Live Like A Local In Amsterdam – Stay On A Houseboat

Twisting my arm to go to Amsterdam is not very hard. I love the place, but having been there several times, finding something new to do on our recent trip was on the agenda.

“Why not stay on a houseboat?” one of my travelling companions eagerly offered.

“Can you stay on a houseboat?” I asked. As it turns out, you can and right in the heart of Amsterdam.

The romantic thought of living like a local on a houseboat in Amsterdam for several days was rather enticing. After sifting through countless offerings, we decided to stay on ‘Saturnus’.

The initial directions to the houseboat were a little difficult as the Amsterdam Metro Centraal Station was seriously closed for improvements during our stay. Not to worry. A whirlwind trip in a taxi had us there in no time.

Richard, the owner, came out to greet us as we arrived. His smiling face was a warm welcome to the start of our holiday in Amsterdam. He lives on one side of the boat while guests stay on the other. You can’t even tell that he’s there, but he’s on hand should you need his assistance. It’s also entertaining watching him reverse park his smart car very smartly in the tiniest of spaces with no guard rail for reassurance on the edge of the canal.

The entrance to the houseboat was via a gangway, across the deck and down a step ladder….this was a serious stay on a houseboat! It was brilliant!

‘Saturnus’ was originally a cargo boat. Richard’s renovations include a modern bathroom, heating and soundproofing. There is one king sized and one queen sized bed in two separate bedrooms, a well equipped kitchen and dining area for self catering and high speed internet.

A small lounge area has been provided with a TV, but who’s in Amsterdam to watch TV? The space is generous not only for a houseboat, but for accommodation in Amsterdam in general. The houseboat accommodated our group of four adults quite comfortably.

Located near Rembrandt’s House, the houseboat is in a great location. A walk into the city centre (Dam Square) is an enjoyable 15 minutes and is a straight down one street. Watching the passing parade on the canal with a wine on the deck is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

You may even find locals crossing the deck with a friendly, “Hello!” as they disembark from one boat on the canal and onto the land via the houseboat. Not sure if they’re actually allowed to do this, but their confidence in doing so left us feeling like it was the normal thing to do….and we’re living like the locals, right?

There’s something quietly enjoyable about unexpectedly experiencing a happy side of the local way of life.

A supermarket is close by in Nieuwmarkt, one of Amsterdam’s popular squares and home to cafes and a Saturday market.

It is also the nearest metro stop.

Being a houseboat, it is sitting in water and therefore there is slight movement as other boats pass by.

The gentle rocking motion can occasionally be noticed while trying to walk a straight line and can be a great addition to a good night’s sleep.

Otherwise, it was hardly noticeable.

Staying on a houseboat in Amsterdam is actually quite cost effective when compared to staying in a hotel. You have more room, you have your own facilities and you’re in a great location. What more could you want?

For more information on staying on “Saturnus”, please visit

Tip: An easy way to get to the airport in the early hours of the morning is via a taxi. offer an affordable flat rate. I generally like to take trains to ensure I arrive on time, however, with our early morning flight and the metro out of order, we found this taxi reservation service professional and affordable.

Disclaimer: I have used the photos from the website for two reasons. I forgot to take my own (because I was having too much fun in Amsterdam) and they are a good representation of the inside of the houseboat. They make me feel like I am there again.

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