The Ultimate Guide to Canal Cruise in Amsterdam


Top 8 things to do in Amsterdam in Spring

Top 8 things to do in Amsterdam in Spring

When springtime blossoms, so too does a whole new Amsterdam reveal itself, abundantly ripe for exploration. While the Dutch capital’s famed canalside charms and cultural attractions enchant year-round, warmer weather unlocks an array of exceptional possibilities for adventures. Here the season’s refreshing vitality unfurls across verdant parklands, gardens, and markets just as local life spills outdoors to reconnect with nature’s spirit.

Venture through Amsterdam this spring to witness its true colors and community awaken. Embark on wonderfully old-world journeys by bicycle or boat, trace the nostalgic steps of Golden Age painters and traders, and trace tulips as far as the eye can see. Modern culture fiends can browse lively bazaars stocking delectable local fare then dive into multicultural bustle and creativity brewing within the hip De Pijp district’s lanes. Each corner turned invites new opportunities for curiosity and discovery through Amsterdam’s myriad facets.

From the aroma of handmade poffertjes treat stands, to strolling Amsterdam’s soulful neighborhoods, experiencing the city’s seasonal metamorphosis proves every travel lover’s delight. This handy spring guide next details the top 8 quintessential city activities awaiting you to discover anew this springtime.

Stroll through Vondelpark

The aptly named “Vondelpark” serves as Amsterdam’s most renowned green sanctuary, stretching over 120 acres in the heart of the capital city. As spring arrives each year, Vondelpark becomes awash in vivid color from blooming bulbs, plants, and blossoming trees. It offers the perfect place for a serene stroll or leisurely picnic amidst revitalized nature.

In early spring, over 3 million Crocuses in shades of purple, yellow, and white first emerge across Vondelpark’s lawns. These cheerful flowers bravely bloom even with any last touches of frost. Next, over 75 tree species ranging from stately oaks to ornamental cherry trees reach their peak flowering timeframe during April and May. The park’s lush lawns also foster daffodils, hyacinths, and of course – tulips, which draw visitors from around the world to Amsterdam in spring.

Beyond floral displays, Vondelpark offers many sculptures, historical monuments, cafes, and restaurants for visitors to uncover while meandering its paths. The park’s renowned Rosarium pays tribute to Amsterdam’s fame for flowers with unique rose gardens arranged in intricate mosaic patterns. An open-air theater in Vondelpark frequently hosts free concerts, dance performances, and events during spring afternoons.

As a beloved community gathering space, Vondelpark comes alive in spring and summer months as both tourists and locals convene. On any given day, you may spot picnicking friends, musicians strumming guitars, children playing games, couples strolling by the lake, and more all throughout the grounds’ vibrant lawns and gardens. Wandering through Vondelpark in spring promises sensory delights from sights to smells that encapsulate Amsterdam’s most alluring season. It offers an urban oasis for nature, people-watching, and quintessential Dutch attractions.

Rent a Bike and Explore Amsterdam by Cycle

Pedaling through the flat, bicycle-friendly streets of Amsterdam serves as an idyllic way to explore the city’s top sights and hidden gems. As spring emerges, warmer weather and sunlight create prime conditions for cycling Amsterdam’s captivating corridors, canals, and parks.

Venturing through Amsterdam by bicycle allows you to cover more ground than walking to fully experience the city’s iconic canals, bridges, narrow townhouses, and houseboats from unique vantage points. Nearly 850,000 bikes exist in Amsterdam with extensive cycling infrastructure catering to locals’ preferred mode of transport. Special bike lanes, traffic signals, and parking stations with amenities for cyclists aim to prioritize safety and accessibility.

Beyond transportation, bicycling morphs into a joyride given Amsterdam’s quintessentially Dutch cycling culture and mostly flat terrain. While meandering the city’s streets, you’ll see locals expertly balancing groceries, children, pets, and more on their bicycles with ease. You can stop pedaling at any point to snap photos or enter enticing shops and cafés that catch your eye before coasting to the next site.

Numerous bike rental companies around Amsterdam offer bicycles suited for everyone from solo travelers to large families. Handy maps, helmets, locks, and other gear may come included to meet sightseeing needs. Some bike rental outlets also provide guided tours of Amsterdam led by knowledgeable locals. If needing a break from pedaling, simply park your bike and experience Amsterdam by foot or boat for a while before continuing your journey on two wheels.

Gliding through Amsterdam by bicycle lets you feel part of the city’s culture and atmosphere while discovering its treasured sights at your own pace. Spring welcomes ideal weather to pedal past tulips, blossoming parks, outdoor markets, museums, historic buildings, and other top sites that shape Amsterdam’s identity.

Sail Through Amsterdam’s Iconic Canals via Boat Tour

Amsterdam holds the distinction of featuring more canals than Venice, Italy with an elaborate network spanning over 60 miles throughout the capital. A canal cruise serves as an ideal, relaxing way to admire Amsterdam’s wealth of waterside culture, history, architecture, and natural beauty.

