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Canal cruising: On the water in Amsterdam

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 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...

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...

I amsterdam City Card

Get your trip off to a smooth start. Order your City Card now online and make the best out of your trip to Amsterdam, with free entry to the city's to...