Ferry Boat, Amsterdam
Something fun and free!
Most people arrive at Central station and go out the front doors. If you want to do something fun and free go out the back. There you will find three small ferries. Each one will take you to a different location. The trips are only 5 to 10 minutes each, but give you a great chance to see things from a different angle. Also you can get some great pictures of different types of boats and ships.
The first one was my favorite, I had no idea that I would have the opportunity to see a real Russian Submarine.
The second one goes straight across, and while the shortest trip it has a great little place to grab a cup of hot coffee. I'm sure they serve other drinks and food, but the day I was there was cold, all I wanted was something hot to drink.
The third one, goes to the right. If the cruise ship is in, you will have a great chance to grab a picture.
While I would not suggest doing in place of a cannel ride, it does complement it.
For people traveling with kids, it should rate a 10! Shutter bugs will love it too.
While these boats don't carry cars, they do take bikes, cycles, mini cars, dogs...
This ferryboat connects northern part of Amsterdam with the rest of the city. As it is prohibited for bikes and pedestrians to use the two tunnels (IJ-tunnel and the Coen-tunnel) and the ring road and if you don’t like to take a bus, you can use this ferry service (free of charge). Every few minutes there goes a ferryboat. When you are on the north side of the city there is a nice view over the River IJ.
For the architecture lovers among you: east of Central Station a whole new residential area has been built on several islands. Apartment buildings and small canals are highly interesting from an architectural perspective.
Apart from that, KNSM island has a cosmopolitic character, great furniture stores, and some nice restaurants and bars, where in summer, you can have your food and drinks overlooking the boats. You can find more photo's of Java island in my travelogue.
Some of the restaurants worth visiting are De Wereldbol and Brasserie 't Ijland, both on Levantkade. Also on Levantkade is Kanis & Meiland, a great pub with a super terrace. They serve good sandwiches, tapas etc. Very good atmosphere!
At the back of the central station are several free water taxi's that take you to the north of Amsterdam. Just take one and see a complete different picture of Amsterdam. Especially good on sunny days with a slight hint of wind.
But take care that you don't miss the last one back!