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Living on the water

Posted on Nov 3, 2013 by

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Houseboats — a very interesting way of living. One that is quite popular here in Amsterdam, where the number of houseboats went up to approximately 2500 at the last count. Many view it as a very romantic way to live, while others may consider it more of a fad for free spirits who don’t want to feel tied down to any fixed location. Whatever the reasons, people have been living in houseboats for a long time in Amsterdam and lately they are doing it quite comfortably: a modern houseboat offers all the amenities a normal house would such as a living room, kitchen, bedroom, toilet, bathroom (connected to the sewer systems of course) and often a small terrace. One could happily call that a home without having any second thoughts.

Although I don’t see myself living in a houseboat (I’m used to having solid ground under my feet and I’ve heard they can get quite cold during the winter), I still admire them when walking along the canals, always looking for unusual decorations or just constantly wondering about how one can have a floating home.

My favourite place for spotting houseboats in Amsterdam is the Amstel River, the place where I would love to anchor my houseboat if I had one.

The street is called Weesperzijde and the best part starts from Torontobrug going south until Berlagebrug: a quiet, green street, where many locals go for jogging or for walking their dogs in the evening and where every houseboat has a garden in front of its doors on the riverside. There are houseboats also on the opposite side of the river, and that’s a nice area too — but I prefer this one, I found it much more charming. It’s a place where I often go for a walk in order to clear my mind or to enjoy a great sunset.

Here are some pictures, taken on a lovely Sunday morning. I’ll let you enjoy a virtual walk while pondering what it would feel like to live here.


  1. When I first arrived in Holland I lived in Amsterdam not to far from an area with a lot of house boats. I always used to enjoy walking pass them and checking them out too.


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