The Best Canal Tours in Amsterdam with kids

Are you planning a trip to Amsterdam and want to book a canal tour? Is it overwhelming to decide which tour? I’m here to help! I recently visited this beautiful city and enjoyed a wonderful canal tour in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is a unique city with canals weaving through town. You’ll notice charming houseboats on the water and towering narrow homes overlooking the canals. It makes for a picturesque view the whole family will never forget. 

I recently visited the Netherlands with my husband, three kids, and some friends. Our group of four adults and five kids fell in love with Amsterdam. We all agreed the canal tour was the highlight of our trip. I’m excited to share with you the best canal tours in Amsterdam with kids.

My Top 3 Picks: The Best Amsterdam Canal Tours

#1 TOP PICK

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Pure Boats
✔️ Luxury Ride in Wooden Boat
✔️ Excellent Local Guide
✔️1.5 hour tour with apple pie

#2 PICK

Blue Boat
✔️ affordable
✔️ kids audio tour
✔️75 minute tour

#3 PICK

Amsterdam Circle Lines Cruises
✔️ stroller accessible
✔️ coloring pages for kids
✔️bathrooms

↳ Book it

Amsterdam Canals

you'll enjoy scenic views on a canal ride

photo credit: M. Huie

By the 1500s, the Dutch capital of Amsterdam emerged as a major trading city with an emphasis on banking and shipbuilding. As the city’s population grew, leaders needed a way to expand and move products quickly through it. Today, over 160 canals weave through the city. 

In modern times, tourists flock to Amsterdam to see this magnificent city with picturesque canals. Taking a boat tour is the best way to see the architecture and charm of the town. The entire family will enjoy this experience. Even the older kids on our trip loved the cruise!

We loved our stay at the Hyatt Regency Amsterdam if you are looking for great hotel with easy access to the metro and with clean and crisp hotel rooms.

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The Top Canal Tours in Amsterdam

There are numerous tour companies to choose from and you can explore in all seasons. Luckily, I’m here to help you pick the best boat ride for your family or travel group. I know you will have a great time.

1. Pure Boats– Small Guided Tour

Pure Boats is the best canal tour company in Amsterdam

⭐️ Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars | Luxurious Small Group Tour|
Check Availability⭐️

We used Pure Boats for our fantastic experience. I highly recommend them for several reasons. First, you will enjoy a comfortable ride in a gorgeous wooden boat with cozy seating. 

The classic tour lasts for 1.5 hours, where a local expert teaches you the history of the city as well as fun facts about the uniqueness of Amsterdam. Our guide, Burt, was very knowledgeable and allowed our kids opportunities to sit in the captain’s chair. It was very family friendly as the kids ranged from 6-12. 

fresh apple pie provided

The tour included water, soft drinks, juice, and some alcohol. We each received a plate of fresh apple pie, and since it was Easter, the boat was sprinkled with delicious chocolate eggs. 

The tour is slightly more than others; however, you get what you pay for. Some of the boats are large and crammed with guests. This is a luxurious and unique experience through Amsterdam’s canals.

Highlights 

  • Extremely family-friendly 
  • Longer cruise at ⅕ hours
  • Fresh apple pie 
  • Stunning wooden boat 
  • Cover for rainy days
  • Blankets and heat on colder days

✔️Book Pure Boats NOW by clicking HERE!

cozy Pure Boats seating

Want to see the tulips while in town? Check out my guide on the best time to see the tulips and how to rent bikes near Keukenhof Gardens.

2. Flagship Amsterdam Classic Boat Cruise

Flagship Amsterdam

⭐️ Rating: 4.6 out of 5 Stars | Classic Boat Cruise | Check Availability⭐️

Flagship Amsterdam Classic Boat is another excellent option for a small cruise. They offer two choices, one of which includes cheese and wine. Children are welcomed as long as an adult accompanies them. 

For your tour of the canals of Amsterdam, you will choose between two locations: the Anne Frank House or Central Station. This company offers one of the best canal tours in a small setting. 

