Houseboats in Amsterdam Navigators Blog


Houseboats in Amsterdam

Houseboats in Amsterdam

If you’ve ever visited The Netherlands then one can only be in see at all the houseboats in Amsterdam. There are also many other locations in Holland with houseboats but Amsterdam seems to be full of them. What a wonderful place to live, in the heart of the city. Surrounded by a large community of other people living on the water.

Amsterdam is a very beautiful city and has a network of canals stretching for 100’s of miles. From here, you can also travel all across France and Europe accessing 1000’s of miles of inland waterways.

I will cover France in another blog but Amsterdam is our main focus for today. It’s so many people’s dream to live on a houseboat in Amsterdam but it’s definitely not cheap.

In fact it’s cheaper to buy a narrow boat in the UK and travel the UK waterways and you can still live anywhere in London for up to 2 weeks at a time. Again London and the UK will be covered in another blog.

Houseboats for sale in Amsterdam

Yes there are many houseboats in Amsterdam for sale but the range from E 50,000 – over 1 million Euros.
Check out some Dutch Barge prices here LINK

Then you will need a permanent mooring (which is much harder to find). If you’re fortunate enough to find a nice Dutch barge or similar houseboat with a mooring, grab it quick. The alternative is to become a river gypsy and keep moving around.

The large static housboats you see on the canals in central Amsterdam rarely come up for sale. If they do, it will most likely come with a mooring and will not be cheap.

Houseboats in Amsterdam

Mooring fees are almost like renting a small apartment and can also be cheap or expensive. Moorings are calculated on the length of your houseboat or barge. Also expect to pay  more in central Amsterdam than in the outer suburbs.

When we were in Amsterdam a few months ago we stayed at an Airbnb house that was opposite one of the inland waterways. The owner also drove us around in his car doing a little sightseeing tour of his area. What amazed me was the amount of houseboat and barges all around us. He also explained that it was not that expensive to live on a moving houseboat if it was small and easy to move and navigate around.

Renting a houseboat

Before you decide to start looking for a houseboat or Dutch type barge for sale, maybe you should try renting first. There are many houseboat rental companies and prices range from about E100 to 500+ per night.

Click picture below or here to see the Houseboat rentals

Houseboats in Amsterdam 2

Another place to find cheap rentals is Airbnb – Just search for houseboat Amsterdam.

Buy in Holland – bring to the UK

Another option is to buy a nice Dutch barge in Holland and have it towed back to the UK. Probably much cheaper and more choice in Holland but check out the cost of bringing back to the UK.

The EEC is not what we we all led to believe. Now called the EU we still cannot just go to Holland or Germany and buy a car or houseboat and bring it home. You will have to declare it and pay import duty etc.

So why did we join the EU again?

Anyway, there are still lots of people buying houseboat and cars and bringing them home to the UK so it must still be a very good option.


The main thing you really need to do if going down that path is, to secure yourself a mooring in the UK first. I’m pretty sure you can’t park a huge Dutch barge outside your house, even if you are one of the few without yellow lines in your road.

But you would probably not have a house or sold it to buy the boat anyway… OK let’s not go there.


Living on houseboats in Amsterdam or anywhere in Holland will still require some outgoings. So you need to have an income or work from your laptop or something. I have also met people that live in Amsterdam or Paris and commute, once a week or even daily, to their job in the UK.

Another short story springs to mind about an old man that used to go to a specific boatyard every year in Holland and rent a sailing sketch. It had a mast that folded down and he would cruise the inland waterways every year.

When he retired, he decided to sell his house and buy the little boat he used to rent every year. He then spent the next 10 years living on the boat and cruised all over Western and Eastern Europe. It was an incredibly inspiring tale.

Still interested in a Houseboat in Amsterdam?

Here’s an interesting company I found while researching
Dutch Barges for sale

Also have a look at the listings on this website here

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