Results 1-10of 24 Reviews
December 30, 2004
The guided tour offered a commentary of the major sights in an unhurried and not overly intrusive manner. The boat weaves its way up and down the Amsterdam canals, cautiously proceeding over the many junctions. After a time, it gets a little difficult to decide whether or not you’ve passed down a canal earlier, as even the waterside houses take on a very similar appearance. Many exude wealth and would be able to tell fantastic stories of the days when Amsterdam was a thriving trading port. Marvel at the amazingly high windows as posh houses rub shoulders with grand warehouses and gaze on the extravagant façades of many of the houses.
There are so many bridges (over 1,200 in total), and their design features differ greatly. The "standard" arched is by far the most common and I guess the most inconvenient, as it prohibits two boats passing under at the same time. I’m not sure what the protocol is, but I did detect that the "driver" of one other vessel incurred the wrath of ours. The grand ornately carved multi-arched bridge that stands proudly over the canal and the utilitarian specimen under which we could hear the rushing of tyres as cyclists pedalled furiously over them. We glimpsed the famous Magere Grug ("skinny bridge"), and I was moderately disappointed to hear that this was a 1960’s replica
of the 1670s bridge. Realistically, I knew it couldn’t be the original, but I would have like it to be. It is fascinating to watch the raising mechanism at work, if you get the chance.
At one point we ventured out to sea—the water became much choppier and there were signs of industrial Amsterdam. We sailed past "The Amsterdam," a colourful replica of an 1854 clipper. This is part of one of Amsterdam’s many museums but we were just happy to view and photograph it from our boat. Quite close to here was the impressive liner like building that is NEMO, an interactive science museum. What inspiration to integrate a building into the watery surrounds!
We enjoyed the trip but not sure how it helped orient us. It seems to me Amsterdam is confusing to sail through and to walk round. We were constantly lost!
From journal Ambling Around Amsterdam's Museums
May 25, 2002
Old houses, warehouses, cars, bicycles, Amsterdammertjes, bridges. The roof is open, the sun streams in.
'These chairs!', involuntarily I'm listening to a young boy, cheeks red with excitement, 'Did you sit on them? It's just like .... and they vibrate!'
I smile. It's obvious that he enjoyed the Sex Museum. I wonder if he's on his way to one of the coffeeshops.
'I have never realised that drugs grow on tree', says a middle aged man behind me.'You first have to dry them, though', his wife replies, 'I think they make lovely pot plants', she continues. Hash Museum, I conclude.
'And now we are approaching the 'Skinny Bridge', you should come here when it's dark to see how it's illuminated.' The voice continues in French, then German and Dutch.
'Why does the man tell more in Dutch than in English?' a young girl asks her father. Apparently the father is a linguist, 'No, it's not like that. German and Dutch sound the same, so it seems that he tells more in Dutch, but actually he tells first in German and then in Dutch'.
The Canal Bus is a perfct way to move around Amsterdam. It’s a combination of public transport and a canal boat trip. The difference is that with the canal bus you need not do the whole route. There are stops at main tourist attractions where you can get off. See the tourist thing and hop on again. Besides on board you will get useful information about the sights you see en route.
There are three lines: red , green and blue.
red line: 85 mins.Rijksmuseum, Leidseplein, Westerkerk/Keizersgracht, Central Station, Rembrandt Huis, Rijksmuseum.
green line 85 mins. Rijksmuseum, Leidseplein, City Hall, Central Station, Anne Frank Huis/Prinsegracht, Rijksmuseum.
blue line 60 minsCentral Station, Maritime Museum, Artis/Zoo, Tropenmuseum, Central Station.
You can buy a day ticket at:Central StationRijksmuseumon boardin your hotelat the VVV (tourist information centre)in the canal bus itself
Your ticket is valid until noon the next day.
€ 14 for all three lines€ 9 for blue line only.
From journal Amsterdam: A Joy Forever
October 29, 2006
From journal G-rated Amsterdam
January 7, 2004
Clear windows curve up to the roof. You can slide the glass back for an unobstructed view. Some boats have a small open deck in the rear.
There are some boat tours at night that serve dinner or wine by candlelight. Even if you have taken a boat ride in the day, it is worth doing it again at night, with bridges outlined by thousands of tiny white light bulbs.
