The Amstel

The Amstel: Our most recommended tours and activities

Amsterdam: Open Boat Canal Cruise

1. Amsterdam: Open Boat Canal Cruise

Admire Amsterdam’s picturesque waterside landmarks on a 100% electric cruise. Take in incredible views of the city’s famous landmarks from an open boat and experience a relaxing way to sightsee, free of traffic. Learn informative and entertaining insights about the sites along the route. See the 17th-century buildings lining the famous canals, as well as new stylish buildings showcasing the influential 21st-century city that Amsterdam has become. Sail by the Hermitage Museum, then glide past the Skinny Bridge, the posh Amstel Hotel, and the charming neighborhood of Grachtengordel. Enjoy an open-air boat experience on a sunny day or stay warm with a protective covering on cooler days. In the winter months, relax on an enclosed boat to keep you warm. Benefit from the flexibility of a one-use ticket that can be used on any one of the cruises departing within the hour you booked.

Amsterdam: Light Festival Cruise w/ Optional Open Bar

2. Amsterdam: Light Festival Cruise w/ Optional Open Bar

Experience the eleventh edition of Amsterdam Light Festival with Imagine Beyond as this years theme. You can enjoy the enchanting light works from the 1st of December 2022 till the 22nd of January 2023. During the 11th edition, Amsterdam Light Festival takes visitors by hand to the world of imagination, with the theme 'Imagine Beyond'. The world is moving, nothing appears to be ordinary anymore. Imagination enables us to exceed the here and now, envision the day of tomorrow however you like, and dream along. Get carried away to places beyond the well-known. Stare through the portals and let your imagination run free. What do you see? Are we talking to lamps? Are there only virtual bridges? Join a journey to the world of imagination with 20 specially selected light artworks made by (inter)national artists. Enjoy the company of your local skipper and hostess as you explore the city from the perspective of the water. 

Amsterdam: Classic Boat Cruise with Cheese & Wine Option

3. Amsterdam: Classic Boat Cruise with Cheese & Wine Option

Relax on a canal cruise through the UNESCO Heritage listed Golden Age Canals of Amsterdam. View city highlights like the Skinny Bridge, the Red Light District, and the Old Harbor. Have the option to choose standard tour or a tour with unlimited delicious Dutch cheese, wine, and other drinks. Board the ship and let your local skipper tell you about local history as you sail past sights in the Jordaan district and the Skinny Bridge on the the Amstel River. Admire views of parts of the Red Light District, the former city locks, and Old Harbor. Capture pictures of the stately architecture of the Maritime Museum and the prestigious Gold Bend neighborhood. See pieces of history as you sail by places like the Anne Frank House. Ask your guide questions about the city and get recommendations for things to do and places to eat.

Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum Ticket & Canal Cruise

4. Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum Ticket & Canal Cruise

Combine a trip to the world-famous Van Gogh Museum with a spectacular 1-hour cruise through the historic canal district. The Van Gogh Museum has the largest collection of works by Vincent van Gogh in the world. It is one of the most important museums in the Netherlands and has been visited by millions of people. There is no better way to complete a fun day trip to the Van Gogh Museum than with an exciting boat cruise. One half of the package includes a visit the Van Gogh Museum which has the world’s largest collection of paintings, drawings, sketches, and letters by the famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. With almost two million visitors a year, it is the second most-visited museum in the Netherlands and definitely a must see. The Van Gogh Museum has over 200 paintings, 400 drawings, and 700 letters by the artist. Some of the most famous pieces in the collection include The Potato Eaters (1885), Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette (1886), Sunflowers (1889), and Almond Blossoms (1890). The other half of the package includes an Amsterdam canal cruise. Amsterdam’s beautiful city center is listed as a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, and there is no better way to explore it than with an Amsterdam canal cruise. The fun, 1-hour cruise will take you through the city’s most important canals, past magnificent 17th-century churches, mansions, boat houses, and bridges. You can see all of the best sights including the Westerkerk church, the Negen Straatjes district, and the Magere Brug on the Amstel river. The cruise features a GPS guide with information in several different languages and the boats are fitted with panoramic windows to ensure you enjoy a fantastic view of the city.

Amsterdam: Heineken Experience and 1-Hour Canal Cruise

5. Amsterdam: Heineken Experience and 1-Hour Canal Cruise

Book your combo ticket to a classic canal cruise and Heineken Experience in Amsterdam. Learn the art of brewing, sip 2 beers or soft drinks, and enjoy cutting-edge multimedia. Visit the Heineken Experience at the time you’ve booked; take your cruise at a pre-booked time slot of your choice. Learn the story of one of the world's most famous breweries with an entrance ticket to the Heineken Experience and enjoy an interactive, self-guided tour of the original factory, where all of the brand’s beer was made until 1988. Get a behind-the-scenes look at facilities including the gigantic copper tanks where the lager was brewed. Take part in a tasting session and test your skills at drafting a perfect beer. Then, see the 17th-century architecture of the city center on a 1-hour canal cruise. Avail of a GPS guide in several languages to get interesting information about iconic landmarks such as the Westerkerk, "Skinny Bridge" and the charming Negen Straatjes neighborhood.

