One of Amsterdam’s most popular and important museums is the Anne Frank House. The house is located on the Prinsengracht canal in the centre of Amsterdam. It contains the secret annex where the young girl Anne Frank and seven others hid from Amsterdam’s 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. Hostilities broke out in 1939 and within a year, the Netherlands found itself under Nazi occupation with the Jewish population experiencing increasing persecution.
In July 1942 the Frank family went into hiding in concealed rooms (the secret annex) at Prinsengracht 263 – the building where her father Otto Frank ran a business trading in pectin.
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 somehow betrayed and the secret annex was discovered by the Germans. Even today, the source of the betrayal continues to be the focus of much speculation and controversy.
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 both died there of typhus in March 1945. Bergen-Belsen was liberated by British forces in April 1945.
Otto Frank survived the war and returned to Amsterdam. His efforts led to Anne’s diary being published in Dutch as Het Achterhuis in 1947. In 1950 it was translated into French and German and in 1952 came the first English edition entitled The Diary of a Young Girl.
It has since been translated into many other languages and the diary has been portrayed in theatre plays and films around the world.
In 1957 the Anne Frank Stichting organisation (with close involvement of Otto Frank) was established. They wanted to save the Prinsengracht building which was due for demolition and set up a place where the Anne Frank story and message could be preserved.
Anne Frank Museum (History & Visitor Numbers)
The Anne Frank House originally opened on 3 May 1960 and over the years attracted a growing number of visitors keen to experience the diary location at first-hand.
Between 1999-2001, it underwent a major expansion into the adjacent building. In 2018 the museum exhibition layout was completely refreshed with a new entrance opened on the Westermarkt side.
Here is an overview of visitor numbers to the Anne Frank House 1960-2022:
Cumulatively the museum has received around 37 million visitors during its history. It reached 500,000 visitors for the first time in 1985 and broke the 1 million visitor barrier in 2007. Its record year was 2019 with just over 1.3 million visitors.
Visitor numbers dropped significantly during 2020-21 due to the lockdown measures. 2021 visitor numbers to the Anne Frank House were the lowest seen since 1976.
Visiting the Anne Frank House
A visit to the Anne Frank House can be poignant, thought-provoking and for some an emotional experience.
Each visitor undertakes an audio tour which provides historical and chronological context as one moves through the rooms. This maintains a quiet atmosphere inside the museum.
The presentation is spartan and uses quotes, photos, video clips and original items. The rooms are only very sparsely furnished – houses of deported Jews were generally stripped down with items taken away to Germany. However photos illustrate how the rooms would have looked at the time.
The audio tour is available in 9 languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish. It is suitable for children aged from about 10 years.
After going through rooms in the Main House you reach the Secret Annex. It is accessible via a concealed entrance through the original hinged bookcase.
You will see Anne Frank’s room with photos of movie stars and royalty glued on the wall. You will also see height marks of Anne and Margot drawn on the bedroom wall.
The Diary Room holds Anne’s original red-checked diary plus some of her other manuscripts.
The film Reflections shows what Anne Frank’s diary and life story meant to 22 writers, actors, visitors and people who knew Anne.
The interactive exhibition A Room Full of Dreams is about the pictures and postcards that Anne had on her wall.
Anne Frank House accessibility – The old part of the original house has very steep staircases and is not accessible for wheelchair users. The modern section of the museum is fully accessible.
Photography is not officially allowed inside the museum.
The museum has a shop and café on site as well.
The Anne Frank House is not only a museum but a memorial to those who perished in World War 2. The renewed museum is a must-see in Amsterdam.
Nearby is the Westerkerk church tower (currently under renovation) which has fine views over the house and the city. There is a sculpture of Anne Frank on the Westermarkt square.
How To Buy Anne Frank House Tickets
Tickets can only be purchased online at the Anne Frank House website. You must book a ticket and timeslot online in advance. There are no Anne Frank House tickets available at third-party resellers.
