See Amsterdam – The Best Canal Cruise Experience You Cannot Miss!

Take the Lovers Canal Cruise the next time you're in Amsterdam, and you'll be in for a delightful surprise. See Amsterdam in a way that is unique and serene. We experienced it and wanted to share our story with you so that you can take advantage of this fun and blissful hour long voyage. Amsterdam canal boat tours expose visitors to a different perspective and can even display things that may otherwise be missed by tourists. Boathouses, churches, bridges, and historic buildings are just some of the magnificent views you'll enjoy from the comfort of your seat as you watch them glide by and get the full details on the audio tour that is included. Keep reading to find out why we believe that this boat ride will be the best canal cruise you'll enjoy in Amsterdam.

Canals In Amsterdam

It’s no question in our minds that the canals of Amsterdam are the highlight of this incredible city. In fact (even previous to visiting Holland) visions of tulips, clogs, cheese, windmills, and canals came to mind whenever we talked about traveling to The Netherlands. The city’s name itself has its roots in the canals and how they were originally formed. Part of the name comes from the Amstel River that runs through the city (which, incidentally, the beer shares its name with as well). Put that together with the dam that was built to control flooding, and there you have it: Amsterdam!

Part of the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2010, the concentric circular waterways were originally part of the small fishing village in the 13th century that later became the city of Amsterdam. The canals allowed goods to be delivered easily to merchants who occupied the “Dancing Houses,” serving both as their home as well as their place of business.

There exists over 160 canals that connect and more bridges (1281!) over them than in Venice! With the iconic grachtenhuizen that are now homes or museums with cafes, restaurants, and shops on the lower levels of some them, the canal-side is nothing short of a picturesque fairy tale vision. While that alone can create the charming and even romantic setting, there are also over two thousand houseboats that hug the edges of the canals throughout the 100 kilometers that they encompass. Some of these houseboats have been a part of the canals for over a century!

Amsterdam Canal Boat Tour

If you weren’t convinced of the influence of these magnificent Amsterdam canals before, we hope that we’ve at least helped you understand a bit more about them. I can tell you that the gravity of these waterways didn’t hit me until I started roaming the city on that first night after arrival. I couldn’t help but stop and gasp at almost every turn. With my camera in hand, rushing from one side to the next, trying to capture everything that I could before walking away as if it was so magical that it could disappear at any given moment. Fortunately, the canals are there and have been there for many centuries, but don’t delay your trip because of this. You must get there and experience the beauty of these canals ASAP!

It is evident that the locals cherish both the houses and the canals that contribute to the country’s rich history so take advantage of making sure to take it all in with a canal tour on a Lovers Cruise.

Best Canal Cruise Amsterdam

Amsterdam's Best Canal Tour - Lovers Cruise

It is our assessment that seeing Amsterdam from the water will be a surprising and delightful experience for visitors. The exposure to the charm and elegance of the canals and all that accompany their beauty is a must bucket list item in our opinion. Families, couples, and solo travelers alike are sure to enjoy this very unique tourist attraction in Amsterdam. The casual and tranquil nature of this cruise is the best way to loosen up and get into the chill vibe of this phenomenal town. It may even end up being one of the highlights of your trip just like it was for us!

What you can expect to spot as you cruise meanders through the unique UNESCO World Heritage canal district:

  • merchant houses dating back to the Golden Age
  • graceful churches
  • famous bridge:  Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge)
  • boathouses
  • the Old Harbour
  • 16th and 17th-century warehouses.
  • other hidden treasures that you may not see by foot
best boat tours Amsterdam

Not only will you see some fascinating sights, but you'll also have a chance to learn about them as you listen to the audio tour on the boat!

Amsterdam canal boat cruise tour

Why It's The Best Canal Cruise - Top Reasons We Loved Lovers

Quick and Easy. You can book your tickets right on their website. The tours run often, so you have lots of choices for when you want to get on one. With this canal cruise you can avoid the hassle of having to go through too much planning and fuss. When booking tours don't weigh you down on your travels, you're probably going to make better use of your time and get maximum enjoyment out of your holiday. Efficient reservations are always a plus for us when we travel!

Get away from the crowds. We visited Amsterdam in the summertime and experience the peak tourist season. During this time, the streets are buzzing with locals on the bikes and tourists making their way around town. While it's fun to be a part of the hustle and bustle, it's also a relief to spend a bit of time away from it all. Going on a Lovers Cruise does just that. You get one hour of just you with a few people on the boat enjoying the views as they pass you by.

See Amsterdam Canals Boat Cruise

Amazing Views. There is just no other way to see Amsterdam the way you can see it riding on a boat and meandering through the canals. Sure, you can walk along the canals and see the beautiful architecture and charming neighborhoods, but sitting in a boat and gliding by is an experience completely different. The fact that you don't even have to look where you are going allows total focus on everything that passes you by. It's almost like watching a movie, but you are there for the real 3D experience! You'll definitely notice things that you may otherwise miss just walking by, not to mention; you won't get tired!

