Thought we share some tips on how best to get tickets to the Anne Frank House which are available only online via their website.
Tickets go on sale exactly two months beforehand. For example, if you want to tour the House on April 10th, get tickets on Feb 10th. Advance tickets can sell out very quickly, especially the "museum visit+30 minute introductory program", so it's best to plan ahead. The ONLINE QUEUE for buying the tickets can be very long. Here are some tips on how to navigate it:
First, if you are buying tickets from the US, Canada or a foreign country, make sure your credit card is OK with charges made from a foreign country. In some cases, you may need to login or call your card issuer and tell them you will be traveling and charging things from the Netherlands/Europe. Don't get through the Anne Frank online ticket booking website and find out that your credit card gets rejected (and you may have to start over!)
Tickets go on sale starting at 9AM Amsterdam time (adjust to your local time), although we have found that time might be delayed by several minutes. The website is set up so if many people start to query it, it will establish a queue with a message "This website is currently overcrowded. In order to relieve the server, you have been queued. Do not close this page. The page will be refreshed automatically. There are still 143 people waiting before you..." Note that this queue is to get ON the website to query for available tickets. It is NOT a queue for actually buying the ticket for the day that you want.
This traffic queue creates a bit of a problem -- If you go to the ticket purchasing website too early, for example at 8:30AM, you may find there are already 500 people waiting in this queue. However, as the queue gets shorter, it might still be too early to be able to buy anything (remember, the April 10th tickets you want won't start selling until AFTER 9AM). So you may end up waiting for nothing, because when that wait list of 500 gets down to you, it may only be 8:48AM so now you'll have to give up, wait, possibly get kicked out by the server (see below), or start over at the back of the queue.
Timing is important -- you can try a strategy of opening multiple browsers (Firebox, Explorer, Chrome, SeaMonkey, Safari, etc) and in each browser, go to the ticketing website and launch multiple wait list in the queue. Try starting this at no later than 8:30-8:40am (20 to 30 minutes before ticket sale starts). In the different browsers, you might be number 298, 345, 481 and 515 waiting in this queue. When the queue drops down to your number, hopefully it will also coincide with when the tickets become available for sale at 9AM (+/- a few minutes).
Sometimes, when you get through the wait list queue, you might get the error msg, "Server Error in '/' Application. Object reference not set to an instance of an object..." In that case, try and hit the Back button on your browser and wait for the server to respond. If you're lucky, it will kick you into the ticket selection calendar page. Now you can select April 10th and see what tickets are available. If you are unlucky, it might kick you out completely and you'll have to start over (or abandon that browser and go with your next wait list browser.)
For our recent purchase of museum tour+intro program, 7 time slots were open and only 30 tickets were available for each time slot. All the tickets were gone in less than 15 minutes. Additional tickets are released later in the day and you can take your chances at randomly getting on the website. Tours without the 30-minute intro program are much easier to get.
Hope these tips help you buy the tickets you want to visit the Anne Frank House. Good luck & safe travels!