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How To Stay On A Unique House Boat In Amsterdam


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Roslyn Murrell



Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, is famous for its picturesque canals, charming architecture, and vibrant culture. And one unique way to experience the magic of this city is by staying on a houseboat. Imagine waking up to the gentle sway of the water, stepping out onto your private deck to sip your morning coffee, and watching the boats float by. It’s an experience unlike any other.


Choosing to stay on a houseboat in Amsterdam not only gives you a one-of-a-kind accommodation option but also allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and embrace the city’s deep connection with its waterways.


But with so many houseboats available for rent in Amsterdam, how do you choose the right one for your stay? What should you expect when booking a houseboat? And what safety measures should you be aware of? In this article, we will guide you through everything you need to know about staying on a unique houseboat in Amsterdam.


Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or visiting Amsterdam for the first time, a houseboat stay offers a truly unforgettable experience. So let’s dive in and discover the ins and outs of staying on a houseboat in this enchanting city.


Choosing the Right House Boat

When it comes to choosing the perfect houseboat for your stay in Amsterdam, there are a few factors to consider. First and foremost, think about the number of people in your group and the size of the accommodation you’ll need. Houseboats in Amsterdam range from cozy and intimate to spacious and luxurious.


Next, consider the location of the houseboat. Amsterdam has a multitude of canals, and each neighborhood has its own unique charm. Do you want to be in the heart of the city, close to popular attractions and bustling streets? Or would you prefer a quieter and more residential area? Take some time to research the different neighborhoods and their proximity to your desired activities.


Another important aspect to consider is the amenities and facilities provided on the houseboat. Some houseboats offer fully-equipped kitchens, comfortable living areas, and even outdoor spaces like decks or terraces. Determine what features are important to you and ensure that the houseboat you choose meets your needs.


It’s also a good idea to read reviews and testimonials from previous guests to get a sense of their experiences. Look for factors such as cleanliness, communication with the host, and the overall condition of the houseboat. These reviews can provide valuable insights and help you make an informed decision.


Last but not least, consider your budget. Houseboat rentals in Amsterdam can vary greatly in price, depending on factors such as location, size, and amenities. Set a budget that you’re comfortable with and use it as a guideline to narrow down your options.


By taking the time to consider these factors, you’ll be able to choose a houseboat that suits your preferences and enhances your overall experience in Amsterdam. So start your search early, compare different options, and make sure to book in advance to secure your dream houseboat.


Booking a House Boat in Amsterdam

Booking a houseboat in Amsterdam can be an exciting and straightforward process. With the rise of online platforms and rental websites, it has become easier than ever to find and book your ideal floating accommodation.


Start by browsing through reputable websites that specialize in houseboat rentals in Amsterdam. These platforms provide a wide range of options, along with detailed descriptions, photos, and reviews of each houseboat. Take your time to explore different listings and make a note of the ones that catch your eye.


Once you have a shortlist of potential houseboats, it’s time to reach out to the hosts. Most rental websites allow you to communicate with the hosts directly through messaging systems. This is an excellent opportunity to ask any questions you might have about the property, such as availability, amenities, and booking terms.


When negotiating the terms of your stay, make sure to discuss the check-in and check-out process. Some hosts prefer to meet guests in person to hand over the keys and provide a brief orientation, while others may provide self-check-in instructions. Clarify the details to ensure a smooth arrival and departure.


Before finalizing your booking, carefully review the terms and conditions set by the host. Pay attention to cancellation policies, additional fees, and any house rules that may apply. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of what is expected of you as a guest to avoid any misunderstandings during your stay.


When you’re ready to make a booking, follow the instructions on the rental website to secure your reservation. Be prepared to pay a deposit or the full amount upfront, depending on the host’s requirements. Keep records of your booking confirmation and any communication with the host for future reference.


Booking a houseboat in Amsterdam is a popular choice, so it’s advisable to make your reservation well in advance, especially if you’re planning to visit during peak seasons. By being proactive and organized, you can ensure a smooth booking process and secure your preferred houseboat for your stay in this beautiful city.


Arriving and Checking-In

After a long journey to Amsterdam, the moment has finally arrived for you to step foot onto your houseboat. Here’s what you can expect when arriving and checking-in to your floating accommodation.


Communication with the host prior to your arrival is crucial. Make sure you have exchanged contact information and have a clear understanding of the check-in process. Some hosts prefer to meet guests in person, while others may provide instructions for self-check-in. If you’re meeting the host, be sure to communicate your estimated time of arrival to avoid any delays or confusion.


Upon arrival, take a moment to soak in the unique atmosphere of the canal surroundings. Amsterdam’s canals are a UNESCO World Heritage site, and stepping onto your houseboat is like stepping into a world of tranquility and charm.