Relaxing and low effort. For us, taking the canal cruise allowed us some time to turn off our phones and not have to worry about what to do, where to go, and how to get there. We just sat back, plugged in our headphones and listened to the audio guide as we floated away on the boat. It was a great one hour of stress-free sightseeing.


Details Of The Canal Boat Tour

Now that we've talked up the tour so much, you must be curious for more information. Well here are the specifics of this canal cruise in case you are in Amsterdam and want the best way to experience the city:

Canal Boat Tours Amsterdam

Pickup/Drop Off: Prins Hendrikkade 25 (opposite the bicycle park at the central station). It's hard to miss the bright orange Lovers boats covered with glass windows.

Duration of Tour: 1 hour

Hours and Operation and Seasons:

Winter season (October 30 to March 22) Daily from 09:30 am till 09:00 pm .       every 30 minutes.

Summer season (March 23 to October 29) Daily from 09:00 am till 10:00 pm .       every 20 minutes.

Pro-Traveler Tip: If you get motion sickness (I get it bad on planes, boats, and even on long car rides) try not to eat too much before going on the boat. I would even suggest you wait an hour or two after eating so that you don't have too much in your stomach while on the ride. I made sure not to look too quickly from one place to another but tried to have a steady gaze in the distance. Looking down at the passing water is definitely a no-no! I didn't feel nauseous at all during the ride due to the fact that it was pretty smooth with hardly any turbulence.  (This was not the case when we went snorkeling in Koh Lanta, Thailand!)

Lovers Canal Cruise Amsterdam

What To Bring With You:

Make sure to have your ticket/voucher when you arrive at check-in. Don't forget your camera because there are some great photo and video opportunities on this tour! Since this is a water-related tour, we recommend having a waterproof camera (we brought our GoPro Hero 5). You'll also want to strap that selfie stick to your wrist, so you don't accidentally drop the camera in the water!

Website to Check Itinerary and pricing:

Amsterdam City Tours

Want to know more fun things to do and places to see? Check out this article on our favorite top things to do in Amsterdam.

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Taiss Nowrouzi

About the Author

Taiss Nowrouzi

Hi! I'm just a California girl addicted to travel and adventure with a passion for art and dance on the side. Born in Iran, but I consider myself a citizen of Earth, adhering to the belief that "The world is but one country and mankind its citizen." I strive to make a positive impact on everyone I meet and learn as much as possible from them. My degree out of college is in Marketing. However, I entered the hospitality business at an early age and worked my way up to hotel management. After about 13 years in that industry (5 of which I was a hotel assistant manager), I made the decision to move to Thailand and leave the 9 to 5 grind behind. My husband and I set off for a life of living abroad and hopes to continue traveling the world, just 3 months after our wedding. It all started with the two of us, along with our cat, together in Thailand. Can't wait to see where life takes us next!

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Such a great read! I’ve been to Amsterdam before but never thought to take a cruise. I’ll definitely check that out next time I head there. Good to see that it looks weatherproof too 😉 thanks for the share, really informative and useful.'
    Taiss Nowrouzi

    I think it would even be fun to do on a rainy day! Hope you get a chance to experience it next time!'
Bruce Schinkel

We took a canal tour during our visit to Amsterdam, and totally agree that it’s a can’t miss activity! It’s really amazing how different the city looks from the waterways'
    Taiss Nowrouzi

    That’s so awesome that you got to experience it like us!'
Wanderlust Vegans

Yes! We cruised the canal in Amsterdam too! It was a wonderful experience. Amsterdam is a very beautiful city. You can spend hours cruising around the city!'
    Taiss Nowrouzi

    So true! I could do it all over again for sure!'
Adrenaline Romance

That riverbus cruise is so cool! Preferably, I’d like it open-air rather than enclosed in a glass bubble. We have a channel (polluted, sadly) here in our place where once can see a beautiful skyline of the city, especially at night. I’m sharing this to our local government so they can have ideas.'
    Taiss Nowrouzi

    Thanks for sharing this! I hope that they can take care of that pollution and show its true potential! I agree that an open air cruise would be nicer but this gives people an option to do it in the rain as well so that it a benefit 🙂'
Debra Schroeder

I missed out on taking a canal cruise when I was in Amsterdam. Sounds like I need to make another visit. The lovers cruise sounds like the way to go.'
    Taiss Nowrouzi

    I think any excuse to get back to Amsterdam is a good one! Make sure to ride the canals when you do!'
Gokul Raj

I would totally do this one once I am there. That is an insane number of canals and bridges in a city. Love the pictures you took. I will make sure I take my go pro for this one.'
    Taiss Nowrouzi

    I hope you have a great time and love it as much as we did! Glad you enjoyed our photos!'
Anushka Aggarwal

Amsterdam is amazing, the pictures you have taken are really justifying the beauty of the place. Thanks for sharing amazing post'
    Taiss Nowrouzi

    Thank you! Happy to hear you enjoyed the photos!'
Marvi of Osmiva

I think you’ve given some great points why everyone should avail this… Excellent way to explore the city!'
    Taiss Nowrouzi

    thank you!

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