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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 the Dutch capital, some showing the artworks of globally renowned artists while others built for showcasing the scientific marvels specifically and yet others like Foam Photography Museum dedicated to photography. In short, these are a true depiction of Netherlands’ art and culture.

But if you are on a short trip and wondering which one is the best museum Amsterdam boasts about, then houseboatmuseum should certainly be on the top of your list in Amsterdam. It is one of kind museum depicting a practically inhabited house built on a boat, telling you the full storyline how an old freight ship was converted into an inhabited houseboat – a real experience to walk through the Dutch history through an attic museum.

What is the Amsterdam Houseboat Museum and What are Its Salient Features?

Owned by Vincent Van Loon, this famous Houseboat Museum in Amsterdam features a house built on a historic cargo boat, ‘Hendrika Maria’ from 1914. This historical museum gives you an insight into 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

This must-see museum in Amsterdam was initiated by Vincent Van Loon. He decided to open up the houseboat for the 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. Today, the new owners of the houseboatmuseum Carl & Robert are operating this top museum from 2024 onwards. Here is what you can expect to see onboard:

famous museum amsterdam

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, and Comfy

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. 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 Dutch 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 .

houseboat museum amsterdam

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

Entrance Fee and Important Rules

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 €9,50. Children up to 5 years of age will be given free entrance.

There are special discounts on some cards as well. For example, you can purchase an Annual Museum card 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 of the Netherlands. Here are some rules for the visitors to follow:

  • If you are coming in a group of 10 or above, prior registration through email is required. Get your group registered by mailing at info@houseboatmuseum.nl .
  • 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. the rooms are well lit and spacious.

The Houseboat Museum Amsterdam is the only museum that 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. If you are fascinated by the idea of houseboats, you can also book a private boat tour to witness a number of other houseboats along the canals of Amsterdam. These can be called a true depiction of Dutch culture as well as the living monuments of Dutch art.

A Private Boat Tour to Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, and Van Gogh Museum (Museum Ons)

A medium to small sized private cruise can take you to innumerable worth-visiting sights of Amsterdam including the Houseboat Museum, Leiden Square, Museumstraat, Anne Frank House, Hortus Botanicus, Tropenmuseum. Most importantly, you can book a private cruise to the prestigious Museum Square (museumplein) and explore Van Gogh collection or get a chance to see stunning art pieces at Rijksmuseum historical museum and Stedelijk Museum.

Besides, a private canal cruise during the famous Light Festival is one-of-a-kind tour for a lifetime. it lets you witness the light art made by world’s most popular artists as well as temporary exhibitions by emerging artists. Moreover, you can witness stunning street art in Amsterdam as you float past these masterpieces, artistic enough to amaze Amsterdam visitors.

Other top museums in Amsterdam

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. The Houseboat Museum is certainly one the most iconic museums in the Netherlands. Besides, there are 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 is a famous contemporary art museum that is known for the exhibitions of some of the most stunning Dutch art pieces, sculptures, and Dutch furniture from the 19th to the 21st century. You can also visit Rijksmuseum on a private boat tour, one of the most preferred ways of visiting some of the most iconic monuments of the Netherlands.
  • 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. Van Gogh Museum is by far among the best museums in the Netherlands. the Van Gogh Museum has exhibitions of over 200 paintings, 400 drawings, and 700 letters by Van Gogh and is among the most visited museums in Amsterdam.
  • National Maritime Museum (Het Scheepvaartmuseum) is one of the most famous museums of the Netherlands with permanent exhibitions of some of the world’s largest maritime collections. These include ships, including the Dutch East India Company ship, navigation tools, paintings, and more.
  • The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is another heaven for any art enthusiast visiting Amsterdam. It is especially a must visit museum for those who admire impressive collection of paintings by Lichtenstein. Stedelijk Museum holds exhibitions of modern art and contemporary art pieces starting from as early as 1870s and even have some stunning works of Picasso.
  • The Anne Frank House Amsterdam, or Anne Frank Huis is a living museum that has a story to tell about Anne Frank. Instead of conventional galleries it shows the permanent collection of memoirs, photographs, diaries, etc. of Anne in a house where she lived. Thus it recreates the entire environment that can be deeply felt and lived by the visitors.
  • The National Holocaust Museum is centered around Jewish history, specifically the horrors of Holocaust. Located next to the Hermitage Amsterdam witnessed the opening of its only museum featuring holocaust of Jews in Netherlands. This Jewish museum tells the story of both the persecution and rescue of Jews and also houses historic religious artefacts.
  • The Eye Filmmuseum is a unique museum showcasing the history of filmmaking or the history of moving image comprehensively. If you are intrigued by the journey of eye film, it is worth paying a visit to Eye Film Museum.

in addition to these, for those interested in exploring museums, some other renowned museums of Amsterdam include the Moco Museum, Huis Marseille, Amsterdam Pipe Museum, Museum Ons, Nemo Science Museum, Straat Museum, NXT museum (known for its multimedia exhibits), Museum Van Loon, Wereldmuseum, Groote Museum, Pianola museum, and Rembrandt House Museum.

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