Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck (unless noted)
Stepping into The Anne Frank House is a profound and emotionally stirring experience that resonates long after you leave. This historic landmark in Amsterdam transports you back in time, immersing you in the poignant story of Anne Frank and her family.
As you climb the narrow staircase and walk through the concealed entrance, the atmosphere becomes almost palpable, drawing you into the hidden world of the Frank family home where Anne and her loved ones sought refuge during World War II.
The authentic artifacts, intimate diary entries, and hauntingly preserved rooms create a powerful connection to Anne’s life and the harsh realities faced by those in hiding. It’s a place where history comes alive, where you can pause, reflect, and pay tribute to the resilience and spirit of a young girl whose words continue to inspire generations.
The Anne Frank House is not just a museum; it’s a testament to the importance of tolerance, understanding, and the enduring power of hope.
Tips for Visiting the Anne Frank House Museum
Where The Anne Frank House Museum is Located
The Anne Frank House (or, the Anne Frank Huis, as it is labelled on the building itself) is located in Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, in Europe. You can reach Amsterdam by flying into Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS), and then take a 15-20 minute train ride to Amsterdam Central Station.
From there, it is a 20-minute walk to the museum. Alternatively, take tram 13 or 17 and get off at the Westermarkt stop. It is a 10-minute walk from Dam Square.
The Anne Frank House is situated at Prinsengracht 263-267, along the famous canal called Prinsengracht, The entrance to the museum is around the corner, at Westermarkt 20.
- Allocate at least one to two hours for your visit to the Anne Frank House. The museum can get crowded, so consider visiting early in the morning or later in the afternoon for a more relaxed experience.
- Expect security checks at the door. Large bags and backpacks are not allowed inside, so it’s best to travel light.
- In order to protect the original items in the museum and to avoid causing a nuisance to other visitors, photography is not allowed in the museum.
- The museum has a cloakroom where you can leave your coats, bag, and umbrellas. There is no space to store large bags and backpacks, suitcases, or other large items. Luggage is not allowed to be stored at the museum.
- The FREE audio tour is key to your experience of the museum. It provides you with more information about the persecution of the Jews, the Second World War, the people in hiding, and their helpers. The audio tour is an essential addition to the stories told inside the museum and to the documents and objects you will see there.
- The Anne Frank House is an old building with narrow staircases, making it challenging for individuals with mobility issues. Unfortunately, the old part of the museum and the Secret Annex are not accessible for people using wheelchairs in the space. A special entry for people using wheelchairs provides access to the modern part of the museum, where they can view the temporary exhibition, the museum cafe, and the museum shop.
- The museum preserves the memory of Anne Frank and the Holocaust. Show respect for the exhibits and the stories they represent by maintaining a quiet and respectful demeanour.
- The recommended minimum age for children is 10 years, but it is up to parents to judge whether their child is ready for such a serious subject.
- After your tour, you can check out the museum’s Visitors’ Center, which offers additional exhibits, a shop, and a café where you can reflect on how you are feeling after the experience. The café offers a wide range of hot and cold drinks as well as various snacks and lunch dishes.
- At the Museum Gift Shop you can buy The Diary of Anne Frank, the museum catalogue, postcards, or one of our many other publications. Your purchase helps the Anne Frank House conserve the museum and contributes to educational activities.
Admission to the Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House is open daily from 09:00 to 22:00 and can only be visited with tickets bought online for a specific time slot. The same applies to tickets for children (0-9 years old) and visitors with discount cards. Payments are only accepted by bank or credit card.
Every Tuesday at 10 am CEST all tickets become available for a visit six weeks later. You can opt for a museum visit or a museum visit with an introductory program. Note that there are exceptions for open hours and visitors are recommended to check the website.
