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Beautiful Houseboat in Amsterdam City Centre

Grachtengordel, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • House Boat
  • Bedrooms1
  • Sleeps4
  • Bathrooms1
  • Half Baths0
  • Minimum Stay2 - 3 nights

Houseboat, 1 Bedroom+convertible bed, 1 Bathrm, Sleeps 2-4, families up to 5

We guarantee that this houseboat will give you the special and authentic Amsterdam experience, regardless of the purpose of your visit.

The location beats everything - just around the corner from all the best places- museums and fine restaurants - but without the city sounds from The Dam and Leidse Square.

The sundeck affords spectacular views of the old warehouses on the Entrepotdok (for which Amsterdam is famous) on one side, and boats passing on the other. The passersby envy those sitting on the sundeck of houseboat 'The Medicijnman'!

Over a hundred years old and once a sailing boat (a Tjalk) The Medicijnman (Medicine Man) was transformed in the late 1950’s into a characterful houseboat. With many old features left in place, it gives you an enchanting feel of life on the water back then.

It is located in the old centre of Amsterdam, in an oasis of tranquility,with Central Station, Dam Square, well known theatres (Theater Carré), famous museums (e.g. Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum), restaurants, and other cultural attractions within walking distance.

Less than 2 minutes’ walk from Kadijk square, where there are many great restaurants, such as ‘A Tavola’, one of the best Italian restaurants in Amsterdam.

The highest wooden windmill in The Netherlands, named ‘De Gooyer’, is next to the famous brewery, Het IJ, just around the corner and a must-see for real beer lovers.

The interior of the houseboat is light and spacious and is well equipped with all modern facilities. The bedroom has a queen size bed and four authentic portholes. The living room has panoramic windows, which let in a lot of light and give beautiful views just above water level. There is a very comfortable sofa bed which enables sleeping room for two extra guests, a big dining table and a charming open kitchen. The bathroom has a washbasin and a bathtub with shower attachment plus a washer and dryer.

The position of the boat ensures that you will be able to enjoy both sunny breakfasts on the deck in the early morning, and spectacular sunsets in the evening.


Perfect location, Ideal for museums, good restaurants, shopping and night life but also an oasis of peace. The roof terrace is very sunny and if you like water birds, you can feed them from outside the windows.

A short walk to the Red Light district, Waterloo square and flea market and the Portuguese Synagogue.

A few highlight of the reviews:

- "Living the Dream in Amsterdam"

"Spent a weekend at this cozy, comfortable houseboat. It could not have been more perfect for two people. Location was sublime; would love to visit again in summertime and spend evenings relaxing on the deck and watching the zoo animals across the canal."

- “uniquely beautiful and peaceful place to stay"

"This by far was the most unique and our favorite… We felt very safe on the houseboat and the street is quiet. It's a great location and we walked the whole city from there. The boat itself has everything and a very nice bathroom. Good water pressure and we were able to wash and dry our clothes… I would love to go back again and spend more time on the boat."

- "Nice, quiet neighborhood & well-appointed houseboat"

"My husband, two boys (13 & 10), and I recently spent four nights on the houseboat. We thoroughly enjoyed it. The neighborhood is nice and quiet, but we were still able to walk to anywhere we wanted to see in the main part of Amsterdam. The houseboat has everything you could need, and there is a grocery store about a 10-minute walk away."

- What a jewel!

"Last stop on a month long holiday and we saved one of the best for last. Peace lives here. Sitting on the deck with your favorite drink, a good book and a gorgeous sunset. Watching the canal cruisers go by. The boat is beautifully appointed, very comfortable and perfectly located both for walking and public transport."


