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Bruges Canal Trip vs Amsterdam Canal Trip

I will be visiting both Amsterdam and Bruges in late March and Early April 2024. Would you recommend a canal tour in both cities, or just one? If only one, why?

Posted by
4953 posts

I'd do both if time permits. I thought the sights were different enough from each other that both cruises were interesting.

Posted by
8 posts

Would you recommend a particular company? Time of day? Do I need to purchase tickets in advance?

Posted by
261 posts

I would also do and I did do both. In Amsterdam I did the larger glass top boat and in Bruges I did the smaller open boat. Both were very enjoyable and different enough. I don’t know the company names because I was on a tour and it was already arranged for us.

Posted by
2000 posts

In Bruges it doesn't matter, the boats are all the same and follow the same route for as as far as I know the same price. Late March or Early April you can buy and do the tour any time you like. Know that visiting Bruges during Eastern weekend and having good weather it will be crowded there and likely you have to wait a while to embark.

Posted by
516 posts

I definitely recommend doing both.

In Bruges there are about four or five different companies at different points around the city but they all do the same circuit just with different start points, so just go to the nearest one to where you happen to be.

In Amsterdam, Lovers are one of the big operators and you can catch their boats just across from the train station. And there’s another company that leaves from outside the Rijksmuseum. I’ve done both. I found one from near the Rijksmuseum was less crowded but that just might have been the time of day. I honestly don’t think there was much difference in the route.

I was travelling in early July and didn’t need to book. I just turned up and paid.

Posted by
4921 posts

Do both. No two cities are the same, and no two cruises are the same. There will be enough difference between them to make glad you did both.

Posted by
14097 posts

Maybe I've done one too many?? lol.... I've done Amsterdam a number of times, plus Haarlem, Ghent and Bruges. If you need to sit down for an hour or so, then yes to canal trips in both cities. I'll also say I'm not much on boat cruises in general...I get bored after about 30 minutes including on the local lake here in North Idaho.

Just wanted a contrary opinion, lol.

Posted by
975 posts

I enjoyed the Dam Boats guys canal ride in Amsterdam. Small boat, small participants, , real human commentary. Have done the hop-on hop-off boat as well- like a bus ride- but recommend taking one canal ride especially if it's your first visit..
Also enjoyed a 90 minute segway tour in Bruges- if they still operate. We saw things we would not have seen by foot.