Would you like to look inside more canal houses after visiting the Museum of the Canals? You can also visit the following house museums and cultural institutions on the Amsterdam canals. The period rooms and salons with wall and ceiling paintings, the interior and the gardens provide an interesting insight into the history of living on the Amsterdam canals.
Museum Van Loon
In the heart of Amsterdam’s canal belt lies Museum Van Loon, a beautiful canal house designed by architect Adriaen Dortsman in 1672. Ferdinand Bol, a pupil of Rembrandt, was the first resident of the canal house. The interior of the house still breathes the atmosphere of wealth of the city at that time.
In addition to the permanent exhibition of the house, garden and coach house, Museum Van Loon organizes temporary exhibitions.
Keizersgracht 672, 1017 ET Amsterdam
Opening hours: Every day from 10 am to 5 pm
Peter Kooijman, Museum Van Loon, 2023
The double mansion on the Herengracht is named after the couple who lived here at the end of the 19th century: Abraham Willet and Louisa Holthuysen. The couple collected a lot of art and objects and the interior is decorated to their own taste. The house has many period rooms and lounges in Neo-Louis XVI style and the garden is designed as a symmetrical French style garden. The Willet-Holthuysen House was donated to the city of Amsterdam after the death of Louisa Holthuysen in 1895 and has served as a house museum ever since.
Herengracht 605, 1017 CE Amsterdam
Opening hours: Every day from 10 am to 5 pm
Huis Willet-Holthuysen – Museum.nl
Bartolotti House was built around 1620 on behalf of banker-merchant Willem Bartolotti van den Heuvel and now functions as a house museum. The canal house was most likely built to the design of Hendrick de Keyser, a city stonemason from Amsterdam. The facade is lavishly decorated with (imaginative) sculpture ornaments. When it was built, Bartolotti House was one of the largest merchant houses in the city of Amsterdam. In the middle of the 18th century, a huge back house was built, with the main hall in Rococo style as the highlight.
Herengracht 170, 1016 BP Amsterdam
Opening hours: Wednesday till Saturday from 10 am to 4.30 pm and Sunday from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm
Arjan Bronkhorst, Bartolotti House, Hendrick de Keyser
Van Brienen House
Hans van Wely, court jeweler of Prince Maurits, bought a piece of land on the newly dug Herengracht in 1614. His widow built two identical canal houses there in 1620. The house on the left was renovated in 1728 from a simple house with a stepped gable to a patrician house in Louis XVI style, including a monumental staircase.
In 1781 the canal house was bought by the merchant Arnoldus Johannes van Brienen. The canal house was eventually donated to the Hendrick de Keyser Association in 1933. The house now serves as an event venue and is open once a month as a house museum.
Herengracht 284, 1016 BX Amsterdam
Opening hours: once per month and group visit by appointment
Huis Van Brienen, Hendrick de Keyser Monumenten
Since 1990, the Vrije Academie has been the largest national educational institute for art and culture. One of the locations of the Vrije Academie has been housed in two canal houses at Herengracht 366 and 368, since 2022. Commissioned by the merchant Jacob Cromhout, the houses were built between 1660 and 1662, according to a design by the Amsterdam architect Philips Vingboons. Cromhout and his family lived in the two canal houses. The houses were originally called Cromhout Houses, now they are called Vasari House. In addition to the lectures and workshops, you can also book a tour of the house. During this tour you get a glimpse into how people lived in canal houses in the 17th and 18th centuries. Herengracht 368, 1016 CH Amsterdam Opening hours: Every day from 10 am to 5 pm https://www.vrijeacademie.nl/
Anne Reitsma, Wenteltrap in Huis Vasari, 2022
Luther Museum Amsterdam
The Luther Museum Amsterdam is located in the Wittenberg building on the Nieuwe Keizersgracht. The building from 1772 is named after the place where Martin Luther proclaimed his theses in 1517 about the reform of the church, that led to the Reformation. The building itself – with the regent’s chambers, the corridor and the church hall – is the most important item in the collection. The heritage collection also consists of silver, authentic pieces of furniture and paintings by Breenbergh, Ruysdael and others.