Highlights

  • Lasts one hour
  • Comfortable seating 
  • The tour is in English 
  • Friendly guides with interactive lessons about the canals
  • Standard tour or wine & cheese tour

✔️Book your Amsterdam Classic Boat Cruise NOW by clicking HERE!

3. Blue Boat

Blue Boat Cruises

⭐️ Rating: 4.4 out of 5 Stars |75 Minute Tour | Check Availability⭐️

Blue Boat is a fantastic choice if traveling with kids. For instance, there’s a free audio tour created specifically for children. This is a great experience and one of the best activities for kids of all ages. Our boys love a good audio tour. 

There are several departure locations to choose from, which is nice. I love Pure Boats, but the Blue Boat Company is a terrific price point if you want to save money. 

Highlights

  • Audio tour available
  • Kids audio with purchase of a canal cruise ticket 
  • Snacks available for purchase 
  • Photo ops for your social media 

✔️Book the Blue Boat Kids Cruise by clicking HERE!

4. Amsterdam Circle Line Cruises

Circle Line is one of the best Canal Tours in Amsterdam with kids

⭐️ Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars |75 Minute Tour | Check Availability⭐️

Amsterdam Circle Lines is another great, affordable option. The cruise starts at the Anne Frank House so you can plan both activities back-to-back. This boat tour gives an extensive tour of the popular Jordaan community. 

This tour doesn’t include complimentary food but has some great family perks. For instance, the boat has a bathroom, and children receive coloring pages.

Highlights

  • Bathrooms on board 
  • Wifi available 
  • Coloring pages for kids 
  • Stroller accessible 
  • Audio tour available 

✔️Book Amsterdam Circle Lines NOW by clicking HERE!

5. Lovers Canal Cruises

Lovers Canal Cruises

⭐️ Rating: 4.1 out of 5 Stars |Audio Tour| Check Availability⭐️

If you are looking for a large cruise with a covered top, consider Lovers Canal Cruises. This is an excellent option for someone who wants an audio tour in a different language, as many options exist. 

Highlights

  • Kids under 4 are free
  • audio guide available 
  • Not handicapped accessible for wheelchair users 
  • 1-hour cruise

✔️Book Lovers Cruise NOW by clicking HERE!

6. Hop On Hop Off Amsterdam

Hop on Hop off Boat

⭐️ Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars | Boat & Bus Tour Available | Check Availability⭐️

If you love Hop on Hop off Tours, this is a great option. There are several options, and the ticket is good for either 24 or 48 hours. You can choose just the bus OR canal portion, but one of this company’s perks is combining the two into one tour.

Highlights

  • Pace yourself
  • Combo ticket available 
  • Bus route: 1 hour 
  • Boat route: 2 hours
  • Stroller accessible

✔️Book the Hop on Hop Off Tour NOW by clicking HERE!

FAQ: Visiting Amsterdam

Amsterdam's houseboats

Is a canal cruise worth it?

It is a unique opportunity that you must take! It is a great way to see the city of Amsterdam up close and learn its rich history. Even if you only come on a day trip to the town, you’ll want to book a canal boat tour to see this great city. 

How much do canal cruises cost?

Prices range based on the level of service. Some cheaper cruises start around $20 and go up to over $50.

What is the best time to go on a canal cruise?

They are enjoyable at all times of the day, but some guests prefer sunset cruises. In the winter, the boats are covered. 

How long do the cruises last?

Typically, it takes an hour, although some stretch to 1.5 hours. 

What are the main attractions in Amsterdam to do besides a canal tour?

The city has world-class museums such as the Anne Frank House, Zaanse Schans, Nemo Science Center, Van Gogh Museum, National Maritime Museum, and touring Ajax Stadium for football fans. Many of these have interactive exhibits!

In Conclusion: The Best Canal Tours in Amsterdam with kids

I hope my guide to the Best Canal Tours in Amsterdam with kids helps you plan your next great adventure.

🇳🇱Netherlands Resources🇳🇱
Fall in Amsterdam
Best Canal Tours in Amsterdam
Review of the Hyatt Regency Amsterdam
Best Time to see Tulips in Amsterdam
Guide to Bike Rentals in Keukenhof Gardens