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Amsterdam Canal Ring (Grachtengordel)
Amsterdam Canal Ring (Grachtengordel)

Amsterdam Canal Ring (Grachtengordel)

Amsterdam

The Basics

The district’s major canals are the Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht. From east to west, the major radial canals are the Brouwersgracht, Leidsegracht, and Reguliersgracht. The Canal Ring can be navigated on foot, by bike, and, of course, boat. A canal cruise is an excellent introduction to the UNESCO-listed canals, as glass-topped boats provide the best views of the city’s main sights. Options include hop-on hop-off boat tours and themed canal cruises that serve food and wine.

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The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
$63.19 per adult
Traveler Favorite
I wish I could give it more stars!
This was such a fantastic experience! Elegant, relaxing, and the guide was wonderful! This is a terrific way to see Amsterdam. I wish I could give it more stars.
Michael_M, Oct 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Amsterdam

star-5
Best experience
Eak, Oct 2021
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
Great tour. My wife and I had a wonderful time. We highly recommend. The captain was knowledgeable and fun.
star-5
Fun, intimate and lively cruise
Michael_B, Oct 2021
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
Wonder experience! The boat was beautiful and elegant with delicious crackers, cheeses, and sausages provided. Unlimited wines, beers, and soft drinks too. The best features were the small (7 on this tour) number of guests and our engaging and knowledgeable guide/captain. What a phenomenal way to see this breathtaking city!
star-5
Best Canal Tour in Amsterdam
Michael_B, Oct 2021
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
Ernie was a great guide. We were just 4 total, so he took us where we wanted to go instead of the set canal route. 2 hours is a perfect length of tour with snacks and drinks. Cheaper boats are way more crowded and too long to maneuver in smaller canals that we visited. Highly recommend.
star-5
Perfect 2-hour excursion.
Deborah_H, Oct 2021
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
This is the perfect canal tour. We took the 2-hour 5:00 tour which was perfect for lighting and temperature in early October. Our captain, "Burt," was very personable and knowledgable. The boat is a work of art itself, and just the right size...large enough for about 12 people in very comfortable seats around a table laden with appetizers and beverages. An excellent, excellent experience.
star-5
Exceptional tour!
MaryAnn_W, Jul 2021
Private 1-hour Amsterdam Canal Tour
Absolutely wonderful tour! Friendly, interesting and knowledgeable captain! Great way to learn more about Amsterdam and its unique architecture and geography. So relaxing!
star-4
Wet canals
Donald_R, Oct 2019
Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 1 hr with Audioguide
Good coverage with well selected commentary that allowed for time to look at and assess the scene. Well paced!
star-5
This boat tour is worth it!
Margaret_O, Sep 2021
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
Our captain was informative & entertaining. Snacks & drinks were generous & Dutch fare. Very relaxing.
star-4
It was nice to be able to cruise...
Michael B, May 2008
Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 1 hr with Audioguide
It was nice to be able to cruise leisurely around Amsterdam, taking in some of the sights. The timing of our trip just before sunset gave us the best of day and night. Our captain was very friendly, the audio guide was great although a little tedious listening through 4 languages.
star-5
Sorry we could not make it
Laura_B, Sep 2021
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
My flight from London was cancelled. We are not coming now. If possible, please cancel both of these tours for me. We will not be coming. Thank you for understanding.
star-5
Amsterdam canal cruise
Tom_T, Sep 2021
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
Rubin was our boat captain and gave us wonderful tour. Very knowledgeable. Tour was a full two hours long and we saw lots of historical buildings. Highlight of the day.
star-5
Great time!
Samuel_V, Sep 2021
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
My wife and I really enjoyed the 2 hours. Wish is was longer but still got to see a lot. The views were amazing and it was all you could drink from the minute you got on the boat. There was 5 guess on the boat.
star-5
Amsterdam in Aug
Stacey_W, Aug 2021
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
Loved the small group aspect. We had an issue and looked as if we couldn't make the night scheduled and they were very attentive to our situation.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • A number of cruise departure points are set along the famous canals, and tours are available in several languages.

  • Lined with beautiful historic buildings (“canal houses”), the Canal Ring can serve as helpful visual guidepost for getting your bearings.

  • The Canal Ring circles some of Amsterdam’s most important sites, including the Red Light District, the Anne Frank House, the Jewish Quarter, and the Museum Quarter.

  • Barges, powerboats, Frisian skutsjes (sailboats), and rowboats ply the canals at all times of day and night.

  • The Canal Ring is accessible for wheelchair users, as are many of the boats which sail around it.

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How to Get There

The Canal Ring is located right in the center of Amsterdam, and is easy to reach on foot from most major destinations in the Dutch capital. Amsterdam's winding, cobblestoned city center can easily throw off your sense of direction, and the canals will always orient you back in the proper direction.

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When to Get There

Because it’s part of the Dutch capital city’s landscape, as well as a mode of transportation and commerce, the Canal Ring is always open. The best times of year to enjoy a canal cruise are during the fine-weather summer months, and in the Christmas and New Year holiday season, when you can take an evening cruise during the Festival of Lights.

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The History of Amsterdam's Canals

Built in the 17th century, the canals of Amsterdam were developed in the pursuit of growing the city beyond its bounds. Now, they're as quintessentially Dutch as Edam and tulips and have been UNESCO-recognized since 1999. Enjoy the canals at their festive best during the annual King's Day celebrations, when floats take to the water with performers and revelers.

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