Amsterdam's beautiful canals are the signature of the city, leading through its heart and beyond. With over 100 kilometers of waterways, a canal cruise is an essential experience for every visitor to this world-famous destination. Immerse yourself in the charm and history of the city as you enjoy a boat tour along its picturesque canals. Here we will give you some tips and guide you through all the essential information you need to know about canal cruises in Amsterdam.
Besides a canal cruise, want to plan a whole day in Amsterdam? Then check out this Things to do in Amsterdam page.
Choose your adventure: Traditional boats, Open Boats & dinner cruises
When it comes to canal cruises, Amsterdam offers a range of options to suit different preferences. One popular choice is the traditional Amsterdam Canal Cruise that have been plying these waters for over a century. These boats provide a nostalgic experience, complete with a covered deck and an audio guide that narrates the highlights of the city as you sail past.
For you who’s seeking a more intimate and open-air experience, the Open Boat Tours are an excellent choice. Stromma’s open boats are equipped with electric engines that makes them one of the most sustainable and green options to discover the canals. These smaller boats can navigate narrower canals, taking you to hidden gems that the traditional canal cruise may not reach. In this type of cruise, your captain doubles as your guide, sharing fascinating secrets and fun facts.
If you're looking to combine sightseeing with dining, consider a dinner cruise with Stromma. Options like the Pizza Cruise or the Cheese & Wine Cruise allow you to enjoy delicious food while admiring the city's charming scenery.
Departure points for the boat tours
Amsterdam offers numerous pick-up locations for canal tours, conveniently situated in the city center. From Central Station to the Rijksmuseum, you can join a canal cruise at various points. Whether it's in front of the Rijksmuseum, along the bustling Damrak, or near Central Station, you'll find jetties scattered throughout the city. These departure points are unmistakable, making it easy to access the canal tours. Check out all the Stromma departure points for a comprehensive overview.
Plan your journey: Departure times and special events
Sightseeing cruises operate daily, with departure frequencies varying by season. During the spring and summer months, you can expect departures every 20 minutes on average. In the autumn and winter, the frequency might decrease to approximately 30-40 minutes, excluding December and January. During these winter months, the Amsterdam Light Festival offers a unique canal cruise experience, showcasing 20 captivating light sculptures.
Easy booking: Reserve your Amsterdam Canal Cruise
Booking a canal cruise is a straightforward process. To secure your seat on board, it's recommended to book online, particularly during sunnier days when demand is higher. However, if you prefer a personal touch or have any inquiries, you can always visit one of Stromma ticket shops located at the jetties. The friendly staff will be delighted to assist you in booking your preferred tour.
Affordable excitement: Pricing for canal cruises
Amsterdam canal cruises start at around 16 euros per person and typically last for an hour. With the flexibility to departure at various locations such as the Rijksmuseum or Central Station, these cruises offer great value for your money.
Famous sights to see along the canals
Did you know that Amsterdam’s canal ring is protected by UNESCO? So, by joining Stromma on a boat trip you cruise through and on history. The tour includes views of the most famous spots and monuments. All while you enjoy the relaxing journey down the canal.
The canal houses built along the canals are a classic example of how the Golden Age left its mark on the city. The Dutch Golden age specifies the time in history (17th Century) when the capital experienced great economic prosperity.
Westerkerk - the highest church tower in Amsterdam
The tower from the Westerkerk is, with its height of 87 meters/285 feet, the highest church tower of the city. A lot of great Dutchmen with huge historical value are buried in Westerkerk.
Anne Frank House
This monument for Anne Frank at Prinsengracht must be the most famous building in the city. From the 6th of July 1942 until the start of August 1944 she and her jewish family hid for the German war regime during the Second World War.
If you join a canal cruise at Stromma’s location by Rijksmuseum you will stand in front of the National Museum of the Netherlands. Located on the famous Museumplein, the Museum is the largest museum in the country, with 80 galleries and 8,000 objects. The museum is full of world-famous masterpieces from the Golden Age. Such as the Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer and the Night Watch by Rembrandt. The beautiful building was designed by Pierre Cuyper.
At the Amstel river, between the Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht, you can find the most photographed bridge of Amsterdam: the Magere Brug (translated: the Skinny Bridge). With the characteristic lights and small pathway, this bridge is one of its kind. The Skinny Bridge owes her name to the lack of the width of the bridge and to the meager years during the restoration. Check out the bridge during dusk or sunrise to experience why people find the Magere Brug enchanting.
Read more about the top sights in Amsterdam – famous museums and attractions in the city.
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