- adult €16.00
- 10-17 years €7.00
- 0-9 years €1.00
What You’ll See Inside the Anne Frank House
The tour of the Anne Frank House Museum offers a profound and moving experience that takes you through the hidden annex where Anne Frank and her family lived in hiding during WWII. Led by knowledgeable guides, the tour provides a glimpse into the daily life of Anne Frank, her family, and the others who sought refuge there.
Up the narrow stairs and through a small room is a moveable bookcase that concealed the doorway to the secret annex. The small rooms that the eight friends occupied are bare of furniture but contain small replicas depicting what sparse belongings they did have. The walls are decorated as they had been during their doomed occupation.
Other items of interest include:
- The hinged bookcase, entryway to the Secret Annex
- Anne Frank’s first diary
- Height marks of Anne and Margot Frank
- Anne Frank’s room
- Personal objects of the people who were hiding
- Map of Normandy
- Preserved rooms
- Additional hiding places
- Original artifacts and exhibits
- Quotes, photos, videos, and original items
Anne Frank House Tours
The museum on the Prinsengracht canal, one of the most famous spots in Amsterdam, guides visitors through each room of the actual house, starting with the warehouse on the bottom floor, where the Frank family business continued under non-Jewish management. Tours of the Anne Frank House allow for reflection and understanding of the historical significance of the house and Anne’s powerful story. It is a somber and educational journey that leaves a lasting impression on visitors.
If you’re interested in learning more, you could also take the Anne Frank Guided Walking Tour through Amsterdam’s Jewish Quarter. Discover Amsterdam’s WWII history and follow in the footsteps of Anne Frank on this walking tour of the Jewish Quarter. See the Jewish Historical Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue, and the Auschwitz Monument, and end the tour outside the Anne Frank House (entrance not included).
I knew the moment I walked in that I didn’t stand a chance.
As we entered the first dimly lit room where large, simple photos of Anne graced blank white walls along with chilling excerpts from her famous diary, the lump in my throat was immediate and pressing.
“We have to whisper and tread lightly during the day, otherwise the people in the warehouse might hear us.” – Anne Frank penned on July 11th, 1942. Herself, her sister, her parents, and four others stayed hidden in several small rooms above our heads for almost two years before being discovered by Nazi Secret Service during WWII.
Anne’s room inside the Frank family home is plastered with pictures of movie stars. The thought of all her hopes being pinned on that wall, her only window to the outside world, while the actual panes of glass in her home were covered in black sheets, made me catch my breath. The repression, the darkness, the suffocation.
But that isn’t what did it.
It wasn’t the black and white portraits either, of the seemingly joyous teenager that was Anne. All of them within the house are of her smiling, displaying a spirit that believably could withstand anything.
It wasn’t even the chilling text that is displayed with these pictures, the quotes that you can imagine her writing in her diary that brought reality to her anguish. It also wasn’t the tiny television that showed images of the British liberating the Bergen-Belsen camp where she had been held with her sister, the liberation happening just one short month after her own death. It wasn’t the images of the piles of discarded bodies, or the flaccid skin that draped the bones of those who had “survived”.
It was, finally, a picture of Otto Frank that allowed for a little release of my emotions that were bottled almost an hour before.
The picture of Anne’s father was taken in 1950 upon his return to the secret annex on Prinsengracht. The sole surviving member of the Frank family, he brought his daughter’s famous diary and story to the world, and was instrumental in setting up the Anne Frank House.
And he stood in that annex, several years after losing his wife and two daughters, staring woefully, soulfully, at the empty room before him. Light streamed in through a window, likely never seen during his days in captivity there, casting a long shadow behind him, and filling his mind with thoughts completely inconceivable to me, to anyone.
He was probably the least fortunate of them all – being the only one who had lived through and escaped the concentration camps. Left to live with the memories, the pain, and most probably, a feeling of guilt. Yet his commitment to push through that, to bring Anne’s story to the world and teach peace and tolerance is nothing short of phenomenal.
Otto Frank survived so his family’s story could be shared, so we can never forget.
“To build up a future, you have to know the past.”Otto Frank, 1967