Ferries, Canal Boats and Water Taxis in Amsterdam

Information on the ferry boats, canal buses, canal boat cruises and water taxis in Amsterdam. Find out how to get around the main canals in North Holland, including the three main canals, Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht...

Amsterdam is known as the ‘Venice of the North’. It has a waterway network covering more than 100 kilometres. There are three main canals, Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht.

The majority of water transportation in Amsterdam is aimed at tourists. However, local residents do use the ferry services.

Ferries (Veer)

GVB is the public transport provider for Amsterdam. It provides eight ferry links connecting Amsterdam Central Station and the north of the city, as well as crossings on the Noordzeekanaal. Free ferry transportation is provided for passengers, bicycles and mopeds.

Canal Buses

The Canal Bus is one of the services provided by the Canal Company. It provides a regular service covering three routes around Amsterdam. Passengers can hop on or hop off at any one of the 19 stops in the main tourist or shopping areas.

There are four routes stopping at the main tourist attractions:

  • Green line: Central Station West to Central Station East - stops include Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, Leidseplein, Rembrandtplein and Rembrant House
  • Red line: Central Station East to Central Station West - stops include City Hall, Rijksmuseum, Leidseplein, Amsterdam Museum
  • Blue line: Central Station West, through the Plantage District in the east of Amsterdam
  • Orange line: Remprandtplein and Anne Frank House

Passengers can buy Canal Bus tickets from Canal Company shops near Central Station, Rijksmuseum, Leidseplein, Anne Frank House, hotels, tourist information offices and NZ Hollands Koffiehuis.

One day, 24-hour and 48-hour tickets are available. Combination tickets including a Canal Bus Day Pass and entry to one of Amsterdam’s museums are available. All Amsterdam Transport Passes, which include unlimited use of Amsterdam’s bus, metro and tram network, are also valid for one day on the Canal Bus.

Rederij Lovers provides another canal bus service in Amsterdam. The Museum Line sails 10:00-17:00 daily every 30 minutes. It leaves from Central Station West side and stops at Anne Frank house, Leidse Square, the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum, Stopera flea market and Dam Square.

The cruise lasts approximately 90 minutes. Day tickets are valid for unlimited boat travel for 24-hours and entitle passengers to discounted entry to several museums. Groups of more than 10 people should book in advance.

Canal Boat Cruises

There are many companies that offer canal boat cruises around Amsterdam.

Water Taxis

Water taxis can carry up to eight passengers. They can be booked in advance or hailed from the dock near Central station.

Canal Bikes

The Canal Company rents four-seater canal bikes in Amsterdam and Utrecht. Pedal boats can be hired from four moorings in Amsterdam and one in Utrecht.

Canal bikes are available daily 10:00-17:00 and in summertime, until 22:00 in Amsterdam. Canal Bike Utrecht opening times vary according to the season.

Boat Hire

Several companies provide boats for private hire in Amsterdam.