If you’re meeting the host in person, they will greet you, show you around the houseboat, and provide any necessary instructions. Take this opportunity to ask any questions you may have and familiarize yourself with the amenities and facilities available on board.


If you’re doing a self-check-in, the host will provide detailed instructions on how to access the houseboat. This may include information such as lockbox codes or key collection points. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure a smooth entry into your accommodation.


Once you’re settled in, take a moment to explore your new surroundings. Open the windows or step out onto the deck to enjoy the fresh air and watch the city’s bustling canal life. Familiarize yourself with the houseboat’s layout, including any safety features such as fire extinguishers or life vests.


Remember to be respectful of the neighbors and the rules of the houseboat community. Keep noise levels low and be mindful of the unique living arrangement you’re a part of. Treat the houseboat as you would your own home, ensuring cleanliness and proper care.


Checking-in to a houseboat in Amsterdam is an exciting experience that adds a touch of adventure to your stay. By being prepared, following the host’s instructions, and embracing the unique atmosphere of the canals, you’ll start your Amsterdam adventure off on the right foot.


Living on a House Boat

Living on a houseboat in Amsterdam offers a unique and memorable experience. Here are some tips and insights to make the most out of your houseboat living:


1. Embrace the Floating Lifestyle: Living on a houseboat requires a small adjustment to the traditional land-based living. Embrace the gentle rocking of the boat and enjoy the opportunity to be in close proximity to the water. Keep in mind that houseboats may have smaller living spaces compared to traditional accommodations, so pack efficiently and make use of clever storage solutions.


2. Maintain Good Houseboat Etiquette: Remember that you’re part of a floating community. Be respectful of your neighbors by keeping noise levels down and ensuring that you’re abiding by any rules or regulations in place. Maintain cleanliness inside and outside the houseboat to create a pleasant environment for yourself and those around you.


3. Be Mindful of Water Usage: Houseboats rely on water tanks for their supply, so it’s essential to be mindful of your water usage. Conserve water by taking quick showers and only running the tap when necessary. This helps to ensure a sufficient supply for both yourself and others living on the boat.


4. Take Advantage of the Outdoor Space: Many houseboats in Amsterdam come with outdoor spaces such as decks or terraces. Make the most of these areas by enjoying your morning coffee or evening drinks outside. Soak in the stunning views of the canals and embrace the tranquility of your surroundings.


5. Familiarize Yourself with Safety Measures: As with any accommodation, it’s important to familiarize yourself with safety measures on the houseboat. Locate the fire extinguisher and make note of the nearest emergency exits. If you’re not a strong swimmer, consider wearing a life jacket when on deck for added peace of mind.


6. Connect with Local Houseboat Community: Amsterdam has a vibrant houseboat community. Take the opportunity to connect with your neighbors and learn from their experiences. Engaging with the local community can provide valuable insights into living on a houseboat and create unique connections during your stay.


Living on a houseboat in Amsterdam allows you to fully immerse yourself in the city’s unique culture and embrace its deep connection to its waterways. By embracing the floating lifestyle, being mindful of your surroundings, and making the most of the outdoor space, you’ll create lasting memories of your time on a houseboat in this enchanting city.


Exploring Amsterdam from the House Boat

One of the major advantages of staying on a houseboat in Amsterdam is the opportunity to explore the city’s charming attractions right from your doorstep. Here’s how you can make the most of your unique accommodation and discover Amsterdam’s beauty:


1. Canal Cruising: Amsterdam is known for its picturesque canals, and staying on a houseboat allows you to navigate these waterways at your own pace. Rent a boat or join a guided canal tour to experience the city from a different perspective. Glide along the canals, pass under historic bridges, and marvel at the beautiful canal-side houses.


2. Visit Local Markets: Many vibrant markets are located along the city’s canals, and they offer a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture. Take a stroll to the famous Albert Cuyp Market or the Bloemenmarkt, Amsterdam’s floating flower market. Browse through the stalls filled with local food, flowers, and crafts, and grab a taste of the city’s vibrant atmosphere.


3. Explore Neighborhoods: Amsterdam’s neighborhoods each have their own distinct charm and character. From the historic Jordaan district to the trendy De Pijp, there’s something for everyone. Use your houseboat as a base to explore these neighborhoods on foot or by renting a bike, and discover charming cafes, local shops, and hidden gems along the way.


4. Enjoy Open-air Museums: Some of Amsterdam’s most renowned museums are located near the canals. The Anne Frank House and the Hermitage Museum are just a short walk or boat ride away. Take advantage of your location to visit these cultural landmarks and learn about Amsterdam’s rich history and art.


