Anne, her mother, father, sister and four other Jewish people hid in a secret annex at the rear of Anne’s father’s business. After two years in hiding they were discovered and all sent to concentration camps. Otto Frank, Anne’s father, was the only one of the eight people in hiding to survive the concentration camps. Otto returned home to Holland, found Anne’s diary and later published it (which you can buy here).
The building Anne’s family was hiding in was preserved and turned into a museum. Thousands flock to Amsterdam every year to take a step back in history and see first-hand how Anne and her family lived. We were planning to arrive at the museum early on our last day in Amsterdam to wait in line since I had heard horror stories of a never-ending line and we were unsuccessful with getting tickets online beforehand. Luckily, on a whim the night before I checked the online tickets and a few were available for the next day even though they had been sold out for weeks. I quickly bought us two tickets and we got to the museum at our reserved time the next morning and walked right in with no wait.
You’re not allowed to take photos inside the Anne Frank House which is why there’s a serious lack of pictures in this post. There is one path through the museum and secret annex, so you’re walking in a long line of other people slowing inching through each room. The museum takes you through each room in the building and leads you to the secret annex in the rear of the building. The museum still has the original bookcase that concealed the entrance to the secret annex. You get to climb past the bookcase and into the annex where Anne and her family lived for two years. You weave through the small rooms of the annex and up very steep stairs to more rooms. All along the walls of the museum display original quotes from Anne’s diary. In addition to the quotes there are various pictures and newspaper clippings from their time in hiding. There was also artwork that Anne and her sister had made and other small tokens from their time in the annex.
The walk through the Anne Frank House gives you a small glimpse into what their lives were like in a small secret room having to always be quiet and never seeing the light of day. The museum is a very somber and sobering experience and truly makes you reflect on the hardships that so many faced during Hitler’s time in power. The Anne Frank House definitely serves its purpose to provide you an even deeper look inside Anne’s life. If you’ve read the Diary of Anne Frank or even if you haven’t, I highly recommend taking the time to walk through the museum. It’s important for us to never forget their stories and to ensure that, that part of history never gets repeated.
If you’re headed to Amsterdam, be sure to reserve your tickets to the Anne Frank House well in advance. As of 1 May 2016, the museum ticketing policy has changed so check out this article for everything you need to know about buying Anne Frank House tickets. If you can’t get online tickets, visitors can arrive at the museum every day from 15:30 until closing time and purchase tickets at the entrance. The line can get very long and be a two hour wait in the afternoons, so try to avoid this by planning ahead and reserving tickets online.
- Opening Hours
- November 1 through March 31: open daily from 9 am to 7 pm (Saturdays from 9 am to 9 pm)
- April 1 through October 31: open daily from 9 am to 9 pm (Saturdays from 9 am to 10 pm). In July and August the museum is open daily until 10 pm
- Last admittance to the museum is thirty minutes prior to closing
- Admission Prices
- Adults are 9 euros, youth ages 10-17 are 4.50 euros, and ages 0-9 are free
- Purchase tickets online in advance (you can purchase tickets up to two months in advance, I strongly suggest this! – details here)