Amsterdam is a city known for its incredible views and fascinating history. Whether you’re there for a few days on a long vacation through the Netherlands, no visit to Amsterdam is complete without a canal cruise. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions among tourists and residents. There’s a reason why we always say Amsterdam is best seen from the water, after all the city was built on water. Here is a list of reasons why you should take a canal cruise when in Amsterdam.

Rest your feet while you sightsee

Exploring a new country and/or a new city can be quite tiring with all the walking. A Amsterdam canal cruise is the perfect solution for this! You get to see the highlights of the city in no time. Think of iconic locations such as the Anne Frank House, the A’DAM Toren, the Magere Brug, the Seven Bridges, the canal houses on the Herengracht and much more. The guide will give you interesting facts about each highlight as you pass them.

Get to know the story

During a canal cruise you will take a fascinating tour of the city and learn new things about Amsterdam that you did not know before. Grand 17th century canal houses and medieval city walls at the mouth of the river that gives Amsterdam its name. A canal cruise gives you a taste of history and a behind-the-scenes look at the many secrets that make Amsterdam so livable – and beloved – today. Cruises are available with a live guide or audio guide.

Cruising in all seasons

Come rain, hail or snow, you can always cruise. These boats are covered, so in winter you have protection against the rain and the cold outside. Even when it snows, the tours still operate except for extreme weather conditions. Boats with and without awning are available.

Some things are best seen from the water


Some sites are best viewed while on a cruise. Take the Seven Bridges for example; one of the most famous stops on a canal cruise. A series of seven canal bridges perfectly aligned to form a magnificent tunnel over the water. You can only get this view from a boat.

Your personal guide

When you talk about canal tours, you’re usually talking about the standard river boats that can accommodate around 60 passengers. However, you can also take a small open boat. This is also called a “sloop”. An open boat gives you the best view of Amsterdam’s breathtaking scenery and impressive architecture, as nothing obstructs your view. In addition, the captain also acts as a guide. He knows all the hotspots, but also all the hidden gems and lesser known sites. Because these small boats can reach places that big boats cannot reach, you discover new places. As you discover these new places, your captain will of course tell you everything about the places he takes you. Usually they have years of experience so the stories they share with you are very interesting. Plus, you can always ask questions. Is it a bit cold outside? Don’t worry, the captain is prepared with blankets.