Nieuwe Keizersgracht 570, 1018 VG Amsterdam
Opening hours: Thursday till Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm https://luthermuseum.nl/
Martine Goulmy, Luther Museum Amsterdam, 2020
Rembrandt, the most important Dutch painter of the 17th century, moves in 1639 to the monumental house at 4 Jodenbreestraat in the heart of Amsterdam. He lived here with his family for 19 years. At the age of 52 he had to sell the house due to financial and private setbacks. The house has now been restored as it was when Rembrandt lived in the house. Only in the Rembrandt House Museum you can experience how Rembrandt lived and worked in good and bad times.
Jodenbreestraat 4, 1011 NK Amsterdam
Opening hours: Every day from 10 am to 6 pm
Kirsten van Santen, Museum Rembrandthuis
Embassy of the Free Mind
In the Embassy of the Free Mind museum you go on a journey through 2,000 years of collected wisdom through texts and images from the collection of Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica. The museum is located in the House with the Heads on the Keizersgracht. The canal house was built in 1622 by order of rich stocking merchant and art lover Nicolaas Sohier. The canal house can be recognized by the six decorations in the shape of heads on the facade designed by city architect Hendrick de Keyser.
Opening hours: Wednesday till Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm
Online reservation is required, even when you have an ICOM-card, City card or Museum card
Embassy of the Free Mind, 2020
In 1667 two canal houses in the Gouden Bocht of the Herengracht were built for the brothers Willem and Adriaen van Loon. In 1885, the window frames were replaced and T-windows were installed that determine the current front view of the building. This makes the building stand out. After a series of impressive residents, the canal house at number 497 was purchased by the Herengracht 497 Foundation. The house was then completely renovated and furnished as a Cat Cabinet. They offer a wide look at the role of the cat in art and in culture through the centuries.
Herengracht 497, 1017 BT Amsterdam
Opening hours: Tuesday till Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm
The Huis Marseille is Amsterdam’s first photography museum and is also housed in two historic 17th-century canal houses. The house was built around 1665 on behalf of the French merchant Isaac Fouquier. Fouquier had a stone placed on the front facade with a map of the French port city Marseille.
Keizersgracht 401, 1016 EK Amsterdam
Opening hours: Monday till Wednesday and Friday till Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm
and Thursday from 10 am to 9 pm
Eddo Hartmann, Recent Histories, 2018
Our Lord in the Attic Museum
In the days when it was forbidden to express your Catholic faith in public; a complete church was built in the attic of a canal house on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal. The church was named after the client Hartman; Het Hart. In an exceptionally well-preserved canal house, you will hear the stories of merchants and priests and see how they lived, worked and believed in the 17th and later centuries.
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 38-40, 1012 GD Amsterdam
Opening hours: Monday till Friday from 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday from 1 pm till 6 pm
Isabel Janssen, Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder, 2016
Amsterdam Pipe Museum
The Amsterdam Pipe Museum is a museum about shapes, materials, design and meaning of pipes from all continents. The museum is housed in a rather discrete canal house on the Prinsengracht. The historic interior of the canal house from 1670 forms a suitable background for this collection.
Prinsengracht 488, 1017 KH Amsterdam
Opening hours: Monday till Saturday from 12 pm to 6 pm
Amsterdam Pipe Museum, 2021
FOAM is an international and versatile photography museum, located in the canal house Het Spook on the Keizersgracht. The canal house was a 17th-century coach house with pack attics above it. In 1861 it was converted into a museum by architect Cornelis Outshoorn. Outshoorn had a sculpted keystone with a decoration of a painter’s palette and brushes placed on the facade.
Keizersgracht 609, 1017 DS Amsterdam
Opening hours: Monday till Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm,
Thursday and Friday from 10 am to 9 pm
Open from Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 to 17:00.
Closed: every Monday, December 25th, January 1st and April 27th.