Amsterdam: Smoke & Lounge 70-Minute Light Festival Boat Tour

6. Amsterdam: Smoke & Lounge 70-Minute Light Festival Boat Tour

Enjoy one of the most relaxing smoke-friendly lounge boat tours in Amsterdam. Sip on your favorite drink, smoke, or enjoy one of the hookah/shisha's onboard for an extra cost. From 1 December 2022 until January 2023 enjoy an additional light festival route.  Start out in the heart of the Red Light District, one of the most popular locations in the city, and sail through the central area, the Herengracht and Prinsengracht canals, the Seven Bridges, the river Amstel, the Skinny Bridge, and the Dancing Houses before returning to where you started. Enjoy Amsterdam's stunning Light Festival from December 1st 2022 until January 2023 Mix the city highlights boat route with the light tour route, so you have the best of both worlds. The boat can accommodate up to 22 people. Whatever the weather, the boat is set up so passengers will have an enjoyable time. In summertime all windows can be opened, ensuring full visibility of Amsterdam’s iconic landmarks and monuments. In winter all windows can be closed, and we have heated seats to keep you warm. 

Amsterdam: Canal Booze Cruise

7. Amsterdam: Canal Booze Cruise

You can drink in a bar in any city in the world, but for a true Amsterdam experience, you can’t do better than a boozy canal cruise along the world-famous waterways, taking in the sights with a cold beer in hand. Choose from a private or shared cruise. Depart from the city center and cruise through some of the city's main canals. Make your way onto the Amstel River, under the 7 bridges, and discover hidden gems that only a local skipper and host will know how to find. Your cruise will eventually return to the same spot in which you started, right in the city center, exactly where you will want to be after a cruise with an open bar.

Amsterdam: City Canal Cruise and Rijksmuseum

8. Amsterdam: City Canal Cruise and Rijksmuseum

Admire Amsterdam from the water on a 75-minute canal cruise and beat the queues at the Rijksmuseum with skip-the-line entry. Listen to audio commentary on the cruise and marvel at the works of artists, such as Vermeer. Upgrade your package with a snack box lunch. Present your voucher at the ticket office and pick up your sweet or savory snack box (if option selected) before boarding your boat at the docks of either the Heineken Experience or Hard Rock Cafe. Soak up the city views as you sail along the UNESCO-listed canals. Learn about the sites along the way with audio commentary on board. Visit the Rijksmuseum at your booked timeslot and avoid the queues with your fast-track ticket. Marvel at the renowned collections, including historic art by Vermeer, Frans Hals, and perhaps most notably, Rembrandt’s "The Night Watch."  

Amsterdam: Canal Cruise and Entrance to Xtracold Icebar

9. Amsterdam: Canal Cruise and Entrance to Xtracold Icebar

Explore the beauty of Amsterdam on a canal cruise to see the main highlights like the old buildings, markets, ports, and more before making a skip-the-line entrance to the ice-cold Xtracold Icebar.  You can take the tour in one go, or choose to enjoy each option on alternate days for maximum flexibility. As a self-guided tour, explore the city in your own time and see the sights of Amsterdam at a leisurely pace. From the water, enjoy the best views of the canal houses and houseboats. Admire merchant buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries, Amsterdam’s Golden Age, when trade flourished and was reflected in the elaborately decorated façades. Learn more about the Dutch capital while listening to the onboard audio guide, available in 19 languages. Sail through the old port to see yet another side of Amsterdam. Then, back on land, enjoy 3 free drinks at the Xtracold Icebar where even the glasses are made of ice.

Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum and Canal Cruise Combo Tour

10. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum and Canal Cruise Combo Tour

Combine 2 of Amsterdam’s must-do experiences with this tour of the Canal Belt by boat and entry to the legendary Rijksmuseum. Admire the beautiful canal boats and merchant houses from the water on a 1-hour canal cruise that takes you along some of the historic waterways. Dug in the Dutch Golden Age spanning the 17th century, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. Feast your eyes on the decorative façades of the canalside buildings, and marvel at all the different styles of gables, such as clock, spout and neck gables. Pass iconic architecture, including the Skinny Bridge over the Amstel River, the legendary home of the World War 2 diarist Anne Frank, the imposing Westerkerk, and the old Port of Amsterdam. Then, disembark to enjoy skip-the-line entry to the Rijksmuseum. See masterpieces by the Dutch masters of the 17th century, including Rembrandt’s “The Nighwatch” and Vermeer’s “The Milkmaiden.”

Other Sightseeing Options in The Amstel

Want to discover all there is to do in The Amstel? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about The Amstel

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 16,285 reviews

Canal cruise was great. At least an hour your if canals. Modern boat. Warm inside. Decent captain. Humorous and good English. Night time good for lights. Museum excellent. Lovely building. Nice contrast to canal cruise.

Bell and our driver were great! They were personable, funny and wonderful hosts! We also learned a lot about the city, not just the light show

Great experience to see the City and learn about city history. I like to recommend the boat and the staff.

We had a great time. There was plenty of cheese and wine. The guide was great.

Had a great time and very accommodating for families with small children