Experience the Magic of the Canals: Plan the Best Canal Tour Amsterdam

Discover the Rich History and Charm of Amsterdam’s Canal System for the Best Canal Tour Amsterdam

Amsterdam is renowned for its iconic canal system, which has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010. The canal system of Amsterdam consists of a network of 165 canals throughout the city. These canals were built in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age, and they were designed to create a new urban area on a swampy land.

The canals provide a picturesque backdrop to Amsterdam’s architecture, and the canal cruises that glide through them offer an excellent way to experience the city from a unique perspective.

The three main canals that form the concentric belt around the historic city centre are Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht. These three canals, along with their smaller connecting canals, create a unique and harmonious urban ensemble. Along the canals, you’ll see many beautiful historic buildings, some of which date back to the 17th century.

Today, the canals in Amsterdam serve as a transportation system for locals and tourists alike. They also play an essential role in the city’s cultural and social life, providing a space for events and activities throughout the year. Overall, the Amsterdam canal system is a significant aspect of the city’s heritage and a must-see attraction for any visitor. 

Choosing the Best Time of Day for the Best Canal Tour Amsterdam: Unique Views and Lighting.


One important factor to consider when planning your canal cruise, to ensure the best canal tour Amsterdam, is the time of day. The different times of day offer unique views and lighting that can make for a more memorable and enjoyable tour experience.

For example, a morning open boat tour can offer a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere as the city wakes up. The soft morning light can also create a beautiful ambiance and enhance the colours of the buildings and scenery.

An afternoon Amsterdam canal tour can be perfect for those who want to take in the bustling energy of the city. The bright sunlight and vibrant colours of the buildings can make for stunning photos and a lively atmosphere.

Early evening sunset
An early evening boat tour can offer a magical atmosphere as the sun begins to set, and the city lights begin to turn on. The warm colours of the sunset and the twinkling lights reflecting off the water can create a truly enchanting experience.

An Amsterdam evening canal cruise can be a great way to experience the romantic and enchanting atmosphere of Amsterdam canals at night, such as on a dinner cruise. The city lights reflecting off the water and the illuminated bridges and buildings can create a truly magical experience.

When choosing the time of day for the best canal tour Amsterdam, it’s important to consider your own preferences and schedule. Some boat companies offer tours at specific times of the day, while others offer tours at different times throughout the day. It’s also important to dress appropriately for the time of day and weather conditions.

Ultimately, choosing the right time of day for your canal cruise can enhance the overall experience and make for a truly unforgettable tour of Amsterdam’s stunning canal system.

When to Book the Best Canal Tour Amsterdam: Peak and Off-Peak

Group on an amsterdam canal tour

When planning a canal cruise Amsterdam, one important factor to consider is when to book your tour. The timing of your tour can greatly impact your experience, and there are pros and cons to both peak and off-seasons. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of booking your Amsterdam canal tour during each season.

Peak Season

Peak season in Amsterdam typically runs from April to September, with the busiest months being May through August. During this time, the weather is generally warmer and more pleasant, making it a popular time for tourists to visit the city. Here are some pros and cons of booking your best canal tour Amsterdam during peak season:


  • The weather is generally more pleasant, with longer days and warmer temperatures, which can make for a more enjoyable experience.
  • There are more Amsterdam canal cruise options available during peak season, and boat companies may offer extended hours or additional tours to accommodate the higher demand.
  • The city is alive with activity during peak season, and you may enjoy a dinner cruise with street performers and other entertainment along the canals.


  • Peak season is the busiest time of year for tourism in Amsterdam, and you may encounter crowds and long lines for popular attractions and tours.
  • Prices for canal tours may be higher during peak season due to the high demand.
  • The canals may be more crowded, which can limit the views and make it more difficult to fully appreciate the experience.


Off-season in Amsterdam runs from October to March, with the coldest and darkest months being December through February. While the weather may be less favourable during this time, there are still benefits to booking your best canal tour Amsterdam during off-peak season:


  • Prices for canal cruises may be lower during off-peak season, which can make it a more affordable option.
  • The canals may be less crowded, allowing for more peaceful and intimate views of the city.
  • The cooler weather may offer a unique perspective on Amsterdam, with misty canals and cozy cafes.


  • The weather can be less favourable, with shorter days and colder temperatures, which can impact your experience and make it less enjoyable.
  • There may be fewer tour options available during off-peak season, and some boat companies may have reduced hours or close for the season.
  • The city may be quieter during off-peak season, with fewer events and activities to enjoy.

Discovering Hidden Gems


Along the canals, there are numerous hidden gems waiting to be discovered, from historic churches and museums to hidden courtyards and gardens. Take a closer look at some of these hidden gems that you might spot on your best canal tour Amsterdam.

The Old Church: 

The Oude Kerk is a stunning medieval church located in the heart of the Red Light District. The church has a fascinating history and is home to beautiful artwork and architecture.

The Anne Frank House: 

This is a must-see attraction in Amsterdam. It’s the actual house where Anne Frank and her family hid during World War II and is now a museum that preserves Anne’s legacy and shares her story.

The A’dam Tower

The tower offers a unique perspective on Amsterdam’s cityscape, with stunning panoramic views of the historic city centre and surrounding areas. Inside the tower, visitors can also enjoy various attractions such as a panoramic observation deck, and even a swing that takes you out over the edge of the tower!

Seven Bridges: 

Another hidden gem along the canals of Amsterdam is the Seven Bridges, which is a beautiful and picturesque spot that offers a unique view of seven bridges spanning two canals.

The Hortus Botanicus: 

The Hortus Botanicus is a beautiful botanical garden located in the Plantage neighbourhood. It’s one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world and is home to over 6,000 plant species.

The Skinny Bridge: 

The Magere Brug is a beautiful and iconic Amsterdam landmark. It’s a small, wooden drawbridge that connects the banks of the river Amstel. The bridge is especially picturesque at night when it’s lit up.

As you can see, there are plenty of hidden gems to discover on a canal cruise in Amsterdam. From historic landmarks and architectural wonders to secret gardens and local hotspots, there’s always something new and exciting to uncover along the canals.

Choosing the Boat Company for Your Best Canal Tour Amsterdam Experience


Taking a canal cruise in Amsterdam is a must-do activity for anyone visiting the city. There are plenty of boat companies offering Amsterdam canal cruises, each with their own unique selling points. However, there are certain features that can make a boat company stand out from the rest.

Firstly, it’s important to consider the type of experience you’re looking for. Some boat companies offer shared or private boat cruises, which can provide a more intimate and personalized experience. Others may offer larger tour boats, which can be more social and lively. Think about what type of experience you’re looking for and choose a boat company that matches your preferences.

Another important factor to consider is the comfort of the boat. Look for companies that provide comfortable seating, ample space, and stunning views from all angles. Whether you prefer an open boat or a covered boat, make sure the boat company you choose provides a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Lastly, it’s important to consider the knowledge and expertise of the boat company’s guides. A knowledgeable and friendly guide can enhance your experience by providing interesting information and answering any questions you may have. Look for boat companies that provide experienced and personable guides to ensure a truly memorable canal cruise.

By taking these factors into account, you can choose a boat company that provides the best canal boat tour experience for you.