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Walking tour or canal boat tour


My husband and I will be in Amsterdam for 3 1/2 days in May. We always like to get an overall tour before we spend time on individual sites. Would you recommend a walking tour or a canal boat tour? Or are they different and it might make sense to do both?


Posted by
227 posts

You have several options :
A hop-on-hop-off bus tour with narrative . 19.50 euro / online 17.50 euro
A hop-on-hop-off boat tour through the canals with narrative . 22.50 euro / online 20.50 euro
A combination hop-on-hop-off bus & boat tour with narrative . 24 euro online
With the hop-on hop-off tours you get your overall feel for the city plus a chance to get your walking in !
For your first day it's best to get as much daylight as possible to get over jetlag so your idea of a tour outside is great .

Posted by
2487 posts

Have a classic canal tour. From the water you have a totally different experience of the city than walking.

Posted by
8060 posts

The canal tours are great but I'm not sure they will help you get your bearings. The canals aren't always straight (In that they curve in arcs thru the old city) and you are down below street level. To me it's hard to key in on location based on typical city orientation devices such as steeples/towers, etc. They are still interesting, just not as a way to help me get oriented!

Posted by
1606 posts

hey mbarkdembitz
i've been twice to amsterdam, it's a very pretty, busy and expensive city. lots of bikes everywhere. here are a few sites you can check out to keep you busy., search top 5 indonesian restaurants in amsterdam, look for rijsttafels (rice table)-small dishes to share, mild to spicy, served with rice lots of different things to see and do. (maybe a tour out to countryside) (ultimateflightexperience)
took a tram to albert cyupmarket, pedestrian only. blocks and blocks of anything and everything, closed sundays. walked around rembrandt plaza, had a glass of vino and people watch, found a pedicab to do a little tour dor us when our feet were sore. wear comfy shoes, lots of walking.
will you be there for tulip season? has different tours also, read about ordering your ticket, it's a crazy busy time with so many tourists.
have fun and enjoy. make the most of your days.

Posted by
86 posts

My friend took a walk/bike/boat tour and loved it. It was about three hours. Together, we took an evening canal tour with Those Dam Boat Guys, which was excellent.

Posted by
18351 posts

I have positive memories of the canal-boat ride I took decades ago. For myself, though, that wouldn't be a great idea on arrival day because I would be sitting down and might well fall asleep. I'd favor a walking tour first, then the canal boat later if I felt reasonably alert, or the next day if I did not.

Posted by
306 posts

Take a canal boat tour. Many like Those Dam Boat Guys; we used Blue Boat.
Amsterdam is just fun to wander around. You can do your own walking tour or one recommended in the guide books - decide what you want to see and plan your walk to suit your needs.
Have fun1

Posted by
4573 posts

I'd go with the canal boat tour, and bring a map. Great way to see the city from a unique perspective, something you can't do on your own (not easily or cheaply anyway). It will get you out into the harbor which you'd never see otherwise. We used Blue Boat from near the museum district but I'm sure others are good too.

Posted by
799 posts

My daughter moved to Amsterdam in 2016, and I was there three times for visits last year. We did a walking tour with That Dam Guide on our first trip, in March, and it was great - a wonderful overview of the central city and the history of Amsterdam and the Netherlands.

In June, we did a canal tour with Those Dam Boat Guys. Also very fun, and as others have noted it gives you a unique view of the city. However, I felt the walking tour was better for an orientation.

Do either or do both, you’ll have a great time!