4.5 star rating: Recommended 545 Reviews

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  • Address: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Admission: Free

Amsterdam ATTRACTIONS See all

Amsterdam Canal Ring

The famous 17th-century district surrounding the old center of Amsterdam is well-known for the charming waterways that make up the city's Canal Ring, or Grachtengordel. The area is comprised of three rings of semicircular canals that are bisected by smaller canals radiating from the middle like spokes on a wheel. Lined with elaborately decorated merchants' homes and warehouses, the canals often serve as lifelines to the wandering visitor, because subtle turns in Amsterdam's city center can really throw off a sense of direction.

The major semicircular canals are the Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht. From east to west, the major radial canals are the Brouwersgracht, Leidsegracht and Reguliersgracht. Hundreds of picturesque bridges cross these canals, connecting the 90 islands that were created when the canals were first built during the Dutch Golden Age. Barges, powerboats, Frisian skutsjes (sailboats) and rowboats glide through the canals at all times of day.

A canal cruise is an excellent introduction to Amsterdam's many sights, as the glass-topped boats provide the best views of Amsterdam—just sit back and let it all flow around you. There are a number of departure points throughout the city and tours are available in a multitude of languages. Travelers can even choose one that serves wine and cheese, or allows hopping on and off at different stops throughout the city.

Practical Info

The Canal Ring is most often navigated by foot, bicycle and, of course, boat.

Did You Know? The entire Canal Ring district is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage site.

Tours & Tickets

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Highlights of Amsterdam Sightseeing Cruise, Amsterdam, null
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Highlights of Amsterdam Sightseeing Cruise

4.5 star rating: Recommended 1644 Reviews

Get a comprehensive overview of Amsterdam's top sights on this 1-hour canal cruise. See the Golden Bend, the Anne Frank House, the Skinny Bridge, ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)

From USD $18.27
Amsterdam Canal Cruise by Small Open Boat, Amsterdam, Day Cruises
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Amsterdam Canal Cruise by Small Open Boat

4.5 star rating: Recommended 84 Reviews

Explore Amsterdam’s narrowest waterways on this 75-minute canal cruise. Thanks to your boat’s small size, discover hidden corners that other cruises can’t ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)

From USD $20.56
Amsterdam Saloon Boat Sightseeing Cruise, Amsterdam, Day Cruises
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Amsterdam Saloon Boat Sightseeing Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended 42 Reviews

Skip the lines and enjoy a 75-minute luxury saloon boat cruise around Amsterdam’s UNESCO-listed canals. Avoid the main lines for your boat, relax into the ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 75 minutes (approx.)

From USD $25.12
Amsterdam Canal Bus Hop-On Hop-Off, Amsterdam, Day Cruises
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Amsterdam Canal Bus Hop-On Hop-Off

4 star rating: Recommended 4708 Reviews

Getting around Amsterdam is a breeze with a hop-on hop-off Canal Bus Day Pass. The boats operate a regular service along Amsterdam's canals, following tour ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 24 or 48 hour pass

From USD $27.41
Amsterdam Super Saver: Canal Cruise plus Harbor Cruise, Amsterdam, Day Cruises
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Amsterdam Super Saver: Canal Cruise plus Harbor Cruise

4.5 star rating: Recommended 98 Reviews

Admire Amsterdam’s sights from the water with this Amsterdam Super Saver, combining two best-selling cruises at a discounted price. Start with a 1-hour ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $28.55
$36.54 Save $7.99
Amsterdam Canals Candlelight Cruise Including Wine and Cheese, Amsterdam, Super Savers
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Amsterdam Canals Candlelight Cruise Including Wine and Cheese

4.5 star rating: Recommended 4376 Reviews

Sit back and relax on a 2-hour candlelight cruise along Amsterdam's famous canals, the perfect way to unwind from a day of sightseeing or set the mood for a ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $42.82
Amsterdam Canal Cocktail Cruise, Amsterdam, Night Cruises
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Amsterdam Canal Cocktail Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended 320 Reviews

When the sun goes down, Amsterdam’s nightlife begins, especially along the canals. Enjoy a relaxing evening along the twinkling canals of the Dutch capital ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $42.82
Amsterdam Evening Burger and Beer Cruise, Amsterdam, Night Cruises
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Amsterdam Evening Burger and Beer Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended 36 Reviews

Combine beer and a burger with the sights of Amsterdam on a 1.5-hour evening canal cruise. Join the tour in the evening, and then jump aboard a sightseeing ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $44.54
Amsterdam Canals Pizza Cruise, Amsterdam, Beer & Brewery Tours
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Amsterdam Canals Pizza Cruise

4.5 star rating: Recommended 4440 Reviews

Sail along Amsterdam's stunning canals at twilight and enjoy a delicious pizza as you cruise. This evening tour is the perfect introduction to Amsterdam, and ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $44.54
Amsterdam Super Saver: City Sightseeing Tour plus Saloon Boat Cruise, Amsterdam, Dinner Cruises
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Amsterdam Super Saver: City Sightseeing Tour plus Saloon Boat Cruise

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 42 Reviews

Team a city tour by coach with a cruise along UNESCO listed–canals on this must-do Amsterdam Super Saver. Both activities include onboard guides and pass ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $45.11
$54.24 Save $9.13

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