Romantic boat tour Amsterdam

A Voyage through Amsterdam

Is a canal cruise through Amsterdam super touristy? The short answer is a resounding yes!

But is it fun?

Yes, absolutely. Even for a seasoned Amsterdammer, there is no better way to see the city in a relaxed way than with a cruise through the Amsterdam canals. Everyone is happy to be on board, including the crew.

Sightseeing on the canals

Depending on your selected tour, it takes from an hour to four. A guide briefly tells in English about the city and the history of the monumental canal houses. You will see the main sights, houseboats and other boats. It feels like you are in a movie location.

Nowadays the Amsterdam city centre is quite busy, the hordes of tourists take up so much space that the small inner streets often get crowded.

While on the boat, you get a good impression of Amsterdam in a super relaxed way. There are only as many tickets sold as there are seats. So there will be enough space for everyone to sit comfortably.

Group outing Amsterdam

The tour is an excellent outing for an individual or couple. The cruise is even more fun for a family or group of friends. If the group is large enough, I recommend chartering a private boat. This way, the sailing route and duration of the trip are entirely up to you.

Sniffing Culture in Amsterdam

You will understand the city’s impressive history while touring the canals. The canals of Amsterdam are UNESCO cultural heritage. The city has no less than 1500 bridges and 165 canals. During the cruise, you will hear all about the architecture of the city and its history.

The guide tells you interesting facts about Amsterdam. Who used to live on the canals? Why are some buildings so narrow? What is striking about the facades? How did the houseboats get into the canals? Can you still moor your houseboat in Amsterdam? Are (soft) drugs legal in the Netherlands? And much more.

Luxury canal cruise

Opt for a trip with an open sloop in good weather. This way you will have the best view. When the sun is shining, one feels wonderfully relaxed on the water. Especially as the guests don’t have to do anything but sit back and enjoy the ride. However, an open boat is less pleasant when it rains or with strong wind.

In bad weather, it is better to opt for the luxury tour where the drink and cheese are included in the price. Dutch cheese, no less. Moreover, you have a roof over your head and a table where you can put your drink. The luxury tour costs 12.50 extra. That money buys you about three drinks. There is a choice of wine, beer and soft drinks. And cheese.

wooden clogs Amsterdam

An evening cruise through the Amsterdam Canals

Alternatively, choose a romantic evening cruise when the weather could be better. In the dark, with the lights on, clouds and grey skies disappear whilst the city takes on an enchanting glow. You will see all the highlights quickly, such as the Jordaan, the Magere Brug, the Amstel, the seven bridges, the Gouden Bocht, and the nine streets.

You get off at the exact location where you got on. Convenient if you arrive by bike.

Amsterdam Red Light District

If you want to see the Red Light District but avoid walking through the busy streets, choose a cruise through the Amsterdam Red Light District. You see the narrow canals, of course, the coffee shops, bridges and monumental buildings. Moreover, you have an open bar on board. This tour costs 28.50 (June 2023).

Departure point tour boats

If you bought your ticket online, pay close attention to where to get on. The flagship boats depart from different boarding points. That is, in front of and behind the Anna Frankhuis, Central Station, Stationsplein 36 and the Rijksmuseum.


More Amsterdam


  • If you are on a small budget, check out my blog about Camping in Amsterdam.
  • When able to afford a more luxurious stay, check out Hotel, the Craftsmen for a room with a view of the canals.
  • Alternatively, check Expedia to compare accommodations for the best options suited to your budget.


Other fun things to do in the Netherlands

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