on October 29, 2006
First, let me say that I purchased tickets for my son and me on a canal bus because I was cold, it was drizzly, and I simply wanted to get from point "A" to point "B" without having to figure out the right tram to get onto. This strategy was bound to lead to disappointment. This is how it went down. I forked over my 17 Euro for adult and 11 Euro for the 12-year-old. I got my tickets. I was told, "The next canal bus will be at this stop in one hour." Uh... WHAT? Well, I was rather disheartened, and this was the first morning. I didn't realize how close everything in the city center really is. I should have simply hoofed it to some other place that I might have found interesting and planned when we were going to catch our canal "taxi" after we were done with that. The moral of this story? Canal buses are a part of Amsterdam. When we were actually ON them, they were fine. I enjoyed moving through the city's many man-made waterways. Commentary pointed out architectural features on the buildings that I might have otherwise missed. (For instance, every house in Amsterdam has a hoist on the outside because furniture can't fit up the narrow staircases.) However, the fact that the ticket runs until the next day at noon isn't really that much of a bargain. The boats only run so often. AND the commentary goes in a hundred different languages, so the "tour" isn't all that grand. (By the time the recording gets to your native tongue, you've long moved past the building the narrator is describing!) Pluses? Kids like boats. Amsterdam is a city of canals. It's almost obligatory you go on at least one canal tour. If you time it right, hopping on and off is easy enough. Just don't expect a canal bus every 15 minutes. Bottom line? This is okay to do as a family if you have a little money to play with, and you want to get off your feet. However, if you're just trying to get around the city, use the trams (or walk) instead. They're cheaper, and they run more often. Central Station is the best place to find out information about Canal bus tours, but you can buy tickets at just about any stop you can find on the canals themselves. These stops are near all the major attractions. Just look down at the waterways!The BEST value is an All Amsterdam Transport Pass for 23 Euro. I wish the girl I'd bought my ticket from had told me about this one. The Canal bus office can sell this to you.
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