I practically had only 8 hours to explore the city of Amsterdam and yes, it wasn’t enough. I can’t really complain though as it was just a small part of a huge European itinerary that I have at the time, in fact I think we went there just to have a break from a very long journey from Vienna. I’ve got to make the most out of the few hours that I have so I went straight to the tourist information kiosk right in the center of the city and asked the friendly Dutch guy as to what are the things to do in this beautiful city that I just can’t miss. He immediately told me to go on a canal cruise and then to Zaanse Schans (more on this later), so I booked a ticket for both.
The canal cruise is a must for first time visitors or like me, those who doesn’t have enough time to explore the city on foot. It gives you a great perspective of the city and in my case, made me mentally kick my arse for not having a longer stay here.
There are various companies operating a canal cruise tour. I didn’t really bother much about it as I took the first one which was departing the soonest from the time that I booked it. They include a commentary on each of the tours but to tell you very frankly, I picked up too little from the commentary as I was too busy taking photos from the boat. 🙂
I love a city which has a body of water in it, I’m not really sure why. I think a place becomes more interesting and prettier if it has a body of water. The entire city of Amsterdam is spread over the banks of the canals which makes this cruise very popular amongst the tourists. The houses along the canals are quaint and clearly shows their unique architecture.
Along with the architecture and seeing the daily lives of the locals, you will also see a huge number of bridges during your canal cruise.
It was also my first time to see a houseboat, can you ever live in a boat? I can’t, plainly because I get seasick easily. Lol.
With all the touristy boat cruises and the normal houseboats, surely they’d need some sort of a way to organize the traffic along the canals right? So yes, they have a stoplight in it. :p
The cruise I’ve heard is much better and more romantic if done in the evening, I can imagine why. Maybe next time.
For more photos, do visit my Facebook page – Pinay Flying High: Amsterdam Album