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Famous Museums in Amsterdam

houseboat amsterdam

Discover the best and most famous museum in Amsterdam. You say Amsterdam, I say ‘city of museums’. There are as many as around 75 famous museums in Amsterdam. One that definitely sticks out as the best museum of Amsterdam is certainly the houseboatmuseum. Telling you the full storyline how an old freight ship was converted into an inhabited houseboat – a real experience to walk through the history of this popular museum.

From a science museum to an art museum, a film and theatre museum, photography museums, and the ones dedicated to a particular artist’s works of art, Amsterdam lives its past, present, and even its future through these museums.

What is the Amsterdam Houseboat Museum and Where Is It Located?

Owned by Vincent Van Loon, this famous houseboat museum in Amsterdam features a house built on a historic cargo boat, ‘Hendrika Maria’ from 1914. It gives you an insight about how it felt like living on a houseboat back then and even today.

This cargo houses a surprisingly spacious house equipped with all the basic luxuries and provides a comfortable living space. This floating museum is moored at Prinsengracht, outside Jordaan. For reference, it is in the immediate vicinity of Anne Frank House. Here is the precise address of the Houseboat Museum.

Prinsengracht 296K

1016 HW Amsterdam

best museums amsterdam

Who Owns this famous Houseboat Museum in Amsterdam?

This must see museum in Amsterdam was initiated by Vincent Van Loon. He decided to open up the house board for public when he noticed how many of the passer-bys were intrigued by the idea of how a passenger boat can become a home for a family and how they manage their day-to-day life e.g. waste management, weather management, electricity, and water supplies etc. As the initiator went into is well deserved pension from end of 2023 – the new owners of the houseboatmuseum Carl & Robert are operating this top museum from 2024 onwards.

The museum is totally a private venture run and maintained by the entrance fee paid by the visitors. It doesn’t get any subsidy from the government.

The Salient Features of the floating Museum

Embark upon an experience so unique and yet so intriguing with a visit to the Houseboat Museum. It is not only a unique museum but also among the best museums in Amsterdam when it comes to maintenance and facilities. Here is what you can expect to see onboard:

Maritime Ambiance

As you step down from the last one of the five steps descending to the stern, you will be welcomed by a typical maritime ambiance. So peacefully quiet as compared to the life outside. You will get acquainted with a scent, characteristic of a passenger wherry. You may even notice a subtle floating or swaying sometimes but it is usually not very noticeable.

Surprisingly Spacious

The boat has a very decent living space of 80 m². It can be compared to an apartment in Amsterdam. The exact size of the boat is 23 * 4.5 m. This size surprises those who are curious how a boat can be a comfortable home to a family.

A Comfy Life

Since the boat was constructed, it has been housing family life. The captain used to live with his family in the stern. After that, the boat was renovated in 2018, and soon after it was opened for the public. You will be amazed when you see that the Houseboat Museum has all the basic necessities (some even refer to it as a luxurious life onboard) needed for a comfortable living. It is a well-furnished ‘apartment’ providing a comfortable living space.

In short, if you are fascinated by the idea of how the life used to be onboard when, as a result of World War, most of the infrastructure on land was either destroyed or was unsafe to live, you must pay a visit to this Houseboat Museum. You can also get a brief virtual tour to the museum by watching their official YouTube video.

Opening Hours

The Museum remains open from 10 am to 5 pm for the visitors. However, it’s not open for the visitors the entire week depending on the season/month. For every month, the business days per week may vary. Check the opening hours to view the current timings.


In addition to certain days every week, the Houseboat Museum stays closed on some holidays as well. Precisely, it doesn’t open on

  • January 1st because it’s the new year Day
  • Kingsday i.e. 27th April
  • August’s first Saturday due to Canal Parade
  • December 25th and 26th

Entrance Fee of the most famous museum in Amsterdam

The museum encourages people to visit in groups by giving handsome discounts on group visits. However, you can also pay individual visits or in small groups of up to 10 people. The entrance fee for an adult is €6,00. Children up to 5 years of age will be given free entrance. For the children 5 to 15 years of age, the entrance fee is set at €5,00.  You can pay a visit in a group of up to 10 people.

For groups larger than 10 people, the fee will be €5,00. However, if the group comprises of people between the age bracket of 5 to 15 years, the fee will be €4,00. There are special discounts on some cards as well. For example, you can purchase an Annual Museumcard for €5,00. Those who hold an Iamsterdam City Card will get a free entry. Similarly, Go City Pass holders or Amsterdam Pass Holders can visit the museum for free.

You can purchase tickets on board, and the amount will help the management maintain the Houseboat Museum and keep it open to the public as an iconic legacy for the city.

Important Rules for the Visitors

  • If you are coming in a group of 10 or above, prior registration through email is required. Get your group registered by mailing at
  • If there are already some visitors on the boat, it is advisable to split your large group into smaller ones.
  • A group leader or guide should enter the boat first for registration and for purchasing tickets.
  • Guides can also be arranged on board upon request.
  • You can make payment on board through debit or credit card or in cash.

What Facilities to Expect on Board

The boat has a souvenir shop and a library that also contains useful literature about houseboats. You can entertain yourself with a cup of coffee, tea, or a soft drink. It is permissible to take photographs inside. The boat has a reasonable height and hence provides lots of head space.

It’s not only unique but also a fascinating place to visit especially if you are intrigued by the idea of how a boat can house a life so comfy. The Houseboat Museum Amsterdam showcases how life used to be (and still is) while living on a boat. It has a historic significance in the backdrop of World War when insecurity due to the destruction of residential infrastructure led to houseboats built on passenger boats.

In a nutshell, the Houseboat Museum is certainly a place worth visiting of you are looking for a unique and memorable experience. Thats why the houseboat is known as the best museum in Amsterdam and especially interested for persons that want to discover a dutch houseboat. It will not only be enjoyable but also an educational visti that will help you experience life on a boat as it used to be a century ago and even today.

Other top & famous museums in Amsterdam

They have a museum for all kind of interests and any age group. Whether you are interested in witnessing the finest pieces of art, want to get fascinated by marvels of science, or want to see how photography captures life at its best, this city always has more to offer than your expectations.

However, if you are on a short trip to the city, and you were to shortlist must-see museums in Amsterdam, it would be a single, one-of-a-kind museum that is perhaps very underrated in the backdrop of innumerable hyped museums in the city.

Next to the Houseboat museum, there is plenty of other famous museums in Amsterdam that cover different kind of interests. Here are a few of the best museums of Amsterdam that you may like to visit while you are in Amsterdam;

·       Rijksmuseum – one of the most famous museums in Amsterdam

It displays some of the most stunning art pieces, sculptures, and furniture from 19th to 21st century.

·       Foam – belongs in the category contemporay photography and famous museums in Amsterdam

It is a photography museum worth visiting, especially during its ‘Foam Talent Event’ which displays the masterpieces of the rising photographers.

·       Van Gogh Museum – classic famous museums in Amsterdam

Intrigued by all that hype about Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings? Pay a visit to the famous Van Gogh Museum and you won’t regret it. It is by far among the best museums in the Netherlands.

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