Do the Anne Frank virtual reality tour with a free app

Do the Anne Frank virtual reality tour with a free app

The Anne Frank house is of course a must for every tourist visiting Amsterdam. Even people who have visited the museum before often find that going twice or three times is highly rewarding because the exhibitions tend to be particularly successful in relating to a modern day audience.


The organisation behind the museum also appears to have invented an rather interesting app called Anne’s Amsterdam. It won an International Design & Communication Awards (IDCA) prize recently, which attracted my attention.  


Having just tried out this app myself on my Android phone, let me tell you a bit about what you can expect from it. I downloaded Anne’s Amsterdam to see if it lives up to its claim of allowing you to explore real life Amsterdam to discover first hand and on location what happened during World War II.


First off, it’s free. That’s always good news. Second, it’s available in English as well as in Dutch and German, so that also ticks a box. The app provides a walking tour to about 30 spots on a map where important historic events took place. You need GPS to easily get to the spots, so make sure you can receive GPS or wi-fi  signal in Holland. If that works, the app will let you know when you’ve reached each of the places on the map automatically. If your GPS doesn’t work, you can still figure out how to get to the spots with a bit of fiddling, but just make sure you try it out beforehand.


When you reach the destinations on the map, you will be able view stories, films and photos of events and personal stories of people who lived in the area after the war. In case you possess an iPad, tablet or laptop, take this with you too, because there’s more information about the 30 spots on an external website. For instance, you will be able to see photos of the city before, during and after the occupation.


This will be a great way to spend an afternoon in central Amsterdam, where many of our apartments are located, especially if you have school-going children. Chances are that you won’t be alone when you make the trek because on average 633 people download the app every week. When the queue in front of the Anne Frank house is long, visitors are actually told about the app. So if you see people behaving similarly to your good selves, be kind and smile at them.


The app is available on iOS and WP7 as well as on Android.