The houseboat

Oasis Houseboat is located on a small, peaceful canal, right in the heart of the city. You can expect the following when you stay:

  • a towel for each guest
  • 2 double beds, one in the bedroom and a sofa-bed in the lounge room; (double) bedding and bed linen for up to 4 guests
  • access to a fully-equipped kitchen with fridge, freezer, dishwasher, stove, combi microwave/hot air oven, Nespresso, toaster, and kettle
  • iron, ironing board, and (hair) blow dryer
  • WiFi, TV, DVD player, and stereo
  • central heating: the houseboat is nice and warm in winter
  • smoker-friendly, but we do ask that you smoke near an open window
  • note that a washing machine or clothes dryer are NOT (currently) available
  • the houseboat is located about 5-10 minutes walk from Dam Square, and about 10-15 minutes walk from Central Station. The Nieuwmarkt metro station is literally around the corner from the boat.
  • if you are lucky the ducks, and perhaps even a swan or two, will come to visit 🙂

The neighbourhood

The Raamgracht is located in the middle of the historic heart of Amsterdam. This area was once home to the broadcloth industry, up until the end of the 16th century. Broadcloth is a dense, plain cloth which was traditionally woven from wool. Some of the street names still reflect this period: Ververstraat (verven = to dye), Raamgracht (raam = frame on which the cloth was stretched to dry). The Staalstraat is named for the Staalhof, where samples of cloth were inspected and certified by the wardens of the Drapery Guild, immortalised in Rembrandt’s painting, De Staalmeesters.

On our Guide page we describe some of the many attractions in the neighbourhood, but perhaps it’s handy to know that:

  • There is a large and well-stocked supermarket, the Albert Heijn, located at Jodenbreestraat 21. Open from 8am to 10pm (8:00 to 22:00) every day.
  • Next door to the Albert Heijn is Gall & Gall, a liquor store, at Jodenbreestraat 23. Open every day from 10am to at least 9pm (10:00 to 21:00); 11am to 8pm (11:00 to 20:00) on Sundays.
  • There are lots of cafes, bars and restaurants in the immediate neighbourhood.
  • There are about 5–6 museums within 5-10 minutes walk, as indicated by the red numbers on the map. Click on the map to see an enlarged version.
    Amsterdam city centre
    Amsterdam city centre

    Getting Here

    The public transport system is very efficient, and it is probably the best way to get to the houseboat from the airport or the train station, though it can be challenging to buy train and metro tickets. In the following sections we describe, in great detail, the various ways of getting to the Raamgracht:

    By car

    We advise you not to drive all the way to the houseboat. Trying to park in the city centre can be traumatic, expensive, and often impossible. But, if you insist on bringing your car, then consult the Amsterdam.info site for information about your parking options. Here are a couple of reasonably affordable possibilities that we recommend:

    Park and Ride (P+R)

    You can park your car for €1 per day (maximum 96 hours = 4 days) at one of several P+R stations. Please refer to the I Amsterdam site for information in English, and conditions of use. Note that entering the P+R station on a weekday before 10am cost €8 per day. An informative P+R “infographic” document gives a good overview of how to use the P+R.

    The P+R at Zeeburg or the Amsterdam Arena are good options. From Zeeburg catch tram 26 to Central Station then walk or catch the metro to the houseboat. From the Arena catch metro 54 (direction Central Station) and get out at the Nieuwmarkt. See the directions below for catching the metro.

    Note that the Arena is closed for P+R during major events; check the Arena website for event dates.

    Parking Centrum Oosterdokseiland

    This garage is located near Central Station and costs €20 per 24 hours. The Parking Centrum website is in Dutch, but Google Translate provides a pretty good translation. Be careful!! If you park here for less than 5 hours at a time it will cost you €5 per hour (for example, 4 hours and 59 minutes will cost €25). After you have parked your car, walk from the garage to Central Station (about 5 minutes) and then follow the directions below to walk or catch the metro to the houseboat.

    By plane

    The airport at Amsterdam is called Schiphol Airport. Tip: The Schiphol App is very useful, providing you with details about getting to and from the airport, and real-time information about your specific flight (baggage belt, check-in desk, gate number, time to boarding/landing etc). It will take you about an hour and half from the time that your plane lands to get from the airport to the houseboat.

    The easiest, but most expensive, way to travel from Schiphol to the houseboat is by taxi. It will cost somewhere between €45–50 (?), depending on the time of day and traffic conditions.

