One of Amsterdam's most popular and important museums is the Anne Frank House (Anne Frankhuis).
The house is located on the Prinsengracht canal in the centre of Amsterdam. It contains the secret annexe where the young girl Anne Frank and seven others hid from German occupation during WW2. It was here that she wrote her world-famous diary.
Anne Frank Story
Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1929. The Frank family moved to Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1933. World War 2 broke out in 1939 and by 1940, Netherlands found itself under German occupation with the Jewish population experiencing increasing persecution. In July 1942 the Frank family went into hiding in concealed rooms (the secret annexe) at Prinsengracht 263 - the building where her father Otto Frank worked. It was here where Anne wrote her diary giving a unique and touching perspective of wartime Amsterdam through the eyes of a teenage girl.
After 2 years the family was betrayed and the secret annexe was discovered by the Germans. In September 1944 Anne and her sister Margot were taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau and then a few weeks later they were relocated to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. They died there of typhus in March 1945.
The Anne Frank house originally opened back on 3 May 1960 and has been receiving visitors ever since. The museum underwent a major expansion in 1999, being reopened by then Dutch Queen Beatrix.
A visit to the Anne Frank house can be poignant, though-provoking and for some an emotional experience. It is suitable for children aged from about 10 years.
The museum is divided as follows: the original house (263 Prinsengracht) includes the canal-side part which was father Otto Frank's office where the family's helpers worked. All the rooms in the house have been preserved to their original style and decor during the hiding period. There are films to watch as well as various objects, photos and documents which help illustrate the hiding and subsequent deportation.
The Secret Annexe at the back of the house is accessed via a concealed entrance through a bookcase. This part of the house contains no furniture - houses of deported Jews were stripped down with items taken away to Germany. You will see Anne's room with photos of movie stars and royalty glued on the wall. There are various salvaged documents and objects on display that belonged to the eight people who hid here.
The next-door building (at 265 Prinsengracht) is the renovated section of the museum - here you will find the Diary Room which shows Anne's original red and green checked diary plus some of her other manuscripts. There is also a temporary exhibition space which changes every 6 months. The museum has a bookshop and small café as well.
The Anne Frank house receives about 1.2 million visitors per annum - that works out at an average of over 3,000 visitors per day and remains popular all year round.
We highly recommend that you first buy your tickets online so that you can enter the museum directly without having to queue - you need to pre-select your date and visit time. If you hold a Museumkaart pass (which gives free entry) you can still book online to avoid the queue. Note, there is a €0.50 per ticket fee for all online bookings.
As of 1 May 2016 a new entry system has been instigated - from 0900 to 1530 only visitors with an online ticket are admitted. Those without pre-booked tickets can still queue up after 1530 and purchase at the door.
If booking online it can be that your desired date is sold out. In that case either try to find another date or if you must visit on that particular day you will just have to join the queue and buy your ticket at the museum entrance. If queuing then try to arrive early (before the 0900 opening) or come later in the day.
A visit to the museum takes around 1 hour. Note, due to the restricted space there are no guided tours available nor is there an audio tour. However there are free guidebook leaflets available in 12 languages at the entrance. The old part of the original house has steep staircases and is not accessible for wheelchair users.
Nearby is the Westerkerk church tower which has fine views over the house and the city. There is a sculpture of Anne Frank on the church square.
Anne Frank House Essential Info
Opening Times: April to October: daily 0900-2100, closes 2200 Saturdays and every day during July and August; November to March: daily 0900-1900, closes 2100 Saturdays. Last admittance 30 minutes before closing time. Note, admittance only to online ticket holders 0900-1530.
Admission Prices (2016): Adults €9, children 10-17 and European Youth card holders €4.50. Free entry to children 0-9 and Museumkaart holders. Note, Iamsterdam city card holders and students receive no discount. Book online (+€0.50 fee per ticket) to avoid the queue.
Getting There: The museum can be reached on foot from Central Station in 15-20 minutes. From Dam Square head west along Raadhuisstraat towards Westermarkt. Trams 13, 14 and 17 stop at Westermarkt. Then turn right (north) onto Prinsengracht and walk up one block.
Frank House, Prinsengracht 263-267, Amsterdam
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