Lonely Planet Writer

Spend a weekend in this old shipping crane on an island in Amsterdam

Between treehouses, underwater villas, and even overnight igloos – you could be forgiven for thinking you have seen every type of travel accommodation there is.

Converted crane in Amsterdam's docklands
Converted crane apartment in Amsterdam. Image by: Yays Concierged Boutique Apartments

Now in Amsterdam, what may well rank as one of the most unusual places in the world for guests to stay the night has opened its doors on a small island along the River IJ. The apartment is based in an old shipping crane, which like the eastern docklands in which it was located, had fallen into disuse and disrepair.

The crane – originally called the Figee 2868 – was used for unloading cargo until 1979 when the city centre port became far too small to cater for the new generation of container ships.It was the only crane there to be spared the wrecking ball as city authorities in Amsterdam decided to transform the docklands area into a residential area.

Converted shipping crane accomodation
Living room in the converted shipping crane. Image by: Yays Concierged Boutique Apartments

Now, it has been put back into everyday use after being transformed into a boutique apartment available for short rentals. It has been renamed The Yays – Crane Apartment and with its riverside location has stunning views over the waters around KNSM-Island.

The island is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike with a bustling art scene, local craft shops, trendy restaurants and interesting sights.

Shipping crane apartment entrance
Entrance to the converted crane in Amsterdam’s docklands. Image by: Yays Concierged Boutique Apartments.

Peter Heule of Yays Concierged Boutique Apartments said they wanted to offer “a new life” to a much-loved relic of the city’s port history. “The crane is back in its home port after a thorough restoration and redecoration by the well-known designer Edward van Vliet,” he said. “This is the way we would like to contribute to the development of the city of Amsterdam. We’re looking forward to welcoming the first guests and offering them this unique experience.”

Guests interested in staying the night in the crane can get more details at the Yays website.