The Houseboat Museum (Woonboot Museum) is a traditionally furnished houseboat that gives visitors a sense of everyday life on Amsterdam’s canals before modern times. A former freighter named the Hendrika Maria, the boat is completely furnished and has displays and models to show how life on the canals has changed through the decades.
Once on board, you can see how the barge, built in 1914, was converted into a comfortable houseboat in the 1960s. Onboard are a skipper’s quarters with a sleeping bunk, a good-size living room and kitchen, and a bathroom—altogether equal in size to the average Amsterdam apartment.
Nowadays, the Hendrika Maria welcomes visitors to its homey interior. You can sit in the boat’s living room with a coffee from the museum shop while taking in the surroundings. Free entrance is included with many city sightseeing passes, including the I amsterdam card, and many canal cruises pass by it.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Houseboat Museum offers a unique view of local life in Amsterdam.
- A gift shop sells books about houseboats, as well as hot and cold drinks.
- The museum offers an information booklet in multiple languages, as well as a map of interesting houseboats along the canals.
- The admission fee is modest, with discounts for children and groups of more than 10.
How to Get There
The Houseboat Museum is located in a central area of Amsterdam, on Prinsengracht Canal in the heart of the Jordaan district, just a 5-minute walk from the Anne Frank House. Tram numbers 2, 13, and 17 all stop nearby. The nearest metro station is Zuid (line 52), a 10-minute walk away.
When to Get There
Most of the year, the Houseboat Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm. In July and August, it is also open on Monday. It is closed on New Year’s Day, King’s Day (April 27), the first Saturday in August, and December 25, 26, and 31.
If visiting the museum piques your interest in houseboats, you can get a fuller experience by spending a few nights living on one. Thanks to Amsterdam’s many canals, there are lots of contemporary and comfortable houseboats available to rent on popular accommodation-booking websites.