Visions of Amsterdam canal houses and bicycles were running through my head when we set out planning to visit Amsterdam. I knew that I wanted to stay on a canal, in a traditional house, but beyond that, I didn’t know anything about where to start looking or where exactly in the city was best to stay. Thanks to the help of our friend Shannon who has traveled across much of the world, she recommended one of the outer canals. We started our search on AirBnB and ended up finding a traditional canal house situated on the Keizersgracht, nestled in the heart of the city, that looked like a dream. These canal houses are old houses, typically built in the 17th century, that face a canal. They are tall and deep, with amazing roof lines and beautiful beams inside. Their entrances, due to the risk of flooding, are often above ground accessible by stairs. Over the years flooding has become less of an issue so many of the entrances are now in the basement, right at street level. These homes were traditionally used as both a home and a business, such was the case with ours. The basement level (street level to us Americans) was home to an Architect’s office. At the back of these traditional Amsterdam houses there is usually a garden. We had a beautiful deck and view of neighboring houses out of the back. Having never used AirBnb before, we were a bit skeptical that what we saw on the internet would actually be what things looked like when we arrived. After an easy Uber ride from the Amsterdam airport we were pleasantly surprised to find that the pictures we had seen truthfully represented the home. Enjoy this tour of our traditional Amsterdam canal house vacation home:
The owner of this awesome canal house contacted us via email a few days before our scheduled arrival with information on how to get the keys and access to the house. It was a super easy and seamless Airbnb experience in a wonderful property.
Canal houses are notorious for having steep, narrow stairways. 4 stories of this awaited us and all of our luggage. Needless to say, we were more in shape after this trip than any other!
The space was light and bright and looked out over the canal with large windows in the living room.
The windows have to be large because that is how they move furniture into these tall buildings. If you look at the tops of each of these buildings, there are hooks and pulleys that are used to hoist people’s belongings into their homes. Talk about it being a pain to move! 😉
A beautiful deck on the back of the house had gorgeous views of the neighborhood.
The wood beams on the ceiling were just to die for!
Views out the front windows across the canal.
The front entrance with access to the garden deck
If you are looking for a great place to stay in Amsterdam I highly recommend a traditional Amsterdam canal house along the Keizersgracht canal. With it’s central location and beautiful views, you can’t go wrong. If you are looking to travel in Europe (or anywhere else for that matter!) with your family, I highly recommend Airbnb. I think the secret is looking for properties with 4-5 star reviews, and lots of them! Then go one step further to really look at those reviews and see if they are genuine. It is easy to tell if the reviewers are from many different places, and have left many different reviews themselves. We found that in those cases, you could really trust that what you saw online would end up being just as wonderful in real life. Our friend Shannon was the one that really encouraged us and kind of held our hand along the way initially with this process, and it worked out wonderfully. It is such an economical way to stay. This whole 2 bedroom, 2 bath home with a washer and dryer and full kitchen cost us less than one hotel room would of, and because there were 4 of us, we would have been forced to book two hotel rooms. What a savings!
If you’re heading to other places in Europe, here are some more posts you don’t want to miss! You can check out our entire Europe Travel Gallery to see all of our posts and helpful info.