We began the tour outside the Rijksmuseum. Another location where you can catch the boats is at the Rokin canal, a few hundred yards south of the Dam.
From journal Amsterdam - a city that never sleeps!
Charlotte, North Carolina
June 13, 2000
From journal Amsterdam Getaway
by Ed Hahn
Hong Kong, China
August 11, 2005
All the stops are located near the major museums, attractions, and shopping areas. The day pass is actually good for a day and a half if you time it right, since it expires at noon the next day. We hop on and off as often as we like. There is a Dutch/English pre-recorded commentary that provides interesting information when we can hear it over our fellow passengers' conversations.
We use it to take us places where we want to walk, and then pick it up again after we've explored an area on foot. At one point, the captain graciously allows us to disembark at a non-scheduled, unused dock near the Dutch Resistance Museum, saving us a long hike.
Seeing the hundreds of different types of houseboats on the canals and appreciating the architecture of the large and small houses along the same canals is worth the price of the fare alone.
I'm sure it would enhance your appreciation of Amsterdam, as it did ours.
From journal Amsterdam - City of Art, History, and Contrasts
by Emily Marie
Bronx, New York
December 2, 2003
A number of companies near Centraal station and along the Damrak offer canal tours of the city. They all are similarly priced and the routes are all pretty much the same. All the boats are also more or less uniform, being long, low boats with glass canopies. The tours have recorded narrations of the sites you'll see, and the short descriptions are offered in Dutch, German, French and English.
Being as the canals are low to begin with and that these boats are pretty deep, you'll find yourself looking up a lot. Also unless you're on a water taxi (which isn't a tour), you have no chance to get out and look around. The canals only can get you so close to some sites, and therefore you don't get to see the likes of the Royal Palace or Dam Square.
What you do get to see however is the impressive artwork along the bridges, as pedestrians are not able to really appreciate. Also, these canals were the lifeblood of the city centuries ago. Back when shipping was the Dutch financial backbone, the canals were used to transport things products to and from the docks.
Because of the design of the city, there are no bus tours of the city. The canal boats are the best alternative. And it offers some insight into the past. As the saying goes, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." So when in the Netherlands, take an hour to do as the ancient Dutch did.
From journal It's much more than vice city
by Wildcat Dianne
November 6, 2005
The canals of Amsterdam are plentiful and are a source of living and commerce for the city of Amsterdam. Monique and I found a tour company near the Anne Frankhuis that cost about $10 USD for each of us, and we paid and waited for the next available boat to come in from touring the canals with another bunch of tourists.
After a few minutes, the next boat arrived and as Monique and I boarded, our pictures were taken by a photographer to be bought after the tour ended. It's a cheesy souvenir but worth it if you like that kind of thing. I lost my photo moving.
Seeing Amsterdam's old merchant houses from the canal boats does justice and you see a lot more than if you are on foot. Most of these homes date from the 16th and 17th Centuries and the wider the house, the richer the merchant who could afford to pay the steep taxes that were slapped on Amsterdam's people at this time.
Along the way, we saw many houseboats dotting the canal banks with people living in them. Due to a huge housing shortage in Amsterdam along with high rents, people who chose to live in Amsterdam will buy or rent houseboats because it is a cheaper way to live. They are of many shapes, sizes, and colors, and if you like the idea of millions of tourists peaking into your windows and lives, this is the way to live in Amsterdam.
Our boat tour went under many bridge into the IJsselmeer, Amsterdam's harbor, which is one of the largest harbors in the world and several huge ships were docked there waiting for goods to be loaded on board.
The tours last about 1-2 hours and can be taken during the day or evening and are well worth your time when you visit Amsterdam.
From journal A Dutch Treat: My Adventures in The Netherlands.
December 18, 2005
From journal Amsterdam-A Forward Thinking City
June 15, 2005
But the tour guide is from the US and moved to Amsterdam. He knew so much about the area, and there was no language barrier. He told us to grab a beer or whatever we wanted to take on the boat so we could relax, ask questions, and see the area. I learned more about Amsterdam on that boat ride and still had a fun time. We met some cool people there, too.
From journal Supper Club