Amsterdam consists of around 165 canals created over hundreds of years, so it stands to reason that one of the best ways to see the city, is to take a canal tour. In 2010, the canals of Amsterdam were listed as a UNESCO world heritage site and are visited by thousands of tourists every year.
Although canal tours are offered both during the day as well as in the evening, which is the better option?
Following are descriptions of daytime and evening cruises, with their pros and cons, which will give you a good idea as to when the best time is to take the cruise.
Day time canal cruise
Cruising along the canals during the day is the best way to see Amsterdam. The tours last for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to see what this historical city has to offer.
Pros of taking a day time tour
Although the old city has much to offer in the way of historic bridges and buildings, it is changing constantly so there are plenty of new sites to see as well.
As you cruise along the canals, you get to see everything that this fast-growing, 21st-century city has to offer. This includes things like the Music Building and the VOC ship in the harbour, to the Golden Bend, to the newest quarter in the city called Overhoeks.
Cons of the day time cruise
If you’re in a covered boat, and the weather is cold, you will miss much of the scenery as it goes by, because of the windows being misted up.
Some boats have an area towards the rear, where you can stand and take photos. However, these areas are small, and will not provide room for all passengers, if they wanted to take photos at the same time.
Evening canal tours
Taking an evening cruise gives you the opportunity to see floodlit sites like Anne Frank’s House and the Westerkerk, from the inside of a comfortable, warm cabin. The silhouettes of the bridges across the canal and the twinkling city lights, the churches and merchant’s houses, seem to have a magical air about them as you pass by.
Pros of taking a cruise at night
Evening tours are about one hour and 30 minutes long, and for that time, you are introduced to the night-time vibe that is unique to Amsterdam. The bridges, the iconic buildings, and the millions of scintillating lights leave memories that will last a lifetime!
Details of what you are seeing as you pass by, are given by tour guides in up to 21 different languages, so you are almost guaranteed to understand what you are hearing.
Cons of the tour at night
The natural darkness of the night already makes it harder to see the sites that you see during the day. If it is raining or foggy, then it is just about impossible to see anything, and the cold air makes it uncomfortable too, even if you are cruising in a covered boat.
The Amsterdam canal cruise in conclusion
Taking a canal cruise in Amsterdam is one of the highlights of any tourist’s holiday to this amazing city. Even though there are pros and cons to both daytime and evening tours, both of them are guaranteed to leave you with fantastic memories to take home with you!
The best thing to do is to take a day tour and an evening tour on another day and see what Amsterdam has to offer at any time of the day or night.