Amsterdam is famous for its beautiful canals; one of the reasons why I’m so in love with this city. The waterways in Amsterdam are full of life: countless fascinating bridges, lights and floating terraces contribute to a pleasant, welcoming atmosphere. What better way to discover Amsterdam than on the water? I usually travel the canals on my own boat, taking a group of friends as company, but today I decided to take a family member on the tourist version, so we took an excursion boat instead.
A myriad of little bridges
The number one tip when traveling on an excursion boat – make sure you get a good spot at the window. From here you have the best view over the canals. You will be amazed at how many canals and bridges Amsterdam has. While the streets are always bustling, a boat offers you the opportunity to gaze at the city from the water at a more leisurely pace. All excursion routes sail past the major sights and tourist attractions.
Today I chose an hour long excursion from a company which also gives you information about the sights you sail past. Even I was able to learn more about my beautiful city! These boats travel along various canals, as well as a stretch across the Amstel river, passing highlights such as the Westerkerk and the Flower Market. I am repeatedly amazed by how beautiful Amsterdam is from the water, which I often forget when I am rushing from here to there, day in and day out.
Avoid the queue and be guaranteed a seat by purchasing your tickets here.
Amsterdam Light Festival
If you happen to be visiting Amsterdam in December or January, I would recommend taking a cruise to get the most out of the Amsterdam Light Festival experience. Dozens of illuminated works of art created by international artists, architects and designers are set up in and alongside the canals. All of this additional lighting makes the city more beautiful and colourful than ever, turning Amsterdam into a more extraordinary than usual open-air museum. This event is also great fun for the kids, who will love the lights and spectacles of colour that suddenly pop up throughout the city.
Hop on Hop off excursion
In addition to the uninterrupted cruise, it is also possible to board a ‘Hop on Hop off’ boat in Amsterdam. These larger ferries sail throughout the city, stopping at various tourist attractions. You decide where to board and disembark. Ideal for exploring the city at your own pace. The Hop On Hop Off boats stop at 7 different locations within the city, including the Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum.
You can also combine the Hop on Hop off boat with the Hop on Hop off bus, and never have to worry about getting from A to B.
Buy your tickets for the Hop on Hop off boat here! here!
Opening times, tickets and accessibility
For the simple excursion boats, I recommend your buying a ticket online. However, you will need to specify a date and time and will therefore also need to plan your trip relatively well. The boats are moored close to Museum Square, the first leaving at 10.45 in the morning. The time of the last boat depends on the season.
The Hop on Hop off boat sails every 25 minutes from 9.15 a.m. until 7 p.m. You can embark at any stop, including those at Centraal Station, the Albert Cuyp market, the Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum.