Anne Frank’s diary is famous the world over. By now, the estimated sales of this diary are over 30 million, and annually around one million readers come to visit the Anne Frank house. Unsurprisingly, this number causes a slight logistical problem. The attic, as you will likely know, is only big enough for eight people. Which is why, unless you are prepared to visit the museum at off-peak hours, you will almost certainly need to queue before you will step into the world of the fabled attic behind the bookcase.
If you are like me and think that there will be plenty of tips on the internet to bypass this problem, make sure you think long in advance. You need to book tickets online, in order to dodge the queue.
Be sure to book them early, because the queue syndrome even reaches into the online world. You will be allotted a time slot on a pre-booked date and the number of tickets is very limited, especially in the high season. My guess is that you will need to book at least a month in advance. Only once you have been able to secure an online ticket, you can enter the museum at the queue dodger entrance to the left of the main door.
If you are not successful online, or have left it too late, you might just show up and take your chances. Some days are better than others and there are plenty of alternative museums in this area of Amsterdam. In some ways, there are of course worse things than having to queue for a little while with fellow readers of this magnificent diary.
Here’s a few tips for dealing with the practicalities of waiting in line:
-Go really early. In the high season, the museum opens at 8.15 am and the queue will be at its shortest. Check out the museum’s opening times here.
-Go really late! Try 8pm – 9pm. The museum will admit people up until 30 minutes before closing time, which is when you stand the best chance.
-Know what you’re up against. The worst queue stretches from the front door of the Anne Frank House, around the Westerkerk and ends at the junction of Westermarkt and Prinsengracht. Most days the queue is much shorter than this marathon-length approaching line!
-Console yourself with the thought that the Rijksmuseum queue on a weekend can be worse.
-Take a book with you.
-Download a movie on a mobile device, sit down on the pavement, and share the pleasure with fellow queue members.
-Check out the Anne Frank App (read my guide on this app here)
By the way, don’t queue for hours on end and then discover that you have queued in vain. Be advised that you are not allowed to take big bags, rucksacks or backpacks with you into the museum and that there is NO cloakroom. Keep your jacket on, or don’t wear one, because you are not going to be admitted if you have bulky items, including jackets. Pushchairs for children are also not allowed, but you can leave them in the hallway of the museum.
Getting there: Take tram line 13, 14 or 17 and get off at Westermarkt.