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

Amsterdam Canal Ring (Grachtengordel)

star-5
3,392 Reviews
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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Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 1 hr with Audioguide
Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 1 hr with Audioguide
$21.15 per adult
Traveler Favorite
We thought this hour showing 100...
We thought this hour showing 100 sites was a great tour. It was non-stop unlike the hop-off ones. It was a very peaceful and relaxing ride while the sidewalks were very crowded with people walking and bikes and cars. It was very interesting and our driver was more than happy to answer additional questions. It is through the grey line tour group and easy to find.
KATHRYN M, Aug 2017

Recent reviews from experiences in Amsterdam

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-5
So much fun!
Janaleen_S, Jul 2021
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
Perfect experience! Beautiful attention to details and so informative! Would definitely recommend to all!
star-5
Magnificent in every way
ALFIE_F, Aug 2020
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
And amazing experience on a smooth and vintage style boat, The perfect way to explore Amsterdam canals and with a cheerful captain, amazing bar and snacks there is no better way to spend a lazy afternoon before dinner.
star-4
Wet canals
donaldr728, 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
Magical
ALFIE_F, Aug 2020
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
Best experience of a lifetime, Beautiful boat, super friendly captain, Quiet and peaceful way to to see the beauty of Amsterdam canals
star-5
Beautiful Amsterdam canals experience
Fatima_K, Jun 2020
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
Loved the experience and I’ve taken a lot of boat cruises here in Amsterdam. Very nice and professional staff (James) and a beautiful boat. Highly recommend this tour.
star-5
Beautiful canal cruise
Fatima_K, Jun 2020
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
Excellent service, beautiful boat, great service by the captain of the boat James. Will highly recommend and will definitely take this cruise again.
star-5
Exclusive...
Vincent_c, Jun 2020
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
Wonderful moment in the canals! The boat is just beautiful and well organised for such water ballads! The captain is very pleasant and share nicely his knowledge about Amsterdam and its history An absolute must... Vincent and Dominique
star-5
Fun and Informative
Robin V, Sep 2019
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
We had a wonderful time on this tour! Our guide was very informative and we had a relaxing cruise through the canals as we learned history and sipped wine and ate tasty snacks. I highly recommend this trip!
star-5
Excellent
cruiseguy2018, Aug 2019
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
Our tour guide (Rickka?) was awesome and we had an absolute great time, plus the boat was brand new and gorgeous!

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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