There are a whole lot of reasons to visit Amsterdam – the museums, the canals, the nightlife, beer, etc. But the Anne Frank House should be at the very top of your list. The actual house in Amsterdam where Anne Frank and her family lived in secret during World War 2.
The Diary of Anne Frank
The Diary of Anne Frank was written within these very walls. Anne was born in Germany in 1929 and emigrated with her family to the Netherlands in 1933 to escape Jewish persecution in Nazi Germany. In 1940, the Netherlands was invaded by Germany and the Frank family went into hiding shortly thereafter. Anne collected her thoughts within the diary while in hiding but never finished her work.
“I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful and bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death!” Anne Frank.
The Anne Frank House
In 1944, everyone hiding in the Secret Annex was arrested. Only Anne’s father, Otto, survived the war and internment. The hiding place and annex have been preserved as a museum that visitors discover room by room with audio and short video. The hidden staircase, artifacts, and the actual diary are all here. You are taken through her short life- the early years in Germany; emigrating to Holland; the German invasion; the hiding place; the arrest; the return of Otto Frank; and the publishing of the diary. It’s a moving experience that will bring tears to your eyes!
The Anne Frank House should be on your travel bucket list (and you get the vibrant city of Amsterdam as a bonus). It is very much a pilgrimage – there are approximately 1 million visitors per year. It is entirely possible to wait in line for 3 hours or more just to get in. Go early in the morning and/or when raining- the line may be short. You will never forget the experience. http://www.annefrank.org/en/
I love this Amsterdam series! I have always wanted to travel there but I am afraid to go overseas with with no knowledge of the dutch language. Was this ever an issue while you were there?
Thanks. My personal favorite is Part 4 The Canals. Everybody speaks English in Amsterdam- language is not a problem. I highly recommend Amsterdam for a visit.
Wonderful post! I have wanted to visit the Anne Frank House ever since I was a child and first read her diary. There are so many sites associated with the Holocaust and yet I think this would be one of the most poignant to see and experience in person.
Thanks Julie. You really have to get there at some point. I’m going to Poland in November and will visit Auschwitz-Birkenau. That will be tougher emotionally than Anne Frank House. I’ll have Posts on Poland late in November.
Saved as a favorite, I love your blog!
I have always wanted to visit Anne Frank’s house, but sadly circumstances so far have prevented this. Your post has just made me want to go even more now! It’s definitely on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed reading it.
It really is a must visit. I appreciate your kind comments
I remember reading her diary when I was 14, and I was studying the Second World War at the same time. I really wanted to visit her house, and Auschwitz to learn more.
I’ve also been to Auschwitz, you’ll find my post on my blog under Poland.
Definitely going to read this a bit later
Very much a pilgrimage. We visited last year and were greatly moved by the experience.
Couldn’t agree more. Thanks for the comment.
I went to the Anne Frank House as a teenager with my dad on my first international trip (besides Mexico and Canada). The experience was one of the things that really got me hooked on the importance of travel to really have immersive educational experiences. I’m so glad to read others impacted by her and her writings as well. I think you’re spot on that it should be a travel bucket list item and I’m glad I had the opportunity to visit. Now I’m curious what your other bucket list items are. 🙂
Thanks for the comments. I’ve been to Dubai, Egypt, Rio, London, Paris, Rome and a good part of Europe. I’m looking at Berlin, Norway and Tokyo next on the list and for your main reason – educational and learning.
The Anne Frank house is incredible! I was lucky enough to visit a few years ago and it was a truly life changing experience! You have summed up the reasons for going very well!
Thanks, it is special for sure
Incredible that such an unassuming house holds such history. I really like your Amsterdam posts!
The Anne Frank House is amazing. Thank you for the comments
Very interesting post! I was going to visit two weeks ago but ended up missing my trip because of the pandemic. Your writing and photos transported me to this place for a few minutes – thank you!
Thank you very much. I hope you get there in the not too distant future.