GetYourGuide uses cookies to give you the best possible service. If you continue browsing, you agree to the use of cookies. More details can be found in our privacy policy.

Close
Amsterdam Boat Tours & River Cruises
Enter your dates to find available activities
Best Value

Popular Boat Tours & River Cruises in Amsterdam

View all Boat Tours & River Cruises in Amsterdam
See all 536 tickets & tours

Five Fun Facts For Your Amsterdam Boat Tour

Planning to tour Amsterdam by boat? It's a great way to cover the city's most treasured landmarks, but what about the river and canals themselves? Here's the lowdown on the Amstel's famous waterways.

The Amstel gave Amsterdam its name

The Amstel gave Amsterdam its name

Aeme-stelle is Old Dutch for "water area." A dam was built to stop floods in the 12th century and a fishing village known as Aemestelredamme grew around it. The rest is history!

The canals ushered in the Dutch Golden Age

The canals ushered in the Dutch Golden Age

Most of the canals were built for economic reasons. Starting in the 16th century, they provided easy transport throughout the labyrinthine city and helped to boost trade.

The Singel Canal was originally a moat

The Singel Canal was originally a moat

Not all the canals were built to fill city coffers, though. The oldest is the Singel Canal, which protected the medieval city from invasion between 1480 until 1585.

In Amsterdam, bicycles really are everywhere!

In Amsterdam, bicycles really are everywhere!

We suggest you keep your water tour above the surface. The sheer volume of discarded, rusted bikes along the canal bed is one of the reasons swimming isn't generally allowed!

The Amstel hosts some of the city's top events
Photo: Franklin Heijnen @Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Amstel hosts some of the city's top events

Why not time your visit to coincide with the Liberation Day concert on May 5th, the Roeivierkamp and Head of the River rowing races in March, or the floating gay pride parade in August?

Planning Your Visit

How much does it cost?

Amsterdam river cruises and canal boat rides can cost as little as €16, with hop-on hop-off options available, and even dinner. If you're after something a little more luxurious, however, why not take a look at some of the exciting dinner cruise options?

Where is the river cruise port?

Amsterdam's port is located behind the Central Station, which is easily reached by bus or metro. It consists of multiple piers, so be sure to double-check your ticket or with your tour provider for the correct one.

What people are saying about Amsterdam

Excellent combo tour to see Amsterdam from the streets and the water

Giovanna was a fantastic guide, very knowledgeable showed great reference pictures, we joined another couple so it felt very personal. She speaks clearly and answered any questions fully. Lovely to visit the Cheese Shop and tour. thank you for the gift too, I would strongly recommend. Classic Canal Tour was very relaxing, was concerned at first that our Captain was multitasking but soon realised how skilled he was, very pleasant way to spend time seeing Amsterdam from a different angle.We were very well looked after, would recommend this tour.

Amsterdam: Walking Tour and Canal Cruise Combo Reviewed by Dorothea, 24/07/2019

A very informative & enjoyable way to experience Amsterdam's canals

This trip at 25 euros per person including 2 drinks was good value. Taking a smaller, open top boat (only April-October) enables you to travel along some of the smaller canals and under some lower bridges and it is a great way to experience the city. Our guide, Nick, was very helpful and personable. We were lucky that the weather was warm and sunny for our trip but I would still recommend this for spring/summer visitors to Amsterdam. I think there are blankets available if it's a bit cool!

Cruise Like a Local Amsterdam Reviewed by Lorraine, 26/07/2019

A beautiful boat ride for a fairly reasonable price.

My friends and I enjoyed riding around the boat and seeing the city from a different angle. They have an audio guide as well - you put earphones in, and a pre-recorded message plays at various intervals - but we didn’t find it engaging enough and opted instead to just sit outside and watch the city (without hearing the historical tidbits)

City Canal Cruise Reviewed by Anonymous, 21/07/2019

Heineken experience was amazing! Canal tour was relaxing.

The Heineken experience is very interactive and fun - even if you are not a beer drinker. We did the canal ride afterwards and it was very relaxing. Got some great pictures! We sat in the bow of the boat so we didn’t get to hear the guide at all but still a wonderful ride.

Excellent small group tour with excellent photo ops! Electric boats!

Outstanding tour with no cover so provides great narration and excellent photo ops! Small group only and use electric boats that navigate well in smaller canals for more access to the city and history!

Amsterdam: Small Open Canal Boat Cruise Reviewed by Anonymous, 31/07/2019