Martyn Leenen

Member Since 2011
Premier Partner
This VRBO partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.
Response rate:
Response time:
within a few days
english, french, german, dutch
Calendar last updated:
Apr 19, 2018
About Martyn Leenen

My wife Catelijne and I have two children, one daughter Julia (6) and a son Hidde (4). We live in Haarlem, just 15 minutes away from our houseboat. Before I used to work for a broadcasting and publishing company but now I have my own business. Good food and nice drinks are important to me. I like to cook for friends/family and love nice wines, German wines in particular. I used to travel, read and play golf but since we have children, I have have other priorities... Oh, and I love playing chess on my App/iPhone. (This photo was inspired by Derek Zoolander)

Martyn Leenen purchased this House Boat in 2008

Why Martyn Leenen chose Oostelijke Eilanden en Kadijken

By coincidence I saw this houseboat was for sale. I knew the unique location, on one side the old warehouses and on the other side the Zoo. Eery time we went boating with friends and we came by Artis (the Zoo) we loved the sight of zebras and giraffes in the middle of the city. The previous owners are a nice Australian couple with a baby. They lived there for four years but were about to return to Australia. Eventually Damien (the Australian owner) choose me to buy the boat and I feel very fortunate! My wife and I lived for two years on this houseboat. Because my wife was expecting we decided to move to an apartment. Living on the boat with a baby is not convenient. In the beginning it was difficult not to live on the boat but now, - when when the boat is not rented out, - we try to stay there. Our children love it and a stay on the boat always indicates we'll go to the zoo... For us staying on the boat is also holiday...!

What makes this House Boat unique

My wife and I lived in Amsterdam for over 15 years,. As students we both moves several times all over the city. The vibe, the atmosphere and the people of this little neighborhood beats everything! - just around the corner from all the best places - museums, the Nieuwmarkt, the red lights and fine restaurants - but without the city sounds from Dam Square and Leidse Square. My mother Caty and neighbor Karin will do the check in/out and cleaning. They are very helpful in providing additional information about Amsterdam, what to do outside the city (Keukenhof for example) and are more then happy to assist you for museums and or tickets, reservations in nice restaurants, etc. They also can arrange a pick up from the airport or a private boat tour. So, if you have questions or would like assistance please do not hesitate to contact them. You will receive their contact information when the booking is confirmed.


    • Internet
    • Heater
    • Washer & Dryer
    • Parking
    • TV
    • No Smoking


      • 1 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
        • Queen size Beds (1), Double Beds (1), Sleep Sofa or Futons (1) The couch in the living room is a very comfortable two person bed.


        • 1 Bathroom
          • With a nice bath!

          Location Type

            • Beachfront
              15 miles away
            • Downtown
            • Lake View
            • Village
            • Water View
            • Waterfront


                • Adventure
                • Away From It All
                • Budget
                • Family
                • Historic
                • Romantic
                • Spa
                • Sports & Activities
                • Tourist Attractions


                    • Catering available


                        • Iron & Board
                        • Broadband Access
                        • Covered Parking
                          Inside, non public
                        • Garage
                          Optional a parking spot in a secure garage (non public) Additional € 15,- per day
                        • Hair Dryer
                        • Heating
                          Central Heating, just like an appartment.
                        • Internet
                          fast internet!
                        • Clothes Dryer
                        • Linens Provided
                          Nice bed linens and real duvets
                        • Living Room
                        • Parking
                          There is a parking place in a non-public parking garage available for additional €15,- per day.
                        • Telephone
                          There is a Dutch mobile phone on board you can use.
                        • Towels Provided
                          Nice towels!
                        • Washing Machine
                        • Wireless Internet


                            • Coffee Maker
                            • Dishwasher
                            • Kitchen
                              Very nice stove, microwave, dishwasher and all kinds of tools to bake and make nice diners.
                            • Microwave
                            • Oven
                            • Pantry Items
                              Salt, peper, olive oil, many herbs and all basics and beyond to prepare nice food!
                            • Refrigerator
                              With a little freezer
                            • Toaster


                                • Child's Highchair
                                • Dining
                                  Inside there is a nice dining table and on the deck there is also dining table, eating amd ovelooking the canal.
                                • Dining Area
                                • comfy seating for 5 people


