Canal Boat Tours, Amsterdam
Water and the construction of many bridges have been of vital importance to Amsterdam’s development over the years. Along the banks of the river Amstel a city developed that heavily depended on the water for its survival, for defense, trade and to drink. It is often called the Venice of the North, and with good reason!
Your get Wooden Girder Bridges, Brick Arched Bridges, Movable Bridges and Iron and Steel Leaf Bridges. All used at different times for different things, changing with the times and development. All add to the character and charm that is Amsterdam.
Fondest memory: One of my fondest looks here is when you look straight on at a bridge and see so many other bridges in your vision at the same time down the canal.
At the beginning of the tour they take a picture of you.....
The tour on the Grachten takes about 1 1/2 hours , you pass by a lot of interesting places of Amsterdam. On our tour there was a guiding voice in english, german, dutch and japanese.
Well, one has to take one of the ubiquitous canal cruises (they were about 6 Euros). They last about an hour and they give you a feel for the city. Quite relaxing too.
Fondest memory: Everybody spoke English and I found the Dutch to be (in general) polite and pleasant. I didn't even try to speak the local lingo.
"Sailing round the world in a dirty gondola oh, to be back in the land of Coca-Cola!"
- Bob Dylan
Instead of a dirty gondola.... change that to -
"Cruising round Amsterdam in a fine glass-roofed boat. Oh to be back in the land of Heineken!"
I think Bob Dylan can see the humor behind this....
Fondest memory: Surely one of the best ways to explore Amsterdam is to cruise around the canals in one of these glass-roofed canal boats. As it meanders through the network of canals, you'll be awed by the delightful sight of elaborate galded houses and narrow hump-backed bridges flashing by....
Favorite thing: This part of Amsterdam is endearing. We loved the river life of the canals, seeing people go about their business - one boat had a lady sitting on an actual SOFA in their boat whilst hubby was rowing away... haha... It looked out of place, but at least she was comfortable :)
Walk around and take a canal tour. There are more bridges in Amsterdam than in Venice. The buildings are narrow and pitched forward, some are leaning to the right or left. Be sure to notice how different one is from the next.
Fondest memory: Trying to cross the street admist bikes, cars, trams, and people that know where they are going. Giggling through the Sex Museum is fun as well.
I'm not sure the exact amount of canals and bridges in Amsterdam, but I'm sure the Canal Cruise is the nicest thing of touring the city, and that's also a great way to see the city from a different perspective.
Night cruise are especially enchanting, as many of the bridges are illuminated and the whole scene takes on something of an unreal quality.
DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that Amsterdam has 165 canals, 1281 bridges, 70 cruise boats, 8 wooden drawbridges, 2500 houseboats and ones and 120 water bikes? Hiring a boat or bicycle to discover all of this is definitely worth the effort.
A canal cruise is definitely the most original way of seeing Amsterdam. Leisurely float along through the city and admire the narrow streets and paths. The authentic Amsterdam is full of surprises!
SPECIAL CRUISE BOATS
Various boat companies in Amsterdam offer special cruise cruises. For example the Artis Express which takes you from Central Station via the VOC ship and the Tropics Museum to Artis (zoo). Do you want to visit more places of interest? Then board the museum boat. This boat visits all the famous museums in Amsterdam. From the Anne Frank House to the Rijksmuseum. Yet the museum boat can also drop you off at the Kalverstraat or the Magna Plaza. Have you ever seen a bus on water? The Canal Bus provides a regular service between important museums, shopping districts and attractions. However, you can also cycle on the water using a Canal Bike. With these Canal Bikes you can venture out on your own and discover Amsterdam whilst keeping fit.
Take a tour on the canals! You will see a different view of the city. I took a trip early in the morning before the rush, so the skipper had more time to explain things (he turned off the taperecorder).
One interesting thing I learned was that they used to pay tax according to the width of the houses. This is the reason why so many are very narrow. But then they can be very long!
Take a canal tour. I'm not talking about one of those touristy, covered boats...I talking about a little motor boat with no cover. Its run by an expat Yank, and it can be booked at Boom Chicago at the Leidesplein (Dutchies, please pardon my spelling). Its a much better way to see the canals.
Fondest memory: All of the strange sights. Here's a recap of some of the weird things I saw:
* We had just checked into our hostel, and were trying to soak in Amsterdam. Well, the three of us were standing next to this busy street, and this guy was riding his bike while eating a burger. I don’t know if he got his wheels in the light-rail tracks or what, but he started to swerve around some. He could have pulled out of it, but he was intent on saving that burger, so he was contorting his whole body so that his burger wouldn’t fall. Sure enough, it caused him to wipe out. As fate would have it, his face fell right on the burger, the same burger which he was so desparetly trying to save. He stood up, and there was mayonnaise (what else?) all over his face. Thank goodness he wasn’t hurt, because then we could laugh our butts off.
* Later, in the same evening, the three of us are having a beer overlooking the Rembrantsplien (a nice big plaza with tons of neon…sort of a Dutch times square), and the group next to us and especially right next to Michelle, broke out in a fight, and not a TV fight, either. They were throwing beer mugs and even a table. Glass was shattering and Huge even got some shards in his skin. The weird part was that the police were there immediately, and they were so blase about the whole thing. They were trying to ask what happened, all while these guys are trying to get back at each other. In the States, those guys would have been on the pavement and cuffed in a New York minute, but not here. I think they should watch some episodes of “Cops” or something so they know how to handle that kind of situation right.
* The Dutch men have this thing with peeing in the street. I guess this is a a problem for some time, so the city has tried to combat it by installing porta-potties around the city. Of course these are not porta-potties that you and I are familiar with. These are four open-air urinals arranged in a sort of clover-like pattern with only a small partition blocking the view. No door, no nothing. It’s basically like peeing against a wall. Of course, we still saw a few Dutch men urinating all over the street anyway, onto bikes, and against random walls. Strange.
Take a canal tour, a long one. Pick it when the light is the right one, like a sunny late afternoon: beautiful! Pick it also once when it's dark. You'll be jeallous like hell how people live in those old cosy flats by the canal...
When I took the canal boat it was very entertaining guides telling about the city and also gossiping about the amsterdamers.
Fondest memory: One of the first thing you should do at Amsterdam is to take a canal cruise down the waterways of Amsterdam. The cruise will enable you to see rows of gable houses and some very beautiful boat houses. Even saw a family having a barbeque on their boat.
Take a canal cruise and also ride on a tram or visit Anne Franks House. There is a whole stack of museums of one kind or another from the sex and erotica museums to the art museums - The Van Gogh museum, The Rijks museum - the Hash museum (apparently this often has gaps in its exhibits as the police often raid it!!), the Heineken Brewery etc
Fondest memory: I love the beautiful canals and the unusual buildings that line them.
Fondest memory: The boat cruise along the canals and watching the moored houseboats, the beautiful architectural houses, the House of Anne Frank, colourful trams, the ever popular bicycles, the clean and green envoironment, the colorful mix of humanity and not forgetting the 'Night Safari' in DAM SQUARE.
Take a tour on the canals, they are a great way to see life in the old part of the city. Visit the RIJKSMUSEUM, one of the greatest museums of Europe.
Fondest memory: The people are kind and charming, I have met some great friends in this city.