Local companies offer scheduled canal boat tours year-round that run about an hour in duration. However, spring showcases Amsterdam’s picturesque canals at their finest. Aboard heated, glass-topped tour boats, you’ll gently glide past over 1,500 bridges and discover 17th century Golden Age mansions, houseboats, historic churches, museums, parks, charming shops, and more.

Knowledgeable audio guides detail fascinating facts about Amsterdam’s landmarks spotted along the canals. You’ll learn how uniquely Dutch architecture styles evolved to handle taxes once based on home widths. Nature and plant lovers can appreciate abundant waterbirds, floating flower gardens, weeping willow trees, and vibrant spring blooms lining the canal routes.

Certain cruise options also stop to let visitors disembark and further explore Amsterdam’s character-filled neighborhoods by foot and other boats. Special evening cruises reveal the city’s romantic atmosphere after sunset with the canalside architecture illuminated. Private small group tours, dinner cruises, and specialty theme tours like photography-, wine-, jazz-, or chocolate-focused canal rides also cater to varied interests.

Gliding through the “Venice of the North” via canal boat sightseeing sailings allows admiring the essence of Amsterdam from its very aquatic roots. Whether by day, night, or a special event cruise, a new angle of the Netherlands’ color-rich capital unfolds each spring from its timeless, graceful waterways.

Revel in the Dramatic Tulip Displays of Keukenhof Gardens

Surrounded in color and sweeping landscapes, Keukenhof Gardens is a bucket-list spring attraction outside of Amsterdam. Known as the world’s largest flower garden, Keukenhof owns nearly every superlative under the sun: over 7 million bulbs, 800 varieties of tulips, endless rows of hyacinths and daffodils, and 79 acres of absolute show-stopping magic.

Time an Amsterdam trip to mid-March through mid-May to see Keukenhof at its best. Located in the historic “bulb region” about 30 minutes from Amsterdam, it’s easily accessible by shuttle bus, tour package, or public transit. Once there, delight your senses by exploring immaculately-designed flower exhibitions and gardens. Keukenhof constantly unveils new themes – one year, architecturally impressive pavilion displays feature Chelsea Flower Show-winning creations, and the next there are dazzling rainbow hues with solid walls of fuschias, oranges, pinks, and purples.

Popular annual additions include the Willem Alexander Pavilion dedicated to innovation, the Historical Garden honouring Dutch flower merchants of the past, and the Nature Playground complete with mazes for the kids. However, Keukenhof’s allure remains its sheer vast scale and staggering range of flower varieties whisking you to incredible spring worlds each turn. There are towering walls of vibrant tulips that seem to go on forever. Speckled orchards of flowering plum and cherry trees. Fern-filled forests that frame wisteria-draped willows. Misty ponds with golden daffodils fringing the entire banks.

No matter the display, Keukenhof continues inspiring all who enter since its founding in 1949. Its dreamy floral experience showcases how the fleeting joys of spring bloom anew each year to offer renewal and pure wonder.

Uncover One-of-a-Kind Treasures at Albert Cuyp Market

As one of Europe’s largest and busiest outdoor bazaars, the Albert Cuyp Market in downtown Amsterdam dazzles the senses with its bustling array of offerings. Operating since 1904, this lively open-air market features over 300 vendor stalls stretching down Albert Cuypstraat and side streets. It attracts both locals and tourists to peruse diverse products, try Dutch street food specialties, and soak up an electric atmosphere.

Albert Cuyp provides a one-stop shop to assemble picnic provisions for Vondelpark, fill your kitchen with fresh produce, grab Dutch souvenirs, or simply people watch. Alongside vendors shouting daily specials in Dutch, you’ll hear a blend of languages from bargain hunters that reflect Amsterdam’s multicultural essence. Stalls brim with colorful textiles, second-hand books, bold tulip bulbs, cheese wheels, fish, spices, and endless flowers.

While browsing goods, don’t miss out on beloved Dutch street fare found at Albert Cuyp. Snack on flaky stroopwafels or oliebollen doughnuts, indulge in heaping cones of fries with mayonnaise, or enjoy ethnic flavors like Indonesian satay skewers reflecting Holland’s colonial ties. Seafood lovers will find raw herring sandwich carts, while those with a sweet tooth can buy syrup-soaked pancake rolls and Turkish pastries.

If needing respite from the bustle, duck into one of many cozy cafés dotted along Albert Cuypstraat to sip coffee and people watch. Grab a table on a patio to fully embrace Amsterdam’s vibrant city pulse in action. By the end of your visit, you’re guaranteed to walk away from Albert Cuyp Market with special keepsakes, full bellies, and lasting memories of local culture.

Step Inside Master Painter Rembrandt’s Historic Amsterdam Home

Today a museum, the Rembrandt House (Rembrandthuis) once served as the home, studio, and workplace of legendary Dutch Golden Age painter, Rembrandt van Rijn from 1639 to 1658. Located in Amsterdam’s old city center just minutes from the Waterlooplein flea market, this landmark building now lets visitors intimately discover Rembrandt’s lifestyle and creative world that shaped such iconic masterpieces.

