A Canal Tour Of Amsterdam Is A Must For First-Time Visitors

The canals of Amsterdam are world-famous. For first-time visitors, exploring Amsterdam from the waterways provides a unique perspective that they wouldn't be able to have from its sidewalks and streets. It is the perfect way to get to know the Dutch capital as you pass by its historic buildings, countless houseboats, and over 1,700 bridges. The best part is that canal tours are a great alternative for budget travelers visiting Amsterdam to get to know the city. You can wind through the city on a boat and cover more distance than you can by foot or cycling.

There is also something special about exploring a city via its waterways. It gives you the ability to appreciate the city's unique blend of old and new as you pass through its neighborhoods taking in its iconic bridges and people-watching. You'll also learn about the city's rich history and culture in a fun environment with guided tours. Whether you're looking for a romantic cruise or an educational experience, a canal tour of Amsterdam will provide you with a special way to experience the city's best sights, sounds, and stories.

Benefits of a canal tour

No matter the time of year you're visiting Amsterdam, a canal tour of the city is a must because it allows you to explore the city's famous architectural buildings and learn about its history, culture, and daily life — all from the comfort of a boat while enjoying the beautiful views. In addition, canal tours are a great way to explore the city if you're traveling with children. You'll soon learn why Amsterdam is called the "Venice of the North" due to the intricate network of canals and abundance of bridges; it's no wonder why part of it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Amsterdam sits in the area between the Brouwersgracht canal and the Amstel river, according to Amsterdam.org, and the canals form a semicircle that surrounds the city center. They include Singel and the three main canals of Prinsengracht, Herengracht, and Keizersgracht. Some of these canals have been there for centuries, and you'll pass historic buildings converted into cafés, restaurants, and museums. Additionally, if you want to learn more about the canals' history, you can visit the Museum of the Canals and play with the interactive exhibitions, see the models and the visual projections, and explore the gardens.

A canal tour for all occasions

According to Nomadic Matt, taking a canal tour of Amsterdam is one of the best things you can do in the city, and if you're looking to save money or prefer self-guided tours, you can rent your own boat to explore the canals. However, there is a multitude of cruise and boat companies that provide guided canal tours in Amsterdam. Some of the cruise and boat companies available include Stromma, Lovers, Blue Boat Company, Rederij P. Kooij, and Rederij Plas. Several of these companies are docked in front of the Amsterdam Central Station and near the Rijksmuseum. Stromma and Lovers also provide hop-on-hop-off options while Amsterdam Canal Cruises provides themed tours, including a wine and cheese cruise, an evening cruise, and a cruise for kids called "Wanted: Freshwater Pirates."

There are also special occasions and events every year where the canals host a series of festivals. For example, on King's Day, the city celebrates the king's birthday by having a festival with people wearing orange colors. Amsterdam also hosts the Amsterdam Light Festival during the winter months when darkness arrives sooner in the early evenings. The canals light up with installations completed by international artists and a canal cruise is a perfect way to experience them. The canals also host the Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade, and you'll see floats showcasing the Pride theme of the year. Lastly, in August, Amsterdam celebrates the Grachtenfestival, where music concerts take place around the city.