When you think of Amsterdam, you think of canals. It' unavoidable, from the moment you fly into Schiphol you can see the waterways, once you leave the train station you have to cross the water to get in to the city centre and once you're in the city centre, the only way anywhere is over water. This means that as well as admiring the waters from a far, it's a must to get on it and see all the places that can only be enjoyed by boat, or at least get around the city the way it was intended.
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to canal tours in The Dam, from different routes, stops and companies it can be hard to know where to start. It's easiest to start with landmarks you definitely don't want to miss, find a tour that covers those and take the rest as a bonus. We decided to go with Gray Line and 'The #1 Canal Cruise Amsterdam' which costs around €16.00 (£12.00).
After a sunny start walking around the city, it turned into a ridiculously rainy day, something we became used to throughout our time in Amsterdam, so we decided rather than get drenched or lose a day of exploring, it was time to take the cruise. After meeting the friendliest captain, who posed with his hat and took pictures for us (non of which feature due to rain all over the lens) we piled aboard with about 40 other tourists hoping to see Amsterdam through the rain.
I personally love a commentary on these kind of things, so eagerly put my headphones in ready to learn all about the city. The rain was pouring, but in our little glass covered boat it was actually quite cosy. I wish I could say I have some great facts to give back, I wrote some in notes on my phone, but clever person I am, I changed phones and forgot to switch them over. Anyway, I have a memory like a fish so sorry I can't give you too many exciting facts, but now you can enjoy the tour for yourself right?
As we went through the waterways passing beautiful spot after beautiful spot, even in the rain I tried to snap away as many pictures as I could, however cameras lens and rain just don't like playing together so I decided to sit back and enjoy the ride. Something that just become clear when you're journeying around the city, is that even with hundreds of people lining the canals outside certain monuments like Anne Franks house and the classic photo spots, it's really peaceful really, something I felt though Amsterdam.
I can definitely recommend Graylines for a good service and quality of tour and information, and actually I just remembered a fact! As you go past the beautiful, tall homes you will notice they nearly all have hooks sticking out from the roof. These were used to deliver furniture and other large items to the upper levels straight from the water, as it was easier than maneuvering in the narrow homes. It was definitely the best was to enjoy Amsterdam on a rainy day, but I imagine it's pretty stunning on a sunny day too.
Read more about Amsterdam on JustMelKate here.
Do you enjoy organised tours? Have you been on a canal tour in Amsterdam before?