Preserved and restored to look much as when Rembrandt occupied the premises, his house reflects style elements popular in Amsterdam’s 17th century heyday as a prosperous trading capital. The dwelling’s tall, narrow structure linked to similar buildings, brick façade, large windows, and canal-side location still mirror typical architectural attributes around the city today.

Inside, displays transport you back to Rembrandt’s era to visualize how the famed portraitist and historical scene painter might have lived. Wander through the oriented rooms to uncover his recreated studio, salon gallery, kitchen, entrance hall, and sleeping quarters. Original period artifacts, paintings, etchings completed on-site, and household items convey a daily environment that made Rembrandt such a revolutionary creative force.

The museum also showcases examples of experimental painting techniques Rembrandt himself pioneered that later influenced 19th century Impressionists. Beyond displays, demonstrations, lectures, and workshops regularly held at the house studio shed light on Rembrandt’s mastery of chiaroscuro, emotional resonance, and masterful use of light and shadows within scenes to dramatic effect.

Stepping into Rembrandt House truly links a modern window to the Netherlands’ monumental Golden Age when arts thrived and Amsterdam stood atop the world. It honors Rembrandt’s legacy as a giant both within his storied era that shaped Dutch identity and across art history through today.

Indulge in Favorite Dutch Treats at a Gezellig Cafe

Tapping into Amsterdam’s flourishing cafe culture proves an appetizing way to connect with authentic local flavors and beloved gathering places. And few Dutch specialties exist more quintessential than pancakes and poffertjes to sample amidst a gezellig atmosphere.

The untranslatable Dutch concept of “gezelligheid” conveys both coziness and conviviality. It’s a vibe that Amsterdam’s many welcoming cafes emit in spades with relaxed patrons laughing, chatting, reading newspapers, playing games, and lingering for hours. Seek out a friendly pancake house or poffertjes eetcafé to blend right in and embrace local social traditions.

At these causal, efficient establishments, diners find displays of mouthwatering Dutch pancake and poffertjes options with creative topping combinations to mix and match. Poffertjes offer bite-sized fluffy buckwheat pancakes drenched in powdered sugar and melted butter then paired with sweet or savory fillings. Larger Dutch pancake options allow choosing a base batter, such as traditional, whole grain, or gluten-free, before selecting both healthy and decadent toppings.

For the quintessential spring dining experience, order poffertjes or Dutch pancakes topped with fresh in-season strawberries or a drizzle of chocolate. Other novel flavor fusion fillings incorporate ingredients like Dutch stroop caramel syrup, apple sauce, cheeses, bacon, tropical fruits, and whipped cream.

By diving into a stack of skillfully prepared sweet or savory Dutch pancakes or poffertjes inside a laidback locals’ cafe, you’ll feel transported to the core of what makes Amsterdam’s food and social culture so distinctively “gezellig.”

Embrace Amsterdam’s Diverse Essence While Exploring De Pijp

Just south of the Museumplein lies the vibrant area of De Pijp, deemed Amsterdam’s Latin Quarter. As an inner-city neighborhood rich in multicultural diversity, it offers an eclectic atmosphere distinct from central tourist zones. Home to many creatives, students, young families and first-generation immigrants, De Pijp invites immersion into how Amsterdam locals live and its shifting demographics.

The grittier pre-war architecture of De Pijp sets an artsy stage for trendy coffee bars, microbreweries, dynamic street art, food halls, music clubs, and quirky boutiques to thrive. Nearly 100 nationalities coexist within just over 1 square mile here, infusing the enclave with rich cultural mélanges. Sights, smells and chatter heard strolling De Pijp’s bustling Albert Cuyp street market and surrounding lanes provides the ultimate peek into Amsterdam’s wonderfully polyglot community.

Yet the neighborhood also retains an inherent coziness and community spirit, known locally as “gezelligheid.” Its slim buildings and canal-lined streets fostered Amsterdam’s signature neighborhood layout where people live on top of shop premises and gather in local watering holes or leafy green courtyard gardens. Hidden gem restaurants run by international families feature delicious Surinamese, Ghanaian, Venezuelan and other global cuisines influenced by former Dutch colonies abroad.

Through its tapestry of residents, styles, languages and ways of life, De Pijp District represents Amsterdam’s broader reputation as an open, progressive melting pot city embracing diversity as its strength. Wandering here promises a vibrant glimpse at social, ethnic, and national layers creating Amsterdam’s singular essence today.

More useful information about Amsterdam Canal Cruises

We are a group of travelers who love to explore and write about Amsterdam. Over the years, we have gained extensive experience with cruising over the Canals in Amsterdam. Here, you could find all the essential information you need to know about Amsterdam Canal Cruises, including the different types of cruise, prices, tickets, operating hours, departure points, and many more.


Table of Contents

Tickets & Booking