Note, tickets can only be booked up to a few weeks in advance. On every first Tuesday of the month tickets are released for the following month. If you are planning a trip to Amsterdam months in advance and want to visit the Anne Frank House then you should note the dates below.
|Tickets for the month||On sale from|
|June 2022||Tuesday 3 May 2022|
|July 2022||Tuesday 7 June 2022|
|August 2022||Tuesday 5 July 2022|
|September 2022||Tuesday 2 August 2022|
|October 2022||Tuesday 6 September 2022|
|November 2022||Tuesday 4 October 2022|
|December 2022||Tuesday 8 November 2022|
|January 2023||Tuesday 6 December 2022|
As of spring 2022, tickets are generally booked out 3-5 weeks in advance. Once the tickets are sold-out on a particular day there is no other possibility of getting admission. Anne Frank House no longer releases extra tickets on-the-day. So don’t turn up at the museum without a timeslot booking!
Entry timeslots are offered in 15 minute increments with slots between 1000 and 1500 the most popular.
There is a €1 per ticket fee for all online bookings. Dutch Museumkaart holders who get free entry must still book an online timeslot and pay the booking fee.
There is the option to also take the 30 minute introductory program available (in English or Dutch) at the extra charge of €7 which provides further insight to your visit. This must be booked by clicking the ‘Buy tickets +’ button.
Tip: Very occasionally there may be a date/timeslot for the introductory program + museum visit available when the standard museum visit is sold out – so it is worth double checking.
Finally, for those who can’t make a visit in person, there are a variety of Anne Frank House virtual tours available online here – these show the 3D floor plan inside the Secret Annex and there is also a Virtual Reality (VR) tour for those inclined.
Anne Frank House Amsterdam Essential Info
|Opening Times||Daily: 0900-1700 Mon-Thu, 0900-1900 Fri-Sun.|
|Admission Prices (2022)||€14 for adults, €7 for children 10-17, €1 for children 0-9 and Museumkaart holders. Tickets must be pre-booked online with a timeslot and include a €1 booking fee. Tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable, there are no student discounts.|
Note, Iamsterdam City Card holders do NOT get free or discounted entrance.
For more background you can also consider taking a Life of Anne Frank and World War II Walking Tour with a private tour guide.
|Getting There||The Anne Frank House can be reached on foot from Central Station in 15-20 minutes. From Dam Square head west along Raadhuisstraat towards Westermarkt. Trams 13 and 17 stop at Westermarkt. Then turn right (north) onto Prinsengracht and walk up one block.|
Anne Frank House, Westermarkt 20, 1016 DK Amsterdam
T: +31(0)20 556 7105, annefrank.org
Last updated 11 April 2022. This article was first published in 2008 and has been regularly updated.
Amsterdam Travel/Transport Resources
Prepare for your trip to Amsterdam in advance.
Unlimited GVB Day/Multi-Day tickets – 1 to 7 day ticket (€8.50 to €37). Valid on all GVB transport (trams/metro/buses) in Amsterdam on a 24 hour basis. Book GVB 1-7 day tickets online here and pick-up in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Travel Ticket – 1/2/3 day card (€17/€22.50/€28) combines airport train/bus journey with unlimited GVB transport in Amsterdam. Valid on a day (not 24 hours) basis. Book online here and pick-up in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket – 1/2/3 day card (€19.50/€28/€36.50) for unlimited travel in entire Amsterdam region. Valid on a day (not 24 hours) basis on NS trains (in region), regional buses and Amsterdam GVB transport. Book online here and pick-up in Amsterdam.
Iamsterdam City Card – Tourist pass which includes a GVB multi-day ticket as well as admission to many Amsterdam attractions (but not the Anne Frank House). 24/48/72/96/120 hour cards (€65-€135). Book the Iamsterdam City Card online here
Hotels – Book your Amsterdam hotel here via Booking.com, which offers a wide selection of hotels and free cancellation if your plans change. It also has a range of Amsterdam hostels for those on a budget.
Taxi – Sneleentaxi is a reliable taxi firm offering rides anywhere in the Netherlands – including around Amsterdam and to/from airports. It offers competitive fixed fares. You can book with Sneleentaxi here
International Trains – You can check timetables, prices and make bookings for all the international train services to/from the Netherlands at the NS International site