                                    • Books
                                      Many English books. When you leave a book on one of the shelves you can pick one and take it with you...
                                    • DVD Player
                                    • Stereo
                                      There is a stereo where you can put in your iPhone
                                    • Television
                                      Just local stations
                                    • Video Library
                                      All kinds of DVD's


                                        • Balcony
                                        • Bicycles
                                          Available on request for additional €8,- per bike per day.
                                        • Boat
                                          Private boat tour possible, the price depends on availability.
                                        • Deck / Patio
                                          A big sun deck. All day sun, all day chilling in the sun. A nice big parasol is there to catch some shade.
                                        • Lawn / Garden
                                          A small green little garden...
                                        • Outdoor Grill
                                          If you like to BBQ it can be arranged.


                                            • Long-term Renters Welcome
                                            • wheelchair inaccessible

                                              Pool / Spa

                                                • Communal Pool
                                                  If you would like to take a swim in the canal, you can. Some neighbors do it. Just take a shower afterwards...

                                                  Onsite Services

                                                    • Chauffeur
                                                    • Private Chef


                                                        • museums
                                                        • botanical garden
                                                        • cinemas
                                                        • festivals
                                                        • health/beauty spa
                                                        • library
                                                        • live theater
                                                        • marina
                                                        • churches
                                                        • playground
                                                        • recreation center
                                                        • restaurants
                                                        • ruins
                                                        • synagogues
                                                        • water parks
                                                        • winery tours
                                                        • zoo

                                                          Leisure Activities

                                                            • horseback riding
                                                            • antiquing
                                                            • boating
                                                            • eco tourism
                                                            • gambling casinos
                                                            • bird watching
                                                            • photography
                                                            • shopping
                                                            • sight seeing
                                                            • walking
                                                            • wildlife viewing

                                                              Local Services & Businesses

                                                                • ATM/bank
                                                                • Babysitter
                                                                • fitness center
                                                                • groceries
                                                                • hospital
                                                                • laundromat
                                                                • massage therapist
                                                                • medical services

                                                                  Sports & Adventure Activities

                                                                    • mountain biking
                                                                    • basketball court
                                                                    • fishing
                                                                    • fly fishing
                                                                    • freshwater fishing
                                                                    • golf
                                                                    • hiking
                                                                    • ice skating
                                                                    • jet skiing
                                                                    • kayaking
                                                                    • cycling
                                                                    • roller blading
                                                                    • sailing
                                                                    • scuba diving or snorkeling
                                                                    • snorkeling
                                                                    • snorkeling/diving
                                                                    • surfing
                                                                    • swimming
                                                                    • tennis
                                                                    • water skiing
                                                                    • wind-surfing


                                                                        • Bike- and boat rental (with discount). A parking spot in a non-public garage is available upon request for €15,- per day. The sleeping bed/sofa enables two extra (paying) guests. Adjusted prices for children.

                                                                          House Rules

                                                                          Check-in: Flexible

                                                                          Check-out: Flexible

                                                                          Cancellation Policy

                                                                          100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.

                                                                          131 Reviews


                                                                          Latest reviews

                                                                          Such a treat!

                                                                          Hester T.

                                                                          Amsterdam is such a fantastic city to visit and staying on the houseboat made the whole experience extra special. Caty was so lovely and helpful. She provided so many helpful touches on the boat and advice and enthusiasm. The neighbourhood is great - great access to everything central and so easy to get around by tram, but also an oasis of calm. Being next to the zoo was a fantastic treat for me and my boys - listening to all the animal noises (and also well worth a visit). And how many times in your life do you get to make a cup of tea in your kitchen, whilst watching elephants? An absolutely fantastic place to stay - wish we could have stayed longer - I’d thoroughly recommend it!

                                                                          Very charming, in a great location!

                                                                          Ben B.

