Everyday Amsterdam's water canals are lively with boats, barges, sailing and rowing boats, motor boats and tour boats.
Not all of them are used for transport, some of them are real house-boats, used both by those who enjoy an original type of accomodation and those who have difficulty in finding an apartment.
There is a limited number of house-boats that are allowed to stay on the canals, so it is not possible for anyone to just anchor and live there.
In Europe, some of the finest and costliest examples of houseboats can be seen along the canals of Amsterdam, which even has houseboat hotels. Houseboats are very expensive nowadays in Amsterdam because of the limited number of moorings; this expense has reduced the likelihood that the approximately 2,400 families that live on the inner waters of Amsterdam will find themselves confronted by new neighbour boats.
“Compared with Greece and Italy, Holland is but a platter-faced, cold-gin-and-water country, after all, and a heavy, barge-built, web-footed race are its inhabitants.”
— Sir Francis Bond Head (1793-1875, Lieutenant-Governor of Canada)
I would not want to live on a houseboat. They strike me as cramped, too public and the strongest strike against them, cold. My feelings are not universally shared because there are many houseboats docked in Amsterdam’s canals. There is even a houseboat museum (http://www.houseboatmuseum.nl/), located on what else but a houseboat. We did not visit. This is an example of the many quirky museums Amsterdam has to offer its visitors for their amusement.
It is estimated that of the 2,400 houseboats in Amsterdam, 750 are moored within the city’s historic 17th century canal system. Living on the water became a fashionable necessity after the Second World War when a housing shortage swept the city.
Houseboats are divided into two varieties, with Amsterdam adding a third sort. The first kind is the house ship, an former cargo ship where the cargo bay is remodeled to add space to the small captains quarters at the rear of the ship. The majority of these ships were built in the first quarter of the 20th century, mostly from of steel or iron. The subtype in Amsterdam is the house vessel. The hull of this type is from an old ship but the original steering area and deck has been removed to make room for a structure meant for living. The third sort of houseboat is called an ark, a houseboat which is designed solely for housing purposes. Arks are built on square hulls, the earliest out of steel, today from concrete. The construction on the arks is mostly made out of wood although in Amsterdam some arks have a brick house.
Some of these houseboats can be rented on a short-term, vacation basis, instead of a hotel room. Numerous web sites offer to connect houseboat owners and tourists.
This "example" (?) of an Amsterdam "House Boat" looks more like a temple to American style Suburbia than just about anything else I saw. I did not actualy see a lawn fountain or a lawn mower in this "jungle" but it would not have surprised me at all! For "moor" on boats, canals, trips and treks on water, anchor your sights on my Amsterdam Travelogue - Amsterdam, canals, canals and MORE
The Amsterdams canals are very populair and so are the houseboats. So, why not visit the houseboat museum.
Of course this museum is housed on a boat!
March-October: Tu-Su: 11AM - 5PM
November-February: Fr-Su: 11AM - 5PM
Admission: Euro 3.75
The canals and their houseboats are so much a part of Amsterdam that spending some time around them is a must.
There are only 2,500 houseboats, the limit has been set at that figure, at permanent moorings and I was told that their average price is around Euro400,000.
They range from what are apparently converted boats to custom-built houseboats and many have small gardens or window-boxes to add some colour.
The edge of almost all the canals in Amsterdam is taken up with houseboats. Because of the housing shortage in the city many people choose to live on the water. There are as many types of houseboat as there are berths and even a short canal trip will show their variety.
Holland or the Netherlands, does not matter who named it or how it is spelled, it is a place of water and the inhabitants have taken to it like ducks. Even here in the big city of Amsterdam you can see many people living in houseboats along the canals, some very elaborate and some with wood siding like in a stationary home. In the third picture here you can even see that the houseboat has an address and even a mailbox...now what does the person do if he moves the boat 50 meters down the canal, does that change his address???
You can see lots of boathouses on the canal.Even they have their own balconys with flowers.
Our guide told us that the dirty water of this houses go to the canal,but they filtered the canal 3 times a day.So there is no smell.
The canals of Amsterdam are lined with houseboats, which run the gamut from basic to luxurious. We had fun looking at them as we walked along the city's canals.
Some people live in a boat house al year.
I thought it was so nice...but then.. You have not to get seaseack easy...Then you have a problem
One of the things that gives Amsterdam something special are the many houseboats (about 2,500!). There is a houseboatmuseum, opposite Prinsengracht 296.