Skip to content

Jordaan district & houseboat museum by bike

Spend a morning or afternoon exploring the stylish Jordaan district and learn about life aboard a houseboat on this guided biking tour of Amsterdam. The tour gives you insight into local life in the city, and biking lets you cover more ground in less time.

While exploring the canal-threaded Jordaan, you’ll find high-end boutiques, almshouses, pubs, cafes and restaurants. The area was formerly a working-class district, but was completely transformed after World War II. It now includes nine postcard-worthy streets of brick canal houses, manicured courtyards and cheerful markets.

You’ll then head to the Houseboat Museum, a 1914 former cargo ship that gives you a first-hand experience of living on a houseboat on one of Amsterdam’s many canals. Though it looks small from the outside, the inside is about the same size as an average Amsterdam apartment.

Your guide is a local and will be able to share the history of the Jordaan along with anecdotes and information as you explore the district’s canal-side streets.

You’ll meet your private guide at your hotel before heading out on bikes to the Jordaan district. This area developed as the city expanded, but the infrastructure began to crumble as the district grew.

Though small improvements like sewer systems and higher hygiene standards eventually arrived in the Jordaan, by the 1970s the government was considering demolishing the area completely. However, a resistance group saved the district, which is now home to high-end boutiques and cafes.

There are nine streets included in the Jordaan district, and as you cycle past the shops, pubs and restaurants, you’ll find hidden courtyards, called hofjes, surrounded by brick almshouses. Your tour will also take you to Willemstraat, a street that was previously declared unliveable due to crumbling houses. Residents refused to leave because of their sense of community, and the street is now fully transformed with brick canal houses and manicured courtyards.

You’ll then visit the Houseboat Museum, a houseboat docked on a canal that now serves as a museum. It was originally a cargo ship, but was then transformed into a living space, which is how you’ll see it today. It’s much more spacious than it looks and includes a kitchen, living area and bedrooms. You’ll also get to watch a short film about other houseboats on the canal.

The tour will take about three-and-a-half hours in total, and is available year-round.

Speak to someone
who's been there

Start planning your tailor-made trip by contacting one of our Netherlands specialists

Other experiences in Amsterdam

These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the local ways of life.

  • Anne Frank tour, Amsterdam

    Anne Frank walking tour

    Amsterdam

    Learn about the rich and lengthy history of Jewish culture in Amsterdam on this guided walking tour of Amsterdam’s Jewish Quarter. Then, see the former home and school of Anne Frank, and memorial plaques dedicated to her and her family.

  • Dutch pancakes, Amsterdam

    Dutch food tour

    Amsterdam

    Spend a morning or afternoon wandering the chic Jordaan district of Amsterdam with your local guide, who will show you the best places to enjoy Dutch delicacies. Fuel your four-hour walk with bitterballen, poffertjes, smoked fish and rich cheeses.

  • Marina of Volendam

    Edam, Marken & Volendam

    Amsterdam

    Head out of the city with your local guide and see the traditional towns of Edam, Marken and Volendam. See how they built houses on low land in the 17th century, sample Edam cheese and try local fish delicacies on this day-long tour.