    Catching the train from Schiphol to the city centre is simple and costs about €4 per ticket. The airport and train station are seamlessly connected so just follow the signs to the trains after you have cleared customs. Trains leave about every 10 minutes, usually from platform 1, 2 or 3. The trip takes about 15 minutes.

    The challenging part is buying a train ticket, but the Amsterdam.info site has clear instructions. Make sure that you purchase your train ticket before going downstairs to the platform, and note that you cannot buy a ticket on the train. Follow the directions given below once you have arrived at Central Station.

    The AmsterdamTips.com site also has useful information about the various ways of getting from Schiphol to the city centre.

    By train

    Catch any train going to Amsterdam Central station. There are a few smaller stations called Amsterdam something-something, but you want Amsterdam Centraal station. To get to the houseboat from the station you can walk, catch the metro, or take a taxi (be warned that the taxi driver will probably over-charge you, because it’s a such short distance). If you are taking the metro then follow the signs from the train station to the metro station.

    By metro from Central Station

    After you have purchased a ticket catch any metro leaving from Central Station (lines 51, 53 or 54). Get out at the first station, which is the Nieuwmarkt. The trip takes about 2–3 minutes, and a metro leaves every few minutes.

    Nieuwmarkt metro station
    Nieuwmarkt metro station

    A map of the Nieuwmarkt metro station is shown above. When you get out of the metro, follow the signs to the Nieuwe Hoogstraat and go up to street level, using the elevator or the stairs.

    If you use the stairs then you will come out at street level with the Nieuwe Hoogstraat in front of you. Do not go into the Nieuwe Hoogstraat. Instead, walk along the short passageway on your left, the Zuiderkerkhof; it has a series of blue doors. After walking along the short passageway, you will arrive on the church square, where you will see the Zuiderkerk.

    If you use the elevator then you will be on the church square, facing the Nieuwe Hoogstraat, when you get out. Turn around so that the Zuiderkerk is on your right.

    Keeping the Zuiderkerk on your right hand side, walk across the square, and into the Moddermolenstraat, a small lane to the left of the brown buildings directly in front of you. The Raamgracht is at the end of the Moddermolenstraat.

    Walking from Central Station

    It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to walk from the station to the Raamgracht. The streets can be confusing. We only tell you the streets that you should take, so make sure you have a good map with you! (In a pinch, the map at the top of this page will be good enough.)

    Walking via the Damrak

    A fairly straightforward route is to walk from the station along the Damrak until you get to the Dam (Dam Square). Turn left, walking past the rather phallic National Monument, into the Damstraat. Follow this street; its name changes every block, but just keep walking straight ahead until you get to the Kloveniersburgwal, which is the third canal that you encounter. Cross the bridge over the Kloveniersburgwal and then turn right and walk along the left hand side of the Kloveniersburgwal. The Raamgracht is the first canal on the left.

    Walking via the Zeedijk

    A shorter, but more complicated, route is to walk from the station towards the Damrak. Don’t go into the Damrak, but turn left into the Prins Hendrikkade. Walk about 200 metres and turn right into the Zeedijk. Careful, the Zeedijk is easy to miss. It is before you pass the Barbizon Hotel. Walk the length of the Zeedijk, until you arrive at the Nieuwmarkt. You will recognise the Nieuwmarkt because you will bump into the back of the Waag (“weigh house”), a lovely 15th-century building. Keep to the right of the Waag and walk across the square staying parallel to the road on your right, until you get to the canal, the Kloveniersburgwal. Walk on the left hand side of the Kloveniersburgwal. The Raamgracht is the first canal on the left.

    Walking from Parking Centrum Oosterdokseiland

    If you have parked your car at Oosterdokseiland, then walk towards Centraal Station along the Oosterdokskade, until you get to the traffic lights. Turn left over the bridge, and head towards the Prins Hendrikkade, where there is another set of traffic lights. Walk straight ahead into the Geldersekade. But be careful, as it’s a mad intersection of pedestrians and bikes. Note that the footpath is on the left of the Geldersekade, the right side is for bikes only.

    Head straight down the Geldersekade until you get to the Nieuwmarkt. You will recognise the Nieuwmarkt because you will bump into the back of the Waag (“weigh house”), a lovely 15th-century building. Walk across the square until you get to the canal, the Kloveniersburgwal. Walk on the left hand side of the Kloveniersburgwal. The Raamgracht is the first canal on the left.