                                                                          Really sweet houseboat right across the water from ARTIS Zoo, so you'll be able to drink your coffee in sight of the elephants and giraffes in the morning (provided the weather is good). It's well equipped for anything you need to make yourselves meals. Very good size for two people, but for three or more, you'll have to get along very well. Also you'll have to climb up and down a short but steep ladder, so be sure you are able to before booking.

                                                                          Loved this houseboat!

                                                                          Rachelle G.

                                                                          The houseboat is awesome! It's such a cute spot to stay and relax during your downtime on your trip. The view of the zoo is great, the zebras and antelope were out even in the cold weather. The neighborhood is great; out of the busy city, but lots of restaurants and bars closeby. Quick walk to several tram stops, so its also really easy to get anywhere else in the city. It was perfect for my husband and I. We would absolutely stay again. Thank you so much Caty!

                                                                          A charming retreat.

                                                                          Mary M.Jenkintown, PA

                                                                          My family and I stayed on Martyn's beautiful houseboat over Christmas and absolutely loved it! The houseboat is very conveniently located with public transportation, rental bicycles, supermarkets, etc all close by. Indeed, many sights are within a short walking distance such as Arcam, Conservatorium van Amsterdam, The Maritime Museum, NEMO and The Public Library to name but a few. We were able to see the elephants, giraffes, etc. at the Zoo next door which was a real treat! :-) The houseboat was immaculate, had all the modern conveniences and was well stocked with many provisions. Caty and Karin couldn't have been more helpful and were available if we had any questions. Vijay picked us up from the Airport and stopped at the supermarket on the way which made arrival much easier! Thanks so much for a wonderful stay Martyn! We can't wait to return to your beautiful home! Wishing you the very best in the new year!

                                                                          Great houseboat, rude host

                                                                          Morgan J.

                                                                          Loved staying on this houseboat with my good friend for a reunion in Amsterdam. The boat is in a great location near everything and an easy Uber wherever. The houseboat was exactly as the photos showed. However, it was the hosts mother who cared after the property and while she was kind upon arrival, she was utterly rude and passive aggressive upon getting my bags on the day of checkout. I had contacted the host listed to let him know that we were going out for lunch and would pick up our bags after (as we were told this was ok since no one was checking in), and when we came back, the host’s mother was horrible to me making very passive comments. For this reason alone, I would never book this houseboat again and don’t recommend booking unless you’re dealing with Martyn and only Martyn.

                                                                          Owner's Response:

                                                                          Dear Morgan,

                                                                          Your comments about my mother are jaw breaking.

                                                                          There are several things things you left out of your review and where you apologized for to my mother.

                                                                          I expect our guests to be respectfull and stay on my houseboat as it is their own.

                                                                          Maybe you should stay in a hotel next time?

                                                                          Best of luck,


                                                                          Loved it

                                                                          Scott C.Chicago

                                                                          Had a fabulous time on the boat... Its five-star reputation is wholly warranted. The houseboat is warm and safe, and the street is quiet. You can basically walk to anywhere from it. Excellent for a two-person trip (more than that might get cramped, but YMMV). Hope to be back someday soon!


                                                                          Grachtengordel, Amsterdam, Netherlands

                                                                          The Zoo (Artis) is right across the boat and on the other side are the beautiful canal houses (old warehouses). We could arrange anything if it is possible or impossible, just the pink elephant on the deck will be difficult...

                                                                          Rates & Availability

                                                                          Additional information about rental rates

                                                                          Cleaning Fee
                                                                          Additional Guest Fee
                                                                          $23 - $60
                                                                          Tax Rate

                                                                          - We do not work with deposits. If something breaks happens please let me know so I can fix it. - My mother Caty & neighbor Karin will do the check in/out and cleaning. They are also your liaison for Amsterdam, or if you have any questions. For example, they can arrange a pick up from the airport. - Additional guests (above 2) pay €29.00 to €39.00 per person per night (depending on season). - Prices for Kingsday are on request.

                                                                          131 Reviews
                                                                          Wonderful 4.9/5
                                                                          Premier Partner
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                                                                          Property # 344981