With its dreamy canals, picturesque houses and many historic bridges, Amsterdam is without a doubt one of the most romantic cities in the world. You can feel that poetic vibe while wandering around its cobbled streets. But the best way to immerse into it is by going on a romantic canal cruise in Amsterdam.
Romantic Canal Cruise in Amsterdam
*This post was created in collaboration with Romantic Tour Amsterdam. I’ve joined one of their romantic canal cruises in Amsterdam and truly enjoyed the experience. You can read more about it below.
During my six years in Amsterdam, I went on many canals cruises. It’s something I’m doing whenever having family or friends visiting from abroad. And in my opinion, it’s one of the best ways to explore Amsterdam.
However, this time, Marijan and I went on a bit of a different cruise. I was invited by Rocco from the Romantic Canal Cruise in Amsterdam to join one of their boat trips. So, we decided to spend a romantic evening in Amsterdam and enjoy the city in a bit of a different way. It was a beautiful autumn evening and trees around the canals already started to change its colours. They had all the different shades, from green to red, and their reflections in water made a beautiful autumn setting for our romantic canal cruise.
The cruise starts in one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods of Amsterdam – Jordaan. Rocco was already waiting for us when we met him at the Keizersgracht, just opposite the Homomonument and the Westerkerk.
When we met each other, he told us about the reasons he started organising this tour. How he always found Amsterdam to be such a romantic city. But, no one was showing that poetic side of it to its visitors. I could feel Rocco’s passion while he was telling us about its legends, stories and little secrets, not many locals even know.
The romantic canal cruise in Amsterdam is a small group tour, and there were four more couples on it beside us. Being on a smaller boat made the whole experience more intimate and enjoyable. The boat was very cosy, with soft seats, blankets and cushions that were prepared for us. Although it was a brisk autumn evening, we all voted to have a boat open to enjoy the view on Amsterdam.
With some typical Dutch food on a table, a glass of prosecco in our hands and all tucked in, we were ready to start our romantic journey through Amsterdam.
Canals are a symbol of Amsterdam that probably comes to everyone’s mind first when thinking about this beautiful Dutch city. I’m always surprised by how different the city looks like from them. It seems like everything slows down, and the city appears to be quieter and more elegant.
To the canals of Amsterdam
I have pledged my whole heart…
Aan de Amsterdamse Grachten by Pieter Goemans
When we started our cruise, it was still daylight. And while listening to love songs playing, we were set entirely in a romantic mood. There were so many swans that evening on the canals. Slowly swimming next to our boat, these elegant birds, symbolising love and beauty, made Amsterdam even more poetic that evening.
Enjoying with all of our senses
Thinking about it now, a week after I’ve joined it, I can see how this romantic canal cruise in Amsterdam was tailored to make us feel the romantic side of Amsterdam with all of our senses. We enjoyed in a beautiful sight of canals and houses on them. We also listened to some of the classic romantic songs while cruising them. The typical Dutch food on a table and prosecco made us taste Amsterdam in a way, too. Especially the combination of cheese and grapes, which according to the Spanish saying, tastes like kissing.
Love stories from Amsterdam
During our romantic canal cruise in Amsterdam, our guide was telling us some romantic stories that happened or were set up in the city. We’ve seen some buildings that have a love story linked to them, too. Although this tour reveals a romantic side of Amsterdam, I liked how much of the city’s history and culture have we discovered along the way, through the stories Rocco told us.
Many famous romantic movies were filmed in Amsterdam. And we’ve had a chance to see some of their locations during our cruise. Some fictional books were also set up there. And it was so lovely to hear how Amsterdam was a source of inspiration to so many artists through history.
The Fault in Our Stars
The first place we passed next to was a bench from ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ movie. It’s a story about two teenagers who have cancer but fall in love and travel to Amsterdam. There is a scene in which they’re sitting on a famous bench, and you can still find it in Amsterdam. The writer, John Green, who wrote a book on which the movie is based, also gave one of the most beautiful quotes about the city:
Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth, it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.
However, not all the Amsterdam love stories were fictional. It was so interesting to listen about some famous historical people living in a city during the past, and about their love stories. I started to look at some places in Amsterdam with a different pair of eyes, learning about them during this romantic canal cruise.
Rembrandt’s love story
When we’ve seen the Rijksmuseum building in the distance, Rocco told us about one of the most famous historical love stories that happened in Amsterdam. The one about a well-known Dutch painter Rembrandt and his wife. Their love story was quite intense because they came from different social circles. But, it was also quite short because of his wife’s death when she was only 29 years old. Our guide also told us about a love message hidden in one of Rembrandt’s most famous paintings located in the Rijksmuseum – ‘The Night Watch’. Well, you should join the tour to hear the whole story. And be sure to visit the famous museum, to take a closer look at the painting, afterwards.
Amsterdam Romantic sights
We continued our sail and slowly explored the canals of Amsterdam. A benefit of being on a small boat is that you can explore those smaller narrow canals, larger ships can’t go to. We’ve seen many romantic sights in Amsterdam during our tour. However, not to reveal too much, I’m going to mention just some of them.
The Skinny Bridge
After we came to the Amstel River, we approached one of the most famous bridges in Amsterdam, the Skinny Bridge (or Magere Brug in Dutch). When we came closer to it, Rocco told us about a legend by which those who kiss at or below the Skinny Bridge will stay together forever. Isn’t it so romantic to have a place in the city where you can just walk (or sail) to and pledge your heart to the person you love?
The Weeping Tower
Still in that romantic mode, we continued towards another sight on our romantic canal cruise in Amsterdam. The Weeping Tower is located at the end of the Geldersekade canal at the oldest part of Amsterdam, in de Wallen neighbourhood. That’s a place where the old port of Amsterdam used to be. A heartbreaking story Rocco told us there is related to that old port and it gave the name to the tower. After hearing it, we were just reminded of how lucky we are to have our loved ones close to us.
This wasn’t a typical tour during which we were just listening to our guide. It was more about feeling the city. About experiencing that romantic side of Amsterdam. And that was probably my favourite part of it. I could just enjoy, hold Marijan’s hand, listen to romantic music and have some quiet time to unplug from our everyday lives. There is something relaxing in being on the water, too. Cruising its canals is one of the most romantic things you can do in Amsterdam.
Although we started our tour while it was still daylight, the sun set off, and it got dark by the end of our cruise. The full moon was shining bright. And the waterways were sparkling from the street lights reflecting on the water. I love how Amsterdam changes entirely during the night. We slowly sailed back to Jordaan neighbourhood. And while the romantic music was playing, we all enjoyed in it quietly. Probably each one of us wanted to enjoy in the last moments of this romantic canal cruise in Amsterdam.
After the tour both me and Marijan agreed this was one of the best canal cruises in Amsterdam we’ve ever joined. I’m strongly recommending it, especially if you would like to explore that more poetic side of the city during your visit.
You can read more about it and book you Romantic Canal Cruise in Amsterdam on this link.
*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post created in collaboration with Romantic Tour Amsterdam. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.