5. Dine at Waterside Restaurants: Amsterdam boasts a vibrant culinary scene, and many restaurants and cafes are situated along the canals. Treat yourself to a waterside dining experience and indulge in local delicacies while enjoying the scenic views. From cozy brown cafes to Michelin-starred establishments, there’s a dining option to suit all tastes and budgets.


6. Join Local Events: Amsterdam is known for its lively events calendar. Keep an eye out for festivals, markets, and concerts taking place near your houseboat. From the iconic King’s Day celebrations to summer music festivals, there’s always something happening in the city that will make your stay even more memorable.


By taking advantage of the unique location of your houseboat, you can experience Amsterdam in a truly special way. Embrace the canals, explore the neighborhoods, visit local markets, and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture. Your houseboat allows you to effortlessly integrate with the rhythm of the city and create unforgettable memories along the way.


Safety Measures and Tips

While staying on a houseboat in Amsterdam offers a unique and memorable experience, it’s important to prioritize safety during your stay. Here are some essential safety measures and tips to keep in mind:


1. Be Mindful of Water Hazards: Remember that you’re surrounded by water, so exercise caution when moving around the houseboat. Ensure that children are supervised, especially when on deck or near open windows or doors. It’s also wise to familiarize yourself with the location of life-saving equipment, such as life jackets or buoys, in case of emergencies.


2. Know the Emergency Exits: Take a few moments to locate and familiarize yourself with the emergency exits on the houseboat. Familiarize yourself with how to unlock or open them quickly and easily. In case of an emergency, knowing the fastest way to exit the houseboat can be critical.


3. Understand Fire Safety: Ensure that there are working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on board the houseboat. Familiarize yourself with how to use the fire extinguisher properly. Take extra precautions when cooking on the houseboat, and never leave the stove unattended.


4. Know the Houseboat’s Safety Features: Confirm with the host or owner about the safety measures and features available on the houseboat. This may include safety rails, emergency lighting, first aid kits, or any specific instructions for potential hazards unique to that particular houseboat.


5. Respect Houseboat Regulations: Each houseboat community may have its own set of rules and regulations, so be respectful and follow them. These regulations may include noise restrictions, waste disposal guidelines, and use of shared facilities. Adhering to these rules helps to maintain a harmonious living environment for everyone on the houseboat.


6. Secure the Houseboat: When leaving the houseboat, ensure that all doors, windows, and hatches are securely closed and locked. This helps to prevent unauthorized access and keeps the houseboat secure. It’s also advisable to lock bicycles and other valuable items to prevent theft.


7. Be Prepared for Weather changes: Amsterdam’s weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for changing conditions. Have appropriate clothing and footwear available to protect yourself from rain or wind. Pay attention to weather forecasts and take necessary precautions to ensure your safety.


8. Keep Emergency Contacts Handy: Save emergency contact numbers, such as the local emergency services, the owner or host of the houseboat, and nearby medical facilities, on your phone or in a readily accessible location. This way, you can quickly reach out for assistance if needed.


By following these safety measures and tips, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable stay on a houseboat in Amsterdam. Taking precautions and being aware of potential hazards will help you fully embrace the unique experience without compromising your safety or that of others on the houseboat.



Staying on a houseboat in Amsterdam offers a truly unique and unforgettable experience. The gentle sway of the water, the charming canals, and the vibrant atmosphere of the city create a magical setting for your stay. By choosing the right houseboat, booking in advance, and following safety measures, you can make the most of your time on the water.


From the moment you step onto your houseboat, you’ll be captivated by the charm and tranquility that surrounds you. Embrace the floating lifestyle, be mindful of water usage, and maintain good houseboat etiquette to ensure a pleasant atmosphere for yourself and your neighbors.


Explore Amsterdam from your houseboat by taking advantage of canal cruises, visiting local markets, and immersing yourself in the unique neighborhoods of the city. Dine at waterside restaurants, join local events, and soak in the beauty of the canals as you create memorable experiences during your stay.


While enjoying your time on a houseboat, prioritize safety by being aware of water hazards, knowing emergency exits, and understanding fire safety measures. Respect houseboat regulations and secure your accommodation when leaving to ensure a secure and enjoyable stay.


As your Amsterdam adventure comes to an end, you’ll look back on your houseboat experience with fondness. It’s a truly special way to connect with the city’s roots and immerse yourself in its rich culture and history.


So, go ahead and embrace the charm of Amsterdam from the comfort of a unique houseboat. Create memories that will last a lifetime as you navigate the canals, explore the city, and enjoy the serenity of being a floating resident in this extraordinary destination.