Anne Frank’s diary is required reading at most schools, so I’m sure most people have heard of it and even read it. For me it is an absolute must read for any reader or writer of any age! I read the book for the first time in high school and I reread it this year before going to Amsterdam. And if you’re planning on going on a literary journey like I did here’s a little useful information.
Tickets are now EXCLUSIVELY sold online – you cannot, I repeat, CANNOT buy tickets at the museum. The tickets allot you a certain time slot to enter, which spaces the guest out so there’s not too many people in the same room at the same time. 80% of the tickets are released two months prior to visiting date and the remaining 20% are released the same day, so if you’re spontaneous there’s still a chance for you!
When you arrive at prinsensgracht 263 where Anne Frank and her family lived the front door is preserved – it’s a popular selfie spot so watch out for a little informal line to take photos with the door and the little sign that says “Anne Frank Huis”. The entrance to the museum is around the corner and it’ so big, you can’t miss it. You have to wait until your exact entrance time which is within a 15 minute window – if you’re late, or early, they will not let you in! (I witnessed people being denied entry because of this.)
There’s a wardrobe to hang your coat if you wish and you get an audioguide that is triggered by pointing it towards a trigger point in the room. This was my first experience with this type of audio tour and I was so pleasantly surprised. It’s a beautiful display of mixed media; pictures, writings on the walls, old video footage create a story as you float through the house with a tenderness you probably didn’t know you had in you, the house triggers that in you, that respect.
There’s no photos allowed inside the museum so we put our phones away as we entered and just enjoyed the experience and took it all in. The house has several levels but it’s not too difficult to climb if you can walk regular stairs. The line bottlenecked a few places (like where you enter behind the bookshelf and a few spots that had longer movies playing, but it was fairly smooth walking through. At the end there’s an open museum room with artifacts that ends the flow. A museum shop and of course, the notorious guestbook.
This was my favorite experience in Amsterdam. I stood and started at walls and shook with disbelief at the cruelty humans are capable of and the strength we have to keep hope alive amidst it all. I let tears fall between the creaks on the floor, and smiles escape at the most unexpected places. In no way is this a stuffy museum or just an old house, it’s alive with the stories left behind there and you can feel it breathe as you walk through. If you get the chance, don’t hesitate, it’s worth every cent and every minute spent!