Canal Cruises

Address: Quays in front of Centraal Station, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Telephone: 020 623 9886

- Expensive


A leisurely boat tour along the canals is a touristy but relaxing way to explore Amsterdam.

Ok - let me be honest: I'm not a big fan of the classic boat tours on offer. As you glide along the canals in your low-slung, glass-topped vessel, you're insulated from the city, and you have to endure uninspiring, taped commentaries, often in multiple languages. That said, the tours are very popular, and are a thoroughly relaxing way to get an overview of the city. You can also opt for a hop-on, hop-off arrangement, tieing in your travels with stops at the main sights and museums. Canal Bus offers four such itineraries, and, under its Canal Hopper brand, also a hop-on, hop-off service in small (12-seater) open boats - an appealing option if it's warm. (In good weather, note that the larger glass-topped vessels open their retractable roofs).

For more information on boat trips, see How to get around Amsterdam

Value for money

Price advice

Canal Bus hop-on-hop-off tickets, good for 24 hours, cost 22 euros, with children aged 4-11 half price. Canal Hopper day tickets cost 22 euros, while a round-trip ticket costs 17 euros.

Expert tips

Reservations are not possible on Canal Bus or Canal Hopper tours.

Starting points include the quays in front of the Centraal Station.

Non-stop canal tours are about half the price of the hop-on-hop-off ones. There are lots of options available from the dock outside the Centraal Station.

Recommended for

  • Couples
  • Families with teenagers
  • Families with younger children
  • First-time travellers
  • Honeymooners
  • Great views / scenery
  • Relaxation
  • Romance