Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
Maybe I'm cynical, but there really didn't seem to be very much here. All there really seemed to be was a bunch of black and white photos and some recycled pictures of nazis and concentration camps.
Unique Suggestions: If you must go here, go right to the gift shop, its got a lot of good books.
Fun Alternatives: Take a canal cruise and look at it from the water.
On Summer days long lines of people, mostly foreign tourists, await anyone who wants to see 'where it all happened'. A young girl and her family lived here in hiding for several years because the outside world was no longer safe for them because they were jews. Eventually they found out that they were not safe here either. It's one of the important stories of the 20th century and the message is a highly important one, no question about that. However, think again if you really want to see this place so badly that you want to spend precious time waiting until you can get in. You'll have seen the place itself within an hour, which does keep the lines moving but also makes the fee of 6,50 euro a bit expensive. If you go, why not try the evenings, the place is open until 9 in the Summer.
Unique Suggestions: I must disagree when anyone says that you absolutely MUST visit this place. As if it's politically incorrect not to. Go ahead if you want to go there, but allow me to explain why I have second feelings about it. It's more than a museum or a monument. There is an organization behind it that has made it its goal to spread the message the story of Anne Frank is telling. Good for them, if only they would stick to that. Sometimes they're crossing borders where they should not. They condemned a rightwing political party for example, even though there was nothing racist about it ("they're rightwing and therefore scary, but not racist" to quote them). I wouldn't have voted for that party anyway but I don't need some club to tell me that I can't and I definitely don't need them to generalize like this. Also, they have cooperated with CIDI in the past, a very biased pro-Israel/anti-Palestine organization which is not devoid of racism itself, which really makes me wonder what the true message of Anne Frank is to them. They definitely have their own definition of "racism". A matter of double standards?
Fun Alternatives: Read the book or see the film.
Anna Frank House is one of the most famous attractions in Amsterdam and because of this the place is one of the crowded places.
Sometimes the line is so big you can see people stand from the house to the westkerk,
Unique Suggestions: Try to come early and enjoy your visit.
The Anne Frank Museum. I felt that the heart and soul of the Anne Frank house had all but disappeared as the house is no longer visible in it's original form. It has been encased in a shroud of silver metal and modern glass giving it a futuristic feel quite inappropriate to the subject matter within. I left with a feeling that I had not really been allowed to empathise with Anne and I had learnt less from my tour of the house itself than from the movie!
Anne Frank House - Everyone should see it, but they have changed it so much from the first time I saw it 5 years ago...it now has a facade that covers up the orginal structure. I think it makes it harder to appreciate the signifigance of their experience. They have, however, added some computer terminals with high-tech software enabling you to look in depth at the house. It is something everyone should see, but it has become quite a tourist trap.
I was really interested in visiting Anna Frank's house when in Amsterdam but after noticing the loooooong queue in front, I made up my mind and didn't wait. Do you think it's really worth queueing for hours? Some people who went in told me it wasn't interesting at all. Up to you!
Unique Suggestions: Well, if after all you decide to go in... patience, my friend! (or either try and jump the queue...)
Fun Alternatives: Walk somewhere else and enjoy real Amsterdam.
Definitely one of the highlights of our recent trip to Amsterdam. The museum is very respectfully done, since Anne's father, Otto - the only surviving family member - was very involved in setting it up and wanted it kept sparse, so that it wouldn't become a Disney-like version of itself, and to maintain the focus on the message, rather than allowing it to become a mere tourist attraction.
Unique Suggestions: Be sure to get tickets online (or at the Centraal train station at the Tourist Info office in the building out back) in advance, though - then there is NO wait (just ring the doorbell at the front of the building and someone will let you in) and you can skip the very long line of (uninformed) fellow tourists. Online tickets were already sold out for the whole week we were there, so we went at 5 p.m. and waited all of 25 minutes in line.
Fun Alternatives: To get a better feeling for the context of the Dutch resistance during WWII, also visit the Dutch Resistance Museum - lots of reading, little interaction, but a whole lot of realia and information - also worth a visit.