Canals are an integral part of the Dutch landscape so it's only fitting you see them up close and personal, from a boat. Viewing Amsterdam by watercraft puts you level with Golden Age mansions, world-class monuments like the Anne Frank House and Westerkerk, and historic landmarks like the city's narrowest house.
Numerous companies offer canal tours of Amsterdam, including Holland International, which has day, evening and holiday cruises. Around the year, you can see the city in long vessels with enclosed cabins for protection against the unpredictable weather in the Netherlands. Choose from hour-long cruises covering city highlights or dinner, pizza and candlelight voyages. Audio guides are available in 19 languages (including Dutch), and there are toilets on board the boats.
If you have more than a few hours to spend on the water, opt for a hop-on hop-off tour in a smaller, electric-powered 12- and 35-person boat. From March‒October, Holland International's Canal Hopper floats through Amsterdam's UNESCO-honored canal ring, stopping at 16 city landmarks including the Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House, Rembrandt Square, the Albert Cuyp Market, and Nieuwmarkt, Amsterdam's oldest neighborhood. There are departures from 11:00‒18:00, Friday‒Sunday from March‒October. In July, August and during holiday periods, the Hopper sails daily with fair weather.