The history of Amsterdam is intimately connected with water. Its 165 canals were created over the centuries to stimulate trade and transport and reclaim land to expand the city. They continue define the city’s landscape and in 2010 Amsterdam's canal ring was recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Take a canal boat tour in Amsterdam

Besides providing a stunning backdrop to the city’s historical centre, floating down Amsterdam’s canals is one of the most memorable ways to discover the city's sights and attractions. Whether you’re a first-time or frequent visitor, everything in Amsterdam seems a bit more magical when viewed from a boat. 

Most canal cruises take around an hour, in which you'll explore Amsterdam's UNESCO protected canal ring and discover plenty of interesting facts about the city along the way. As well as the excellent one-hour options, other types of canal cruises available include practical hop-on-hop-off services, romantic candle-lit tours, child-friendly adventures and intimate guided boat tours for smaller groups.  

A few of the best-known operators include Holland InternationalCanalBlue BoatRederij KooijRederij Plas and Lovers. If you’d like to break up your canal cruise with some sightseeing, then the ‘hop-on hop-off’ service offered by Canal Bus is an excellent option.

See Amsterdam from the water

Canal cruising in Amsterdam

All canal cruises

Besides providing a stunning backdrop to the city’s historic centre, Amsterdam’s canals offer one of the most memorable ways to discover the city. Whe...

Boat hire

Amsterdam's picturesque canals are one of the city's most popular attractions. One of the best ways to see the city is from the water. Take a canal cr...

Canal Ring

Alongside tulips and windmills, the global image of Amsterdam is one of a city entwined with water. Since its development in the 17th century, Amsterd...

Canal tours & excursions

Be it by boat, bike, bus or on foot, there are many ways to explore Amsterdam's Canal Ring.

Canal-side museums

Amsterdam’s maritime success in the Golden Age not only led to urban expansion, but a boom in trade and architectural development. This was marked by ...

Boat tours

Experiencing Amsterdam from the water is one of the best ways to get to know the city – or to see it in a new light! A large selection of canal cruise...
01/01/2015 - 31/12/2016

Canal Bike

Canal Company - Rijksmuseum
Experience Amsterdam by canal bike! These recognisable pedalos (water bikes) are a fun way to explore the city centre and to enjoy...

Canal Bike

Canal Company - Rijksmuseum

I amsterdam City Card

Enjoy free, unlimited public transport, free entry to Amsterdam's best museums and attractions, and lots of great discounts and offers with the I amst...