The best Amsterdam canal tours are self-made
Three beautiful routes on the Amsterdam canals and the Amstel river
We have put together four beautiful routes for you. Following one of these guarantees a relaxed tour full of highlights and optimal usage of your time. The first canal tour combines the Amstel river with some of the most famous canals within the World Heritage Area. The second canal tour combines the attractive eastern city center with the Amstel river. The third route is best if you want to -or have to- avoid the real center canals, but still want to see some nice parts of the city. And the fourth one goes in the complete opposite direction: out of town on the Amstel river. Feel free to check out these three routes below.
Canal Tour 1: Amstel river & World Heritage area
The Amstel river with its Skinny Bridge: check! The Golden Bend on Herengracht: check! The Westerkerk on Prinsengracht: check! The Jordaan: check! The Rijksmuseum: check! And much more, all in a beautiful 3 hour tour.
Canal Tour 2: Eastern City Center & Amstel river
This is the city center too, but different: a bit more adventurous and off the beaten track. This 3 hour tour includes the Amstel and landmarks like the Zoo, Oosterdok and City Hall. And on the way back the Heineken Experience and Rijksmuseum.
Canal Tour 3: ‘the Best of the Rest’
On this route you will see the areas bordering the city center to the south (Oud-Zuid & De Pijp) and to the west (Oud-West). It is the nicest route to take in case the most central canals are closed, or if you want to avoid them yourself.
4: River Tour, out of town on the Amstel river
This tour takes you out of town, away from the crowds. After the skyline of the Amstel station it becomes greener and more peaceful. This tour is best to be enjoyed a calm and sunny day. Bring a picnic and your swimwear!
Where else can you take your boat?
If you’re not familiar with the Amsterdam canals, we recommend following one of our suggested routes. Like that you will avoid any forbidden areas and you can be sure to see lots of interesting stuff.
However, you may also go your own way. Our boats are allowed to go on the Amstel river and almost all of the Amsterdam city center canals. However, you need to make sure to avoid the few areas that are strictly forbidden for safety reasons: the IJ and all the rest of the port area, Kostverlorenvaart and Nieuwe Herengracht. Of course these areas are clearly indicated on the provided canal map.
Please contact us for advice if you’re not completely sure about a specific route you wish to take or a specific destination you wish to go to. We’ll be happy to tell you whether it’s safe and allowed with our boats and how much time you’ll need.
Where else can you take your boat?
If you’re not familiar in town, we recommend following a suggested route. Like that you will avoid forbidden areas and see lots of interesting stuff.
However, you may also go your own way on the Amstel and almost all of the Amsterdam city center canals. Only a few areas are forbidden for safety reasons: the IJ/port area, Kostverlorenvaart and Nieuwe Herengracht. These are indicated on our map.
Please contact us if you’re not sure about a specific route or destination you have in mind. We’ll tell you whether it’s safe and how much time you need for it.
Custom-made canal tour map included
There’s no need to bring your own maps or to prepare any routes in advance. We provide a very clear custom made map. This large and laminated map shows our three suggested routes, as well as places of interest on your way and lots of other useful information.
Personal route advice included as well
Before your departure from our jetty you will receive detailed route advice, including the best routes on the Amstel river and the most scenic canals. Where to go, what highlights to look out for, where to be extra careful on your way and where to take a break? We will show and tell you.
How many hours should you reserve?
Our shortest rental period (3 hours) is sufficient for a nice tour on the Amstel and some of the most beautiful canals. It’s also possible to go for 4 hours, allowing for more sightseeing or a longer break on your way. If you want to take it to the max, go for the full day (max. 10 hours.)