Amsterdam: a city with houses on the water

Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, famous for its canals, museums, historical buildings and unique atmosphere.

The history of the city dates back to the 12th century, when a fishing village on the banks of the Amstel River sprang up. After 100 years it became an autonomous entity and received the status of a city. Amsterdam’s heyday was in the Middle Ages:

16th-17th centuries:

  • Amsterdam’s Golden Age, when the city became one of Europe’s most important trading centres.

18th-19th centuries:

  • Decline in the city’s development.

20th-21st centuries:

  • The revival of Amsterdam as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.

Interesting facts about Amsterdam:

1. City of Canals:

  • Amsterdam has more than 100 kilometres of canals and 1500 bridges.
  • The canals were built in the 17th century to facilitate trade.
  • Taking a boat ride on the canals is one of the most popular ways to see the city.

2. City of Bicycles:

  • Amsterdam has more bicycles than people.
  • The bicycle is the most popular mode of transport in the city.
  • There is even special infrastructure for cyclists, including bike lanes, car parks and traffic lights.

3. City of Museums:

  • Amsterdam has more than 75 museums.
  • Some of the most famous museums include:
  • Rijksmuseum
  • Van Gogh Museum
  • Anne Frank House Museum

4. City of Freedom:

  • Amsterdam is known for its freedom-loving atmosphere.
  • Light drugs and prostitution are legalised in the city.
  • Amsterdam is one of the most tolerant cities in the world.

5. A city with a centuries-old history:

  • Amsterdam was founded in the 12th century.
  • In the 17th century, the city was one of the most important trading centres in Europe.
  • Amsterdam is a city rich in history and culture.

Other interesting facts:

  • The world’s tallest residential building, the De Peek skyscraper, is located in Amsterdam.
  • Amsterdam is home to the world’s largest flower market.
  • Amsterdam hosts an annual canal festival.

The houses on the water are an integral part of Amsterdam, giving it a unique look.


  • Floating houses (houseboats):
  • Houses built on barges or pontoons.
  • Can be either fixed or floating.

Traditional canal houses:

  • Houses built on stilts on the bank of a canal.
  • Usually have a narrow frontage and several storeys.


  • Wood
  • Brick
  • Stone


  • Limited space
  • Unusual layout
  • Often have roof terraces

Building houses on canals has become a way to solve the housing shortage. Homes on the water have become a popular tourist attraction.

Reasons for popularity:

  • Unique style:
  • Houses on the water give Amsterdam a unique look.
  • Unique lifestyle:
  • Living on the water is a special experience.

Limited supply:

  • The number of homes on the water is limited, making them attractive to buyers.
  • Waterfront homes are not just housing, they are part of Amsterdam’s history and culture.

If you want to learn more about homes on the water, you can:

Take a canal walk:

  • This is a great way to see houses on the water and learn more about them.

Visit the Water House Museum:

  • This museum explains the history and architecture of homes on the water.

Read a book about houses on the water:

  • There are many books dedicated to this topic.