Check Out Where We Stayed in Amsterdam (Hint: It’s a Houseboat!)

Thanks to I Amsterdam and and Amsterdam Book Now for hosting us on our beautiful houseboat on the Amstel River! As always, all opinions are our own.

Our beautiful houseboat bed and breakfast on the Amstel River in Amsterdam, Holland!

The view from our porthole in our beautiful houseboat bed and breakfast on the Amstel River in Amsterdam, Holland
The view from our porthole!

One of many interesting aspects of Amsterdam that we noticed upon arriving were the colorful houseboats lining the canals – there are about 2,400 of these semi-seafaring gems docked along the walls of the city.

We were overjoyed to have the opportunity to stay on one of them during our visit.

The kitchen in our beautiful houseboat bed and breakfast on the Amstel River in Amsterdam, Holland

Our hostess, the affable Myra, explained that boats have been used to ferry goods throughout the canals since Amsterdam’s conception, but it wasn’t until the 1960s and 70s that utilizing boats exclusively for a residence really caught on.

“It was a bit freer back then, more of a hippy culture. People just brought their boats into the city and lived, sometimes communally, on them – often simply bathing in the canals. These days, the city has gotten involved and it is more regulated.”

The bath in our beautiful houseboat bed and breakfast on the Amstel River in Amsterdam, Holland

This regulation means a limit to the amount of boats in the canals, and the houseboats are charged by the meter for docking space.

The upside is that for these fees, Amsterdam houseboat owners have access to city water and sewage – and a place to have mail delivered.

The living area in our beautiful houseboat bed and breakfast on the Amstel River in Amsterdam, Holland

As the lifestyle became trendy, money followed, and soon the “WaterYuppies” moved in, though Myra takes issue with the nickname.

“Most of the people living on the houseboats still appreciate the freer, more bohemian lifestyle. Many of my friends are artist and entrepreneurs – and enjoy working on their vessels themselves. There is quite a bit of work to do on a daily basis when living on a steel ship.”

The sleeping area in our beautiful houseboat bed and breakfast on the Amstel River in Amsterdam, Holland

This is evident in the way Myra lives herself.

She resides in the front part of her 28-meter, circa 1910 historic tjalk (a cargo ship traditionally used on the canals) while renting out the aft as a bed and breakfast.

Since purchasing her tjalk, she has renovated and beautifully redesigned the entire interior herself.

Sitting out on our private aft deck, we had breathtaking views of Amsterdam. Flanked on one side by the Opera House…

The view of the Opera House from the deck of our beautiful houseboat bed and breakfast on the Amstel River in Amsterdam, Holland

…and on the other the famous Skinny Bridge, named — not for its present width — but for the original bridge built in 1691 by two sisters who lived on opposite sides of the river.

Wanting to visit each other, but not having the means to build a proper bridge, it was said to be too skinny for people to pass one another while crossing.

The view of the Skinny Bridge from the deck of our beautiful houseboat bed and breakfast on the Amstel River in Amsterdam, Holland

And lit up at night, it’s one of the most romantic spots in the world.

David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com

Delve Deeper:
See how YOU can stay on a houseboat in Amsterdam!
Find out how to book Myra’s boat

Thanks to I Amsterdam and and Amsterdam Book Now for hosting us on our beautiful houseboat on the Amstel River! As always, all opinions are our own.

See all of our adventures in Amsterdam!


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27 thoughts on “Check Out Where We Stayed in Amsterdam (Hint: It’s a Houseboat!)”

  1. I am looking for an affordable vacation for myself. I am recently widowed and I must start to do things on my own. My kids all still have to work so one of them going with me is not practical. Would you suggest Amsterdam for a single over 65 lady? How safe is it? I understand the drug scene is extensive but what about the open prostitution?

    1. Hi Maddy. Like most large European cities, Amsterdam is not cheap. It is very safe though. Not sure it would be our first recommendation for a solo traveler. Perhaps a better way to see Europe is on a river cruise. They are a fantastic way to travel and see several cities on one trip. No packing and unpacking and the rivers run right through the center of so many great cities. We are actually leaving for one in a few days so you can follow along with us here on the website and our social media. This one is on a canal in southern France and is not terribly expensive compared to some others we have taken. The boat looks incredible too. It is more of a private boat than a cruise ship, with only a few people on board. We will be posting our first story about it tomorrow.

  2. I’ve always wanted to stay aboard a canal boat in Amsterdam, or even just board one! Thanks for taking me along with you. Did you see the cat boat while you were there, where they adopt out kitties?

  3. This looks like an amazing place to stay with lovely views outside and comfort inside. Staying on a houseboat would be a unique way to view the city and I’d love to see all the styles of boats. And then (icing on the cake) there’s Amsterdam awaiting too!

  4. That looks and sounds fabulous! I haven’t been to Amsterdam in years and my sister has never been there but we both love anything having to with boats so I see this in our future!

  5. How fun! We were in Amsterdam just one year ago for the first time – we loved it! We stayed at the Andaz Prinsengracht and we were curious about those boats! I am envious, have fun! (Of course you will!)

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