The Houseboat Museum
The Houseboat Museum in Amsterdam was created when a houseboat resident noticed how curious visitors were about his home. In 1997, Vincent van Loon created the Houseboat Museum from the Hendrika Maria, a 1914 freighter. He originally converted the vessel into a houseboat in the 1960s. Now it is kept as though the owners are still in residence, where visitors can get a realistic idea of what it's like to live on a boat, answering questions like, "Where do you get electricity and fresh water?" and, "Isn't it cold?" and any other query.
One floating cultural education
Visitors can visit the houseboat at its mooring near the Anne Frank House. Unlike many museums, photography is allowed on board, and there is a children's play area available as well. You can take your own walking tour of the boat with brochures in multiple languages. Pick up coffee tea or a soft drink in the 1950s-style Dutch lounge, and a gift in the museum shop on your way out.
This is a wonderful opportunity to see how the Dutch live—not only on a houseboat, but in general, as the décor and atmosphere is typically Dutch. Just what this means is hard to describe. Only the initiated visitors can understand.
Visitors from all over the world
The tour cost is kept very low: adults are only €3.75 each or free with the Amsterdam City Card or Holland Pass. The boat is open in the spring, summer, and fall, and exploring the boat is a great way to spend an hour or two. The Houseboat Museum’s schedule is from 11am to 5pm, operating on Friday through Sunday in the winter months and Tuesday through Sunday the rest of the year.
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