Canal tour of Amsterdam: see the city in the dark

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After finishing my meetings in Amsterdam, I was feeling for sightseeing. It was a cold and wet evening, but I just could not see myself spending the evening in my hotel room. I went online and booked a canal tour of Amsterdam – it provided the best option of sightseeing while remaining dry and indoors. Seeing Amsterdam’s canals at night sounded amazing!

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Amsterdam Canal Tour: Point of departure

Lucky for me the hotel I was staying at was close to Amsterdam Central Station and the canal tours depart from Prins Hendrikkade 37, which is opposite the station. Since I had bought my ticket online, I had to pop into the Stromma Office to pick up a physical ticket before boarding the boat. Getting the ticket was quick, and I was on my way to boarding within a few minutes. I had booked the last canal tour for the day and only had a few minutes before the departure time for the tour.

Canal Tour Amsterdam Stromma Canal Cruises

What I loved about the tour is that it had commentary in many languages. It works similar to the hop-on-hop-off busses in that you use earphones and choose a language for the narrative. I loved this tour as one learns so much about your Amsterdam, often things only locals will know.


Amsterdam Canal Tour: sights along the way

We had a lady captain steering the boat for our canal tour of Amsterdam. We left the dock and slowly made our way to past the Samaritan’s Inn or Amsterdam’s YMCA. It was raining lightly outside, but I did not let this stop me from opening the window to take some pictures of our journey through Amsterdam.

Canal Tour Amsterdam Amsterdam's YMCA

Next, we sailed past the Basilica of Saint Nicholas. It was an impressive building during the day, but even more so at night.

Amsterdam Canal Tour Basilica of Saint Nicholas

On the right-hand side of the boat, the Grand Hotel Amrath Amsterdam was shining with beautiful lighting. This was a landmark in the darkness.

Amsterdam Canal Tour Grand Hotel Amrath Amsterdam

In the distance, I saw the Sea Palace, a floating Chinese restaurant. Apparently, this was Europe’s first floating restaurant, and it has been in operation since 1984.

Amsterdam Canal Tour Sea Palace

From here we turned into the canals on the inside of Amsterdam. We sailed past the Montelbaanstoren, which is a clock tower built on the Oudeschans canal in Amsterdam. They had built it to defend Amsterdam and the harbour. The original clock tower had been built in 1516!

Canal Tour Amsterdam Montelbaanstoren

Once we entered the smaller canals, we sailed past houseboats. They look so cosy! Staying in a houseboat is definitely an item on my bucket list!

Canal Tour Amsterdam Houseboat

We sailed past the Rembrandt Museum and saw some interesting sights along the way – such as this little car. Isn’t it cute!

Canal Tour Amsterdam Little Car

We sailed through the Herengracht Canal, the most important canal in Amsterdam. There is a section in the Herengracht, called the Golden Bend, this is where the richest people in Amsterdam live.

As we sailed, the commentary spoke about the Bridge of 15 bridges. If you are looking under the right bridge, you can see 15 other bridges in the distance. I tried looking for this bridge, but I was unsuccessful!

We sailed along the canals, often passing smaller boats where people were having a party while sailing through the canals. This looks so relaxing, I hope to try it someday.

Canal Tour Amsterdam Herengracht Canal

In the commentary, the narrator asked to pay attention to several old buildings, such as this house that had been built in 1687!

All too soon our hour tour was finished! The time passed so quickly while I was having fun learning about Amsterdam’s history and sights.

My verdict

I loved this canal tour of Amsterdam! It was lovely seeing Amsterdam’s canals at night. I definitely recommend this tour! Stromma offers night tours and day tours. I would love to try the canal tour with pizza or cheese and wine or even the 4-course meal option when I visit Amsterdam again and the weather is better. There are also hop-on-hop-off packages available during the day. It is a fun way to explore Amsterdam while hearing some stories about this beautiful city.

Canal Tour Amsterdam

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