Historic loft apartment in Rembrandt's former atelier

Home exchange
Jordaan, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Apartment
  • Sleeps 4
  • 2 bedrooms
  • 3 bathrooms


  • You're staying in Rembrandt's former studio; he painted the Westerkerk from what is now our living room
  • Just steps from the Anne Frank House and the delights of the Jordaan and 9 Streets
  • Superb location with jaw-dropping views of the Westerkerk and canal views from every window
  • Very close to public transport
  • Freshly and fully renovated with all mod cons
  • En-suite facilities for every room
  • Chef's Siematic kitchen with high-end German appliances and stone counter-tops
  • You can watch the canal Pride parade from the windows

We live in a large (150 square metre) and newly renovated apartment in the Jordaan in the heart of Amsterdam. We think the Jordaan is the loveliest part of the city and genuinely believe our apartment is in a perfect location.

We have a small B&B on the lower floors (see the website link) but the apartment we’d be exchanging is our own part of the building. This covers the top floors of a beautiful canal house, built in 1657. It’s a listed national monument (Rijksmonument) but has been made very comfortable for 21st century living and was fully renovated in 2016. There are spectacular views over two canals as the house stands at a prime corner location.

What’s now the living area was once used a studio by Rembrandt when he painted the famous Westerkerk (which is opposite the house) in the late 1600s.

The apartment is open-plan and spread across the top floors. After climbing three flights of (not too steep) stairs, you enter the apartment. Here you’ll find an open-plan kitchen living and dining space with a guest cloakroom as well as stairs to the upper-level. If you like to cook, we have a fully fitted German (Siematic) kitchen with high end appliances and there is a separate laundry room too.

From the front, the windows look out across the Prinsengracht (Princes’ Canal) to the Westerkerk and Anne Frank Huis. To the western side, the house overlooks the tranquil Bloemgracht (Flower Canal) often described as the most beautiful canal in the city. Because of the number of windows, the house is always bright and sunny.

Climbing an open flight of stairs takes you to the sleeping level with sloping walls because of the roofline.

The master bedroom faces onto Bloemgracht and has a super-king size bed and en-suite shower. This room is large, quiet and has blackout drapes and an air-conditioner (for the few days of the year that one is needed in Amsterdam).

We mainly use the guest (family) bedroom as a study and secondary living room. It has a cathedral ceiling and stunning views of the Westerkerk. It has a sofa-bed which opens to become a surprisingly large 160cm x 200cm double-bed. This room has an en-suite bath and has access to a third attic floor (although we currently keep the third floor off-limits for storage)

As well as the stairs, I should mention that the chiming of the bells from the church opposite can be heard throughout the house. We don’t notice them as the master bedroom is at the back of the house and we have made extra efforts to muffle sound in that room. But because the house is a listed state monument, we’re only permitted single-pane glass so you will hear them. And because of the age of the house and our limited ability to make changes to the historic fabric of the building, sound travels easily between floors. So this isn’t somewhere to stay if you’re super-sensitive to noise.

In Anne Frank’s famous diary (written in the secret annex on the other side of the canal from our apartment), Anne writes “Father, Mother and Margot still can’t get used to the chiming of the Westertoren clock, which tells us the time every quarter of an hour. Not me, I liked it from the start; it sounds so reassuring, especially at night”. We agree with Anne but be warned. It does chime every quarter hour.

When you’re not in the house, the Jordaan is chock full of charming bars and restaurants. There is an organic market very close by every weekend and we’re very close to the 9 Streets area. We’re steps from public transport (trams and buses) that take you to the great museums of Amsterdam in a matter of minutes as well as to anywhere else you want to go. And if you’re lucky enough to be in Amsterdam when the canals freeze, you could even skate to the front door.

As to the gay scene, we’re close by the Homomonument where events such as the “Drag Olympics” take place as well as more solemn commemorations. And the pride canal parade is held on the Prinsengracht bang outside the front windows so you have a prime view of the festivities. And of course there are bars and clubs for every interest a few minutes’ walk or cycle-ride away


Interested in

  • Home exchange
  • Live around the world
  • Weekend exchange
  • Non-simultaneous exchange

Preferred destinations

  • Open to offers
Preferred dates Open to offers
Preferred duration Short break (2-5 days)
Website Login to see website
Location: Nearest gay scene is 5 minutes walk
City, Quiet, Central
Features/amenities: Privacy, Views, Hairdryer(s) available, Iron/ironing board available, Ensuite Bathroom(s)
Entertainment: CD Player, DVD Player, Radio, Satellite or Cable, Stereo System, TV, Plasma / LCD TV, Video
Internet access: WiFi available
Activities available nearby: Convenient Transport, Cultural Attractions, Cycling, Fitness Centre / Gym, Food and Wine, Friendly Neighbours, Gay Gym, HIV / AIDS Resources, Nightlife, Park(s), Swimming, Tourist Attractions, Shops / Markets, Museums, Historical Sites, Sea and Sun, Theatre(s)
Miscellaneous: No Pets, Smoke-Free Zone


Reviews from other users

Jonathan & Neil have a great place. It's well-located with buses running up and down 9th & 10th Ave, and an easy walk to 8th Ave, where one can catch the A, C, and E lines.

We shopped at Whole Foods and Gristede's which are also easy walks. We ate at home quite a bit & their kitchen is well-equipped.

I communicated extensively with Neil before we stayed at their home. Their instructions were good, and we emailed during the stay.

Their home is very comfortable and spacious. We enjoyed living the life of New Yorkers for about a week.

We would certainly stay again if we could arrange it!


John stayed in Nov 2010

Fantastic place, not just the best location in Amsterdam, also very nicely decorated and great views of Westerkerk from the windows. Neil & Jonathan are the perfect host, they left clear and complete instructions of the house, a welcome pack and great communication with them all over the swap process. I would definitely swap again with them, and also would leave my house to them without thinking twice about it.
The apartment is also quite big, two bedrooms, two baths, plenty of light and very nice furniture. Super highly recommended in Amsterdam
Thank you very much for such an incredible stay between canals!

Federico stayed in Apr 2017

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